Does your business need digital marketing?
Whether or not your business is suited to digital marketing depends very much on the nature of that business, where it is now, and where you want it to go in the future. If, for example, you’re a dairy farmer in rural Benue state Nigeria, have a fixed contract to supply yam to the local co-operative, and have little, if any, scope or ambition to diversify and grow your business year-on-year, then digital marketing probably isn’t for you. Likewise, if you’re a local butcher with an established client base in a thriving market town in the Abule-Egbe-Abattoir area of Lagos state Nigeria, and simply want to maintain the status quo, then again you’ll probably do just fine without digital marketing.
If, however, you’re a groceries retailer looking to diversify your product offering, broaden the scope of your business and want to start selling your quality products to restaurants and hotels around the country… well then, welcome to the world of digital marketing.
In truth, there are very few businesses today that can’t benefit from at
least some degree of digital marketing – even if it is just providing a basic online brochure telling people what you do, and sending out the occasional update to existing customers via an e-mail newsletter or social media.
Whether you are running a home-based ‘lifestyle’ business selling hand embroidered cushion covers, are a small-scale artisan food producer, an up-and-coming restaurateur or managing a large multinational corporation, a growing proportion of your customer base is already online, with more joining them every day. Obviously, the more your target market comes to rely on these online channels for its information, research and purchasing needs, the more critical digital marketing will become to the ongoing success of your business.
Below are two questions you need to answer to determine if your business needs digital marketing: –
- Is my audience online/is it going to be online? If your customers use digital technology to research and/or purchase the products and services you provide, then you absolutely need to embrace digital marketing now in order to engage with them and retain them. If they don’t, then you don’t. It really is that simple. Just bear in mind that as the next generation of consumers start to become your new customers, they are likely to demand more digital interaction from your business. If you’re not in a position to deliver that, they could well choose to spend their money elsewhere.
- Are my products/services/brands suited to digital marketing? This can be a tricky one – but the answer is usually yes. Typically, it doesn’t matter what your product, service or brand is, as long as you have established that there is a viable online audience for it (see question 1), then you should be promoting it online. While some products and services are obviously more suited to online purchase and fulfillment than others (digital files, such as e-books or music, spring to mind), you will also find being marketed effectively through digital channels plenty of items that few people would ever dream of actually purchasing over the internet. Consumers go online to research, evaluate and compare their choices. They make purchasing decisions based on the quality of their online experience, then head to a bricks-and-mortar store to hand over their cash. Boats, cars, houses, apartments, tractors – you name it – they are all being actively and successfully marketed online.
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