Some business owners reading this blog post may be dumbfounded by the very idea that the vital role of digital marketing still needs to be re-emphasised – after all, the statistics scream of its importance.According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, 78% of adults in Great Britain accessed the Internet every day, or almost every day, in 2015, compared to a mere 35% in 2006.
We could cite many more figures to back up our point. Whereas in 2006, only 57% of households in Great Britain had Internet access, this had risen to 86% by last year. If anything, the digital age is set to become a yet more fundamental feature of our lives, even when we are nowhere near a traditional desktop PC. After all, almost all – 96% – of adults aged between 16 and 24 accessed the Internet ‘on the go’ in 2015, compared to a mere 29% of those aged 65 years and over.
The Online Era Makes Digital Marketing Inescapable
But of course, you already know all of the above, or at least, the gist of it. You’ve sat on a bus while someone next to you has fiddled with their smartphone, purchased goods online for delivery to your home, and almost certainly invested in a wide range of digital appliances. In today’s emerging ‘Internet of Things’ era, some of those devices may not even be what you had previously regarded as ‘digital’. Even the most technophobic of us now know about smartwatches thanks to the Apple Watch, but what about smart fridges and smart toasters? Yep, they’re very much on their way.
But let’s get back to the subject of digital marketing. In the current, highly visual age, you are being marketed to seemingly all of the time, even when you don’t consciously realise it, and you can be sure that much of that marketing is being delivered in digital form. Those email newsletters from your favourite brands, those reactive and witty social media posts by internationally known restaurant chains, that online video advertising the latest series of that supposedly must-not-miss TV show… they all count, as do the likes of blogging, Pay Per Click (PPC) and even mobile apps.
In 2016, Merely ‘Going Digital’ Isn’t Enough
As we come to embrace newer forms of digital marketing such as the use of social influencers, so digital marketing becomes ever-more embedded into our day-to-day lives. Did you know, for instance, that during the three months from November 2015 to January 2016, a major digital tipping point was reached,with the percentage of UK online retail sales made through mobile devices exceeding 50% for the first time, according to the ‘e-tail’ industry association IMRG?
To be more exact, desktop and laptop computers only accounted for 49% of total UK online sales during that quarter, compared to the 33% and 18% garnered by tablets and smartphones respectively. It means that if a business launches digital marketing campaigns aimed at only the first, albeit most traditionally dominant of those categories, it could still be completely missing more than half of its target audience. That equates to a huge proportion of potentially lost sales that no business – even if it does not consider itself an online-oriented one – can afford.
Digital Marketing Isn’t Just Essential – It’s An Opportunity
So, from one point of view, your business can’t avoid digital marketing for the simple reason that doing so would lead to a significant loss of market share to rivals – indeed, you may even struggle to continue trading. But on the positive side, digital marketing also represents an immense opportunity for small businesses in particular. Whereas just a few decades ago, only the big corporations could hope to launch a widely impactful marketing campaign, the rise of digital has made such an ambition a realistic one for even the most modest of firms.
Through digital marketing, not only can your business reach more of its target audience and do so more affordably, quickly and directly, it can also gather previously unavailable information about its customers and their habits that will inform your efforts to maximise future ROI. It is also thanks to digital that you can enjoy a more intimate relationship with your customers, providing them with ‘real-time’ service via multiple devices. Having a digital-ready marketing approach already in place also, of course, leaves you perfectly placed to take advantage of the ‘Internet of Things’.
Ultimately, the reasons not to give digital a central role in your organisation’s marketing efforts are becoming scarcer all of the time. So, why not contact Shaboom Marketing now for more information about who we are, what we do and the astonishing digital marketing impact that we can help your firm to make?