What’s the best way to weather an economic downturn? For most businesses, the answer usually falls somewhere between “cut expenses” and “grow revenue”.
Just like a household budget, business owners must pay more attention to where, how, and why we spend our money if we hope to survive and emerge from the slowdown in a position to grow and prosper.
The Role of Digital Marketing in a Down Economy
If the previous 10 years have taught us anything, it’s that digital technologies have enabled massive shifts in consumer behavior. As advertisers, we must follow the consumer and adapt to their needs and media consumption habits.
Your customers have more technology, more ways to share opinions, and more influence than ever before. Thanks to these same omnipresent and “always on” digital channels, marketers have more ways to reach the right people with the right time with the right message. Fortunately, for each new medium that emerges, there are ways to measure, refine, and optimize the message in nearly real-time.
In a down economy, the direct, targeted, measurable nature of digital marketing takes on increased importance as it allows us to save time and money compared to more traditional advertising channels.
Pay Per Click Advertising: Direct, Targeted, Measurable
Given the range of advertising options available, PPC represents the purest, most efficient way to reach your potential customers at the exact moment they are researching or searching for your products or services: when they type what they are looking for into a Google (or Yahoo or Bing) search box.
Thanks to the real-time nature of PPC auctions, multiple ad messages can be tested simultaneously to determine which offers generate the best response. Campaigns can be “optimized” for greater efficiency simply by turning off or tweaking the underperforming ads and allocating more budget to the ads that are most likely to result in a sale, lead, or other conversion event.
Finally, PPC campaigns generate a lot of data. This data should not just be viewed and thrown away, it needs to be analyzed to determine which combinations of keywords, ads, and targeting options generate the best return for each dollar spent. For example, AdWords campaign results can be merged with Google Analytics data to identify more lucrative audience segments. For example, searchers on mobile devices may respond differently than their desktop counterparts and should be treated differently.
Tying It All Together
Unfortunately there is no quick fix for a slow economy. It’s going to hurt some people more than others, but all of us are affected one way or another. But a slow economy does not stop people from using technology or engaging in digital activities.
The best we, as marketers, can do is find ways to “spend less” and “earn more”. By investing at least some of your marketing dollars in a direct, targeted, measurable advertising medium such as Pay Per Click, your business can reap the benefits of improved efficiency and effectiveness while saving money.
If you would like to know whether or not your business is a good candidate for a PPC campaign on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, try searching for the products or services that you offer. Do you see your competitors’ ads showing up? Chances are not all of them are blindly throwing money into Google’s already deep pockets. They must be realizing some quantifiable level of return, right?