Digital marketing offers many advantages to SMBs that are typically not offered by traditional media. One is the relatively low cost incurred for kicking off the campaign, the ability to pay for the marketing over time and flexibility to make changes to the campaign. This final advantage is a big benefit because you need not figure out everything before moving forward.
However, there are essential executive attributes/skills that are still required including trade-offs, prioritization and balancing. Let us start with trade-offs.
You cannot target every keyword type or variant when you do your digital marketing campaign. Some tools like PPC may offer ability to retain more variety of keywords in the campaign compared to SEO. However, for an email marketing campaign you need to decide on one of the messaging options for reaching out to the target customer base. Some business owners and SMB decision makers may feel uncomfortable with the choices. However, having a good understanding of your customers, their preferences and the strengths of your business will provide insights that will help make your choices in a more meaningful manner. Over time as the campaigns progress and as you do more campaigns, the trade-offs become easier to make.
Prioritization is another essential skill in the repertoire of the SMB business owner and decision maker. There are many things to do and unfortunately you neither have time nor resources. More than resources it could sometime be your time that is the problem. Over time many of the business owners and decision makers come to realize that resources are not the issue, the pain of not getting results despite committing resources because of lack of time really hurts you emotionally. Here is where prioritization helps. Prioritization does not mean identifying and giving go ahead to the highest ROI item. Sometimes, some opportunities exist only seasonally whereas others may be available throughout the year. Some projects may be important strategically, or key component for a viable future of the company. Irrespective of the constraints, there is always a need to prioritize the matters. Business owners need to think through the problems to be able to focus on the priorities that matter. This comes down to effective decision making and effectiveness involves prioritization. The skill of prioritization is something that is not only important but something that may be needed at regular intervals.
Balancing is another very important skill. I guess someone could also call it architecting. You need a budget for PPC and also for SEO. You need budget for web design as well as for email campaign. How do you ensure everything gets its fair due. Even something as simple as web design can get fairly complicated. The web designers wants certain look and feel, your web developers want something that is easy to execute and the SEO expert will indicate the features that are essential to rank well. Overall, unless you understand what are essential and what can be compromised over the various areas you cannot balance and ensure the end product that addresses the constraints and performance needs while taking into account the advice of the various specialists.
Irrespective of the new tools and developments in the digital marketing front and maybe even in the broader business environment, an SMB owner and decision maker needs the three essential skills of trade-offs, prioritization and balancing to guide their business to succeed in the market place and win over the competition.