In this day and age, if you have zero online presence, you’d probably be suspected of being Too Hipster to Care, a Dinosaur, or of laundering money for some local mafia. Even a token webpage would do, one of those annoying one-pagers which contain a phone number and a picture and little else. That’s the bare minimum to at least appear credible, unless you really are going for the Too Hipster to Care angle. Websites aren’t hard to build, and they don’t have to be a trial to upkeep — if you want to know more, just get in touch and we can give you a rough idea of what goes into it and how much it’ll cost.
If you already have a website, congratulations. That’s just the first step. Was the website created in the days of Geocities? Is your hosting in a labyrinthine mess where you’re not entirely sure who you’re now paying for hosting and why? Do you even have access to your site? All these are common issues that our clients face before they even get around to whether their site is now mobile-friendly or security compliant. Moving past that, we get on to whether your site even looks like a modern website, or whether it’s a morass of copy put in place by a developer rather than a designer.
A website doesn’t have to be token in this day and age. For many businesses, it’s a vital part of their overarching brand strategy. And yes, it should work on mobile AND on desktop.
Business Marketing on Social Media
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently released a long report about digital platforms, where they discussed 23 recommendations around their concerns about the dominance of Facebook and Google:
The ACCC says it sees no sign that Australians will slow down their use and engagement with these digital platforms. Though the ACCC says it has no concerns with growth and profitability, it does compel policymakers to consider the “extent to which important decisions about the dissemination of information, the collection of personal data and business’ interaction with consumers online, should be left to the discretion of certain large digital platforms, given their substantial market power, pervasiveness and inherent profit motive.”
“Discrimination may occur in multiple ways where a digital platform is active in related markets,” reads the report. The ACCC has also expressed concern over Google and Facebook’s near duopoly on the online advertising supply chain. “While the existing tools and goals of competition law and consumer law frameworks remain applicable to digital markets, the opacity and complexity of these markets make it difficult to detect issues and can limit the effectiveness of the broad principles.”
It definitely doesn’t look like Australians will stop using Facebook and Google anytime soon. That’s why — depending on the client — we often recommend that clients centralise Facebook ads and Google Adwords in their digital marketing strategy. It isn’t just a matter of slapping an ad together and shoving it onto the platform in question, though. It should be integrated into your general strategy as a whole. Naturally, we’re going to recommend that you leave it to the pros. But if you’re just trying things out, here are some quick tips:
- Be respectful. It’s no longer true that any attention is good attention. Negative attention on social media — especially if it goes viral — can be completely damaging to your business and to your staff.
- Have definite goals in mind. Do you want to drive traffic to your site? Raise the profile of a particular product?
- Make sure the goals are attainable. Don’t waste money on moonshots unless you have money to spare.
- Make sure the process you’re using is measurable.
- Know your audience — the wording you use and the platforms you use need to match them.
- Check out your competition and see what they’re up to.
Don’t be afraid to test new strategies and campaigns on small samples of your audience to see how they’re received. In a safe, controlled environment, we’d usually work this out on focus groups, but if you don’t want to use them, you can segment your audience into groups to try things out. Testing is a key part of any winning strategy. You need to figure out what works and what doesn’t and learn lessons from both. As to the amount of resources you’re willing to devote to testing vs a workable strategy, that’s up to you.
Marketing Tactics for Business
You might have heard of the so-called 7 Ps of Marketing: Price, Promotion, Place, People, Process, and Physical Evidence. Basically, you have to be clear on where you stand on each point. What are you selling and are you selling anything more or new? How are you putting your product out there on the market? Where can your products be seen or bought? What sort of people make up your business? Do you have processes in place that ensure good customer service and delivery? Finally, what are the physical touchpoints that your customers encounter when they see your products, such as branding or packaging?
Having to nail all of those can be a hard ask, which is why people tend to get professional help. That being said, by having definite goals and careful testing, you can often figure out key goalposts on all 7 by yourself, which is a good place to move forward from. Many of our clients do come to us with these already in place — either because it’s what they decided or because of particular constraints.
Where it can get granular is usually specific to the type of business you run. Is it a tech startup? Retail? B2B or B2C? All these will have their own realities key to effective marketing. Not to mention that marketing has been increasingly evolving as technology and the world itself evolves.
In 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in his Google I/O keynote that 20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. We presume that number’s only gotten higher by now. What does this mean for businesses? We can see two things right off — that any search terms you now buy in Adwords for your business should probably be more conversational than technical, and the names of your products should be easy to pronounce. If you speak the name of your product into Google and it comes up with something completely different, you might be in trouble. These statistics, after all, are just confined to Google. If you add in the number of people with other home assistants like Alexa, it’ll be even higher.
There are also existing technologies out there that can streamline marketing for your company, especially on a customer relations front. Chatbots are proliferating everywhere, and although they can’t take the place of a well-trained customer service team, they can alleviate the pressure of having to respond immediately to customers, and can even resolve minor queries. Tech can make your stores easier to navigate, or even fully integrate online and offline seamlessly — what we’d call an omnichannel approach.
Technology does need to be carefully considered before use, so as not to annoy your customers. If properly integrated, it can be a fun part of your customer’s experience — for example, the Singapore Airlines app is a great way to keep track of your travels and check on your tickets. It’s beautifully designed too:
However, not every business requires an app. Given how difficult it is to get people to commit to downloading apps. According to comScore, 51% of phone users sampled in the USA don’t download any new apps every month. This behaviour is likely similar to Australia’s usage. Of the people who do download apps every month, 13% download just one app. Most of the people who download apps are millennials (18-34 years old). Before you commit to the high cost of app development, keep all this in mind.
Need more information? Get in touch.