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How True Digital Marketing Could Have Saved Retail During the Pandemic

How True Digital Marketing Could Have Saved Retail During the Pandemic
Written by Publishing Team

Many small and medium-sized businesses have had to close their doors for good due to the pandemic. With people aware of the need for social distancing and self-quarantine in their homes, a massive amount of shopping dollars has shifted to digital channels. Looking back, we wondered if there were alternatives to this killer final game.

Imagine if “high street retailers” used a successful online digital marketing strategy. Could things be different? Can some retailers maintain enough volume to cover costs and weather the Covid-19 storm?

According to research published by WebFindYou, the opportunity to create a digital strategy is available to everyone, but 92% of companies in the United States do not have the budget to afford what it calls “real digital marketing.”

Apparently, small and medium-sized businesses are losing out to larger companies with larger budgets and resources to do digital marketing the right way. With inflation just reported to have risen to its highest level in 30 years, high street retail will suffer even more in the coming months, and the marketing dollars needed to compete with the internet giants will become even scarcer.

The ability to create and maintain an effective digital strategy isn’t just about reaching customers to generate sales. Another big benefit is the ability to protect a retailer’s brand from over-reliance on dominant social media aggregators like Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Recently, these channels have experienced a global outage with millions of businesses affected financially due to their heavy reliance on Facebook and Instagram Ads as their main source of lead generation and Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as one line to connect with new and existing customers via their website.

A more holistic approach to digital marketing protects against these interruptions, which means that when one digital channel is disrupted, businesses still have other digital channels available to generate leads and maintain connections.

Define real digital marketing

We wanted to dive into what “real digital marketing” means and gain more insights into the research conducted by WebFindYou. We reached out to Robert Blankenship, founder and CEO of WebFindYou, to get some answers.

Wise Marketer (WM): I’ve done some research that has yielded many interesting findings, among them: 92% of companies in the US don’t have the budget to afford real digital marketing. Can you share more about the research and share the main ideas?

Robert Blankenship (Robert): According to the US Small Business Administration, there are 30 million businesses in the United States. This number consists of companies that do not have an employer (80%) and employers (20%).

Companies without an employer (80%):

  • Average annual income: $43,000
  • Digital Marketing Customization: Typically $58 – $126 per month

Companies with 0 to 4 employees (12%):

  • Average annual income: $400,000
  • Digital Marketing Customization: Typically $540 – $1,170 per month

Companies with 5 to 19 employees (5%):

  • Average annual income: $1.6 million
  • Digital Marketing Customization: Typically $2,160 – $4,680 per month

Companies with more than 20 to 500 employees (3%):

  • Average annual income: between $7.6 million and $1 billion
  • Digital Marketing Customization: Typically $10,260 – $3.2M per month

Doing digital marketing the right way requires the right resources, people, and technologies, which will cost at least $3000-$5000 on average per month. Using this data, it’s clear to see why 92 percent of businesses can’t afford real digital marketing.

WM: Why is having a well-designed and executed online digital marketing strategy so important for high street retailers? Could it really have made a difference to their fortunes during the pandemic?

Robert: Having a well-executed online digital marketing strategy makes all the difference when it comes to increasing leads, sales, conversions and ultimately revenue.

Even before the pandemic, it was important to have a good online presence. COVID escalated the need for this, and in most cases, companies that had a solid online presence and a strong digital marketing strategy fared better than those that didn’t.

The problem is that many of these small and medium-sized companies operate with small marketing budgets and cannot compete with large companies with large marketing budgets.

The purpose of WebFindYou is to help companies implement digital marketing in the right way and at a price that fits their budget. Their budget should not affect their ability to be successful online. My vision when creating WebFind was to revolutionize the digital marketing industry since there are too many companies selling a bag of merchandise to people and not keeping their promises. I want to help companies get on the right track in digital marketing.

WM: Tell us a little bit about WebFindYou. What do you do and how do you do it?

Robert: Our mission is to make successful digital marketing simple and affordable for everyone. Likewise, we want to fix the polluted digital marketing industry that often gives companies only pieces of a complex digital marketing puzzle based on their budget constraints.

In our opinion, the digital marketing industry has become complex, time consuming, expensive, and exaggerated by “influencers”, “experts”, and “gurus” who make a lot of promises for a fee but often produce little results. In short, the digital marketing industry has become polluted. And it’s getting worse — with more and more paid ads dominating Google search, Apple iOS privacy updates are making Facebook ads less efficient, the list goes on and on.

My vision was to create an affordable technology that small to medium retailers could easily understand and apply, even with no or limited digital marketing experience.

WM: You use the term real digital marketing in your business. What does this mean for you and how can you apply it to help small businesses so that when one digital channel goes down, businesses still have other digital channels that produce leads?

Robert: True digital marketing means doing everything digitally, which is required to maximize the true power of the Internet for any business. This allows each element of the complete digital marketing puzzle to support and help maximize the other. Without true digital marketing, companies lose out on a steady stream of leads and sales that they can count on, especially in times of crisis.

As a business owner, you have to make sure to build a strong infrastructure for your business. You never want to put all your eggs in one basket, because when that basket falls, it will remain a mess. In some cases, a mess you can’t recover from. If social media is a huge part of the day-to-day function of your business, you can’t risk these unexpected interruptions.

We provide tools that ensure your social media experience is never interrupted when a social media platform unexpectedly crashes, a post is unexpectedly removed, or a social media account is temporarily suspended.

WM: How can major retailers learn more about affordable digital marketing?

Robert: Adhering to our digital approach to marketing, we offer online classes. We recently held a master class on digital marketing. Anyone interested in watching the class can get instant access here. By the way, we will also be hosting classes covering more in-depth information on e-commerce, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, paid search, social media, how to start a digital marketing business and more, with dates set Announcing it at a later time.

How real digital marketing can save high street retail during a pandemic

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Publishing Team