Not so long ago, terms like Online Marketing, Online Advertising, Display Advertising, or Digital Branding were considered elitist and exotic. Companies would be asked and subsequently slotted as being either ‘online’ or ‘offline’ businesses.
All of that has changed in the last 5 years – and particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Today, it is almost impossible for a business to think of itself in purely ‘offline’ terms, as statistics reveal that an overwhelming proportion of buyers begin their product search online – A staggering 87% according to RetailDive. This number is only set to grow, with more and more businesses turning their attention online following the brutal events of Covid19.
Here are 5 reasons why Digital Marketing has become absolutely crucial, particularly for Small to Medium sized businesses:
1. Digital Marketing can greatly help boost Customer Loyalty
Customer relationships and customer loyalty are intrinsic to the success of any business and for the longest time, before the internet era began, this is what allowed small to medium-sized businesses to prosper. But the emergence of large-scale retail outlets and MNCs changed all of that, as the modern consumer is literally spoiled for choices. This makes it extremely difficult for the smaller scale business setups to compete with large established megastores, which can offer a customer everything from massive discounts to even wider product ranges.
This is where Digital Marketing can help small to medium-scale businesses even the odds, as unlike conventional marketing and advertising techniques, it does not stop with the sale of a product. A carefully designed Digital Marketing campaign goes well beyond product checkout and can transform customers into brand ambassadors. A simple automated yet personalized “thank you” note or an appreciation email sent directly to the customer’s inbox can go a long way in ensuring a long-term relationship between the two parties.
2. Digital Marketing offers small businesses a low-cost way of actually beating their much larger competition
Content Marketing is a huge part of Digital Marketing and this is the most cost-effective way for a small business to match or even beat its much larger competitors. While in the past, a company’s ability to reach the market was directly proportional to its ‘spending’ capacity, the internet and particularly social media have massively democratized the playing field. For a small to medium-scale business, with a limited marketing budget, Digital Marketing is the perfect ‘low risk – high reward’ strategy to outcompete its more storied competition. A skillfully designed campaign with just the right mix of emotion and customer-specific content can very easily go ‘viral’ online – something that no amount of money can match.
3. AI and Machine Learning are rapidly altering how a business sees its customer
In the early days of Online Marketing and Advertising, the focus was all on identifying a potential customer and trying to get him/her to buy your product or service. New advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have changed all of that. Small businesses today no longer have to rely on guesswork or assumptions about who their customers might be or what their wants are. A wide array of Digital Marketing tools and technologies allow small businesses to learn everything from their customer’s online habits to spending proclivities and create targeted marketing campaigns that are extremely effective.
Today’s Digital Marketing campaigns involve tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Google Search Console that help a business know a potential customer in and out and even influence their buying habits.
4. Digital Marketing is extremely affordable
One of the biggest ‘myths’ about Digital Marketing is that it is a ‘cash drain’. While it is true that mindlessly pouring money into one’s social media handles will not automatically translate into inflated sales, Digital Marketing and Advertising are infinitely more affordable than traditional marketing.
Compared to exorbitantly expensive methods of traditional marketing/advertising such as Billboards, Hoardings, or Television Ads, an average Digital Marketing campaign is well within the budget of even the smallest of companies. With the right amount of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the right platform, Digital Marketing can easily match the reach of traditional broadcast channels such as Television and Radio at less than 10% of the cost.
5. Digital Marketing is set to evolve even further with the imminent arrival of Web 3.0
Ever since Facebook rebranded and re-focused its intentions towards Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences, the internet has been awash with the new buzzword – Metaverse. While experts are still polarized about whether our future selves will be spending most of our lives within these ‘Digital/Virtual Environments’, it is clear that Blockchains, NFTs, and Digital Avatars are set for revolutionizing the internet as we know it.
If and when we embrace this ‘near future’, Digital Marketing will gain even more prominence as we buy, sell and interact with each other in these virtual environments. Here again lies the possibility of further democratizing the ‘gap’ between large and small companies.
So, there you have it! 5 of the most important reasons why you must invest in having a solid ‘Digital Presence’ – particularly if you are a small to medium sized business.
At the very least, reach out and connect with one of our experts to understand how your business interests may best be served. We are one of the leading Digital Marketing Service providers in Dubai.