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4 Ways Digital Technology Helps Small Businesses Maximize Bookings

By: Ryan Kidman

 

Ways Digital Technology Helps Small Businesses Maximize Bookings

Digital marketing appears to be a double-edged sword for many businesses. It has a much higher ROI than traditional marketing strategies, which should mean that businesses are celebrating it. Unfortunately, 76% of businesses struggle with marketing and cite changes in digital technology as a main cause. Although the benefits of digital technology are clear to them, they don’t know how to utilize it properly.

I recently had a discussion with a highly skilled graphic illustrator at a networking event in Northern New England. He discussed the challenges that he faces generating new clients. He primarily utilized traditional brick-and-mortar marketing strategies, which didn’t pan out for him as well in recent years. He was just starting to come to terms with the fact that digital marketing was a better way to draw more customers to his business.

He is not the only business owner to face this harsh reality. Data from Statista shows that finding new clients is the biggest difficulty small businesses face.

Unfortunately, as his anecdotal experience shows, being a talented professional does not guarantee clients will walk through the doors. Companies that don’t invest in a digital marketing strategy tend to have the hardest time booking new customers. The truth is that digital technology has made traditional marketing strategies less effective.

Why is this the case? There is a finite number of potential customers looking for your goods or services at any given time. As a growing number of customers use digital technology to find businesses to collaborate with, there is a thinner pool of customers that can be reached through old school marketing strategies.

This problem stems from two mistakes business owners make:

  • They often don’t spend enough time and resources on marketing. Around half of all business owners spend less than two hours a week on marketing.
  • Many businesses fail to use their marketing resources effectively. One survey showed that the average business wastes 26% of their marketing budget on ineffective strategies and channels.

Digital technology can address these issues. Businesses can get greater results from the same amount of resources. However, they need a sound marketing plan and need to know which forms of digital technology to invest in.

Using Digital Technology to Increase Bookings for Your Business

If you are struggling to attract more customers to your business, then you might want to leverage digital technology as effectively as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of digital marketing hacks that could bring more customers through your doors.

Artificial intelligence can be highly effective at marketing campaign segmentation and remarketing

AI is incredibly valuable to marketing. One study by Blueshift showed that 26% of marketers are using artificial intelligence to optimize their campaigns.

There are a number of ways that AI is increasing the ROI of marketing. It is especially useful with retargeting and creating customer profiles. Major advertising networks like Facebook offer highly advanced AI tools for their advertisers through Remarketing and Audience look-alike campaigns.

Chatbots will entice more customers to follow through with booking appointments

Reaching new customers is not the only challenge small businesses face. They must also be careful about retaining existing customers, especially at the very first stages of the buyer cycle. One poll showed that 78% of customers cancel purchases before they are finalized due to a poor customer experience. This suggests that many customers that book an appointment they must also be careful about retaining existing customers.

Fortunately, chatbots can be very helpful. In fact, they are expected to handle 85% of customer service inquiries next year.

A growing number of customers prefer interacting with chatbots over regular people. A chatbot can be programmed to consistently deliver a high-quality experience, so you don’t have to worry about turning off customers if one of your representatives has an off day.

Personalization

Personalization is another important aspect of modern marketing. Nearly two-thirds of customers state that they are irritated with generic advertisements online. Personalization allows companies to customize content for their customers. You can use personalized advertisements to reach more targeted customers, which will help encourage them to book appointments.

Omnichannel marketing

When mobile technology was first becoming popular, businesses believed that they needed to take a fragmented approach to their marketing strategies. They assumed that they should have separate campaigns to reach customers through offline, mobile and desktop devices. They have since realized that omnichannel marketing is much more effective.

The retention rate for omnichannel marketing is nearly three times as high as with multi-channel marketing strategies. This suggests that customers that are reached with omnichannel marketing are more likely to follow through with booking appointments during the initial phases of the customer engagement cycle.

There are a lot of ways that you can use omnichannel marketing better. One idea is to use an appointment scheduling app, which makes it easier to get customers to schedule appointments when they first engage with your business through a digital interface.

Digital Technology is Essential to Bring New Customers Through the Doors

Digital technology is changing the rules of marketing in a number of ways. You can significantly increase the number of customers that book appointments with your business by using digital technology more effectively.

Published: January 3, 2020
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Ryan Kidman

Ryan Kidman is a startup-investor and serial entrepreneur. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about blogging and covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb

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