Are you the owner of a small company? We know how to beat your competitors online. So, you can improve your digital marketing strategy and grow your business. The answer was given by a group of scientists P. Foroudi, S. Gupta, A. Nazarian and M. Duda in their article “Digital technology and marketing management capability: achieving growth in SMEs”. Long story short, digital technology increases your marketing capacity. Whereas the last one makes it easier to grow.
Have you ever look at digital technology as a way to expand your business and beat the competition? Every company, including your competitors, use a business model. To diversify you from the competitors, you should create a unique business model. The most efficient way is to build digital technology in the heart of your business model.
How to find digital technology that will allow you to win?
First of all, going online or using any digital platform is not your (a business owner) choice. Or, it may be better to say, you weren’t the first one. The first was your customer with his or her needs and wishes. Now it’s your move. Go where your customers are and sell. Digital technology will help you to increase sales and decrease costs.
Secondly, you are not the only one who is ready to respond. All businesses have direct and indirect competitors. For example, you own an Italian restaurant. A Chinese restaurant across the street is your direct competitor. Whereas a food market two blocks away is an indirect one. All three of you satisfying the same customer need – hunger, but in a different way. To stay successful, you should identify your direct and indirect competitors. Pay attention to the business models they use to operate and identify the gap. This is your niche and a chance to get a competitive advantage.
If you can’t find any gap in the current market, innovate. In a fast-changing business world innovation is the most sustainable business advantage. The term innovation can be scary because it usually associates with uncertainty. To create competitiveness you should not risk it all. The implementation of digital technology in a new way can be considered an innovation.
What digital technology is the sweet spot?
To sell your product you should at least show it to your customer. At most you should present t in the most attractive way. To do that you have to maintain a team of a photographer, a designer and a marketing specialist. Another way is to waste all of your time to handle it by yourself. Now multiply it by the number of products you have. The first option is costly, the second one is time-consuming. Digital catalog is a digital technology that allows us to save both time and money, and still present your product in a way the customers will like. This is how you can gain a competitive advantage and a chance to grow your business with the use of innovation.
How does it work in real life?
Our customer research clearly shows how using a digital catalog increase small company efficiency, saving time and money. We will discuss 3 different cases further.
First, the owner of the clothing store struggled with maintaining several digital platforms (such as website and social media) manually. Uploading the same picture of the products to different places took him too much time. Whereas the was no way not to do this because product based were updated super fast. For him, the creation of a digital catalog and simply share it across all the platforms become a solution to save lots of time.
Second, the company has already relied on the creation of catalogs, however, they were using printed versions. Due to the owner “it’s way too expansive and it’s not that efficient”. There were two reasons: printing costs and too high and you can’t reach that many customers in person compared to the online world. A shift towards digital catalogs let him save a lot of money. It should be mentioned that for the special clients he is still using a PDF version of the digital catalog and print them out.
Time & Cost efficiency
The last example is the small company that relied on the designer. There were three major problems here: the designer couldn’t finish the catalog as fast as it was required by the market, it was impossible to change one product (if it’s out of stock, etc.), and a good designer asks for a good salary. So switching to a digital catalog allowed them to save both time and money.
There are many more examples of how using the online catalog helped our companies to change their business model for better, save scarce resources and beat their competitors.