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By the end of 2022, e-commerce is expected to generate £5.42 trillion in sales per year. There are an estimated 12 – 24 million e-commerce sites across the globe at present. The e-commerce industry is growing 23% every year and is expected to account for 95% of all purchases by 2040.
By the end of 2022, e-commerce is expected to generate £5.42 trillion in sales per year. There are an estimated 12 – 24 million e-commerce sites across the globe at present. The e-commerce industry is growing 23% every year and is expected to account for 95% of all purchases by 2040. Despite the huge growth potential of the e-commerce industry, £756 billion was lost due to poor e-commerce personalisation, with 46% of small businesses within the USA still without a website. According to a survey of 350 SME owners, 50% did not have an online marketing plan for 2019, and as a result, 62% of them reported being more stressed about their business this year, compared to the last.
Currently, the internet gains 192 million new users every year, with consumers spending an average of 12.5 trillion hours online in 2022 alone, using an average of 7.5 social media platforms per month. With such huge market potential, it would be hugely detrimental to a business’s growth if they were to avoid capitalizing on e-commerce. Navigating such a dynamic and competitive environment can be overwhelming for most businesses, which is why a marketing and web strategy is so important, as it gives business owners a sense of direction within the turmoil, whilst also giving them clearly defined objectives to monitor their progress. This blog shall further clarify the necessity of a digital marketing plan and web strategy, by highlighting how to create one, the benefits of creating one, and the disadvantages of trying to market without one.
One of the main purposes of having a digital marketing strategy is that it has been designed specifically to help your business to reach its objectives. Without a marketing strategy, you could end up deviating from your original goals – wasting both your company’s resources and finances.
A vital part of your digital marketing strategy is the allocation of time to your resources. Whether you are developing content creation, or SEO activity, keeping to a dedicated digital marketing strategy will ensure you allocate the necessary resources required to fulfil your marketing plan promptly.
Many businesses – especially those that are just starting – often have strict parameters when it comes to financially allocate for digital marketing. By creating a digital marketing strategy, you can budget for activities that align with your strategy and goals, as opposed to wasting marketing budgets on one-off campaigns that are unlikely to benefit your business in the long-term, lessening your return-on-investment capabilities.
A well-orchestrated marketing strategy is beneficial for your business, as it serves as a reference point, providing measurable results for you to keep track of. This allows you to better monitor the progress of your strategy, whilst also making sure you are meeting both your stakeholder’s expectations and your business’s objectives. Not only this, but you can gain valuable insights that can be applied to product and service development, so that it is better suited to the demands of your consumers, increasing their level of satisfaction and conversion rates.
Given the growth rate of the e-commerce market is skyrocketing as of late, there are numerous new market entrants daily, resulting in elevated levels of competition. Many businesses may have similar business propositions to yourself, therefore it is advised that you plan and understand your businesses’ digital marketing strategy well, as it ensures that your brand maximizes its growth potential and competitiveness. Failure to do so could leave your business vulnerable to losing market share. Some disadvantages of having no digital marketing strategy are as follows:
Entering a new market is tough, as it is likely you will not have a pre-existing customer base. As a result, getting sales and high conversion rates can be difficult, without first allocating resources to advertising and promoting your product. Digital marketing is very useful in this instance, as the internet provides many ways for a business to endorse its products – such as social media, which allows your business to gain exposure through word of mouth, and people sharing product posts and pictures. Without a marketing strategy, this becomes impossible, as your content is likely to be incohesive, and lacking in value – and will therefore not be shared.
If you are to provide consumers with a product that is also being supplied by thousands of other companies, then it can be incredibly difficult to compete with them whilst you are unknown. Many competitors will have already conducted their market research and built a loyal collective of consumers. Your competitors will take full advantage of your lack of marketing strategy and will ensue attacking guerrilla marketing tactics as a means of making sure your brand remains faceless within the industry. Having a marketing strategy allows you to consider their moves proactively, whilst also giving you better insight into your target market so that you can better penetrate the market and find your niche.
Without a market, you are unlikely to have customers. Without customers, then you are unlikely to make a profit, which could ultimately lead to the demise of your company. Marketing is a process of understanding the needs of your consumer, creating different products that fulfil their demands. Customers are attracted to new methods and ideas, and by satisfying their demands, you are more likely to make sales. It is therefore in the business’s best interest to develop a marketing plan so that they can ascertain these needs and how to fulfil them, to ensure the business is a viable market entrant and has the best chances for survival.
Feedback describes the communication provided by customers that have bought and used your product. Without customers, it is impossible to get feedback. Feedback is one of the best methods for your company to determine what needs changing in your offering to better achieve customer satisfaction. Failing to get feedback, therefore, means that your company will be unable to make educated improvements, and risks wasting resources and investment in business development that does not provide any advantage.
