Use digital marketing, small businesses urged
"Future-ready businesses must be armed with a digital-marketing strategy if they want their businesses to survive in this economy," was the advice from Steffan-Chad Haughton, business account manager at Digicel Business.
Haughton, who was speaking at a digital marketing workshop hosted at the Digicel Building in Kingston recently, was addressing a group of small business owners participating in the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme.
He observed that when he asked the group of business owners if any of them had a digital marketing strategy, only one person said yes.
"Every small business needs to incorporate digital marketing in how they promote their businesses and interact with their customers these days. The world is going digital and if you don't embrace that as a business, you're going to miss out on a lot of opportunities," he told the participants.
Digital marketing, according to Haughton, is far more than just setting up a social media page for a business and waiting for the 'likes' to come in.
"While many people think digital marketing starts and stops at social media, it's much bigger than that. Digital marketing has a variety of channels, so you can reach your customers through SMS or sending text messages, apps, email marketing, digital radio, and TV and, of course, any of the wide array of social media channels that are now so popular like Instagram and Snapchat," Haughton pointed out.
After walking the participants through a step-by-step process for developing a digital marketing strategy for their businesses, Haughton urged them to start taking digital marketing more seriously.
"Many of you might be thinking that maybe you don't have the kind of money or resources to take on digital marketing successfully like some of the bigger brands. It simply means that you'll have to work a little harder and find more creative ways to communicate with your customers. It's not all about how much money you have; it's more about the conversation you create between your business and your customers and how you maintain your relationships with them," Haughton said.
Digicel Business, the ICT solutions arm of the Digicel Group, is one of the major partners in the Scotiabank Vision Achiever Programme.