Is Digital Marketing Overrated As A Business Growth Strategy?

Is Digital Marketing Overrated As A Business Growth Strategy?

Is Digital Marketing Overrated As A Business Growth Strategy? Marketing is an integral part of human history. Whenever people have had products to sell, they have wanted to promote them. Marketing techniques have grown and improved since the development of print media, radio, television, and now the Internet. More here if you’re interested in the history. Digital marketing, however, is a far more recent practice, with its roots in the web 1.0 Internet of the late nineties. Digital marketing as practised by businesses today is even more recent, emerging from SEO into its current form in the early 2010s. Last month, we read an interesting article in Marketing Week that suggested that digital marketing, and social media marketing in particular, was overrated as a business growth strategy, potentially distracting from the core marketing practices with the greatest potential to drive business growth. Is There Any Truth To This? Digital marketing has certainly become very popular among businesses, and it’s healthy to question any trend. By 2022, annual digital marketing spending in the UK had topped £25 billion, accounting for 44.5% of all advertising spend, while the digital advertising sector (e.g. PPC), is projected to grow by 5.86% between 2024 and 2028. The Dot Com bubble and other economic phenomena teach us to be cautious about over relying on one particular strategy or technology (AI could be in the same category). However, while scepticism is useful, it’s also insightful to let the data speak for itself. Returns From Digital Marketing Ultimately, SMEs are spending record sums on digital marketing because it works. This year (2024), UK SMEs are predicted to allocate a total budget of £35.1 billion to digital marketing, underlining the significance of the practice in driving growth and visibility. This isn’t an overrated trend. This is a recognition by business owners of the growth potential and returns available from digital marketing techniques and strategies. This doesn’t ignore the ROI optimisation challenges faced by businesses in 2024. To increase their returns from digital marketing, SMEs now need to navigate the rise of iOS ad blockers and address potential blindspots in business value. However, by adapting their strategies to align with evolving consumer behaviours, market trends, and technological trends (e.g. automation, digitalisation, AI), SMEs have the potential to radically enhance the effectiveness of their digital marketing initiatives and the revenues they receive. In 2021, the average ROI from digital marketing was reported to be 122%, highlighting the huge potential of digital marketing campaigns for small businesses. And let’s not forget that digital marketing isn’t just one thing. There are various tactics involved with digital marketing, and to get the best ROI, you’ll need to work with the most appropriate channels for your business and its customers. Pay per click (PPC) advertising, for instance, is strongly noted for its impressive ROI potential, with effective PPC optimisation giving a global average return of $2 for every $1 spent, translating into a 200% ROI. Short form video is another growth area for digital marketing, with 31% of respondents to a HubSpot Marketing Trends survey in September 2023 claiming this had given them the highest ROI of all their digital marketing channels. Achieving The Best Returns From Digital Marketing For Your Business In our experience, many businesses who walk away disillusioned with digital marketing haven’t yet attempted digital marketing as a strategy. They may have dabbled with blogging, social media, or PPC ad hoc, but haven’t approached it from the perspective of business growth and ROI maximisation. At JDR, our job is to help small businesses maximise the value of their marketing budget and achieve the strongest results from digital marketing. We’ll work with you to create a bespoke strategy that resonates with your customers, using the most successful technologies and channels for your business. To find out more, please get in touch with one of our specialists today by clicking here.

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