Canadians are increasingly becoming online consumers. From giant retailers to small local shops, a digital storefront is becoming the norm as more and more Canadians decide to check a business out online either before, during or as a part of making a purchase. 77% of Canadians already go online to discover the things they want to buy. Canadian consumers are looking to buy Canadian products and services, so why are you even questioning whether your business should even be “online”?
There are precious few industries where a robust online presence may not be an asset, but for the life of me, those are becoming increasingly harder to justify. Information like client lists and trade secrets are becoming less valuable with the democratization of information and how so many companies are turning to the (successful) tactic of becoming “thought leaders” and developing content marketing strategies that rely on giving away knowledge for free in return for being seen as leaders in their fields. It’s almost comical nowadays to think that your company is the ONLY one to know how to do things in your industry; how did you hire knowledgeable employees if you’re the only ones with the knowledge? Taking your ego out of the equation, you can see that approaching the web as just another opportunity to gain clients is going to help you in the long term. The term is “First Mover Advantage,” not disadvantage!
Digital marketing also offers something that traditional channels can’t: accountability. Digital spend can be tracked to the penny, and conversion data (when configured correctly) can be just as accurate. There’s no excuse of “we simply can’t tell how many people are seeing your ads” when that’s the entire way you are billed! John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Well if ol’ Johnny had been alive today he’d not only know which half; he’d be able to know why. Split testing is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and is the reason that there are people like me out here advocating for it.
Canadians are especially keen to use the web to research and buy products and services and want those results to be local. Mobile searches for terms including the phrase “near me” rose 330% in two years (Deloitte) meaning that not only do Canadians want to find their solutions online, but they also want to do it in Canada. If you aren’t there to become a part of the customer journey, how can you expect to grow? It’s important to catch people during their purchase decision, not before or after it. Catch them before and risk not being at the top of their mind when they go to buy. Catch them after, and you’re too late. There’s a window open to influence purchasing decisions, and that window is increasingly moving to behind a web browser.
Being online also means being there when your customer needs your service. You can be a resource for help using your product, offer an alternative when your competitor’s product fails, and offer guidance in upgrades or replacements to existing products. You can also be there if a customer has a problem with YOUR product and prevent them from leaving you for someone that helps them in their time of need. You don’t only want to be Mr. Right, you want to be Mr. Right Now too!
Advertising online has become one of the top ways of getting in front of your customers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for growing your business by relying on wisdom last updated when cell phones were only used to call people. If you want to have a conversation with me, though, why don’t you drop a comment below?