HOW DIGITAL MARKETING CAN GENERATE HUNDRED OF LEADS FOR FAMILY BUSINESSES
If there’s one type of business that can benefit a lot from digital marketing, its traditional, family-owned businesses. With traditional family businesses reinventing new ways to conduct business, there is a lot to explore in terms of lead generation using digital marketing. The recent disruption in business urged most business owners to rethink their modus operandi. A family business is unique in two ways;
- It benefits from the years of experience and expertise that is usually passed on to the younger generations. Some of the traditional methods of conducting business are still very relevant to today’s times; building customer loyalty, goodwill, a strong support system created by using trusted family members to take care of different areas of business management etc.
- The other aspect is the newness of thought that the younger generation brings. Technology has become indispensable for businesses today and when it comes to a family business, one will usually find the younger breed stepping in and putting forth new ideas to incorporate the latest technology into an age-old brand. This, in turn, gives a fresh new meaning to the business and the legacy carries on.
Come to think of it, digital marketing also works like a family business, in that it takes the most valuable lessons learnt from traditional marketing and adds the 5Ts (the latest technology, trends, tools, techniques and tactics). Doesn’t it make perfect sense, then, for all family businesses to use digital marketing for brand building, lead generation and eventually, revenue growth?
Think of old import-export firms, manufacturing units, shop owners, trading houses, dealers etc. If you’re in such a business, it’s time you started thinking of taking it online. Why? Simply because the dynamic times call for systemic shifts in your business. And the fact is, your competition is doing it! The global economic slowdown has urged many business families to come up with a digital strategy that works. No business can now rely on their existing customers because the Internet is the marketplace, and customers are spoilt for choice. It’s the need of the hour and increases your chances of survival in this post Covid era.
We recently began working with a new division of a brand that has been into the Surgical Masks manufacturing for 11 years. A trusted name and owners of multiple hospitals, they had never tried digital marketing. Cut to the covid lockdown and suddenly, they realized that there is untapped potential for their product. The young members of the family quickly understood that digital marketing can help them create a brand out of the very same product they had been manufacturing for so many years. They are now using a website, branding elements and social media to generate tons of leads. They are turning a moment of growth to become an opportunity to create a brand that stays. This is exactly what the power of digital marketing is, you use it to strike when the iron is hot!
THE KEY CHALLENGE
Change is the only constant and the post pandemic era is teaching us how to accustom our lives to this change, every day. The old and traditional channels of operations are not valid today. Brick-and-mortar stores are shutting down and retail is on an all-time low. The only thing that works today is the digitization of your traditional business processes. However, educating yourself on how to correctly implement a digital marketing plan that is specific to family businesses can ensure that your initial investments are low and work in your favor for a long time.
THE TEA SHELF
A great example of a business that has adapted well to digital is The Tea Shelf. Headed by Atulit Chokhani and Srinidhi Chokhani, the owners come from a family with a 150-year-old history in the tea business, including tea plantations, tea engineering, and tea packaging and exports. Using a swanky online tea store, they are busy selling premium tea online. The team plans to reach break-even in the next three years and has reached 200 customers in India, the UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Australia, and Canada since January 2015. They are using dynamic market trends in their favor by incorporating search engine optimization, Google Adwords, Facebook marketing and conversion rate optimization etc. in their digital marketing strategy to reach consumers all over the world.
Content marketing may be a little exhaustive and bewildering if you have been used to traditional marketing but it may be worthwhile to remember that content marketing doesn’t replace your old marketing, it adds to it. It involves the development and distribution of engaging content that is relevant and valuable to the audience that is being targeted in order to attract new customers or increase business from the existing ones.
Tips for developing a digital marketing plan to transform your family business
Know your goals: It is good to set short- and long-term goals of what you want to achieve by doing digital marketing for family business. Common goals include increasing awareness about the brand, growing traffic on the business website, lead generation, conversion of leads to customers, improvising customer retention through engagement and the likes. Working on just 1 or 2 of these goals, in the beginning, is definitely how you can move towards success without risking a lot of money in a new field.
Knowing your audience: Digital marketing for family business will be effective if executed based on the knowledge about the audience. For example, knowing the target age group, gender, location etc will enable delivery of personalized services that will attract the users despite other players in the market. For instance, if you have a lot of youth in your demographics, then social media marketing should definitely be on your list. If you’re catering to “Lalas”, then you’re better off NOT incorporating an email marketing campaign!
Proper market research: A thorough research will enable you to know about your competitors and shortcomings of your offerings that may drive your customers away. Incorporating the remedies for the shortcomings in the digital strategy will help retain the customers.
An effective digital marketing strategy will offer the following benefits to traditional, family businesses:
- Fewer costs involved as compared to traditional marketing efforts
- Retention of old customers in competition to newer corporates
- New customers from around the world.
- Ability to survive due to any disruption such as the pandemic.
- Consistent value to customers by creating a commodity that they may look forward to
- Sharper and more innovative service offerings
Integrating all Marketing Channels: Even after adopting and implementing digital strategies, it is very important for your business to maintain consistency across all the platforms. Especially for traditional businesses, where one is starting afresh, the tone and the message should be the same, whether offline or online and the brand should carry the same message everywhere so that the consumers do not get confused.
Cost involved: While it has become absolutely imperative for businesses to apply this approach, another really important point to consider is to analyze the various platforms available in terms of the investment that’s needed to be made in terms of time and money. For example, a lot of traditional business began developing their websites and using social media channels to propagate business growth during the Covid crisis. Working on your budget while reaping the maximum rewards is critical and hence, working with an agency that has expertise and a proper understanding of the plethora of digital tools and techniques is imperative.
If you also own a traditional family business, be assured that the competition in the market and the constant hunger of the customer for value may continue to challenge profits, but you if you want to reap transformational benefits in the current dynamic scenario, you will have to embrace change and strategically serve through the most accessible medium; the internet. Using digital penetration for your marketing needs may be the best gift you can give to you years of hard work.
While your family may have been in a specific market for years and monopolizing the market, the current scenario involves competing with numerous corporate giants and young startups taking up the space through their digital marketing efforts.
There have been numerous businesses that have been around for a while and while your family might have been swearing by the success that the business has been drawing since generations, they could suffer setbacks owing to the current scenario of this pandemic. The era is being taken over by digital marketing and the age-old performance indicators of customer loyalty, word of mouth, reputation, are now being assessed through digital metrics like followers, likes, engagement, leads, conversions etc. Photos, videos, live sessions, blogs and personalized detailed information about your brand have become absolutely vital.
Also, where technology seems to be enhancing, the task of digitizing your processes is also getting simpler with the help of new tools and techniques. A good understanding of these methods along with a regular and consistent medium of communication would do the job for such businesses.
Different times call for different measures and while the strategy differs for every business, the first step is to recognize that without digital marketing, your family business runs the risk of becoming obsolete.