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How Businesses Can Leverage Digital Marketing in 2019

How Businesses Can Leverage Digital Marketing in 2019

This article will explain how marketing has changed dramatically over recent years and how companies can leverage and use the latest marketing methods to take their business to the next level.

Authors

Alan Foster

Alan Foster

With over 40 years experience of running marketing agencies, Alan is one of the most experienced marketeers around and has worked for a full range of businesses from start-ups to multi nationals.

Elliott Oshoko

Elliott Oshoko

Has been at the cutting edge of digital marketing technology for the last 5 years & has ran campaigns which have amassed over 150 million impressions across various platforms.

There has been a huge decline in traditional marketing methods over the last 10 years. Traditional methods such as Newspaper, Radio and Direct Mail are consistently being outperformed by digital marketing methods.

AF: I have been marketing all types of businesses for 40 years and haven’t seen such a change in marketing methods since the first advent of Apple Macs over 20 years ago. I was managing director for a large agency in the South East of England for 18 years in the 80’s and 90’s handling a number of blue-chip clients. Since AST marketing was formed in the late 90’s I have seen a revolution in the way marketing has developed. The challenge used to be tracking the success from the different media. As Henry Ford once said, “My marketing department tell me 50% of the marketing works, but they couldn’t tell me which 50%”.

This has now totally changed. With the explosion of digital marketing it’s now possible to accurately track all engagement and to get your message in front of the right person at the right time. 

EO: The effectiveness of newspapers, radio and direct mail have all reduced exponentially over the last 15 years. This needs to be measured against the rise in digital marketing methods such as Facebook, Google and email marketing. The way these platforms can be used most effectively will be explained later in this article.

Online Presence is the key

AF: I have been marketing all types of businesses for 40 years and haven’t seen such a change in marketing methods since the first advent of Apple Macs over 20 years ago. I was managing director for a large agency in the South East of England for 18 years in the 80’s and 90’s handling a number of blue-chip clients. Since AST marketing was formed in the late 90’s I have seen a revolution in the way marketing has developed. The challenge used to be tracking the success from the different media. As Henry Ford once said, “My marketing department tell me 50% of the marketing works, but they couldn’t tell me which 50%”.

This has now totally changed. With the explosion of digital marketing it’s now possible to accurately track all engagement and to get your message in front of the right person at the right time. 

EO: The effectiveness of newspapers, radio and direct mail have all reduced exponentially over the last 15 years. This needs to be measured against the rise in digital marketing methods such as Facebook, Google and email marketing. The way these platforms can be used most effectively will be explained later in this article.

Research your target market

AF: There’s no point in getting your sales message in front of the wrong audience, it’s a waste of effort and money, but this used to happen before the advent of online search tools. Now it’s possible target via age, gender, income, interests, geographical area and numerous other criteria. Just imagine the effect it would have on sales if the right message was getting in front of the right people, time and time again.

EO: Historically with most traditional marketing (Newspaper, Radio, Direct Mail) it has been difficult to solely advertise to your target market. The majority of online ad platforms (Facebook, Google, Linkedin) have incredibly sophisticated targeting options which allow us to hit the right people.

Some platforms have even surpassed manual targeting and have algorithms which work out the criteria of people that have bought products and find more people that match those same criteria but haven’t bought yet.

There’s never been more choice

AF: Marketing can be split into two parts, offline and online. Offline marketing includes press adverting, radio, direct mail, Point of Sale and TV. Whilst these types of media still have a place it’s very difficult to quantify their impact and conversion rate. You can include direct response coupons but in some instances these might not be appropriate. 

Online marketing includes social media, websites and email sends. With the use of trackers, analytics and auto response mechanisms it’s possible to see exactly how many people have seen your message and what their online journey is. Most importantly it’s possible to gauge the return on investment making it possible to channel investment more accurately. The smart companies are embracing online media and have seen spectacular results.

EO:

There’s a huge amount of choice of platforms to advertise on but that has presented an opportunity to use a strategy called “Omni-channel marketing”

It’s possible now to set up campaigns where people may see a Facebook ad, followed by an email, then an Instagram ad and then if they’ve shown an interest they’ll be retargeted by another Facebook ad.

There’s an old sales & marketing theory called the rule of 7, the concept is that people are most likely to buy after they’ve had 7+ “touches” from a company or when they’ve seen a companies message 7+ times.

Omni-channel marketing helps speed up this process.

