Author: Tim Hughes, Professor of Applied Marketing 

In recent years, digital marketing has fundamentally changed the nature of communication with customers. This is true of both Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business markets. Digital marketing captured 48% of U.K advertising revenue in 2016.

  • Update your website – For commercial and non-commercial organisations your website is your shop window to the world. It needs to reflect your brand values and be easy to use. Websites built on older platforms may be expensive to update. Using a specialist agency may be the best way to create a new website, although building your own is relatively simple.
  • Ensure your customers can find you – Get familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), advertising and email marketing, then use these to direct traffic to your website.
  • Engage your customers and potential customers – Social Media provides a great opportunity to talk to people with particular interests and profiles. Success in this is all about developing stimulating content over a sustained period.
  • Listen to your customers- Social Media, Blogs and Customer Review sites allow you to hear what customers are saying without having to commission expensive research.
  • Use data effectively – Understanding Data Analytics is the key to making the most of the extensive data that is created digitally. Use analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Digital marketing can be daunting for small and medium companies and organisations. Using an agency may be a solution for some, but this can be expensive and does not necessarily provide an integrated solution. Another way is to equip your own staff with the skills to manage your digital marketing. Bristol Business School offers a Digital Marketing Institute qualification to support this (link). The next course runs from February 2018. See here for more information.