In June 2018 Real Digital  engaged a research company to survey a cross section of small and medium sized businesses in Wairarapa. 

This was to understand the perception of business owners in the region toward digital marketing in their business. The research was a lead-in to a regionally based digital marketing initiative aimed at building the digital competency of businesses in the Wairarapa, which will be launching in the third quarter of 2018.

What we discovered

It was encouraging to find that 90% of businesses we spoke to in Wairarapa are doing something in addition to having a website. Nearly one third of companies said they also advertised on Facebook*, a further quarter of businesses are using both Facebook* and Google Advertising*.

Another third use email marketing to reach their audience.

This is a positive sign and shows that Wairarapa businesses are generally up to speed with digital marketing technology. However as we drilled into the answers and analysed the results we made other less encouraging observations.

Firstly, after the research was completed we discovered that many of the respondents who indicated they were using Facebook advertising weren’t totally sure if they were actually advertising on Facebook. Some were boosting their posts, some were posting to their page and calling it advertising. We realised that far fewer were using Facebook Business Advertising than our numbers showed.  This will be one of the early subjects we cover in our blog.

The other observation was that while most people are doing more than one thing to build their brand or find clients online, very few are coordinating the things they are doing in a single, integrated marketing campaign, or employing  a long term digital strategy to guide their decision making. So we have also prioritised this area as an early topic for our blog. Sign up if you’d like to be notified when new articles are posted.

A few tips

  • FACEBOOK BUSINESS Successful Digital Marketing is largely about collecting data and making changes based on that data. Two useful tools are Facebook Business Advertising and Facebook Page Insights. Spending some time learning these will be a real benefit, even if you have someone else managing your Facebook marketing for you.Visit Facebook Business
  • GOOGLE ANALYTICS Ensure that Google Analytics is installed on your website and configured to measure things that are relevant to your business. You should have some simple conversion goals set up, ideally with a funnel so you’re able to see what is happening on your website. Visit Google Analytics
  • GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE Ensure that Google Search Console is connected to your website and your analytics account. This is how Google let’s you know if your site is not performing well, and also how you see the search terms people are using to find you, and more importantly the ones which they aren’t able to find you with. Visit Google Search Console
  • GOOGLE ADWORDS In most cases you’ll be using Facebook to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness, but to find people who are ready to buy, you need to advertise on Google’s Search Network. Setting up your website, and analytics account to measure conversion is crucial. You should also consider the Google Display Network. Learn about Google Search Network Learn about Google Display Network

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How important to your business is keeping up with digital marketing technology?

  • 5 - Very Important
  • 4 - Significantly Important
  • 3 - Moderately Important
  • 2 - Slightly Important
  • 1 - Not Important

What Wairarapa business owners said.

An encouraging outcome of our business survey last month (June 2018) was the number of business owners in the region who place such a high importance on keeping up with changes in digital marketing technology.

Three out of four (75%) of business owners we spoke to said that keeping up with digital marketing technology was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their business (.scores of 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-5)

The significance of this, firstly is that compared to anecdotal indications of only a couple of years, businesses are now more aware of technology in promoting their goods and services, and secondly that the technology is constantly changing.

What sort of digital marketing are Wairarapa businesses using at present?

  • Website Only
  • Website & Facebook Advertising
  • Website, Google Advertising & Facebook Advertising
  • Website, Email Marketing, No Advertising
  • Website, Email Marketing & Facebook Advertising

This is what small and medium sized companies are doing with their online marketing.

We noted from the research that while most businesses were doing some form of additional online marketing and were happy with what they were doing, very few were following a specific long-term strategy. The general approach appeared to be ad hoc. From what we could gather not many businesses were coordinating their advertising across the platforms they were using, as an integrated marketing campaign.

NOTE: The research actually validated my expectations, from what I’ve found working with SME’s for many years. I wanted to have some formal research done to identify which areas people need the most help with, so I can begin to put together plain english explanations and articles. If you would like to receive this information at no charge simply signup from this page.

Why did we start this Blog?

The reason for the digital knowledge gap that is steadily getting bigger, is not a lack of information. Business owners are swamped in information and advice. It’s not even that the information they can access is not accurate. The issue is a matter of being able to discern what is the most relevant and beneficial for their specific circumstances. A fair amount of advice being provided is of less value today than say, two years ago. Business owners need a substantial level of knowledge simply to know what is good helpful information and what isn’t. 

The situation is not helped by the amount of specialist terms and jargon. Our aim is to provide Plain English explanations about subjects that business owners want to know about, which is practical and current.

For Business Owners

  1. To make it easier for you to stay ahead of the game with the Internet technology.
  2. To cut through the barrage of information so you get the important stuff first, in plain language.
  3. To let you know about technology changes that may impact your business, opportunities and threats

For Digital Service Providers

  1. To help businesses better understand digital technology and online marketing when they ask for your help.
  2. To highlight the value and benefits of face-to-face communication when engaging digital services.
  3. To promote the advantages of local professional service providers over the myriad off-shore companies

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