Marketing has come a long way from traditional tools used in print or magazine media. We are in an age where everybody who is anybody is interconnected and with a cursory view of your profile, it is pretty easy to know which market you would most likely be under. As such, entrepreneurs have a greater chance of locating their target markets without leaving their desks.
In a recently conducted Zoomerang survey, most SMBs would either increase their digital marketing efforts or retain them in 2011. If small businesses are considered by many as the lifeblood of the economy, especially as far as job generation is concerned, then new customers are the holy grail.
However, it is also important to note that customer retention is more cost effective and this is where the focus should be. Free, low-cost digital marketing tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites should target not only possible customers but attention should also be given on ways to retain the customers you already have. Continued support from people you have already done business with is vital to the success of any enterprise.
While entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to connect to customers, management software and various marketing products become a necessity to drive growth. According to Marchex’ white paper entitled Three Things Small Businesses Really Need: Re-defining the Digital Marketing Product Set, the digital marketing products for small businesses would ultimately address these three things:
- Lead Generation – even though we’re in the digital age, leads are still important because most businesses still use print media apart from their online presence.
- Online Presence Management – there are a lot of tools to measure online influence but there are only a few which are all-encompassing. This means that there’s a need for a tool which collaborates all aspects of online presence which are data, content and competition.
- Relationship Management – as I have mentioned, it is important to retain your current customers. And the best way for you to do that is to establish a business relationship with them with the use of customer relationship management tools.
There are many tools which serve each of those things mentioned but they are more often than not, specializing in one aspect only. Marchex’ white paper proposes that there should be an all-in-one tool. A tool which would greatly benefit small businesses and in time, it would not be just a fad, it’s going to be a need.
While we are waiting for such a tool, we would just need to content ourselves with the tools we have right now and make the most of it. No one ever said running a business is easy but like anything else that we work hard to maintain, it definitely is worth it.