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Internet usage is at an all-time high. In 2018, the number of internet users worldwide was at 3.9 billion, with East Asian countries accounting for 1 billion of internet users, followed by Southern Asia with 803 million. In 2017, the internet global penetration rate was at 48.9%, andthis number is expected to reach 53.7% in 2021. Wealthy markets like Chile and Russia are found to have the highest number of internet users, with 7 out of 10 residents having access.
The numbers simply tell you that people are on the internet more than ever, with each advancement allowing users to enjoy more services. It also gave way for a dramatic shift in buying behavior, with consumers opting to shop online rather than physical stores. This means significant changes to how marketers need to operate.
In this day and age, if you want your brand and it’s products/services to get the attention they need, you’ve got to go digital. With digital marketing, channels like search, social media, email, and websites can be used to connect to a specific audience at their convenience.
Benefits of Digital Marketing
Aside from establishing your company’s digital presence, there are a host of other benefits that you can enjoy by investing in digital marketing:
Reach and share information with consumers directly
Whether it’s a personalized message or general advertisement, digital marketing puts relevant information directly in front of people via their mobile devices or computers. This is most important when they’re on the lookout for information that’s useful in their decision-making process.
Tell your brand’s story
In any digital channel, you can highlight what your company is all about, as well as your products and services. Other media just don’t offer the same level of customizability while still allowing people to be responsive to your story.
Track your visitors’ every move online through analytics
Data analytics helps companies understand their audiences better through analyzing their online behavior, allowing marketers to apply these insights to any upcoming efforts.
Make informed decisions with website through trends and patterns
With data in tow, you can make better decisions about how to market your products right and deliver the most relevant and effective message possible as prospects move through the buying process.
See results in real time and measure the ROI of your marketing efforts
Digital marketing tools allow marketers to see the results of their campaigns even in real time. This way, you can quickly look at the returns of your marketing efforts.
Stand out from the competition (for large businesses)
Big businesses and large enterprises may have already established their brands, but building and growing a digital presence will help them further differentiate themselves from the competition, allowing them to build stronger relationships with their audiences.
Break into the market by bringing awareness to your brand (for SMEs)
Smaller companies, on the other hand, can look to digital to build brand awareness and spread their message to the masses.
Building a Team
For companies investing in digital marketing (virtually every one), the first decision to make is choosing whether to build an in-house team or to outsource. Both have their pros and cons, but if you have the resources and choose to build your own team, it’s really important that you structure it the right way to maximize output quality.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do just that:
Structuring Your Digital Marketing Team
Building a digital team starts by having a deep understanding of your organization, as each one is different. No one structure or model will fit all companies. Here are some ways to do so:
Centralized/Center of Excellence
Center of excellence refers to the digital expert or team that establishes and documents guidelines and processes within the digital marketing team. This structure is deemed fit for organizations that can’t support an analytics team at every division, though it comes with the risk of losing your connection to local markets.
In this model, the company puts analysts within different teams or locations throughout the organization. This allows analysts to gain a more in-depth knowledge of their assigned team’s priorities and processes, making groups more flexible. They will be able to run tests and make immediate changes if needed. It also discourages management from micromanaging and, instead, focus on the business’ overall goals.
Hub and Spoke
Lastly, hub and spoke is a model that combines the center which establishes guidelines, tools, and processes; and analysts which implement and reports to the central team. The center and the analysts need to work together to empower the groups to update, discover, and take risks.
Understandably, for larger, more established organizations, it won’t be easy to restructure and cater to a digital marketing team due to the expanse of their current operations. However, both big businesses and SMEs are likely to encounter a few issues along the way:
Limited budget and resources
Much like any other operations within the company, digital marketing entails a budget. Techniques like SEO, social media, and content are relatively cheaper, especially if you already have an existing website or platform. There are content marketing tools that may entail more significant allocation like a content management system. However, you can start with a cheaper alternative like WordPress.
Admittedly, implementing PPC through Google AdWords and bidding on keywords can be pricey undertakings, that’s why it’s also important to focus on organic results. You don’t have to spend on every aspect of digital marketing if you don’t have the resources, especially if it won’t give you the results you truly need.
Getting C-level buy-in
Organizational change is an enormous and complex responsibility that rests upon the marketing lead’s shoulders. Understandably, it’s difficult to formulate the required modifications, such as coming up with a vision and strategy along with the resources needed. In addition, there is no assurance of returns. Such uncertainties may weaken the support of executives and C-level officers to these changes.
Digital marketing doesn’t just encompass promotions and advertisements. Something that’s usually outside of the department like customer experience and social selling will suddenly become the team’s responsibility, and there may be difficulties in incorporating those without company-wide reorganization.
Nowhere to go but Digital
The prominence of digital marketing isn’t any different from the use of automation tools in various divisions of the organization—it merely means that companies are keeping up with the times, making work easier and faster, assuring that results are observable, and adapting to the behavioral changes in society.
There will always be growing pains when restructuring the company to make way for new departments, but there’s a way to do it without going over budget and still ensuring a reasonable ROI.
Spiralytics’ services encompass the many disciplines of digital marketing, giving you access to data-backed recommendations that help drive key metrics to support your growth goals. Contact us today!
Thinking about outsourcing your marketing requirements? Here's a handy eBook to get you started: