It’s well-known that Maine’s population is statistically one of the oldest — and slowest growing — in the US, so it’s understandable why traditional marketing maintains a foothold here. However, The Pew Research Center says that 80% of people age 65 and older now own a mobile phone — and another 42% of those own a smartphone. And yet many local businesses here in Maine still rely on traditional marketing to drive growth.
It makes sense at some level; traditional marketing is significantly more effective when targeted at an older demographic. However, considering the fact that the older demographic isn’t hardly as low-tech as some might believe, we believe digital marketing is an increasingly appropriate way for any brand to reach their target audience.
In light of this, here are some of the four major ways DM gives small businesses an edge:
1. Levels the playing field.
With effective digital marketing campaigns, brands can have their products rank first on a Google search page or have a well-timed social media post display to a customer as they’re making a purchasing decision. The research is compelling -- 3 in 4 people are more likely to visit a brick and mortar shop when they find helpful information about it online. Small businesses have the ability to compete with behemoth box stores and franchises thanks to digital channels for commerce and advertising.
2. Allows you to spend less and get more.
Targeting custom audiences and can curb ad spend by allowing businesses to tailor ad campaigns to specific demographics like age, gender, income and interests, increasing their effectiveness. Traditional marketing methods also have very limited tracking and analytics, making it difficult for a small business to justify spend with a lean budget.
3. Facilitates relationships with consumers.
One-way communication channels like radio, TV, and print are now being challenged by social media, allowing businesses to cultivate ongoing, meaningful relationships. Businesses have had to adjust to this, adding even more touch points to the sales/marketing process. The rules of world-class customer care have changed for the better.
4. Allows businesses to view ROI in real-time.
Results and data are recorded easily. With analytics and insight tools, businesses can check in on their campaigns at any time, allowing them to adapt and make changes. Conversion rates, cost-per-click, engagement, peak purchase times can all be analyzed with a few clicks.
Regardless of the fact that Maine’s population skews older, we’re still seeing much better ROI overall via digital campaigns. We’re not declaring traditional marketing dead here at Anchour — if anything, we know that for under some very specific circumstances, it can be effective.
Digital marketing is simply not as fussy or expensive as traditional - it provides a low-risk way for brands to drive revenue and cultivate relationships using the Internet.