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Small business success is a marketing mixed bag

Small business owners are the backbone of the business community, but sometimes it seems that they are having their backs broken by the crush of the digital age. So many long-standing businesses have always done things “a certain way,” and now the internet has really changed everything, they’re just not quite sure what to do.

Targeted marketing streamlines the process

If this scenario describes your business, you are not alone. It may be hard, but you need to embrace the new wave, because today’s digital marketing scene is exciting, offering targeted marketing like we’ve never seen before. The ability to reach the right person, at the right moment in time, with the right message that solves their most pressing issue is a marketer’s dream come true. With so many available options, though, it must be properly managed.

You might not fully understand digital marketing, but you suspect that it’s necessary for the success of your business. The digital marketing space is complex, so simply plugging into a formula just doesn’t cut it.

Analyze this

Because the internet “records” everything, it produces a lot of data. Digital strategists crunch the numbers, draw conclusions and make recommendations. This information is the very foundation of solid strategic decisions about social media, paid search, organic optimizations and video content, among other things.

If this is all new to you, it might be a lot to digest all at once, so a good digital agency will discuss with you a strategy as it relates to your goals. If your goals are clearly defined, a phased digital plan might best accommodate your budget and manage your growth.

How to choose a digital agency

As you’ve guessed, it’s all gotten pretty complex, so if you’re thinking about hiring an agency, here are some things you should want to consider:

  • Look at the results. Especially if you have a limited budget, one of the best things about an agency is that, as strategy experts, they know how to interpret the numbers and develop the most expeditious plan to accomplish your goals. The “Our Work” or “Case Studies” tab on the website should give the best picture of results achieved.
  • Review their depth. Make sure the agency knows how to reach B2B as well as B2C customers, if that’s important to your business. Check out their expertise. If they are expert in all aspects (social, search, email, programmatic etc.) that is of great value to you.
  • Are they strategic? Can the agency actually understand your business and help you grow by making intelligent business recommendations? Every move you make has to support the vision, so this is a key question.
  • Do they know lead generation? This is not your standard digital marketing; it can get very tricky. It involves the integration of marketing and sales; as data comes in, it gets analyzed and makes its way into the campaign graphics and messaging.

Not to scare you or anything, but good digital marketers really do know what you’re thinking and while that might be a little frightening, it provides them with the ability to deliver precisely what you want and need, exactly when you want and need it.

As a small business leader, profitability is your main concern and a strong digital marketing campaign can quickly get you where you need to go because it has become as much science as it is art.

It’s a numbers game and the best numbers for you are those related to increased sales!

Laura Oliveto

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ssdm

SSDM is a digital marketing + advertising agency that focuses on the customer journey. Our team of creatives, strategists and marketers have helped businesses manage both their growth goals and digital impact for the past 11 years. SSDM is based in Metro Detroit, MI.