|Image via Flickr by socialautomotive|
Digital marketing is simply the move to the digital tools and technologies that most people depend on every day, including smartphones, search engines, tablets, video on demand, and the social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. The cost of entry to market on these is low, and marketing leverage has very little to do with the size of your budget.
The best strategy and tactics to accomplish this digital marketing leverage are detailed in a recent book, “Taking Down Goliath,” by Kevin M. Ryan and Rob “Spider” Graham. These industry veterans have been teaching smaller companies how to compete with digital marketing for many years, and have a wealth of case studies to show it really works.
The first step is to create the perfect online marketing message. This message is defined as the knowledge or information that will be retained by customers after they are exposed to your company. The authors reiterate what I often say to business to business (B2B) entrepreneurs, it’s all about selling solutions (not technology) to real customers who have real needs and problems they want solved:
How does this solution solve an existing problem? Every business faces
challenges that affect their sales efforts, manufacturing efforts, human
resources, and other things that keep them viable and profitable. Not only must
the solution benefit the company as a whole, but there can be emotional benefits
as well for employees who feel the pain.
How does this solution provide a competitive advantage? Solutions that
can turn a threat into an opportunity are especially enticing. In a world where
the common scenario is “eat or be eaten,” being able to help companies to be
better predators and less likely to be prey will be compelling.
How does this solution make the customer a visionary/market leader?
Part of the competitive advantage in the marketplace is being perceived by
that market as a leader in some way. Every company is striving to find an
identity that highlights its unique selling proposition, to stand out from the
crowd as a visionary.
How does this solution enable a significant value exchange? Smart
companies are always looking for a return on investment. If they spend time,
money, or other resources on a potential solution, then that solution should pay
for itself. That’s a value exchange, as are solutions that empower employees to
make better use of existing resources.
How does this solution represent an exclusive opportunity? In the
business world, exclusivity isn’t just a social ego boost. Companies that have
access to, or can sell products and services not available to their competitors,
can position themselves better in the marketplace. Like people, businesses need
to be known for what sets them apart.
- How does this solution increase performance and productivity? Companies that are more efficient in the use of all their resources will be more profitable. Solutions that increase performance include automation tools, equipment upgrades, and new approaches to manufacturing and distribution.
In both business and consumer environments, with digital marketing technology, the playing field between big companies, mid-size businesses, and even startups has been leveled tremendously. The new success factor is not the size of your budget, but your skill in crafting the right message, sending it out through the right channels, and tuning the system for maximum results.
Only in this age of digital marketing could a small non-profit, with a very limited budget, reach an audience of millions per month worldwide, with their “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” marketing message last year, and achieve results exceeding $100 million. Don’t let big-budget Goliaths trample you merely by the size of their footprint.