We’ve come a long way since we started using the internet back in 1992. Back when connecting to the internet required you to schedule your phone calls because the modem used the family landline to connect to the world wide web. Keep in mind that Vodacom and MTN would only launch their cell service two years later in 1994, so you had to choose – the internet or phoning a friend. It’s no surprise then that digital marketing was not even a blip on the radar yet.
Fast forward to today, and internet speeds, touch screens and mobile device technology have come so far that we take the ability to simultaneously video chat with a group of friends while browsing social media apps and texting links back and forth as commonplace.
As a smart business owner, there’s a lot to learn from this rapid evolution of technology and the well documented financial problems being experienced by once-massive companies like GameStop and Blockbuster in the US who failed to transition into this new digital reality and paid the price.
Digital marketing does not mean becoming a digital business
One of the most misinformed arguments against developing a sound digital marketing strategy is that “my business is not online”. Given that many multi-million Rand companies deliver tangible services and products, this is a given.
What that mindset really reveals is a lack of understanding of your customers’ needs and habits. While your business may not necessarily be a digital service, your customers spend most of their day glued to their cell phones or interacting with the internet in some form or another.
By not being where your customers are you are missing out on low hanging fruit in terms of building brand loyalty, increasing your customer base, and driving new sales.
The business benefits of digital marketing
For many, digital marketing conjures up images of vague promises of mind-blowing results, a lot of technical jargon and in-speak and finally, a massive price tag. The reality of our present-day online sales and marketing platforms could not be farther removed from that perception.
Here are 5 benefits of marketing your business online:
- Reach your ideal customer
Digital marketing begins and ends with the customer journey. With the amount of data available online, it’s incredibly easy and cost-effective to create targeted campaigns aimed at your ideal customer.
- Create brand loyalty
Having an online and mobile presence will allow you to easily reach your customers wherever they are with your latest product launch, interesting announcement, or loyalty program update. One of the main benefits of digital loyalty programs is that they put you at the head of the purchase decision queue when it comes to spending their time and money.
- Market your product 24/7
Smart planning and the effective use of scheduling tools will allow you to create and launch marketing campaigns, social media outreaches, and more while you’re sound asleep or even on vacation. When you start looking beyond your country borders this becomes an invaluable tool to ensure your success.
- Expand into international markets
Your product is great, it has the ability and potential to sell overseas where you can benefit from stronger currencies to boost your profits per sale, so why not expand the scope of your business? Digital marketing campaigns allow you easily test international interest in your offering and at a very low cost.
- Measurable results
Given that each click on your advertising campaign and every email that is opened can be tracked, you have never had deeper, more meaningful insights into the behaviours and preferences of your customers than you do with online campaigns.
Being able to determine to the cent what it costs you to acquire a customer from a specific website, email list or social media platform means you no longer need to rely on spray-and-pray marketing techniques, but rather make data-driven provable decisions that maximise your returns.
How digital loyalty programs benefit your customer
A happy and appreciated customer is a loyal one. By offering desirable benefits, which align with the core product, in a simple to use environment ensures that your customers will make use of your program and share it with their friends which increases sales and grows your customer base.
Here are 4 ways in which your customers benefit from an online loyalty program:
- You are bringing products and services to them. The less friction for the customer, the more beneficial they’ll find your product.
- It is personalised to their needs and preferences. Rather than generic coupons, digital programs can be tailored to meet the demands of the individual.
- They have 24/7 access to all your amazing offers and incentives which allows them to make buying and claiming decisions when it suits their schedules.
- It’s easily shareable. Being able to forward and email or share a link from your loyalty app means they can share the good news with very little effort on their part.
In a world that offers a lot of distraction but not much else, being the one safe haven that offers quality service, a great product, and an overall positive experience that makes people feel valued will put your business on the road to success.
Many business owners feel that finding a digital marketing strategy that does the job of both serving your customer base and growing your business at the same time is a difficult process, but it doesn’t need to be. A customer-centric approach to your loyalty program can easily help your business breed brand loyalty while helping you grow your business and keeping your customers happy, and coming back for more!