Pathway Small Business Guide: Common-Sense Marketing to Follow Your Buyer
A large part of your marketing efforts should be geared toward Web-based communications because Web has emerged as the primary channel for digital marketing.
By Rakesh Raman
Digital is okay; you can’t ignore it. But don’t feel challenged if I tell you that more than digital marketing, it’s about common-sense marketing. Your digital communications will work if your marketing plan is in place.
A common marketing principle suggests that you have to follow your buyer with all your brand messages. If your buyers are moving on your left, it will be wrong to keep calling them on your right. It’s that simple.
Now incidentally your buyers are strolling in cyberspace. They’re connected with digital lines – including Internet and mobile – around the clock. That means, they’re spending a lot of their time either on the Web or on their mobile phones or tablet devices.
This is a relatively new phenomenon that most old-fashioned marketers fail to understand. In the late 1990s and even early 2000s, consumers were distributing their time evenly between traditional media (like TV, newspapers, etc.) and digital media (Web and mobile) for getting all sorts of information.
However, as digital media started gaining popularity because of its ubiquitous and instant attributes, the consumer eyeballs have been shifting from traditional to digital media which is also called new media. This is a universal truth and you don’t need any research data to prove this fact.
It’s, however, estimated that Gen Y consumers who used to spend just 30 minutes a day on Web and mobile in the late 1990s are now on average spending more than 3 hours daily on digital media.
When the number of hours in a day is fixed at 24, obviously digital media has grabbed the share of time that people used to spend on newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.
Plus, the figures also support this fact. Today, in a world population of over 8 billion, there are nearly 5 billion Internet users and more than 16 billion mobile devices in use. It’s estimated that by the end of 2025, the number of mobile devices will be over 18 billion.
All these billions of users are the potential consumers of different products and services. Can marketers afford to ignore them? Answer: No. While consumers are moving away from traditional media and going toward digital channels, your marketing budgets should also go toward digital. Do you agree? You should.
And when we say digital, today it’s mainly the Web. In the current phase of digital evolution, a convergence is taking place between Web and mobile media, as most users are using their mobile devices for accessing content websites, social networking websites, e-commerce websites, and product websites of different companies.
As a result, the entire digital ecosystem is being driven by the Web. Therefore, to help brands transform their websites, a new responsive web design (RWD) has emerged that allows users to access websites seamlessly on their mobile devices.
Most forward-looking companies have already moved to RWD platforms to provide a convenient interactive experience to mobile users from their websites. Estimates suggest that an average user checks their smartphone at least once per hour and more than 50% of consumers are more likely to buy from a mobile-optimized website.
Obviously, a large part of your marketing efforts should be geared toward Web-based communications because Web has emerged as the primary channel for digital marketing. And mobile devices are largely being used to access the Web.
Therefore, if your product or service website is created with cutting-edge architecture and you’ve engaging content on your website, it can deliver more fruitful results than your entire traditional marketing department can achieve.
So, the first step will be to revamp your website so that it looks like a Digital Age modern site rather than a Stone Age ruin. Once your website is in order – replete with professionally created content that is free from syntax and semantics flaws – you should inform your potential buyers about this development.
Remember, your site is one of the billion other sites on the Web. It may have the best of content and best of design, but buyers will never know about it unless you tell them proactively. How would you do that?
You can use valid search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to bring your site in search results. But this is not very easy. You can use social media sites to inform consumers about the brand content on your site. This is again not very easy.
Then you can use the email approach to send email messages to your potential buyers. This is relatively easier than using social media or SEO. But there is a proper way to do that. Or you can use ethical mobile messaging to get in touch with your buyers prompting them to visit your site on the Web or on their mobile devices.
A simple way would be to use the ‘signature’ feature with your email. Your website address will be automatically added to every email that you send.
Thus, there are many ways to inform your buyers about your website. But for heaven’s sake never use a crude method to interact with your buyers. If your marketing communications content is not proper, it can harm your company more than it can help it.
With this information, you can take a few right steps in the digital universe. Will you?
Pathway Proposal: You can click here to download and study the proposal. The Pathway platform offers technology and marketing services to small businesses as well as ad agencies and public relations (PR) companies.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation. He has been running the global technology news site RMN Digital for the past 12 years. Earlier, he was writing an exclusive edit-page tech business column (named Technophile) regularly for The Financial Express, which is a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group.
He had also been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. You can click here to know more about him and his work.