Digital marketing boosts the performance of small businesses

digital marketing boosts smll business performance

What is digital marketing?

The digital world is predicted to be a crucial point for all human activities, including business activities. Some indicators that can be used today include the increase in digital advertising spending, the growth of smartphone ownership  that provides easy internet access, improvements in telecommunication infrastructure in order to improve the quality of data access, and the launch of 4G services.

The rapid development of technology, the digital world and the internet certainly also has an impact on the world of marketing.  Marketing trends in the world are switching from the originally conventional (offline) to digital marketing (online). This digital marketing strategy  is more prospective because it allows potential customers to get all kinds of information about products and transact through the internet.

Digital marketing is a promotional activity and market search through online digital media   by utilizing various means such as social networks. Cyberspace is now no longer only able to connect people with devices, but also people with others in all corners of the world.  Digital marketing which usually consists of interactive and integrated marketing facilitates interaction between producers, market intermediaries, and potential consumers. On the one hand, digital marketing makes it easier for business people to monitor and provide all the needs and desires of prospective consumers, on the other hand, prospective consumers can also search and get product information just by exploring cyberspace, making it easier to search the search process. Buyers are now increasingly independent in making purchasing decisions based on their search results.  Digital marketing can reach all communities wherever they are, there are no more geographical or time limits.

Digital technology has changed the way humans communicate, act, and make decisions.  Marketing activities  cannot be separated from the influence of digital  technology.  The term digital   marketing has undergone an evolution from the beginning of  goods and services marketing activities that use digital  channels to a  broader understanding. This is the process of acquiring consumers, building consumer preferences, promoting brands, nurturing consumers, and increasing sales.

The concept of digital marketing comes from the internet and  search engines (search engines) on the site. When  internet usage exploded in  2001, the market was dominated by Google and Yahoo as search engine optimization (SEO).  The use of  internet searches grew in  2006 and in  2007 the use of mobile devices increased dramatically which also increased the  use of the internet and people from various corners of the  world. They began to connect with each  other through social  media.

The definition of digital marketing according to the American Marketing Association (AMA) is the activities, institutions, and processes facilitated by  digital technology in creating, communicating, and conveying values to consumers and parties.   other interests.  Another definition  says that digital marketing as the use of technology to help marketing activities that aim to increase consumer knowledge by   adjusting to the  needs of the market. they are.  In other words, digital marketing as an exploitation of digital technology is used to create a channel to achieve potential recipient to achieve company goals through fulfillment. The needs of more effective consumers.

The Internet is a pretty influential tool for businesses. The characteristics of the internet are as follows:

  1. Interactivity, the ability of technological devices to facilitate communication between individuals such as face-to-face. Communication is very interactive so that participants can communicate more accurately, effectively, and satisfactorily.
  2. Demassification, messages can be exchanged to participants involved in large quantities.
  3. Asynchronous, communication technology has the ability to send and receive messages at the desired time of each participant.

Social media allows businesses  to reach consumers and build more personal  relationships.  Basically, social provision is divided into two groups according to the basic nature of connection and interaction:

  1.  Profile-based, which is social media  based on profiles that focus on individual members. This group’s social media   encourages connections that occur because individuals are attracted to those social media users (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp).
  2. Content-based, which is social media  that focuses on content, discussions, and comments on the content displayed.  The main goal is to connect an individual with a piece of content provided by a particular profile because that individual likes it (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest).

Social media has opened the door for businesses  to communicate with millions of people about their products and has created new marketing opportunities.  A platform that is often used in digital marketing is social media. Available social networks sometimes have different characteristics. Some are for friendships such as Facebook, Path, Instagram, and Twitter, or specifically to find and build relationships like those offered by LinkedIn. There are also more personal media such as electronic mail (e-mail) and text messages.  Search engines like Google and Yahoo can also be empowered. In addition, business actors can also take advantage of blog media  or personal sites.

Data reported by We are Social, a digital marketing agency in America, mentions that the most widely used social media platforms in Indonesia are YouTube (49%) and by Facebook (48%).  The next position is occupied by Instagram (39%), Twitter (38%), WhatsApp (38%), and Google (36%).  The rest is occupied sequentially by FB Messenger, Line, LinkedIn, Blackberry Messenger, Pinterest, and WeChat.

Small business must go digital

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have an important role in the economic pace of a country, especially in job creation and household empowerment that supports household income. The existence of SMEs is expected to spur the economy amid the current economic slowdown. The utilization of digital technology-based marketing concepts provides hope for SMEs to develop into economic powerhouses.

The digital age is impossible to avoid. A marketing manager revealed that if you want to survive, SME actors must be able to maximize the benefits of digital development.  The development of technology digital allows SME officials to market their products online and make transactions through the banking system online as well.  

Internet can increase sales of SME products, followed by increased production and productivity of SMEs. The challenges of continuity and product quality that can be faced properly will make SMEs successful and quickly develop.

Social media is the easiest means of digital marketing to use. Before a business has a site, it is not uncommon for us to find especially in markets like Indonesia that they have started entering the realm of cyberspace through social media. This can be a stimulant for entrepreneurial development and the sustainability of SMEs. In addition to low costs and no need for special expertise in initiating early, social media is considered able to directly reach (engage) prospective consumers. Therefore, it is not surprising that business actors emphasize the use of social media compared to the development of a site.

Basically, online businesses should be prepared by SME actors. This is an inevitability that SMEs must implement when they want to develop. There  has been a shift in consumer consumption patterns. The trend of online shopping increased rapidly long before the pandemic came. The development of digital technology plays a role in the change in shopping patterns. The industrial revolution 4.0 is no longer limited to discourse. But it has been present in all aspects of life.

The SME actors are blocked by the constraints of the lack of knowledge of digital marketing and electronic commerce (e-commerce) while the attention to the use of digital marketing requires the community to be technologically literate.

SMEs can no longer stand idly by. Innovation and creativity in doing business by utilizing digital technology must be recognized as the key to future business success. Internet of Things (IoT), big data, digital marketing, sharing economy, 3 D printing, e-commerce, digital market place are characteristics of business in the era of 4.0. It’s time for SMEs to go digital. That is also the government’s hope for SME actors so that they will move up the class. SMEs can no longer only be spectators but must be able to digital businesspeople to support business performance.

Eduprenerer is a blog platform for sharing information on entrepreneurship, digital business, and start-up in universities or colleges environment.

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