If there’s one word that summed up 2011 for many small businesses, it was RECESSION. The tough economic times we were faced with have taken a direct hit on many SME’s across a range of industries.
Higher unemployment and reduced consumer spending translated into lower budgets, resulting in profit margins and revenues plummeting for many businesses.
In such tough times, with many businesses bottom lines being hit, advertising can seem like a luxury that many can’t afford. Yet, in what may seem like somewhat of a paradox, the businesses who understand the need for continuous marketing are the ones who will come out on the other side of this recession, retaining market share and jumping ahead of their competitors.
The key is NOT to give up on marketing but to ensure that every advertising pound spent works harder and faster for your business than ever before. This is where online advertising offers significant advantages over magazine, exhibition and TV advertising and can turnaround the fortunes of many a recession-ridden business.
The web is now so central to the way that many of us live our lives, that businesses cannot afford to overlook this medium. Aside from size alone there are a number of other benefits which online advertising has over traditional methods of marketing and these can be fundamental to creating valuable sales leads for your business in these tough economic times.
Unlike their newspaper and magazine counterparts, most online advertising mediums don’t incur printing and distribution costs and they are able to pass these reduced overheads on as a direct saving to their advertisers.
Online advertising enables businesses of all sizes to reach national markets on the web and put themselves on a level playing field with larger competitors at a significantly lower cost.
It Reaches A Bigger Market
Not only is marketing to potential customers cheaper through online mediums, but the number of potential customers explodes hugely for online advertising. National or global exposure is within the reach of most small businesses, putting them on a level playing field with their larger competitors.
With relatively low outlays in terms of time and cost, a small business with just one or two employees can be seen across the country or indeed the other side of the world!
It reaches the right Type Of Customer
Customers in the highest consumption phase of their lives, typically in the mid twenties to mid forties bracket will have the highest computer / web-enabled mobile phone ownership and the Internet is their first port of call when researching a purchase or selecting a product or supplier.
Advertising yields the most beneficial results when the choice of medium is tailored to your business’s target demographic and in the case of high spending consumers – online advertising hits the nail on the head!
It Delivers You Sales Leads At Speed!
Another benefit of online advertising is that it works so very quickly. In many cases, the day that you get started is the day that you can begin to see results from your campaign. There are no waiting periods for going to print and typically no long startup process.
Adverts that are under-performing are not “cast in stone” and can usually be updated and refreshed within a few hours, at the click of a few buttons to get the most out of your advertising campaign.
Audience Engagement & Prompt Responses
One of the biggest strengths of online advertising is the direct response that it offers to both customers and advertisers. Audiences are just one email or website click away making interaction between businesses and prospective clients extremely fast.
The fact that potential customers can click on links to learn more about what is being advertised is something that TV commercials and newspaper ads can’t provide.
The interactive nature of forums, blogs and social media create a unique opportunity for bridal businesses to engage in two-way communication with potential buyers and gain valuable customer feedback.
As the famous business saying goes; “50% of advertising works, we just don’t know which 50%”. Online advertising possess a significant advantage over traditional marketing methods because it is measurable – letting you know which ads work and which ads do not.
Tracking the reach of newspaper and television advertisements is difficult. However, online advertising allows your business to track the number of impressions an ad gets (how many people see it), and how many visits your web site gets, making it easy to see what kind of conversion rates internet advertisements are getting.
Combined with the ability to reach those who are already interested in a given product or service and its superior track-ability, it’s no wonder that online advertising has left its traditional counterpart struggling to measure up.
In closing, if 2013 will be remembered as a challenging year which forced us to re-think business models and marketing plans, 2014 offers businesses the opportunity to respond to the turbulent changes and seize the opportunities and benefits that online advertising presents to address lower sales and margins and re-conquer market share.