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Marketing your business in today's digital economy: Six examples to inspire you

Marketing your business in today's digital economy: Six examples to inspire you

Posted: Wed 11th Apr 2018

Social media and the quality of client experience delivered can help small businesses market their product or services for little to no cost. Ahead of speaking at the Go and Grow Online Summit in London on 24 April, Simon Alexander Ong, life coach and business strategist, shares some insights on how a bit of creativity can help grow your business without having to spend unnecessary amounts of money.

Don't overspend on marketing budget

While it has never been easier to launch a business (thanks to the abundance of resources made possible by the growth of the internet), academic studies continue to show that the majority of new businesses launched will fail within their first five years.

Some of the reasons cited include being in business for the wrong reasons, stress and burnout, expanding too quickly, and, having an ineffective business plan.

However, one of the major reasons was due to wasted marketing budgets (e.g. businesses overspending on marketing with no real return on investment), something that is very often the result of not having a clear or well thought out approach.

You may not have the marketing budget of a Samsung or Amazon, but what you do have in your arsenal is your creativity. How much of it you express ultimately comes down to the mindset you cultivate and the diversity of influences you expose yourself to.

Experiment with social media

Embracing an experimental and exponential mindset has allowed the shift from "I've got an awesome idea" to "I'm running a multi-million pound company" to occur faster than ever before.

We live in an age in which the average attention span of a human (eight seconds) is less than that of a goldfish (nine seconds).

And so to market your business effectively today, it is about what you are doing to keep the attention of your potential and existing customers so that you are able to keep them beyond the proverbial eight seconds and engage with them at a deeper, more personal level.

Customers want experiences rather than just being sold to all the time, and, they want to feel inspired rather than just being fed information.

Take inspiration from the most innovative brands

To help stimulate your creativity, I want to share with you just a couple of examples of how businesses and individuals have been 'innovative' in their marketing to reach audiences at scale.

  • A nightclub serving shots of tequila to your table via a toy train running on a track along the ceiling, which is then served to you by waiters and and waitresses dressed in Day of the Dead costumes (the club is Mexican themed!). Cue everyone using their phones to take pictures and videos as this occurs so they can upload and share with their network on social media.

  • An accountancy firm throwing a launch party (who would've thought?!) at a burlesque club. Cue journalists wanting to interview the founder and feature her in their magazines, newsletters and podcasts.

  • A GoPro Hero 4 advert that was uploaded on YouTube in 2014, comprising entirely of user generated content. It's inspiring and experiential nature (you only catch the actual product being shown for a second or so!) resulted in a crazy spike in search activity on Google for the product in the weeks after. And during Christmas of that year, it became one of the top-selling gifts.

  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates releasing a swarm of mosquitoes on an unsuspecting audience at his TED talk in 2009. "There's no reason only poor people should have the experience," he said, before adding that the mosquitoes were not infectious. Cue his talk becoming one of the most discussed and memorable of that year's conference.

  • Following the release of her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg helped to promote 'Lean In Circles'; communities that were created to help develop extraordinary women. In just over a year since the first was formed, there were over 13,000 with more launching every week.

  • A consultant providing priceless value to his/her customers (e.g. by delivering exceptional customer service, sending a personalised and relevant gift unexpectedly, making an introduction to someone who could be useful for them at this moment, sharing an insightful article or opportunity with them, etc). Cue customers wanting to share how amazing their experience has been through social media and conversation with friends and family.

The message here is that you don't need to spend thousands of pounds on marketing when a bit of creativity can turn your audiences and customers into your very own marketing team.

You deliver experiences, service and engage with them so well that they can't help but talk and share with their network.

Remember, your worth as a business is directly proportional to how much more in value you deliver than you take in payment. How much value are you truly delivering?

One of the best ways to develop your creativity in building your business is by learning and building relationships with people outside of your own industry.

Because when you do, it opens your mind to new perspectives and insights; something you won't necessarily get if you only look at what others are doing within your sector/industry.

Remaining an eternal student by regularly upgrading your level of thinking and architecture of your mind will allow you to continually innovate as a business, be relevant and forget about what the competition are doing.

Get more tips from Simon at the Go and Grow Online Summit in London on 24 April. He is one of several amazing speakers sharing tips on building a brilliant business on the web. Find out more here and book a ticket below.

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