Digital marketing has changed the way we do business. It’s also getting more effective and giving us more options, and perhaps most importantly, it’s getting less expensive. There are, for instance, cheaper and more effective ways to reach prospective clients than pay-per-impression/click advertisements. Still, many entrepreneurs and small businesses wonder what the real value of digital marketing is to them. In this article, we seek to answer that for 2017 with six distinct value propositions.
Consumers Will Be More Receptive Than Ever Before
If there’s been an impedance to digital marketing, it’s that a large segment of consumers didn’t interact it with or respond well to it when they did. That’s changing this year because 2017 is when the Millennials — also known as Generation Y — become the largest presence in the North American workforce. These are the consumers with the most money and will to spend, and they expect your company to engage them in this digital space and in an interactive manner.
Mobile Is Winning the Internet Tug o’ War
Another component is consumer access. Mobile Internet usage continues to be on the rise and will actually surpass PC Internet usage in the U.S. this year. Some statistics indicated that it was already 51.2 to 48.7 percent as early as last year. That means that not only do consumers want to be engaged in the digital space, but they’re going to have access to that engagement when making in-person purchasing decisions.
Defining Your Niche and Knowing Your Customer
Two other important aspects of the value that digital marketing provide is defining your niche or niches and knowing your customers. As with all businesses, businesses that market goods are becoming more specialized, and that specialization is particularly crucial if you’re a small business. The Internet is an amazing resource that provides information about your customers, and that not only positions you to market well to them but to know what it is you should and should not be marketing in the first place.
That brings us to the concept of real-time personalization. The modern consumer expects to be catered to in ways that weren’t previously possible. They are possible now thanks to online tools, but if you don’t take advantage of those tools, then you won’t be able to retain established clients and secure new customers at a rate high enough to be successful.
Quantifying Your Online Market Share
Whether you consider yourself an online business or not, online market share matters. Even businesses that were traditionally very local, such as a neighborhood plumber, are succeeding and failing based on their online market share. The first step in gaining online market share is quantifying the online market share your currently have. One of the simplest and most cost-efficient ways to do that is through the data collected from digital marketing successes and even failures.
The Greater Network
Finally, there’s the matter of the greater network. This web includes social media, social networking platforms, email even as it becomes outmoded and the ever-expanding Internet of Things. Digital marketing has the ability to go viral or at least to gain reach that you may not have expected or wouldn’t have even been possible through traditional marketing channels. Sometimes, the greatest value of digital marketing is the value you simply can’t account for.