In a recent survey conducted by LOCO BC, about 40% of small businesses in BC are spending no more than $99 per year on marketing, either traditional or digital. This could seem surprising that small business owners are not spending more on marketing or asking the help from marketing services. So why are entrepreneurs not investing more in marketing when it would be beneficial to their business growth?
Why Small Businesses Have Limited Marketing Investments?
The quickest answer would be budget, but that is not, of course, that simple. Making the decision to invest in digital marketing, either in-house or through digital marketing consultants, is often difficult for owners of small businesses for several reasons.
Of course, budget is one thing. As a business owner, your priorities centre on your team, direct selling and services costs, and essentials. Digital marketing or digital marketing services are something that can be cut or delayed without an immediate effect.
Small business owners simply don’t have the time. They have multiple hats; founder, CEO, CFO, sales & business development rep, HR manager and, in some cases, manufacturer of their own product.
Lots of entrepreneurs see marketing as an expense, when they should see it as an investment.
Before you hit on ‘what really works’, marketing is uncertain. The target market may not be fully profiled, some past experiments may have failed (spectacularly), and there are 1000 marketing ‘Gurus’ that tell you they’ve got the secret. Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to invest in marketing because they are not convinced of the ROI.
The fact remains that if you want to grow your business in today’s world, neglecting to invest in marketing is a big mistake. Investing the right marketing budget, allowing for necessary time and effort to develop a result-driven digital marketing strategy at the early stages of your business/product/market launch will save yourself a significant amount of money in the long run.
In a recent study conducted by Kabbage, a small business funding company in the USA, most of the companies that were surveyed regretted not investing more in marketing sooner to optimize their business growth. They even wished they’d doubled, tripled or even quadrupled their marketing expenditure if they had known more about marketing strategies and channels.
Why You Should Invest in Marketing
Truth is, whatever your product and targeted audience is, if you are not using digital marketing yet, you are probably losing a large percentage of prospects because you are not advertising on the media platforms where your audience spends most of its time: digital media platforms. If you don’t exist online, you simply don’t exist for your target. It’s that simple.
Here are the main reasons why you should invest in digital marketing:
Geographic location was one of the greatest barriers to make the sale for SMBs, and it was very difficult to get access to audiences that weren’t local or national. Capturing customers, partners, and prospects attention in every part of the globe is easy and fast. We live in a society where 83% of customers are looking for products or brands on their computers and 28% on their tablets or phones.
Businesses all over the globe have recognized marketing and digital marketing as something that they need to invest in in order to make the most of their website. You could have the most appealing website, but if your marketing strategy is poor or non-existent, then no one will ever see it. This means less revenue for you but more for your competitors, especially if they use digital marketing services for their marketing strategy. To give you a concrete example, did you know that a website that ranks in the top 3 positions in Google can get up to 33% of all clicks for that search? The boost in traffic and sales will surely justify the spend for a digital marketing strategy.
Increased efficiency and ROI
Whether you are recruiting internally or using the services of a digital marketing consultant, budget and conversions in digital marketing are easily measurable as you can monitor them in real time, through specific tools. You are able to identify what is working the best on your audience and invest more in that channel while relocating the budget of what didn’t work to explore other channels and opportunities. As each cost and conversion can be measured and predicted, it is easy for you to know your business ROI.
Digital marketing allows you or your marketing consultant to more easily replicate previous tasks. Which save time in the long run. By simply cloning previous campaigns that performed well for example, you are able to spend more time on strategy. This means less time on building or implementing marketing campaigns. If you are working with a marketing consultant or digital marketing services, time efficiency will be even more optimized. You will be able to focus on other activities of your business while the marketing consultant will work in familiar territories.
Targeted and Fast
Targeting can be really precise with digital marketing, allowing you to reach your targeted audience easily. Digital marketing also gives you the opportunity to redefine or extend your targeted audience to find new markets.
Fits all Budgets
Being convinced by the value of marketing doesn’t mean you have the budget to put your strategy into action. The beauty of marketing is that it fits your budget. You have a large budget, great, you can explore all channels of acquisition and conversions, including paid channels through through performance marketing, also called by consultants as PPC services. Low budget or a highly volatile budget? The best strategy for your business could be to work on SEO for low investment and long term benefits, or to use high-targeted digital ads (with a low budget, but focusing very tightly on your audience geography and characteristics).
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