It is clear for all Small Business Owners and Marketing Executives working for large and small companies alike that they internet has to be somehow used in their business. There is of course a great deal of confusion around when it comes to how to use technology tools such as

  • Social Media
  • Web 2.0
  • Blogging
  • Video Marketing
  • Podcasting
  • Search Engine Optimization

… to enhance any business. I emphasise the word enhance as this comes up often during my business strategy consulting or training sessions. Often companies have spent 10s of 1000s of GPB or US$ maybe on a ‘fancy looking website or more often than not on some paid advertising campaign after which they are not able to demonstrate any real returns for the business.

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Just as in the training session I gave last week to executives of a client in Paris, I stress the point to view the internet as part of the company’s channel marketing activities. Now, often smaller companies are not so structured that they think of their activities in terms of business fundamentals such as …

  • Market Segmentation
  • Channel Marketing
  • Ideal Client Profiling
  • Category Marketing

… so after a brief explanation I find it makes sense to put Online Channel Marketing activities into two main classifications :-

  • Promotional
  • Consumption

Consumption refers to the ability of the client to actually purchase and use the products or services of the company and/or to be able to order them. With some product categories e.g. digital and audio products these can be purchased and used right away, other products such as books, cosmetics, shoes and clothes may also be purchased online which may be deemed as consumption. So the purchase can always be made over the internet but the ability of the client to use the product is not always possible. This leads the provider of the product or service to get creative and to produce relevant content that will bring the end user client closer to the product. This could be in the form of …

  • Educational Material
  • Product Specifications
  • White Papers
  • Videos
  • Audio Podcasting
  • Training Collateral.

The other aspect of using the internet for business and why topics such as Search Engine Optimization are so critical is that even if the end user client cannot physically use the product or service over the internet – the company will certainly always be able to creatively use the internet to promote that which it is selling. This promotional part of using the internet as a marketing channel is becoming more and more important and the discussion I believe must always be made as high as possible up the organizational chain. That is to say – because the implementation of the using the tools for the internet may be technical [the how] – the actual ‘why we are using social media or video marketing should be made at the strategic level.

While this does pose some challenges as it will necessitate higher level management becoming familiar with internet technology to some degree. The payback to the organization or company in terms of brand building and increased customer satisfaction will ultimately reflect back to the business in terms of revenue generation and/or stabilized market share.

Stephen C Campbell MBA, MSc

The short answer to the question as to why so many businesses are using Digital Marketing is that ‘companies need to be where their clients are’. A more detailed explanation of online marketing for business comes down to the field of …

  • Channel Marketing and that of
  • Market Segmentation

Channel Marketing can be conveniently split into two aspects, that of promoting the products and services of a company and that of actually delivering the products and services of a company into the hands of the end user client. Digital Marketing has become so prevalent due to the widespread use of the internet triggered by increasing availability of technology along with the prices that seem to keep going down as the functionality of the technology actually increases.

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Of course – not all companies are able to deliver their goods into the hands of their chosen market segment via the internet but all companies are able to promote using the tools that Digital Marketing have to offer to …

  • Generate Leads
  • Educate Clients and
  • Interact with Questions, Queries and Comments.

For the purpose of this discussion we at Capid Houser think it best not to focus purely on the technology tools but rather on how they fit into various silos in order to form various sub internet marketing channels which are used for specific marketing activities of a company. Let’s take …..

Search Engine Optimization

….. most companies know that they should have a website even though they may not have gotten round to having one developed. Now consider the fact that so many businesses do have a website for their company but when we perform an analysis on that website, it is hardly getting visitors and traffic and simply does not rank in any of the major search engines. When we key in the main industry keywords for the business we see all their competitors and at time the website does not appear in the 1st 10 pages [100 results] of results. The website is a critical part of the face of a business online but failing to implement the digital marketing component of making sure that the people who the business or website is intended will actually come across the website when they go to the internet to look for information in the target industry.

The key point to make is that there are many facets to digital marketing and depending on the business; a combination of them must be used in order to bring clients into the marketing funnel of the business. If the target market of a company congregates on social media sites then it will make sense to employ aggressive and ongoing social media campaign, the business to business purchaser may be on the internet looking for specifications and useability data and in this case educational videos, podcasts and membership sites may be used in order to interact with the target market.

In our opinion at Capid Houser there is no one size fits all approach to the development of a digital marketing strategy of an organization and this is why we employ a consultative approach, there may be 10 clients that for whom we all use the following …

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Reputation Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Website Analysis & Competitive Reporting

… however the degree to which each component is used will vary depending on the industry of the business and their chosen target market segments. We will consult with the business, understand its strategy and then from this develop a Digital Marketing plan in order to promote the business and raise its visibility to its chosen target market segment.

If you are looking to make more of the internet within your business, maybe looking to outsource the mountain of activities that need to be executed on a daily basis ? why not get in touch with Capid Houser to see how we can assist your business realise its dreams in the internet marketing world.