- 19 Mar
Digital is The Go-To Tool for Small Business Growth
by Dan Hoff
As a business owner or manager, there is no longer any denying that today’s buyers, whether in the B2B or B2C space, are more sophisticated, more knowledgeable and more prepared than at any other time. This has not been by accident. This trend has coincided with the growth in the adoption, use and availability of the web and digital platforms.
Today, no matter what you sell, whether a service, a hard-good or software, you are facing a market where the buyer, not the seller, has the advantage. Your buyers, or at least your potential buyers, are out there, somewhere. They are armed with knowledge and ready to buy. And from research, we know that they have made most of their buying decisions even before they contact you for the first time.
They are always online and fully digital. So if you want to sell to these customers, it is important that you be prepared to meet them on their turf – in the digital space. Whether online, through email or on an app of some type, you need to be ready to engage them on their terms. For small businesses in particular, digital engagement as a marketing tool, has proven to be crucial to success.
This point was brought out in a recent report* released just this month. The report, Sponsored by vCita, a Seattle, WA company specializing in online client engagement, found that over one-third of small businesses* indicated that most of their new and existing customers engaged with them through their websites. With just 17.9% of respondents indicated that they never engaged new or existing clients through their sites.
Go Digital or Go Home
One thing is clear, online and digital client engagement is now the lifeblood of the small-business community. The survey revealed that 67% of the small businesses in the study reported an increase in new clientele through their website alone, not counting email, the traditional digital work-horse of the modern era, or other digital engagements tools.
This number stood in stark contrast to the 6.9% of the study participants who said that almost none of their customers from their websites.
The study brought out the impact websites currently have, in particular to small businesses. The data showed that half of all new clients of these small businesses made first contact with those businesses through their websites, with 42.3% citing email as the first point of contact.
So that means that through two of the major digital engagement tools, these small businesses acquired over 90% of their new customers. Can you imagine, for just a moment, what would happen if you could add this type of new customer flow without adding new sales people, without adding locations, without adding anything other than smart digital engagement programs.
The Great Equalizer
Today, small businesses need every advantage they can get to stay relevant and compete for business. “Having good client communication and retention is a huge aspect of accomplishing this task,” said Itzik Levy, founder and chief executive officer of vCita in a recent interview. “With a successful online client engagement strategy, small businesses can ensure they drive new and repeat business . . .” in a cost-effective manner. Digital has become the ‘great equalizer’ for the small business, permitting them to compete effectively with their peers, but also with far larger organizations.
So if your business is struggling with customer growth and you want to investigate how a solid digital marketing and engagement program might work for you, contact us today. We can help you grow your business.
Highlights of the vCita Report:
- 67% say they’ve gained new clients because of their website
- 66% say that online customer engagement is key for their business
- 45% stated they needed to improve the number of new customers from digital tools
- 40% say they need to improve the number of customers gain online
- 34% use no online or digital customer engagement activities or tools
- 31% were dissatisfied with the volume of new customers received online
- 18% indicated that they never engaged with new or existing customers through their websites
* The research study surveyed nearly 200 North American entrepreneurs, marketers, small business owners and technology decision makers from a wide range of industries, with 75 percent of respondents representing small businesses with fifty or fewer employees.
* For the purposes of this study, a small business was defined as having under 100 employees and gross revenues under $10 million.