7 Reasons to Pursue Digital Marketing
Digital marketing plain simply refers to the use of digital technologies to market goods and services. Allow me to illustrate with a fictional tale, though there are many similar real-life facts that exist within it:
Njoroge sells vinyl records. He inherited the business from his father. This family business has existed for over three decades now and counting. However, the business started experiencing dwindling sales, attributed to the technological shift to Cassette Tapes and later Digital Compact Disks and Flash drives. Struggling to make ends meet, Njoroge mulled over the option of closing down shop and finding other means of sustenance.
He eventually did close shop(the retail one), but after something that he would describe close to a miracle happened. One of his loyal customers suggested that he set up a Facebook page for his business. He was later introduced by the same customer to vinyl loving social groups on the same forum. He immediately received a hundred enquiries and made 5 successful sales from the first 24 hours of posting to the groups.
After 3 months of learning the ropes and tinkering with different online strategies, Njoroge decided to close his retail store. He instead chose to rent a small space as his warehouse, went ahead to develop an online web-store and contracted different logistics and distribution service providers to distribute his products to customers from as far as Zimbabwe. Business has never been better for Njoroge.
Enough said. Here are some of the benefits that can be picked up from the above story.
Ease of use
That is, you don’t have to be an expert at technology. With basic knowledge, you can do far much more for your business. Even if you have little or no technical knowledge, rest assured that it’s quite easy to learn the ropes! Ask Njoroge.
Digital media boasts the ability to expose your product to the global audience. This gives your business the capacity to scale internationally. Think of the billions of internet users as one single marketplace. Before going digital, Njoroge was unaware that somebody in Zimbabwe was quite interested in buying vinyl records.
You start an online shop in Nairobi then you realise most of your customers come from Nakuru. You have invested heavily on the operations in Nairobi that it would be impractical to pack up and move to Nakuru. Digital media enables you to move closer to these customers, from your base in Nairobi.
Similarly, while traditional advertising targets anyone and everyone, you could tailor your digital messages to be found online by specific groups of individuals with specific interests and demographics. In the case of Njoroge, vinyl record enthusiasts.
Instant Feedback & Measurement
I have personally found it easier to communicate with some service providers on twitter and especially so Kenya Power. The feedback here is almost instantaneous, after a bad experience calling on their toll lines.
Many big businesses have resorted to social media, to interact with their customers. It’s also the best way to monitor what customers are saying about your product or service. That Njoroge was able to receive so much requests during his first 24 hours of going digital was an encouraging sign that his products were still in demand.
Not just that, digital platforms have integrated analytical programs that measure the level of interactions with your product or service. More so, when advertising via digital media, it is possible to measure how many people were able to view your advertisement vis a vis how many went ahead to click, buy or sign for your product or service. This is usually instantaneous. Conventional media offers nothing that is close to this.
With instant feedback, you are able to easily manipulate your strategies to maximise your returns. You could for instance try and employ as many digital advertising mediums as possible and maximise on those that prove to be most promising.
For example, after analysing, you realise that most of your sales have been achieved through customers using mobile devices. Some platforms such as Google Adwords allow you to tailor your strategies to target more users of mobile devices.
Try performing a search like ‘buy books online Kenya’ or any other product. I guarantee that among the first search results to appear will be from a local e-commerce platform. Try this with as many products as possible and you will still end up with the same platform. You can target different types of customers for different products, using different messages on a single forum or platform. In the case of the above-mentioned, Google Adwords.
Digital platforms also have the option of text, pictures and videos simultaneously to send your marketing messages.
This is the best thing about digital marketing and advertising. Some of the platforms like social media and business listings come free of charge.
Paid advertising on the other hand only makes charges once the intended action has been performed by the target audience or customer e.g. a user clicks on an ad. It’s like paying for a TV ad only when customers go and buy your products from the stores. Think of the other advantages such as measurability on the basis of cost effectiveness to find more big wins.