Are you trying different methods to increase sales, but nothing works well enough?
Have you tried Digital Marketing? Have you made the most out of your capacity? Sure?
We will show you what stops the small companies from using Digital Marketing to its fullest extent.
Top 5 barriers
Taimnen Heinin and Karjaluoto Heikki* proved that small companies are struggling when it comes to digital marketing channels usage. We are talking about a website, emails, social media and blog. You, as a small business owner, risk not derive benefits from the opportunities. The first step to overcome this is to become aware of the barriers that stop you. Not other words explore the list.
Yes, you are the first and main factor that might stop a company from selling. Sorry for being too straightforward; we did not mean to heart your feelings. What is the result of your background, motivation, capabilities and experience? It is the stop or stimulation of the effective usage of digital marketing channels. Scientifically this factor belongs to a group called “firm-specific and owner-manager factors.”
Heinin and Heikki* talked to 16 small business managers. Some of the interviewees had prejudices about the usage of social media. As you already guessed, it provokes nothing good for a company. Usually, this kind of attitude towards social media was the result of unfamiliarity with different channels and how they work.
The moral of the story increase your digital intelligence. Good news, we are here exactly for this purpose. Keep reading this blog to overcome the ‘You’ barrier.
Let me tell you a story about how overcoming a “you” barrier bring a start-up to success. A few years ago one passioned about tourism girl decided to create a business based on her hobby. ‘Challenging holiday” had a unique business model, they offer a combination of holiday tour with business lectures and extreme experience. Sound fun? You can imagine how many thousands of dollars a girl invested to arrange the first tour… and almost failed. The lack of Social Media knowledge didn’t let her target the right audience. In a week before the trip was supposed to start, she decided to use opinion leaders as a way to promote her business. In couple of days, all trip spots were sold out! This is an example of how crucial the experience and knowledge of business owners is for small business success.
People around you
Here were are talking only about coworkers. In a big company, the lack of knowledge or experience of one employee mitigates by another one. In a small company, there is always a lack of human resources.
What to do? Invest in your people. To grow the business, you should start playing in a long game. Shift a focus from the sales into increasing digital awareness among your employees.
The importance of people around you was nicely described by David Ogilvy in ‘Confessions of an Advertising Man.’ “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”
… and the way it should be achieved. Due to the research* small companies are focusing primarily on the website, SEO (search engine optimization) and social media. What’s out of focus? Blogging!
Blogging is a two-way communication process, as well as social media. But, compared to the last one, blogging retains more control. The two-way communication channels allow you to engage the customers and create brand awareness.
There is a tricky part here. People are having fun at social media and expect the story to be told. No direct sales! Social media should be perceived as a tool to start a dialogue with the customer and create value for them.
Want to be straightforward and sail right away? One-way communication channels are here for you. Your website, SEO and SEA (search engine advertising) and the emails are an excellent way to sell. You may achieve a better ‘right now’ result, but what’s about the future?
They are always here. Especially if your competitors are bigger companies. They might dictate what is necessary at the market to survive. We can be sure of the first rule. Digital existence. If a company cannot be found in Google, it does not exist.
The way you exist (which digital channels are you using) is up to you. You may research your competitors and use the same channels as they are to stay at the same level. The other way is to find your niche, a channel that is not taken or not that popular.
For example, AirBnB is a substitute for traditional hospitality. So, if you are thinking about opening a hotel, you should take into account the prices offered by AirBnB. Especially if you are not offering luxury class services.
We’ve already talked about the importance of a human resource, but there is a list of other resources that can’t be overlooked. It is money, time, technology. Each of them is a potential barrier for a small company that holds it away from the bright digital future.
The lack of resources is a common characteristic among all small-size businesses. How to win? Be more efficient than others. We’ve already described one of the possible ways to achieve it here.
Now you know what might stop your business from success. Moreover, you know some options on how to overcome these barriers. Forewarned is forearmed!
Be skeptical of yourself as a business owner. Around yourself with people you admire. Keep your competitors and modern trends under the radar. Use your resources wisely. Doing all of this will allow to set up realistic goals and grow. Start with yourself. Spend a couple of hours today to think which areas are needed to be improved. Search various education online resources and online platforms to select the most suitable way for you to become a better businessmen/women. The barriers are needed not to stop you, but to make your way more interesting!
* Taimnen, H and Karjaluoto, H, (2015), The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 22 (4), 633-651. doi:10.1108/JSBED-05-2013-0073