In just a matter of a few months, the importance of digital marketing has skyrocketed. With COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic and the importance of social distancing, digital marketing could be the key to weathering the storm for your company.
Changes in Marketing During Covid-19
In my 20 year career, I have never seen the landscape shift so dramatically and so quickly in terms of how people engage and do business. COVID-19 has rendered many traditional, in-person forms of marketing impossible and there’s no telling when we’ll be able to engage in them again. A few examples are:
- Trade Shows
- In-Person Meetings
- Event Sponsorship
- Hosting Events
- Transit displays
- Physical Branding (Clothing/Swag)
- Business Cards
The new reality is this: you MUST reach out digitally to engage people, and then you need to have exceptional digital assets like a website, social media channels or a digital brochure to send them as a follow-up.
Organizations that traditionally rely on conferences, trade shows, and other forms of in-person marketing are having to pivot very quickly in order to cope with the current climate.
This is particularly challenging for certain industries in which a strong digital presence isn’t always a priority (eg. manufacturing). There are also traditionalists who believe, “We’ve always done it without digital marketing and we will continue to do it that way. It’s always worked.”
Digital Can No Longer Be Ignored
With COVID-19, the digital transformation has been thrust upon many unsuspecting and unprepared companies. The shift of relevance to digital marketing for these companies and industries is massive. Businesses that have not even looked at their website in the last decade are going to have to look very carefully at their online presence, what their website tells their customers and prospects, and how critical it’s going to be to engage in digital marketing outreach tactics like content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media.
The companies that are quick and willing to adapt to this reality are the ones who will likely weather the storm. A failure to embrace a digital marketing strategy in this current climate can be devastating to your business. Some of the costs are as follows:
Not adapting to new technologies when it’s a must will leave a company behind and render it antiquated, especially when it comes to communicating with potential clients. Adaptability is one of the keys to running a successful business and digging in your heels and sticking to traditional methods when they’re no longer effective (or temporarily ineffective) can be problematic if not disastrous.
Understand that while you’re considering the state of your digital marketing during this crisis, so too are your competitors. Should they move ahead with a digital marketing strategy and you opt not to, it will put you at a significant disadvantage.
78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
Lost Market Share
If your competitors choose to engage in a robust digital marketing strategy and start speaking to their target audience in a way that they now have to be spoken to, which is digitally and you opt not to do it, the potential exists for you to lose market share.
Not only is it challenging to find new customers and clients without a digital presence, it can be challenging to maintain the ones you have because the grass certainly looks greener on the other side.
Analytics and data will tell you very specifically which strategies are working, how they’re working, whom they’re reaching, and whether or not your target audience is engaged. This allows you to monitor and tweak your strategy and constantly improve it.
These insights lead to a greater ability to engage your target audience and generate more business. Once again, if your competitors are not engaged in this, you can have a huge advantage over them.
High Marketing Costs
Traditional marketing is far more expensive than digital marketing. One of the great advantages of digital marketing is that you can have a greater reach to a targeted audience while investing less money.
When you invest as a sponsor at a conference for example, you really are spending the money and hoping that you have an impact in some way. With digital marketing, you’re reaching out to potential clients specifically who have an immediate need and are searching for you and your competitors to offer solutions to their needs.
With digital marketing, you can reduce your costs and increase your generated business. While at a trade show or a conference, you and your sales team have the opportunity to meet people, press the flesh, engage them in conversation and hand them a flyer or a business card.
Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
The bottom line is that opportunities are being lost through in-person marketing methods but can be more than made up for with a strategic digital campaign.
The key word here is strategic. This shouldn’t be a panic move, with the haphazard approach of, “Just get something up there”. There is great value here should digital marketing be embraced as a long-term, growth-oriented strategy.
Andy Bush is President of Bush Marketing. Contact him today at 416-214-4298 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a discussion about how Bush Marketing can help your website do more for your business.