Many small and medium-sized businesses have had to close their doors permanently because of the pandemic. With people being very aware of the need for social distancing and self-quarantine at home, a huge volume of shopping dollars has shifted to digital channels. Looking back, we wondered if there were any alternatives to that fatal endgame.
Imagine if these “high street retailers” had used a successful online digital marketing strategy. Could things have been different? Could some of these retailers maintain sufficient volume to cover costs and weather the Covid-19 storm?
According to research published by WebFindYou, the opportunity to create a digital strategy exists for everyone, but 92% of companies in the United States don’t have the budget to afford what they call “true digital marketing”.
Apparently, small and medium-sized businesses lose out to larger companies with larger budgets and resources to do digital marketing the right way. With inflation just reported at a 30-year high, high street retail will struggle even more in the months ahead, and the availability of the marketing dollars needed to compete with the online giants will become even scarcer .
The ability to create and maintain an effective digital strategy is not just about reaching customers to generate sales. Another huge benefit is the ability to protect the retailer’s brand from overreliance on mainstream social media aggregators like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Recently, these channels have experienced a global blackout with millions of businesses financially impacted due to their heavy reliance on Facebook and Instagram Ads as their primary source of lead generation and Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as their sole line of communication with new and existing customers through their website.
A more holistic approach to digital marketing protects against these outages, meaning that if one digital channel goes down, businesses still have other digital channels to generate leads and maintain communications.
Defining true digital marketing
We wanted to dig deeper into the meaning of “True Digital Marketing” and better understand the research conducted by WebFindYou. We reached out to Robert Blankenship, founder and CEO of WebFindYou, for answers.
Wise Marketer (WM): You’ve done research that has come up with a lot of interesting findings, including: 92% of businesses in the US don’t have the budget to afford true digital marketing. Can you tell more about the research and share key information?
Robert Blankenship (Robert): According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are 30 million businesses in the United States. This number includes both enterprises without employees (80%) and enterprises with employees (20%).
Companies without employees (80%):
- Average annual income: $43,000
- Digital Marketing Allowance: Typically, $58 – $126 per month
Companies with 0 to 4 employees (12%):
- Average annual income: $400,000
- Digital marketing allowance: usually between $540 and $1,170 per month
Companies with 5 to 19 employees (5%):
- Average annual income: $1.6 million
- Digital Marketing Allowance: Typically $2,160 – $4,680 per month
Companies with 20 to 500+ employees (3%):
- Average annual income: between $7.6 million and $1 billion
- Digital marketing allowance: typically between $10,260 and $3.2 million per month
Doing digital marketing the right way requires the right resources, people, and technology, which will cost at least an average of $3,000 to $5,000 per month. With this data, it’s clear to see why 92% of businesses can’t afford True Digital Marketing.
WM: Why is a well-designed and executed online digital marketing strategy so important for high street retailers? Could it really have made a difference to their fortunes during the pandemic?
Robert: Having a well-executed online digital marketing strategy makes a huge difference when it comes to increasing leads, sales, conversions, and ultimately revenue.
Even before the pandemic, having a good online presence was important. COVID has heightened the need for this and in most cases businesses that had an established online presence and a strong digital marketing strategy have fared better than those that did not.
The problem is that many of these small and medium-sized companies work with small marketing budgets and cannot compete with large companies with large marketing budgets.
WebFindYou’s goal is to help businesses implement digital marketing the right way and at a price that fits their budget. Their budget shouldn’t affect their ability to succeed online. My vision when creating WebFindYou was to revolutionize the digital marketing industry because there are too many companies that sell a bag of goods to people and fail to deliver on their promises. I want to help businesses take the right path with digital marketing.
WM: Tell us a bit about WebFindYou. What do you do and how do you do it?
Robert: Our mission is to make successful digital marketing simple and affordable for everyone. Similarly, we want to fix the tainted digital marketing industry that often only gives companies pieces of the complex digital marketing puzzle based on their budget restrictions.
In our opinion, the digital marketing industry has become complex, time-consuming, expensive and oversaturated with “influencers”, “experts” and “gurus” who make lots of promises for pay but often produce little or no results. results. In short, the digital marketing industry has become tainted. And it’s only getting worse – with more paid ads dominating Google search, Apple iOS privacy updates making Facebook ads less effective, and the list goes on and on.
My vision was to create affordable technology that small and medium retailers could understand and easily put into practice, even with no or limited experience in digital marketing.
WM: You use the term True Digital Marketing in your work. What does this mean for you and how do you apply it to help small businesses so that when one digital channel goes down, businesses still have other digital channels producing leads?
Robert: True digital marketing means everything is digital, and it is necessary to maximize the true power of the internet for any business. This allows each piece of the complete digital marketing puzzle to support and help maximize the other. Without True Digital Marketing, businesses don’t have a steady stream of leads and sales to rely on, especially in times of crisis.
As a business owner, you must ensure that you build a solid infrastructure for your business. You never want to put all your eggs in one basket because when that basket falls, you end up with a mess. In some cases, a mess you can’t recover from. If social media is a big part of the day-to-day running of your business, you can’t risk these unexpected outages.
We provide tools to ensure that your social media experience will never be interrupted when a social media platform unexpectedly goes down, a post is unexpectedly deleted, or a social media account is temporarily suspended.
WM: How can high street retailers learn more about affordable digital marketing?
Robert: True to our digital approach to marketing, we offer online courses. We recently held a Master Class on Digital Marketing. Anyone interested in watching the class can get immediate access here. By the way, we will also be running courses covering more in-depth information on e-commerce, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, paid search, social media, how to start a business digital marketing and more, with dates to be announced. later.