Why You Should Continue Spending On Digital Marketing (Even During A Downturn)

Another economic downturn, another round of cost-cutting measures. Let’s cut the marketing budget.  (BIG MISTAKE!)

Companies make do with tighter budgets. This means that marketers are under greater pressure to deliver more ROI with less money. This is hardly fair but will separate good marketers from marketers with big budgets.

In such tough times, a marketer might ask: “Should I continue investing in digital marketing? Isn’t it easier to use tried-and-tested marketing methods like print or TV ads?” 

We think otherwise!

(2019 UPDATE,  Traditional marketing has really taken a turn for the worse over the last 10 years,  and digital is consistently getting 1000s of times better results when done correctly)

The rest of the post addresses four frequently asked questions (FAQs) about digital marketing and its benefits. We also discuss why you should continue investing in digital marketing, even when times are tough.

What is this digital marketing that you speak of, and why should I care about it?

Digital marketing is the promotion of products, brands or services via one or more forms of online platforms.

Why have it? Today’s buyers have clout.

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Digital marketing taps in on this trend, focusing on buyer experience, and less on marketer convenience. When someone makes a purchase, it is more likely that they did so after doing their research online first, rather than speak to a salesperson. That’s because customer service agents fail to answer their questions a staggering 50% of the time.

Digital marketing addresses this issue by merging convenience with quality content, appealing to potential customers by making them feel like they are in control when getting their queries answered.

Digital marketing consists of (but are not limited to) the following channels

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  5. Mobile Marketing (WhatsApp, Line, in-game advertising, etc.)
  6. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

What’s wrong with traditional marketing approaches like print or TV ads? We’ve been using them for years and they have always worked well for us.

Nothing wrong with traditional, outbound-focused marketing approaches per se!

We will say in our experience, especially for startups or small businesses, digital is the only way to go. 

However, while traditional advertising methods such as ad creation might be more convenient for marketers, digital marketing provides a greater experience for potential customers:

  1. Call-to-action buttons leads potential customers from one useful content to another. For example, a call-to-action at the end of a blog post can lead readers onto a landing page, where they can download a related offer. 

  2. Digital marketing campaigns commonly facilitate interaction with potential customers. Social media platforms, for instance, are used to conduct giveaways and competitions. 

With digital marketing, consumers are educated and empowered to make well-informed purchase decisions. Marketers can reap huge benefits too. When done well, digital marketing can improve ROI by up to 300% and generate as much as 2.8X better revenue growth.  What is the ROI worth to you when you have no sales to having 10 a week?  50 a week?  It’s more than possible, we have done it!

So, how do we even start digital marketing?

Digital marketing encompasses many different channels and tactics. A digital marketer must be skilled in multiple disciplines ranging from Graphics design, video editing, coding, web design, and paid social media and search advertising.

Regardless, you should first determine your overarching business objectives. Once done, pick the right marketing tactics that will help to meet your objectives. Don’t be biased towards either inbound or outbound marketing tactics — use whatever tactics work. Also, use business metrics (such as Customer Acquisition Cost and Lifetime Value) to measure your digital marketing campaign’s success.

Finally, produce your campaign’s assets and run it!  Or let us run it for you if you do not know how, this helps you save time, and focus on helping your clients.  And we fully intend on giving you a lot of those.

How much will digital marketing cost me? Is it expensive?

Digital marketing isn’t expensive.

For example, Cisco launched a new router and used only social media to spread the word, saving more than $100,000 in the process [4].  40% of small business owners have also reported saving money with digital marketing compared to traditional marketing.

If you’re new to digital marketing — start with one campaign and spend about 40% of your overall marketing budget on digital-first. After a while, when your team becomes familiar with digital marketing and results start to show, you can increase the proportion.

And That’s Why Digital Marketing Matters

Digital marketing (especially during a downturn) reaps greater returns in a world where traditional advertising just doesn’t cut it anymore.

With multi-channel digital marketing increasing by as much as 137%, backed by a 500% increase in brands using multiple digital marketing channels. We think it’s time that marketers get started on digital marketing to give your business the edge that it needs.

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