For Small Businesses, Digital Marketing Is the New Normal

Before the “everyone has a smartphone glued to their hand” era, your small business’ digital marketing strategy was cutting-edge, nearly futuristic.

Now, not so much.

We’re not saying that digital is dead – far from it. And we’re certainly not suggesting that you go back to cave drawings, chisels and stone tablets…although that would make an excellent guerrilla marketing tactic! The point is that digital marketing in today’s world is just … well, marketing, and it shouldn’t be treated like some disparate aspect of what you do. Here’s why.

Digital Isn’t Newsworthy

When the first automobiles hit the streets, drivers relied on hand signals. This made the advent of turn signals newsworthy – it was something that car manufacturers could use to sell their product.

Now imagine you’re in the market for a new car. You’re expecting to hear the salesperson talk about the torque, horsepower, warranty or latest safety features – but instead, he says, “It has blinkers.”

Nowadays, this is the same things as saying your small business has a “digital marketing strategy.” Simply having a digital marketing strategy is the norm, not what puts you ahead. What matters now is how pervasive yours is, how well you’re utilizing it and how seamlessly you’re blending it into your overall marketing strategy.

You’re Missing the Forest for the Trees

Focusing solely on some vague notion of a “digital strategy” makes you incredibly shortsighted. You’re so busy trying to look at one aspect of marketing, you’re missing the fact that the one tiny piece you’re focused on is all-encompassing.

Amanda Rendle, global head of marketing for commercial banking and global banking and markets for HSBC, says:

“We need to go back to what marketing is, and the product is marketing. More people need to get off the drug of digital being something different and get back to what we do best.”

Marketing your small business is something you do well. So stop seeing “digital” as separate and just do it!

What Next?

It’s one thing to realize that digital marketing is really just marketing. But what do you do with this understanding?

The answer: The best you can! Instead of saying “OK, everyone – here is our new digital marketing strategy,” approach it like this instead: “OK, everyone – here is our new marketing strategy. Now, let’s discuss how we’re going to distribute this across all our marketing channels. This is how we’ll reach people socially, this is what’s going on the blog and this is the copy we’ll use for our radio ad.”

No one brags about the blinkers (or the horn, or the seatbelts) on their new car, because there are so many other things to talk about. When you start realizing that digital is the rule rather than the exception, it’s much easier to shift your attention back to what really matters – your small business’ marketing message as a whole.

Need more tips on how to survive in a digital world? Give us a call!