What you need to know:
For any brand to stand out, its online presence should have contributed to that cause. Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital which has created demand for either companies that can offer professional digital marketing services or individuals for consultancy.
Digital marketing involves using digital tools to promote products and services. It encompasses a pool of tools ranging from email, social media, website, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), SMS, mobile application, Virtual reality, USSD to checking how business is faring using analytics - ‘result oriented.’
Digital is an ecosystem and two of its biggest drivers are affordability of data and penetration of smartphones. So many people have created businesses from low end entry to high-end smartphones. Digital marketing is more of one-on-one interaction between your business and other people.
John Ssenkeezi, a digital marketing expert, highlights the important components that make money on digital marketing.
Making money on digital is two-fold. If someone owns the business and they would like to leverage the platform for their marketing purposes. One of the distinctive prepositions that digital presents as opposed to the other platforms is the affordability. Some people say digital is free but it is not free. You can easily open up any social media account but you need to invest time and money in building your presence for marketing.
One of the key ways to leverage as a very affordable channel is to create awareness about your product. An advert on digital could start from as low as $5 (Shs18,514) to have it seen amongst 3,000 to 5,000 people on Facebook. Here, the product also gets exposure. If one is running a video campaign on traditional media, they are going to charge an expensive amount that is far from reach for most Small Medium Enterprises.
Defined target audience
Digital marketing can clearly define your target audience so that they are directly reached. Traditional media does not segment who gets to see your billboard to match your customer base. If it is a premium product, they place the advert in an affluent neighbourhood like Kololo but has less control on who has seen it. Digital presents a number of options.
“One can target depending on interests or demographic and segment to the very last detail who you want to talk to online.
In lead generation, he explains, we have three categories; cold, warm and a lead ready for conversion. It gives you a good start to find out your potential clients; makes your customer education abit more palatable because you don’t stress so much or start from scratch. It could be in line with what you are selling.
The experienced guru that runs the service for over 10 SMEs adds, digital helps in marketing and sales through increased scalability to new markets without incurring extra costs. The reduction in the cost of operation increases one’s revenue.
However, it entails understanding the customer better which is critical for one to refine their value preposition as a business to the customers. It aids in innovation and improves processes.
For many products that are product based, digital helps them to manage their overheads. The power of digital does not necessitate one to put up a brick and mortar shop.
“Most online businesses have catalogues of their products, advertise and do drop offs at different places. It helps one to queue their overheads in terms of paying rent, trading licence, and transport,” Mr Ssenkeezi says.
Levelled ground for Competition
Digital marketing puts businesses at the same level from a competitive point of view. A small hotel, fo instance, can compete with a big hotel in terms of lead generation. With targets and a small budget, you are more or less going to speak to the same people unlike the traditional trends where only big budgets can take one to places.
“Digital bridges out the competitive landscape for so many businesses. That is why you see small businesses outcompete others because they will have a personal touch to what they do; probably know the customer by name,” Mr Ssenkeezi explains.
The large corporations look at clients according to segmented profiles like low or high value or mid-range customers.
Utilizing big data
Currently, people want to know information about their customers perhaps conventional research methods cannot do much especially at the scale digital marketing offers. Digital marketers are helping companies to put in place tracking mechanisms to help them understand their target audience better.
“They are able to tell what they want or dislike by looking at the data trickling in either through their social media, mobile application or corporate website. There is demand for people who can pick up this data, analyse it and derive actionable insights for businesses. They can come up with new products based on that data.”