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Digital 101

It almost goes without saying that the internet is now the dominant way people find information about small, local businesses. According to multiple consumer surveys, more than 90 percent of internet users conduct online research before spending money on products or services offline, in their local areas.

Digital media influence trillions of dollars in consumer spending on retail and services every year. But “digital media” is not one thing or one medium; it’s a highly fragmented array of online and mobile websites, advertising platforms, tools, mobile apps and so on.

Local Search Association (LSA) research indicates that consumers now use multiple sources and devices to gather information before buying locally: search engines, review sites, social media, directories, online marketplaces, email and content- or topic-specific sites. Small businesses need to be there when consumers are trying to find them or conducting research before buying. However small business owners have struggled to keep up, using on average five to seven marketing methods to reach customers.

The growth of the internet and the proliferation of advertising and marketing channels has created confusion and uncertainty for many small business owners and entrepreneurs. National brands and large marketing agencies are also confused and struggle to keep up. They equally have trouble adapting to changing consumer behavior and new digital tools and platforms.

MarketingBitz was born as a way to help cut through the claims and the clutter. We intend it to be a resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs to better understand online and mobile marketing and to get objective information about their options.

Digital marketing can be confusing. It can also be highly effective. But it takes an understanding of the various tools available and which ones are best suited to your needs - and budget.