Canadian companies are recovering from COVID and one of the best business vaccines is digital marketing.
When the COVID shutdowns first took effect in Canada, the public and businesses were caught off guard. Like the hardy Canadians we are, we were able to adjust where we could and improvise and adapt with the help of our internal teams and government subsidies. Some sectors did better than others. While certain areas like hospitality and tourism obviously took a huge hit over the last year, other companies were able to “pivot” (I know its overused) and create opportunities. Many were able to see the writing on the wall and take the time, and often the funding, to get their online act together. The pandemic has permanently changed the world and accelerated by 5-10 years our buying habits towards an even more online, e-commerce approach.
In a 2021 winter edition of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly SPECTRUM magazine, the BDC had an excellent feature article called Consumers won’t give up the convenience of e-commerce after the pandemic is over. In the article the author makes several key points to consider.
“Businesses will wake up to a new reality when the crisis subsides,” says Jean-Philippe Senneville, Director of Business Innovation and Technology at BDC.
E-Commerce-ready businesses are cashing in, others are suffering.
When the initial shock and hard shutdowns of the pandemic started to lift last summer, we at MoreSALES have seen a significant uptick in businesses waking up to this reality. For years we have been proclaiming that you are who you are online and if your website is not easy to navigate and provides your customers with an intuitive UX or User Experience you are going to miss out on the next wave of business.
As Senneville explains, “Companies with a strong online presence and a robust e-commerce infrastructure are currently experiencing revenue growth (or losing the least). Those businesses not prepared or that offer a poor customer experience will fail to retain customers.”
For example, “If your site ranks low in search engines for relevant searches or displays performance issues, or your product catalogue is poorly managed, your business will not thrive in this competitive space,” Senneville says.
“In times where trade-shows and traditional face-to-face interactions are off the list, a strong online presence that attracts traffic and converts to leads is more important than ever to offset the loss of offline sales,” adds Senneville.
At MoreSALES we lean on the term MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) to help our clients see the difference between traditional opportunities generated by their sales representatives and those found, tracked and nurtured by a Marketing Automation platform running in the background of their website. The beauty of these platforms is they run (as the name suggests) automatically in the background and deliver leads to the sales team when they are at a “ lead score” that is ripe for personal engagement by the rep. The lead scoring system is customized by each company to reflect what they feel is a priority and purchase ready prospect for their business. This shortens the sales cycle and avoids wasted time following up on leads that are not a fit for their team to engage with yet.
“Investments and efforts in content marketing, analytics, search engine optimization, paid search, social media, etc. must continue and be supported by a capable platform.” explains Senneville.
Marketing Automation platforms act as the hub for all of your digital marketing efforts, allowing you to analyze and measure results in real time, then adjust to optimize your time and maximize your budget.
Short and long term strategy
Jean-Philippe goes on to explore how we should be considering what these unprecedented times mean to the future of our businesses.
“The pandemic offers a critical opportunity to reflect and plan for the new business landscape. In times of great change, it is important to understand both the short term, and the long-term implications of the economical, social and technological changes brought on or accelerated by COVID-19.”
Senneville poses the following thought-provoking questions to consider:
- What is happening in your industry and markets?
- What changes and trends do you anticipate for your industry?
- How will your clients and suppliers change?
- What will your competitors do?
- How can technology help you adapt and thrive?
- Can a transaction platform and a more robust digital marketing infrastructure be part of the answer?
“It is not simply products and services that you must get online. Many pieces of your business model need to come together to make it a profitable revenue stream,” Senneville says.
It is not too late
“Many years of change have been compressed into just a few months. Instead of playing catch up when others come out of COVID-19, start planning now” suggests Senneville and we echo that thought.
After 16+ years as founder and president of MoreSALES and over 30 years in the Canadian marketing scene I have experienced firsthand the difference a well planned and executed digital marketing strategy can make. Despite the immediate feel to today’s marketing, results don’t happen overnight. They come with a compounding effect achieved by being deliberate, smart and consistent with your online presence and marketing.
“Not only does e-commerce have the potential to help your company through the crisis, but it can position it for faster recovery and prepare it for the post COVID-19 economic reality,” concludes Senneville.
We echo this sentiment and encourage business owners to visit the BDC website for more information at www.bdc.ca
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