The holidays are upon us and another year draws to a close. Tis the season of making lists, both reasonable and fantastical. As a business, if you could create your digital marketing wish list, what would it be? According to the research from our 2013 Digital Marketing in Canada report, a digital marketing strategy should be topping the wish list for most Canadian companies. More than three-quarters (80%) don’t have one. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, here are the top five digital marketing gifts that Canadian businesses should have on their wish lists:
1. Money and time. Nearly half (46%) of Canadian companies say they are lacking a budget for digital marketing. If this is the case for you, start small, with a social media strategy. Apply your personal knowledge of social media to your business: connecting with customers through LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. Share your well written content through these channels and drive leads back to your site. Encourage and empower your employees to connect and share content too.
2. Talented people with the right skills. Our research shows that only one-third (39%) of Canadian companies have the talent internally to plan and implement a digital marketing strategy. Clearly, talent and knowledge is topping many companies’ wish lists. Consider looking at resources across departments, with varying levels of experience to develop a digital marketing team. Empower everyone to write and share content, using social media tools that they are likely already familiar with in their personal life. If you’re lacking internal resources, think about what could be outsourced to an agency. External partners can ignite and inspire your team with information and strategic direction.
3. Understanding of audience. 20% of companies stated their market isn’t online, however, only 19% of Canadian companies said they have completed research to understand their audiences. Do your homework and get to know your audience. Reach out to your community, either through a structured out-reach program or via your social platforms, and give them an opportunity to provide feedback on what’s working, and what’s not. Build a program that allows for ideation, community growth, innovation and advocacy. This means giving customers a platform to contribute to new ideas built within your company.
4. Buy-in from senior management. We all know, the good ol’ days of traditional marketing are no longer, but that doesn’t mean your senior management team does. In fact, 18% of Canadian companies said that getting final signoff from the C-suite was a barrier to digital marketing. Present a web presence plan that is focused on search, content and social and has solid metrics tied to each. Consider how a social media, web presence and a content monitoring platform can aid in measuring success. Explain how each channel is responsible for achieving goals and objectives, and what the overall ROI will be. When everyone understands the objectives, strategy and tactics, it’s easy for senior management to be open minded and ready to adapt.
5. Authority and credibility. More than half (54%) of Canadian companies recognize the importance of digital marketing to remain relevant, but they don’t know where to start. Your website is the place where consumers will come first, develop it so it is your best performing sales tool. Research keywords, optimize your content for search engines, set up goal funnels and create content that is interesting, compelling and informative. Quality content will drive qualified sales leads, it will build your credibility with consumers and it will build your search engine authority.
Making the list and checking it twice
Qualified business leads, time, talent, budget, search engine authority, online credibility and customer engagement: this is what Canadian companies want under the tree. If you need help along the way, reach out to us and let’s get started building your web presence in 2014.
About the Digital Marketing in Canada Survey
In August 2013 Vireo Research conducted an online survey in partnership with Digital Giants. The survey was conducted among 340 Canadian professionals, including senior decision makers from both B2B and B2C companies.
To learn more about the changing landscape of B2C and B2B marketing research in Canada and get additional insights on what the opportunities, barriers, and strategies used by marketers in Canada download the full report and infographic.