The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) has brought about numerous improvements on how businesses carry out their marketing. Today, it is very common to find small companies that have invested entirely in having an online presence and having none of it offline. The trend of having your business online means that all the marketing budgets reduce significantly. So, at what point do you reckon that your business needs an online/digital marketing strategy?
A few factors might be influencing your marketing decisions. For example, you could be having issues with your budget, labor capacities, or even the nature of your business. In this post, we look at the top 5 issues that can significantly influence your marketing decisions and strategy.
1. Budget Constraints
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Budgetary constraints are perhaps the factor that carries the most weight as far as business marketing is concerned. For most business, the expected ROI is what determines the marketing strategy to adopt. For a majority of small businesses, small budgets are the order of the day. Most big corporates use third parties to host, build and maintain their websites. Looking for third parties website host is not the case with small businesses undergoing budget constraints.
Planning for marketing activities is paramount for a small business. In as much as bottom-up approach to marketing is gaining popularity in the world, the top bottom approach would be more ideal for a small business. The approach is necessary because the fact that all the marketing decisions come from the top management and flow to the marketing teams makes it easier to make crucial budgetary decisions.
Another approach entails the use of the zero dollar policy to execute marketing activities.
Outbound marketing methods are becoming less effective in reaching target markets. The methods typically use direct mails, calling customers with the same boring phrases and e-mail blasts which most consumers view as spam. Inbound is the solution to increasing your brand’s visibility online by use of social media, Google and blogs. The approach entices customers to your website and saves you a lot of money.
2. The Business That You Are Into
We all have expectations about the businesses we would like to find online depending on their nature. For businesses dealing with information technology items, for example, a failure to find their presence online is not common. But there are those businesses like restaurants and coffee shops, where the proprietor may feel like they do not really need to invest much in having an online presence. However, you have to ask, how will they measure customer satisfaction effectively if they do not allow people to provide reviews on their website? Online presence enables you to know changing preferences among your clients which then prompts you to align your marketing strategy accordingly.
For instance, a small food café might not need to invest in an overly expensive User Interface or Search Engine Optimization strategies as this would most likely not yield the expected return on investment. Therefore, it is advisable to share the menus for the day and ambience of the restaurant on social media like Instagram, Facebook or any other relevant media.
3. The market You’re Targeting
Business To Customers (B2C) is a business term which is used to refer to companies that sell their products directly to customers. On the other hand, Business To Business is a term that applies to businesses that make commercial transactions amongst themselves. When corporates are dealing with each other, face to face approach is ideal because most of them rarely have the time to go online looking for information. They already know what they are looking for online. The typical approach to a B2B situation is just to create a simple website that has your contact details and what you offer. The method creates an impression of legitimacy.
On the other hand, a B2C marketing approach would depend on the age of the clients you are thinking of reaching. The older generation is not much into the internet. But with the younger generation that is vibrant and full of energy, you’ll most likely find them on social media. Therefore, your online marketing should target them accordingly.
4. Geographical Location
Online marketing has no boundaries when it comes to the physical location of a place. With a simple click of a button, you can reach thousands of potential clients all over the world. Make use of this technology advancement to reach a wider clientele especially if you are dealing with a service or an information/intangible product.
Geo-targeting is an online tool that helps most businesses today to tell the location of potential customers visiting a website. The information is essential to making marketing decisions that target the client’s needs. The information will even help you determine the countries, regions and states that are most interested in your products.
Search engines have a provision that you can use to advertise in a particular region or area. Make use of the internet to target your online marketing to the right audience.
5. Consumer Preferences and Tastes Shifting
A good marketing strategy, regardless of whether it is online or offline, should be flexible. If your brand does not adapt to fast-paced changes quick enough, chances are high that will not survive in the market.
People’s lifestyles, technology advancements, and economic changes all have an impact on the customer’s tastes and preferences shifting. Start-ups and small businesses are more likely to fail if they are not able to easily track the shifting consumer tastes. Timing is essential especially if you are planning to make your online presence felt. As such, you can keep track of what is trending and act accordingly. Most companies make use of new product development, brand extensions, and discounts. Carrying out expensive manual research is not only costly but cumbersome. It is also often prone to many errors. Make use the online platform to keep track of the shifting tastes and preferences amongst your customers.
Internet of Things (IoT) has truly transformed how business marketing is perceived and done. The use of various online platforms to do business is not only gaining momentum, but it is also changing by day. The marketing department in a small business that plays a crucial role in the business success. As such, it has to use approaches that will keep the business afloat. Aggressive online marketing is necessitated by the fact that competition is stiff and chances of a small business failing are high.
Research has shown that consumer decisions are significantly influenced by what consumers have studied on social media and the internet. Therefore, make your presence felt in the market by use of mobile marketing and use of social media.