Businesses across the marketing sphere are setting in place and implementing their digital marketing plans for 2017. Many will be concerned to spot and exploit the current trends – some will fall by the wayside, but those who are savvy enough and took the time to explore the iTonic blog will surf the wave to the heady horizons of market domination.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the things that will help you to get ahead in a year that will, undoubtedly, be a rocky road for all of us. Marketing industry, or not, it’s going to be a rough, but interesting, year.
The current state of digital marketing shows that it’s particularly challenging for small to medium sized businesses. This is because they often lack the resources and capital required to take advantage of this lucrative, but complex, area of marketing. A good digital campaign takes time to establish and maintain. Most SMEs lack this time. For support, they could look at working with a digital consulting firm, similar to this one.
Many SMEs have websites, and even feature on social media platforms – especially Facebook and Twitter. However, too many fail to generate meaningful engagement through these channels. They have neither the skills nor the expertise needed to analyse, create, deliver, and excel in this area of marketing.
Why don’t they simply hire a digital marketing agency ? Well, digital marketing is a skill – a complex skill. The costs of hiring such an agency can prove beyond the means of many SMEs, particularly as we move into 2017, where we are highly likely to experience signs of economic depression and regression.
SMEs are struggling to create meaningful, growth-promoting, digital campaigns for their businesses. To see what we mean, here are some key patterns that we see when analysing the digital marketing campaigns of small to medium businesses:
- Almost three-quarters of SMEs are what we call “digitally immature”. This means that they have only the bare minimum grasp of digital marketing. It’s worse than this, though. Almost half again have NO digital marketing skills at all! And, the further away from London the business, the less likely it is to have such skills. In other words, we’re seeing an interesting divide between London and the rest of the country, again.
- Just under 60% of SMEs have ZERO social media communities. This means that they have no ‘followers’, ‘likers’, etc. In non-internet speak, they have no internet engagement with their audience. This is terrible. It means that 60% of businesses are missing out entirely on the potential customer base found online.
- Most shockingly of all, just under half of all SMEs have NO WEBSITE. What? That’s unbelievable in this day and age. Even a simple landing page is better than nothing.
- In terms of investment, things are dire. Almost 70% of SMEs have no digital marketing budget and almost the same again invest nothing in cyber security.
What do all these figures reveal? That a significant number of SMEs in the UK are digitally illiterate. We are lagging behind and our businesses need to wake up to the incredible opportunities they have before them, or lose out to their competitors.
For those SMEs willing to get ahead, however, it represents an invaluable opportunity to exploit a media channel that is relatively under populated with business, but extremely well populated with customers. It’s the perfect time to get ahead of the competition.
We shouldn’t move out of the way for SMO services London, but should capitalise on the market in the same way. The internet has no ‘home’, so there is no reason that any business with an internet connection can’t achieve a high quality digital campaign. Yes, it means allocating a budget and taking time out from the day-to-day running of the business, but the reward is a greater level of customer engagement and, we hope, increased profit margins.
For SMEs that are willing to invest in learning and expanding their digital marketing tools, the world of the internet really is their oyster. The opportunities are here. We are living through another digital gold rush, and it’s time to take advantage before others do.
Sure, traditional media has its place. People still like to read their newspapers on the morning commute – the internet connection is sadly lacking on much of our rail network! – but people do engage more and more with the internet, especially as the millennials come to occupy the higher management positions.
The world has changed, and so must our SMEs. Today, marketing means engaging in all channels, both in the real world, and online.marketing means engaging in all channels, both in the real world, and online.
Digital marketing may seem daunting, but it is within all of our reach. We just need to take that first step into the digital abyss. You never know, you might find that you enjoy it. creativity and intelligence abound within the digital marketing sphere – it’s fun once you learn the basics.