In this current global situation, while we all are rapidly recovering from some challenging times, there is certainly a significant shift in our lifestyle. For businesses, due to restricted mobility, the dependency on digital mediums has significantly increased. While it was inevitable, the importance for businesses to build a digital marketing strategy has a renewed sense of urgency now. It is also demanded by the changing needs of the consumers in these changing times.

In India, digital momentum has already caught up in the last few years but it was mostly geared towards certain specific segments. But with Covid-19 and the restrictions and reluctance of people to go out of homes to get even the basic necessities the scope has tremendously widened. Adapting Digital marketing has become all the more important for small/local businesses, thanks to the ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative.

As a business owner, you may ask, ‘why is digital marketing important for my business? I am able to cater to the needs of all the people in my area and I am enjoying their loyalty.’ However, if the client is getting what she needs sitting at home, she is less likely to venture out in a risky environment.

Let us look at some of the benefits of digital marketing for local businesses that will provide you compelling reasons to onboard the digital bandwagon.

  1.   Wider audience reach:

According to Internet World Stats, India ranks 2nd in the list of countries with the highest number of internet users in 2020 Q1 with 56 crore users, and approx. 330 million people are shopping online or buying digitally. It is also estimated that almost 71% of internet users must have purchased products online in this period. This clearly shows that the Internet is the new marketplace and if you are not there, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers. You may think that serving the customers online may reduce your profit margin, but what about the opportunity to serve a larger base and that too at minimal cost, your business turnover will surely sky-rocket with this.

  1.   Better Targeting:

Thinking of how many people will actually buy your product? Well rest assured, with digital marketing by your side, you can target people on various parameters like age, location, language, interests, past shopping behavior, and make sure that your product ad reaches the right set of people who are willing to buy! You can also build a strong relationship with them by resolving their queries and issues. This way you will have a better understanding of your customers and be in a better position to serve them in the future.

  1.   Competitors are Online:

As per, by 2027, the e-commerce market size in India will be USD 200 bn and as of now, 74% of the businesses are actively penetrating in e-commerce. This is a major indicator that a lot of industries have already moved to digital and online platforms and the many players are gradually moving towards it. In such a situation, your local competitor might also be planning a digital marketing strategy for its business. I am sure, as a business owner, you might not want to lose out on that enticing market share and always be a step ahead of your competitors. I can completely understand, but when you look at your competitors, what they are doing, you will definitely get a plan of action of creating a digital presence for your business. Get inspired by them and embark on your journey of taking your business digital!         

  1.   Digital marketing is measurable:

Unlike traditional marketing where you have spent heavily and there is no defined way of measuring it systematically, in digital marketing you get to measure each and every penny you are spending. You might be promoting your business on any platform or by any means like social media, google ads or email marketing, you still can measure how much money you have invested and how much value you are getting in return with some easy-to-use tools.

Now that is really interesting. And you know what the best part is, you spend only 1/3rd of what you were spending on traditional media but you can get returns that are double your spending!

  1.   Can make changes easily:

Yes, you read that right! Digital marketing for local businesses is dynamic and changes can be made easily. The big question for small business owners is that – what if my digital marketing strategy fails? Well, let me tell you that if you find that the strategy is not working, you can immediately make changes. There is no need to wait until the campaign ends. For example, your daily budget for spending on ads is INR 500. But after a few days, you realize that the budget needs to be increased in order to target people more efficiently, you can do it then and there. In traditional media, you have to wait till the end and this can have serious consequences.

Some digital marketing stats and figures:

  1. In order to instill more in you, let me show you some statistics and figures, after which I am sure there won’t be any looking back for you. This way you will also be able to understand the trends in digital marketing.

In 2019, over 73% of India’s total web traffic was coming from mobile phones. What is the reason for such a huge surge in mobile search? Since 2010, smartphones became available at cheap prices and then the government also understood the importance of investing in the telecommunication industry and further opened the market for the telecommunication spectrum.

  1. According to Business Insider, there is growth among e-commerce users in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
  2. In 2018, Indians spent more than 100 billion sessions shopping, the highest in the world followed by the US the highest in the world. With big-wigs like Amazon investing largely in India and retail giant like Walmart acquiring the unicorn Flipkart, India is surely a lucrative market for digital business.