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5 Steps to take before SMEs Kick-off their Digital Marketing Game

Monday, September 11, 2017
By Mitchelle Carvalho

Mitchelle Carvalho
CEO, CogMat

India is the second largest smart phone market in the world today beating the US and the Internet penetration in India is at 59% in urban areas and 17% in rural areas. While the percentages may look abysmal we're still looking at a collective number of 450+ million active internet users in India.

From the very beginning of brands using digital media as a platform for marketing, we have constantly witnessed a change in their marketing landscape, and how they are connecting with their consumers. There is this paradigm shift causing several companies big or small to sit up and take notice of infinite possibilities in a way digital media should be used to interact with stakeholders.

However, going by the case studies or material online, it is mostly the multinationals and corporate giants using digital media marketing aggressively and effectively, leaving very little understanding for upcoming SMEs to comprehend whether Digital Media Marketing is important or needed for their business.

However, the question is, "Does Digital Media Marketing have an effective role to play for an SME?" In order to answer that question, it is pertinent to understand that an SME's Digital Media Marketing plan or budget is going to be very different than that of a larger corporation.

Here are five important pointers that can help an SME kick-start its Digital Media Marketing plan:
1.    Accurate Goal and Objective-setting:

More often than not, agencies receive invitations by SME's asking for a social media marketing pitch or a digital advertising plan before having delved into an exhaustive evaluation of "Why" do they need social or digital media marketing services for their business. A clear goal that meets both business, as well as marketing objectives, must be set, basis which, a focused digital media marketing plan can be built.

2. Get your house in order:
Before businesses and agencies begin the creative process of digital media campaigns with potential-to-viral videos or online contests ensure all your digital properties are updated and in ship shape. For an SME, the first step is to ensure that they have a responsive and updated website with maps and pins to all their addresses in order.

3. Use WhatsApp for more than just 'Good morning' forwards:
WhatsApp Messenger is a powerful tool to communicate with more than mere happy or entertaining forwards. WhatsApp can effectively be used to push new product, especially if a business has many channels and sales partners who in turn forward it to their circle of friends or customers even, ultimately leading to the end consumer thereby creating awareness and demand through ripple effect of digital media marketing of your brand.

4. Before investing in Digital Advertising, run a test campaign:
Most companies expect instant gratification or result in the form of traffic to website or sales as the end result and that is how digital advertising plans like PPC, Display ads get pushed around to meet those numbers. As much as digital advertising helps a great deal in creating large spikes of traffic to your desired website, there could be an issue of irrelevance if there is a discrepancy with your Brand’s TG and the actual people targeted on such ad campaigns. Hence, it is advisable to run a test campaign to ascertain the quality and quantity of users or clicks coming through for a business.

5. Not all social networks will work for you:
Generally, as a rule, digital media marketing plans must be 'platform agnostic' however it is important to understand if there really is a need to be present on all social networks. If your business does not have an audience on Twitter, it is pointless making promoted tweet/handle or hashtag trend plans just because someone is suggesting it. Ensure that you have plenty of research on both ends –who your TG is and where do they reside in the social media universe?

In addition to these five points, it is essential to understand that a marketing budget of a multinational or a large corporate will be many folds higher than that of a start-up or an SME, thus digital media has a lot to offer while playing in the confines of that limited spend. While on one hand agencies offering marketing services on conventional platforms approach large companies with bigger budgets, digital media agencies have many services that can easily meet objectives of an SME and reach wider audiences, all at a fraction of a cost.

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