It’s interesting how a ‘credit crunch’ or ‘recession’ in the economy affects the way companies do business. One frustrating symptom was the increased amount of cold calling that went on during Q2 and 3 as sales managers tried to achieve targets. What a pain, and how frustrating for the poor people who had to perform it. Then there was the DIY Digital marketing wave… A huge increase in badly put together, poorly executed email campaigns. the SaaS Email providers made some money, but the upshot is that a lot of companies became quickly dissillusioned with the concept and struck it off the list of marketing tactics. And of course, the saviour of the credit crunch, Google Adwords. Free money off vouchers have been flying around in virtually every publication that hits the doormat in a typical SME buisness in the UK. Business owners flocked to redeem their vouchers and let Google manage their online advertising. Oops, that was expensive, didn’t do much for me, better switch it off. Again, badly executed. The only winner being Google. Oh, and don’t forget the latest darling, social marketing, Twitter, Facebook and all that. Hmm, hard work to keep that up to date, so it soon falls away. The result? Digital marketing has quickly found itself becoming as maligned as other marketing tactics by SME’s. ‘Marketing, that’s just a bloody expensive waste of money’ ‘Analytics? Are you mad? I haven’t got time for that, theres a bloody recession on, we need to sell, discount, give it away!’ Corporates haven’t fared much better. Often finding that in-house departments don’t have the necessary expertise to plan good digital marketing campaigns. Even if they do they are often hindered by the IT crowd who always built the web site in the first place. So it becomes a protracted effort making any transformation in that direction. Costly, fraught with challenge and pain as the various silo’s within the business fight their corner believing that the strongest will win. What a waste of time, stuff digital marketing. It’s too difficult! So what is the solution? Well the majority of sensible digital marketing agencies, of which we believe we are one, are looking at overall marketing strategy or lack of it. What we’ve realised is that a lot of companies need to tear up their entire strategy, let alone their marketing plans. So now we are into a need to define and measure business transformation. Business Transformation is something that matters in an economic cycle such as the one we are in now. Without planning, and a marketing calendar breaking out tactics, and budget, it becomes difficult to take advantage of any upturn efficiently. Plus it evolves and changes with the changing climate. That’s where a forward thinking agency can add real value. Agencies know that the beauty of digital marketing is that when set up and executed properly its completely measurable. So if tactics aren’t working you can tweak, change or discontinue quickly. Digital marketing has matured during the recession with online advertising overtaking offline spend in areas such as TV, Radio and Press. Search marketing is a huge buisness, and an important discipline for any brand looking to generate increased sales or lead generation. Local search is maturing as well, and SME’s need to leverage their local, geographic keywords to get in front of their target audience. Buisness transformation – helped by digital marketing. What are you waiting for?