How To Use Digital Marketing To Make Small Businesses Better

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Image courtesy of Dennis Jarvis at Flickr.com

Digital Marketing or “eCommerce” is understood as the science of investigating customers needs in order to achieve satisfaction by means of a product or service in a manner that is more efficient than the competition. Digital Marketing’s importance resides in creating value through the use of techniques that make customers desire a product or service and at the same time, aids establishing solid, loyay and lasting relationships with the brand.

Digital Marketing is all about having an open mind to a new concept of marketing, and being able to adapt to constant change. Understanding marketing today, means accepting the idea that consumers are the vectors of marketing, not really its objective. Think of customers as partners on your firm, as one of the most important factors in the dissemination of your information and a strategic source of distribution of your product. It is impossible to predict what customers will do, but good research and management of feedback will allow you to make educated guesses as of where to go next and how to anticipate needs.

Digital Marketing can be divided into two different approaches, strategic marketing and operational marketing.

Strategic marketing is based on analyzing the opportunities offered by the market. It’s all about finding out the needs of the market as a whole and evaluating if my product or services is able to meet those needs. Internal analysis is also necessary, since we need to evaluate our company, product and services and compare them to those of the competition to really gauge our position within the field, and strive to reach competitive advantages.

After the strategic marketing phase has taken place, we move on to operational marketing. Here we work on designing a plan, set product policies, prices, distribution and communication.

Product.

What makes people want my product? What features does it have that sets it apart? Do I have a wide variety of options? What type of services or added value do I offer with my product?

Price.

How much are people willing to pay for my product? What’s my strategy? What’s my goal? What are the prices of my competitors? What kind of margin am I striving for?

Promotion.

How will my customers learn about my product? How am I doing my advertisement? What techniques must I learn? Do I need a PR campaign? How will I let them know about the benefits of my product over similar products out there?

Distribution.

How am I getting my product to my customers? Where am I going to store it and display it? How should I present it at the point of sale?

Having all this in mind, you must not forget that you cannot use one techniques or strategy and expect it to work for all cases. Diversification is very important. Using several platforms or methods to uphold your product allows you to adapt to changes and widen your product’s reach.

Pay special attention to customer fidelity and retention numbers. Sometimes companies become complacent with their customer and only look outward towards gaining new clients. This is a huge mistake. To keep your current customers coming back for more and staying loyal to your brand, may even be more important than getting new one, since word to mouth spreads and can help you achieve even further penetration into the market.

Join local efforts. Can your brand become part of the community and help strengthen bonds in a mutually beneficial manner? This can be done though participation in local forums or with the aid of sponsoring programs and such. Cooperation with other local companies also goes a long way.

Understand your customer base. You must know what they are thinking, where they are going next and make sure you are there to meet their needs. A stagnant brand is easily forgotten and only remembered with condescending nostalgia. Customers change the way they see themselves, their needs become evolved and refine and the competition is fierce.

Consider outsourcing if necessary. Time and efforts are not the only reasons to think about this. Can a third party make your work in a more efficient and effective manner? This will only help you and the improvement of your brand.

Your brand is your business identity. Make sure it defines you and the clear message that you want to portray. Be ready to change and adapt as needed.

Create a far-reaching and well-designed webpage. Social networks are frontrunners in this aspect, but a nice website still holds much weight. Make sure that it uses strategies consistent with much needed search engine optimization techniques and that further supports the aspects mentioned above in this article.

Marketing is a discipline based in processes. Believe it or not, marketing is much more than simply allowing the creative juices “flow” and hope for the best. Advances in productivity have experimented with management systems and process mapping have allowed companies identify weaknesses and strengths, thus allowing marketing strategies to be finely tuned and ready to adapt to this ever changing market.

Are you ready to take your business to the next step?

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