Brand Consistency

AF: Because there is so many media platforms to choose from its easy to dilute your brand and send out mixed messages and be inconsistent with your corporate identity. It’s vitally important to maintain a consistent identity so people will become familiar with what you are saying and will recognise communications when they are consistent. Some of the largest companies employ people whose sole purpose is to ensure that all marketing initiatives adhere to the agreed corporate identity guidelines.

EO: Brand consistency prevents you from confusing your customers with mixed messages, this is why it’s essential to send the same consistent messages throughout the different marketing channels.

Points of difference is still the key

AF: The only way that people can decide whether to buy any product or service is their points of difference or USPs. Points of difference can become the brand values of a company. For a restaurant the differences can be the décor, the type of food and ingredients used, they might have a different type of reward scheme or online recipes. For a garage it might be a coffee lounge when your car is being serviced, it could be invitations to a variety of events, or a valuable recommend a friend scheme. The differences don’t have to totally unique but having several memorable differences it’s possible to position your company differently to your competition. It can be worthwhile to invite employees to suggest initiatives with a reward scheme to those that are used.

Credibility is more important than ever

AF: Trough online channels it’s never been easier to post criticism about a company’s performance so satisfied customers should be encouraged to post reviews. It’s always more powerful to have a satisfied customer tell people how great your company is. The best time to ask someone to give a review is immediately after they received great service. On the other hand, it’s not possible to get it right all the time, so when you get a bad review, don’t ignore it but try and communicate and find a solution, you’ll sometimes fin that this will create a strong allegiance from the customer because you have been proactive in finding a solution.

Social media has been a game changer

AF: The impact of social media cannot be underestimated, it’s been proved to even alter the outcome of elections, which let’s face it, is pretty frightening. However, smart companies are finding the correct use of social media has had huge impact on their business. There are numerous platforms but the most successful ones for companies are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google. Gone are the days when sharing and liking posts worked. The biggest social media companies want to become major media players so to achieve real penetration you’ve got use paid for platforms where it’s possible to target markets in ways that couldn’t be dreamed of only a few years ago. 

Build a sales funnel

AF: A lot of companies suffer from the peaks and troughs scenario, they become very busy so stop marketing or when they start slowing down market like crazy to get more customers. The smart companies are marketing all the time and building sales funnels because you will always find that customers will leave for all sorts of reasons so it’s important to keep the funnel topped.

A sales funnel is a system that leads customers through the buying and retention process:

You first have to create awareness, this is done through the marketing channels you are using. The next step is to create interest by getting the prospect to start interacting with you through engagement, this can be by clicking through to a landing page, a request for more information or a quote. Then, through nurturing a sale can be made. But the process shouldn’t stop there, customers should be contacted on a regular basis, so they become advocates for your business.

Click here to see some of the high performing sales funnels which we’ve developed for our clients.

Complete the Circle

AF: Marketing should work hand in hand with the sales department. Through digital marketing it’s possible to track enquiries and opportunities, but sometimes a prospect will choose to phone a company or pay a personal visit, but these enquiries may also have come through interest created by the marketing. All enquiries should be tracked and fed back to the marketing department so the return on the marketing investment can be measured. By doing this the marketing can be adjusted accordingly. We have seen instances where the marketing spend has been quadrupled over a few months because the return on investment exceeded expectations.

Monitoring and Reviewing

Elliott OshokoThe business environment is constantly changing, it may be the economy, competitor’s activity or new innovations. Consequently, it’s important that your marketing keeps pace with any changes. A regular marketing meeting should be held to monitor all activity and review the return on investment then take the necessary actions for the next period. This might be to increase spend where there has been success and reduce where necessary. You should also be constantly reviewing your competitor’s activity to stay one step ahead of the game

We hope this article has been of help. Marketing is going through a step change and it’s vital that companies keep pace with what’s happening.

There have never been more opportunities for businesses to effectively leverage digital marketing, If you would like to book a consultation to discuss how we can help you market your business cick here.

As an agency, we stay at the cutting edge of marketing which allows us to generate incredible returns for our clients.

Click Below to See Our Marketing Campaigns in Action

Motorbike Dealership Case Study

Motorbike Dealership Case Study

The Brief

A motorcycle dealership recognised the most successful part of their business was selling good quality used bikes. However, their challenge was finding and purchasing the right motorcycles. They contacted AST and asked for our suggestions. We suggested developing a campaign utilising paid for social media.

