24 Issue 48
4th Level Digital Media
Your Offline Business needs an
Since leaving the insurance industry and crossing over into
digital marketing the two most common statements I hear are
“digital marketing is going to be really important for my business
going forward” and “my business is more traditional and doesn’t
need digital marketing”. They can’t both be right. Or can they?
First, let’s look at each statement in isolation.
Digital is growing
A recent report from the Digital Marketing Institute highlighted
— “Irish consumer online spending is up 51% year on year,
meaning the digital economy is growing 25 times faster than
the general economy, but over 60% of online Irish consumer
spend (€3.6bn of €5.9bn) is being lost to overseas companies. It
is essential that Irish businesses arm themselves with the skills
to market and sell successfully online to halt this revenue drain.”
This validates the first statement showing that a digital
presence will become increasingly important to compete as the
Irish consumer and economy evolve.
If we look at the second statement and consider a more
traditional advice led transaction, like setting up a company
pension scheme, it’s impossible to imagine how this could
transform into an entirely digital transaction. The need to
discuss fund choice and attitudes to risk, not to mention the
supporting paperwork, seems to validate the second statement.
There’s more to digital than sales
There’s a lot more to digital
marketing than executing the
final transaction. For lots of
businesses digital marketing
is crucial in lead generation
rather than the final sale.
Consumers are now using
on average ten sources of
information when researching
and in a lot of cases all of
these being online resources.
Despite the Internet becoming more and more involved in the
purchasing decision over 50% of Irish consumers prefer to walk
into a shop or office and deal with a vendor face to face. So, the
second statement is partially right when it comes to the final
To fully appreciate the role digital marketing can play for an
offline, traditional business like a Brokerage you need to think of
the whole customer journey and not just the final transaction.
The Internet has revolutionised the way people shop.
Window shopping, browsing printed catalogues or running your
finger down the Golden Pages have been replaced by online
research. For the majority of consumers, the journey towards the
final purchase begins by grabbing a connected device to google
a keyword related to what they need. Each month there are
thousands of searches for insurance related keywords in Google,
even though the final transaction will take place sitting down
face to face with a Broker.
Digital marketing allows you and your business to be where
people are searching at the moment they pick up their device.
The four layers of your digital infrastructure
A common misconception is that social media is digital
marketing. While social media is important in pushing out
your messages to a wider audience, there is a lot that needs to
happen before you post on Twitter or Facebook.
You need to have four layers in place to do digital marketing
effectively; the last one includes social media.
1 Your Website – is your digital hub. All your content and
activity should flow from your website with the express
purpose of bringing people back to look around your website
for more information and to get in touch with you directly.
2 Design and Speed – a clunky, badly laid out website that
takes an age for the pages to load up is the equivalent of an
unkempt sales man in a cheap suit that doesn’t answer your
questions. Your website might be a potential customer’s first
encounter with your business: don’t miss an opportunity to
make a good first impression.
3 Content and SEO – your website should help customers
find a solution to their problem with information about
the product/service they are searching for. This is done by
posting engaging content on the subject matter. SEO, or
Search Engine Optimisation, is a way of using keywords
to make it easier to be found when someone googles for
4 Amplification – is when you use tools like social media to
share your content around to try and draw people back to
your website. You could also use paid adverts on social media
or search engines like Google Adwords. It’s important that
your website has ‘Calls to Action’: forms or ways the customer
can contact you once they’ve returned to your website.
The biggest benefit digital marketing has over traditional
marketing is the ability to measure everything you do. Once
someone clicks on a link data is being gathered about the
potential customer. It also allows you to measure what works
and what doesn’t, giving you the ability to change things as you
‘You have nothing to fear …’
For traditional businesses the idea of digital marketing can be
complicated and daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. You can
implement an effective digital marketing strategy to suit your
budget and manpower with relative ease. Why not give it a try?
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%
Where Did People Make Their Purchase
Source: Google Consumer Barometer 2014. 3,112 shoppers are responding based on recent purchases involving the
Internet. Results may not sum to 100% because of rounding, no answers and don't knows