Why your business should have an e-marketing strategy

January 19, 2012

If you are running a small business the chances are you don’t find time for writing strategies and investigating new marketing opportunities.  But by ignoring this essential part of business management you may be selling your business short.  Marketing in the internet and social media age has the advantage that many of the activities which in the past you had to buy in, you can now do yourself.  But before you start writing content for web pages or setting up a Facebook page for your business it is worth looking at your approach to marketing your business digitally to figure out what you want to achieve from it.

All good marketing strategies should have a set of SMART objectives and e-marketing is no exception.  You should have an idea of what your goal is in order to most effectively take advantage of the many potential benefits from e-marketing.  The strategy should consider the cost and time commitment required for any e-marketing campaigns you wish to include in your wider marketing mix.  This is very important as e-marketing builds a much more intimate relationship with your customers and if you don’t have time allocated to tending to those relationships you may find your customers “fall out of love” with you very quickly.

The main advantage for small business is the cost.  When you work with a small budget where little expenditure is available for marketing, the low cost of email based marketing or creating a Facebook page is a very attractive.  A great deal can be done yourself without the need for costly services from other providers.  The advantage of having a strategy is that you can consider the overall costs, including time and man power for running, responding to and reviewing en e-marketing campaign.

You can also consider the best mix of digital media for your product and your specific business requirements. Websites, email campaigns, sms campaigns and social media all offer different opportunities for engagement with both your existing customers and potential new customers.  Get the mix of media right, and ensure you have the resources to support your campaign, and your reputation will grow within the digital communities you target.  If you get it wrong you can be sure the digital community will spot that too.

The speed of response makes e-marketing ideal for small businesses but it can also be their downfall if something goes wrong.  Planning is the key to avoiding the pitfalls such as a Facebook page with no community and no interaction or an email campaign which recipients file in their spam bin immediately.  Plus don’t forget that as part of a wider marketing strategy digital marketing campaigns still need to apply basics of product, price, placement and promotion.  So before you race into using e-marketing take some time, think and plan your approach, write a strategy (it doesn’t need to be long or complicated) and ensure the image you promote with your digital campaigns is one you can be proud of.

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