The world is moving into a digital era where both consumers and businesses are interacting in a virtual marketplace. With the pandemic backdrop where physical movements are more restricted compared to before, consumer behaviours are shifting, and the speed for businesses to tap on digital marketing to retain market share is accelerating at double-quick time. A global survey by KPMG shows that 67% of businesses have accelerated their digital transformation strategy, and 63% have increased their digital transformation budget.

Digital Marketing

Spurred by the pandemic, coupled with technology advancements, businesses are more receptive to expand beyond traditional marketing methods such as television and radio. With digital marketing strategies such as search engine marketing, social media, email, and more, the speed to market also increases as businesses can focus and repeat the three-step process: creating content, publishing content, and amplifying content. For small businesses/startups with lesser brand visibility, resources, and budget, digital marketing becomes an integral channel to minimise marketing costs while maximising interactivity and results. Here are five reasons why:

Cost effectiveness for small businesses/startups with low marketing budget

Digital marketing costs only a fraction of what traditional marketing historically costs. For small businesses/startups that have a low marketing budget, many tools like social media platforms, email, search engine optimisation and websites, are free or have free options available. Paid advertisements like Pay-Per-Click (PPC), social media ads or mobile ads are also more cost-effective, where businesses can analyse their campaign data, including the reach and conversion, in real-time, and only increase their budget if required.

Gain direct access to customers with greater control

Consumers are getting more reliant on digital tools including social media apps, websites, and more. In Singapore, there are 4.96 million social media users, and the number is projected to increase to 5.04 million by 2024. Through digital marketing, businesses can capture the attention of their consumers who are a part of the 4.96 million users. Many digital channels also allow the organic sharing of content – which increases the reach of their campaigns, creating greater opportunities to generate awareness and boost sales.

Build lasting customer relationships

Through digital marketing, brands can interact with a large group of audience online in a direct manner – without passing through a traditional marketing intermediary such as a radio station. With more businesses adopting digital marketing, customer attrition becomes a serious concern. Brands can now lose customers a lot easier than before, as customers are able to compare between the myriad of businesses available online. Hence, it is crucial for small businesses/startups to analyse their customers’ behaviours and preferences through smart algorithms or geo-targeting ads to specific groups of audience, as well as keep them engaged through comments, messages, real-time interactions, and more. Third party platforms that support Electronic Direct Mail, or Social Media Analytics, can also support small businesses/startups who lack the resources to optimise their digital marketing, to constantly engage their consumers.

Enhance marketing ROI

Digital marketing offers measurable Return on Investment (ROI) – a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment or compare the efficiency of several different investments. This includes specific performance indexes such as Reach, Click-Through Rate, Conversion, Cost-Per-Click, and more. This enables small businesses/startups to understand what is and what is not working for their marketing technique. The results of their marketing techniques are also presented before they make an informed decision to invest in their next campaign.

Empowering small businesses/startups to compete with powerhouses

Digital marketing is not restricted to big organizations with a massive amount of marketing budget. Digital marketing can provide equal opportunities to every business. For instance, small businesses/startups can tap on organic ways to grow awareness and conversions, such as creating viral content that has higher shareability compared to paid content by big organizations. With an alternative to costly traditional marketing strategies, small businesses/startups stand in perfect competition with established businesses to attain and retain a larger slice of the pie.

If you run a small business/startups and have not started scaling your business through digital marketing, you are definitely losing out in the New Normal. Enhancing customer experience is the core of every business – and if these customers are online, businesses also have to double down on digital marketing strategies to cater to the consumer preferences. Small businesses/startups can take the first step by starting with a small budget and scale up gradually as the business grows to ensure profitability and viability in every stage of their business.