Your business’ reputation within the marketplace matters greatly in 2022, as more and more buyers are becoming concerned about the moral and sustainability practices of the companies they buy from. A lot of companies will release fake press as a means of tarnishing your brand’s reputation. If your company fails to produce content that proves the fake news is incorrect, then customers are likely to believe the source. This could have dramatic implications on your sales and has even put huge conglomerates out of business in the past.
Before creating a digital marketing plan, you must have a purpose for it. The purpose of your digital marketing plan is centered around the long-term objectives you have for your business and become the guiding principles for your future development efforts. Once your long-term goals have been established, it is advised that you continue to break them down into more specific objectives. Make sure your objectives are time-bound, and measurable, as it not only makes them more achievable but also provides you with benchmarks to determine your progress.
It is impossible to move forwards effectively as a business, without first understanding the context within which you are operating. Conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis resolves this, as it provides an overview of the situations you are likely to face as you market your business. The ‘strengths’ segment of the analysis details the unique selling points of your business, and how you are likely to stand out when compared to competitors, whereas the ‘weaknesses’ segment highlights what your brand can improve upon. The ‘opportunities’ and ‘threats’ highlight the external factors contributing to your company’s milieu, such as – the economy, your competitors, technology, and more. By analysing your situation using the SWOT tool, you are taking a proactive approach to improve market strategies and combating challenges that may or may not be in your control.
Your brand’s messaging and communication efforts are a large part of your marketing strategy and play a large part in consumer positioning. It is advised that you create a message map and channel strategy as a means of optimising your future content. To create a message map, you must first write an XYZ statement / boilerplate that contains basic summary information about your business. Once this has been created, you can centre other messages related to your products, clients, and services so that they are all cohesive. These messages can then be incorporated into your mission statement, press releases, and other marketing materials.
Consumers are becoming increasingly more astute at spotting when a business is ‘all talk’ and ‘no action’ – and will even refuse to purchase from inconsistent brands. It is therefore vital that your business outlines a set of values and principles that serve as a foundation for all its decisions. Creating a mission statement clearly outlines these values and ensures that consumers are aware of them also. Be conscious of whether your values reflect your brand honestly, as it will make demonstrating them much easier, increasing customer trust and conversions as a result.
A successful marketing strategy consists of many different tactics – both online and offline. Your brand’s tactics are the individual steps and actions it will take to achieve its long-term objectives. All results of your SWOT analysis should be factored into these decisions, including your goals, target market, and industry factors. Once you have deciphered the most appropriate methods for your business, then you should include them in your marketing plan; determining how they will help you to reach your goals.
Nowadays markets move incredibly fast, with business owners consistently balancing many operations at once. As a result, your time is precious and should be managed effectively. Your marketing strategy can help you to achieve this. Based on the long-term goals, objectives, and tactics you have outlined previously, you should then create a timeline that determines what will be completed, and by when. Additional time should be allocated to allow for unexpected events that may delay and deter some of your goals as you pursue them.
It is incredibly beneficial for your business to create a budget to inform your marketing efforts. In doing so, you can create parameters for your business to work within, as well as distinguishing what you can and can’t afford. This is vital information for paid online advertising, as users can specify the amount they would like to pay.
Once a timeline has been created for the creation and distribution of your marketing materials, you can begin to delegate tasks to your members of staff. If your business is small and does not have the staff required to carry out your plan, then it is advised that you outsource to a marketing agency -such as Sherbet Donkey Media – as they can greatly influence your rate of growth.
Once you have begun actioning your market plan, you need to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, as they provide indications of how your product is being received, how it is performing, and what you need to change to increase your product’s viability. Your website, social media, and other marketing materials are powerful sources of this information. Many online resources are equipped with analytical tools, which provide you with data for this analysis also, just be aware that not all data is relevant to your business.
As your marketing plan is heavily based on your company’s contextual influences, it will need to be updated regularly, as external influences are constantly changing, and could render some of your strategies useless. It is advised that you revisit your marketing plan once a year to make the necessary adjustments. Following industry news and trends that you can add to your strategy will aid this process, and keep you informed.
As accentuated above, the e-commerce industry is a powerhouse with huge growth potential. By avoiding online promotional channels, businesses limit their access to over 192 million new users a year and over £5.42 trillion in sales. The process of market penetration as a means of financial capitalization is easier said than done, as there are an estimated 12 – 24 million e-commerce sites currently in existence, resulting in high levels of competition.
One of the best ways in which a business can combat this is to create thorough digital marketing and web strategy. There are 10 steps mentioned within this report, which provide the blueprints to ensure that yours are all-encompassing. By creating a digital marketing strategy, you are better equipped to reach business objectives, allocate time to resources, maximise your budgets, and generate measurable results. The process can be pretty complicated and involves a lot of factors for consideration. It is for this reason, that it is advised to consult a professional marketer – such as Sherbet Donkey Media - as it guarantees that the process is done efficiently, and with maximum impact.
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