Digital first seem to be the motto of today’s business world and yet so many business owners and managers fail to recognise the value or rather scope of digital. What do people mean when they talk about digital strategies for their businesses? Having a website. Having Facebook account, Instagram, Twitter and maybe even TikTok. And post something there. From time to time. When they have time.
Sometimes they even do it right. Sometimes they optimise with hashtags, try to post with certain dose of frequency. Until they don’t. Sometimes they understand that posting their product over and over is not the way to do it. They may even know that the timing of the posting should coincide with when their customers are online and active. Most often than not businesses fail to understand it. Why is that so?
“It’s actually quite simple” tells us SEO services specialist from SalezMashine, sales and marketing agency in Ireland. “Many businesses are run by people who themselves are not tech-savvy. They were born before Facebook became a thing; they have no idea what TikTok is or how important search engine optimisation is for their online presence. They use Facebook and think they know how to utilise its digital marketing potential. And they treat other platforms as an addition to Facebook.”
That’s the point. Lack of understanding what digital is, lack of understanding how it works, what’s required, leads to failed implementation. Businesses, especially the smaller ones but many big ones too, don’t invest in people who can do this particular job properly. They often allocate digital marketing activities to someone who was hired to do something else, and that additional job is in no way a priority. The outcomes are easy to envision. No engagement with customers, posting in odd times, bad creatives, ad copies making no sense whatsoever and even less call to actions.
In a sense it is Facebook’s fault. The platform made it so easy that businesses often decide it is not worth hiring a specialist. Setting up a Facebook advertising campaign is simple and takes little time. Anyone can do it. No content writer needed. No graphic specialists. One can just utilise pictures that are already there. So simple. So deceivingly simple. Just press the button and await the results!
Really? The problem is it usually doesn’t work. Most businesses just spent money and get nothing. Other ones get a lot of “results” that turn out to be spam. A waste of money and time leading to disappointment. That is what many business owners and managers think. A waste of money.
This is where the problem lies. How is that there are so many success stories where businesses grew with social media platforms? Are these just fakes created to dupe us into spending money? No! The problem is that like with anything in life you have to know what you are doing. Businesses often look at Facebook as THE social platform and they are often right. It is the biggest one. The most influential and having the largest number of users. But that is all. Before business decides to spend money, it has to understand where its customers are. Are they really on Facebook? What age they are? What do they do for the living? How do they spend their free time? How they purchase things? They might be on Facebook but if they are a generation younger, they may be somewhere else. On Instagram posting more visual media for example. Another generation step and they are most likely to be found on TikTok. That is the first step. To understand which platform to use.
The next step is to understand the platform itself. How it works, how it addresses the audience. What kind of intent can be expected from a potential user. How to nurture this intent towards an even higher intent action. It is not about jumping into the water and hoping we can learn to swim on the go. One has to know what to do first.
The same with other parts of digital world. Having a website is not enough. Potential customers have to be able to find what the business offers. They need to be able to find the product or service the business has. Business cannot hope for the best. It must prepare for the worst first. Help potential customers to find you. Making beautiful website means nothing. The first step is discovery. This can be facilitated with SEO and PPC campaigns. Done properly, obviously. The website experience comes next. Not the beauty of the design. Its functionality, intuitiveness and loading speed. Lack of errors. Its responsiveness, meaning how they are working on mobile devices. The beautiful design is important but only as a secondary quality.
“Our clients often want miracles” says SrijitaSen, Sales Director of Salez Mashine. “They come to us and expect results right away. We understand it. But we also understand that if we want to develop a long-term relationship we have to be honest, sometimes brutally honest, with them. We need to understand the business first, the needs, and then, only then, offer solutions. Sometimes it means simple tweaks, other times more complex solutions. We are quite unique on the market as we not only do marketing but also sales so we are able to work end to end with quick feedback and quick response. It’s not always what the client needs, obviously. There are times we just need to suggest changes or coach marketing or sales staff. Improve sales scripts or set up social media posting calendars. There are other times when we run Google Ads campaigns, SEO services or work with social media influencers. The response is always tailored and based on our understanding of client’s needs.”
This is exactly what is wrong with the digital nowadays. Business decision makers who themselves do not understand digital and try to make it work at the reduced cost without expertise. This is what cost them money and disappointment. And competitive advantage. Businesses that are able to embrace the change, adjust to new environment and thrive in it will survive and grow. Businesses that think digital is like going to a local shop and getting what’s the cheapest will fail and be replaced by the newer generation. That’s the cycle of business life.
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