This article first appeared in ProSource Insider, Spring 2017 issue. A TIG publication.
Digital marketing strategies run the gamut from SEO, Google Ads, to Facebook, to fully optimized websites. Virtually every business has at least some online presence, but you need to know how to sync all the digital channels together to make a lasting impression on shoppers. Guidance is crucial, and that’s why our team works to ensure members understand key digital initiatives.
Analytical data shows statistically that consumers are engaging online to shop for electronics and smart home automation solutions. Consumers conduct research online and read reviews. Google’s statistics shows year-over-last growth of online searches for Home A/V was up 11% and Home Automation up 26%. Specialty retailers and integrators must use all key digital marketing channels, including personal interactions online, to fully engage with today’s online shoppers.
Retailers and integrators are still making the transition from traditional analog marketing strategies to digital. In my seminars, I ask the question: “Who has cut back on traditional media for 60 to 90 days, and seen a difference?” It’s rare we ever see anybody raise their hand. Underperforming analog marketing dollars can be transitioned to digital initiatives, which research shows has a much greater impact. Naturally, every business has unique needs and not every solution works for everyone, but the trend towards digital marketing has been proven to be a plus across the board.
For custom integrators, word-of-mouth and referrals has always been the strongest way to generate leads. Now, consumers are doing their research online, giving custom integrators a prime opportunity to target the consumers who are looking for the solutions and products they provide. Specifically, Big Box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot that sell DIY home automation components are bringing more awareness to the category in general, giving consumers a taste of what a fully integrated home would be like; which in turn generates more online activity by consumers for these types of products. We partnered with Google to identify this ideal online consumer who is shopping for custom integration products so we can be cost effective in our strategic digital marketing campaigns.
A new tool – Google Store Visit Conversion Tracking – gives us the ability to analyze online-to-offline conversions and accurately measure ROI with respect to marketing dollars. When a business owner can track in-store or in-office visits generated through a Google search or display ad, they will have the confidence and peace of mind knowing they are making the wise choice with their marketing efforts. When business owners get proof that an ad generated an in-person lead, we’re really going to see a flux of business owners being more aggressive with their digital marketing.
No matter how robust a company’s digital marketing strategies might be, they won’t be effective unless the consumer is taken to an optimized website that is mobile friendly, rich in content, and delivers a call to action. The website must clearly define the company brand, highlight the products, and detail the solutions they provide. The website truly is the front door; it’s the consumer’s first engagement with your business. No matter how compelling your digital marketing strategy is, it’s not going do anything for you unless you have a fully-featured and optimized website.
In closing, you must embrace digital marketing if you want to stay healthy. If you aren’t transitioning and following the trends of digital marketing, you’re going to be left holding the bag. Companies who are more up to speed on digital marketing strategies will gain more local market share – that’s a fact. It’s everywhere, in every industry. Don’t get left behind.