Many small businesses tend to face a lot of competition and difficulty in management on a regular basis. Primarily due to their structure, not every small business may have adequate cash inflows and a large number of investors. Surviving in the industry becomes bleaker when such enterprises fail to ascertain devoted customers and carve a niche.
The ticket to standing out despite cut-throat competition is smart marketing. And when you have fewer funds but great expectations, digital marketing is the smartest door to open. The suggestion has never sounded more plausible than now, during the pandemic, when firms are seeking to sustain in the long run. With no personal marketing possible, the sole option available is digital marketing.
The Viral Infection — The Smaller, the More Vulnerable
The havoc caused by the virus was brisk to reach the business arena, mainly targeting small players on the move. Small businesses, as well as startups, are having a rough time figuring out strategies and plans to persist. For instance, Jagmohan Singh, the proprietor of Rishab Industries, claims that the business observed zero sales for three months. Another small jewellery-business owner, Jagdish Jain, lost his prime customers as marriages were forbidden during lockdown and maintains to witness no sales due to precautionary measures and fear.
In India alone, SME’s (Small and Medium Size Enterprises) employ around 40% of the total workforce, which accounts for around 106 million people. Hence, any delay in the decision-making process and subsequent action can affect the economy at large.
According to a survey conducted by LocalCircles a community social media platform, 71% of the respondents are observing lower demand while supply disruption is being experienced by 48% of them. The bigger picture is even more depressing.
Modern Approach but Conventional Means
Startups and small businesses heavily rely on traditional marketing and advertising methods, in order to attract customers. The idea behind this is reasonable — persuasion works better in person. However, too much focus on conventional forms makes firms overlook other possibilities.
Many businesses are proving their uniqueness by adopting clever digital marketing techniques. For Example, Wakefit, a mattress company, took the internet by storm in 2019 when it launched a ‘Sleep Internship’ as a part of its marketing campaign. Yes, you heard that right! The interns were paid around Rs.1,00,000 for merely sleeping at work. The challenge was to sleep for 9 hours on the company’s mattresses. Even today, the business’ handles are full of informative plus witty content, making the social media pages a customer-favourite!
Globally, 47% of small scale businesses barely spend $10,000 or less on digital marketing and handle it on their own. This sounds good for the start, but handling proprietorship and marketing simultaneously can get tedious after a while. Hence steps in the necessity of a professional digital marketer. A professional brings expertise and guides a business towards success.
The Corona Virus breakout served as an awakening factor for businesses, and paved a way for digital marketing to take over. Not only until recently has digital marketing had a major share in the success of a company – it has been an essential part of it for a very long time.
Drop the Joy of Missing Out
With customers and competitors, both being online, a business might feel compelled to build its own website or create a social media handle. But, mere presence can never be effective unless the business is determined to invest in it. Here are some of the reasons why:
- The Online Club: Yes, it includes all your potential customers and rivals. Nowadays, almost everyone owns a smartphone and more than 90% of people search for products online before making the final purchase. If this doesn’t ring the bell of opportunity then what does!
Not only customers but a competitive business also can gain an edge over you by being digitally active. This is because of increased brand appeal and better connectivity with users.
- User to User Chain: If an enterprise curates relevant and trendy content, there are high chances that visitors will share its posts with others. It further expands the network and helps a business in gaining mass credit.
- Budget-Friendly: As opposed to traditional marketing, promoting and advertising online allows a business with a defined budget to reap many benefits. It doesn’t solely qualify it to catch up with the global base. It also provides it with the opportunity to get precisely tracked and measured results, thus facilitating analysis.
If there are so many benefits of being online, why do some businesses avoid it? It is probably because of the infamous ‘product’ myth: a unique product doesn’t need marketing, it excites for itself.
Sadly, this is not entirely true. No matter how distinctive and impressive a product might be, if it fails to enter the right market of people, it will not succeed.
To state a business model, Freewill – India’s first personalized hair care brand, has managed to secure a massive customer base. Apart from the products, the company also posts customer and user reviews on its website and social media handles, therefore intensifying their grip over customer loyalty. At the outset, one of the chief factors driving its success was Influencer Marketing. After the expansion of its product range, the company subtly used the popularity of influencers to attract customers.
Digital marketing is not an instantly powerful way. It is a process by which you start to solidify your hold so that, finally, people start to value your product when they require it. You might not notice the effect too soon, but the key is to be persistent with your efforts.
Benefits of Digital Marketing in a Nutshell
Enhancing your stretch and customer base online is something you cannot miss out on. Nowadays, everybody is online and not surprisingly, innumerous people look for products and services on websites and social media every day. Still dubious? Have a glimpse at the benefits listed below!
- It is cost-effective as you can reach out to a massive audience at one go, from one place, as opposed to traditional marketing.
- It ensures smooth interaction with potential and existing customers through portals, emails and messages.
- It enables a business to extend to the global market due to the interconnectivity of the worldwide audience.
- Unlike offline methods of marketing, a digital marketer gets to analyse and study the trends of consumer behaviour and devise effective marketing strategies accordingly. In digital marketing, it is easier to interpret if the e-campaign is working out or not.
Clearly, businesses which are able to identify customer or user preferences and the amount of traffic attracted by them can effortlessly work on their services and products accordingly.
Fortunately, businesses are recognizing the need for building a digital presence. You must have noticed that almost every brand and company has a blog of its own to keep people updated and informed. Strategically, they post regularly in order to ‘stay’ in the game and strengthen their commendation. This is the beauty of digital marketing. Even as a start-up or a small business, you can emphasize on marketing yourself on the internet to make your brand recognizable. And gradually, as you move ahead with your business, you will start witnessing the recognition turn into prominence.