The Solution

After researching the market we developed a set of USPs which would differentiate themselves from the competition. A series of online ads were produced plus a landing page with a strong call to action.

The Result

After the campaign ran for a month the results were such that the client increased the media spend by 50%. The marketing has been so successful that the client is planning opening a new branch.

We have been working with AST for 3 months and the results have been amazing. Whilst we were aware of the impact of social media we were unsure how to use to maximise results.

This is where AST came in. We met with Alan and Elliott who then came up with a campaign directed to our target audience. They were easy to work with, very accommodating, listening to us all the way along the process and guiding us with their expertise.

The campaign has worked really well and we are looking forward to continuing with AST as we develop the business”.              

Billy Sutton

Managing Partner, Hastings Motorcycle Centre

If this local business was able to get more potential customers and reach new levels of success with Facebook Ads, you can too!

Click below to book a free consultation with us

It all Starts With a Consultation.

Ready to get started? Click below to book a free consultation

Building Company Case Study

Building Company Case Study

The Brief

A large building and property maintenance company wanted to advertise boiler services during the summer months to keep their operatives busy. 

The Solution

We suggested using paid for social media and Google ads. A marketing plan was produced which identified monthly activity together with a pipeline showing engagement and sign ups. The pipeline would show the revenue created against the marketing spend.

The Result

A budget was agreed. The client was hoping for around 30 sign ups. Over a 3 month period we achieved 208 sign ups, over 30 of which joined the Best Options Plan showing a huge return on their marketing investment and making them stand out against other builders in Hastings.

We have been using AST to create our new website and increase awareness of the services we offer. We identified a shortfall in work for our heating engineers over the summer months when breakdowns are typically low.

AST recommended our first ever paid for advertising campaign on social media. The campaign was a huge success and proved to be our busiest summer period ever. Following the success of this campaign we have decided to increase our marketing spend and continue to use AST to help promote our business.

Andrew Povey

Booker & Best

If this local business was able to get more potential customers and reach new levels of success with Facebook Ads, you can too!

Click below to book a free consultation with us

It all Starts With a Consultation.

Ready to get started? Click below to book a free consultation

How We Generated a 1000%+ Return for a Local Building Supplies Company with a £3000 Investment

How We Generated a 1000%+ Return for a Local Building Supplies Company with a £3000 Investment

The Brief

A successful building supplies company wanted to open a new superstore in East Sussex. The objective was to organise a successful opening day and open 10 trade accounts, followed by strong ongoing trade.

 

The Solution

A strategy was produced with incentives for trade sign ups and prizes to be won on the opening day. Media chosen included a social media campaign aimed at building companies within a 15-mile radius of the branch. Adverts were placed in the local press to attract the residential market. The social media campaign was monitored daily to ensure maximum engagement.

The Result

Although the targeted amount of trade sign ups was 10, the social media campaign attracted 155 trade applications, the average spend on these trade accounts will generate £150,000 in year one alone. On the opening day, the car park was full and the tills were ringing all day. The store has since steadily increased their monthly turnover and are comfortably ahead of their targets.

 

If this local business was able to get more potential customers and reach new levels of success with Facebook Ads, yours can too.

Click below to book a free consultation with us

It all Starts With a Consultation.

Ready to get started? Click below to book a free consultation

How We Brought in over 180 New Members for a Leisure Club Within a Month

How We Brought in over 180 New Members for a Leisure Club Within a Month

The Brief


A Sussex based Leisure Club wanted help to create a short campaign to encourage people to become members.


The Solution


We suggested a paid for social media strategy. We researched the marketplace, then, using our specialist tools created a target market within a 10-mile radius of the club. We developed a series of online persuasive adverts that drove browsers to a landing page which showed great photographs of the facilities and encouraged people to visit the club where they would be given the opportunity of joining

The Result


By constantly monitoring the campaign we could increase engagement and optimise the adverting spend as the month progressed. The result was 188 new members which equated to over £72,000 worth of yearly revenue and ongoing revenue for subsequent years.


The cost of the campaign was a fraction of the revenue the campaign generated included online research, creatives, copywriting and campaign monitoring and optimisation.


We also provide the client with all their marketing requirements including website production, SEO, collateral, point of sale and branding.

If this local business was able to get more potential customers and reach new levels of success with a digital campaign, yours can too.

Click below to book a free consultation with us

It all Starts With a Consultation.

Ready to get started? Click below to book a free consultation