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Bottom Line Fears Driving More Companies Into The Digital Marketing Space

Business confidence isn't just low, people are scared says the CEO of an online marketing agency that has been inundated with calls from larger companies wondering what to do next.

"We're fielding a high level of enquiry from middle to larger companies who are uncertain and overwhelmed wanting to know 'what’s coming next?'," says Insight Online CEO, Kim Voon. "But what's concerning me is that so many of the smaller businesses appear to have just thrown in the towel -- it is very quiet on the small business front.

"A lot of the enquiry we're getting is from larger businesses in childcare, property management and financial services sectors, which serve the domestic market. People want to know what they have to do to survive and how they might be able to get through a recession."

Voon says people he talks to are worried. "I don't think mainstream is getting a gauge on just how spooked the small and medium to large business sector is right now.

Creative falls by the wayside

"Because we're digital marketers, we're working in an area of marketing that can show a direct correlation with ROI. Our conversations are very numbers based, so people want to know how to generate leads right now -- it seems a lot of the creative, brand building stuff is being cut."

The issue is that search marketing gets results because the brands are strong and recognisable. Search is often the last point of conversion after a long funnel of awareness and branding.

Voon says he is telling his customers that, to get through, they need to keep up their marketing momentum, stay creative and focus on customer retention because it's cheaper than acquisition.

He offers the following advice:

1. Differentiation will be more important post Covid-19

"Don't cut the creative," says Voon. "Differentiating your brand and standing out is going to become more important in a highly competitive digital marketing landscape."

Voon says creative will remain important across media, social and video channels. Staying creative will get higher returns and better cut through. And this is hugely important because across the ad accounts that we manage we see spend and competition increasing.

2. Marketing will be more relevant

"I know I'm a digital marketing agency owner so you would expect me to say marketing is important, but it is also something I believe. Marketing is a medium to long term investment. You need to build momentum and when you stop, it is very difficult to regain.

"Figure out what you can sustainably spend to keep your momentum and then focus on that. Reduce the cost of reach or the number of channels you use if you have to, but don't take your foot completely off the gas.”

3. Keeping happy customers will be critical

"Focus on retaining your current clients," says Voon.

"The cost of acquisition is always more expensive than retaining clients. Call your clients, email them, figure out what they need now and how you can best position to add value to them."

As our marketing budgets get tighter, it’s that personal touch that can make a huge difference.

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