Mapping Out Digital Marketing Strategy for SMEs

Entrepreneurs’ Digest, issue 79, May-June 2018. By: Florence Fang

Over the past five years, there have been an increasing number of small and medium enterprises progressively pivoting towards exploring digital marketing solely as a supplement to their traditional marketing strategies, turning it into the mainstay of their marketing efforts.

While most SMEs outsources to digital marketing agencies to bring forward their marketing strategies, many have also chosen to train their staff from scratch to acquire knowledge.

The timing is aptly when it comes to implementing digital marketing efforts today. To name a few, the advantages of digital marketing includes cost effectiveness, personalised marketing, convenient tractability and measurable results- all in the convenience of internet 4.0

This article looks deeper into how the digital marketing sales funnel works.

In the diagram, the customer’s journey is described using a funnel, zeroing in on the layers from lead generation down to securing a client.

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel: Awareness

The ultimate aim of a marketing funnel is to lure would be consumers, strung out randomly across the worldwide web, to a place where you can close the sale or generate that lead.

The widest portion of the funnel in the diagram is the foundation of generating awareness. Synergising both traditional and digital marketing efforts would maximise brand awareness, reaching out to potential advocates and long-term customers to company.

To put it simply, this segment needs prospective customers to be aware of one’s brand prespective. The tools and drivers for cementing this funnel progression include:

– Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) (promotion of brand by increased visibility)

– Social Media Marketing (utilising digital marketing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)

– Email Marketing (powerful, cost-effective solution to reach out to prospects and businesses)

– Content Marketing (process of creating, and scaling of valuable content)

– Display Marketing (usually programmatic, display marketing relies heavily on interactive media to communicate a message to prospects. This include contextual advertising, behavioural targeting and geo-targeting)

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel: Interest and Decision

As prospects progress down the marketing funnel, they will either lose interest along the way or develop further interest in a product or service. He or she may develop an intent to purchase and require additional information about the product or service before committing to a final produce.

Content Marketing is often used to driven prospect towards the bottom of the funnel. The ultimate aim of content marketing is to become reliable, trusted source of medium that bridges information between businesses and new costumers.

This can only be done right when engaging and timely content is produced. Only then, when prospects acquire enough conviction would they invest their trust in company. Display targeting at this juncture will also keep the brand in forefront of prospects’ consciousness, reminding them of the brand’s value proposition.

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel: Action

The bottom of the funnel is where you have to persuade your prospects into taking action, be it clicking on the purchase button, filling up a particular form, or calling your business hotline for enquires.

To maximise share of mind, customer retention is vital as companies compete among one another aggressively. Giving out free trials or demos, discounts, money-back guarantees, time-limited offers are some of the promotional tools to motivate customers to make repeat purchases and involvement.

To conclude, companies need to ensure a seamless process for consumers by implementing a call-to-action even after a transaction is made. By doing so, the company would then be able to create a cohesive and authentic experience through digital marketing.

Which technic is most effective?

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all” solution as every marketing department has different goals, needs, and constrains.

Each digital marketing approach has its own unique cost structures and audience profile. If your product competes primarily on cost, you may find more returns from investing in display advertising, most ideal in the early stages of the digital marketing sales funnel.

Does your company aim to reach out to high-caliber women, aged between 25 and 50? Perhaps social media marketing combining with email marketing may be your best bet.

Whichever you choose, a holistic digital marketing approach will benefit a business by maximising impact and effectiveness.

How will I know if my company is making progression?

Google Analytic is a great tool that many professionals are familiar with. Though some struggle to use, it offers a free and sophisticated way of tracking visitor activities on a company’s website or landing page. Some other platforms also allow a business to link up metrics from different channels, giving companies a good insight of efficiency and effectiveness.

Understanding how digital marketing works can be challenging but it is worth investing time and effort for through research to essentially gain better Return On Investment.