Is digital marketing the only marketing strategy you need?

Digital marketing has taken the marketing industry by storm. It is now bigger than ever and dominates most marketing efforts. For Refused Car Finance, a bad credit car finance specialist based in the North East of England, digital marketing is predominantly their main focus to attract customers. Through their online car finance application form, they attract customers via a number of digital channels. In this blog, they discuss their marketing strategy and why they believe digital marketing will continue to grow and thrive in the marketing industry. We will also consider whether offline marketing is still as influential as it used to be and they should go hand in hand.

For most companies, digital marketing channels include social media, search engine optimisation, email marketing, online marketing, digital advertising, mobile optimisation and much more. As we all know, everything is online nowadays and millennials in the marketing industry today have more than likely lived and breathed technology over the past decade. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Each platform is different and not each is suited to every type of business.

How does digital marketing work?

As mentioned there are many forms of digital marketing and each one is different in terms of audience, algorithms, posting types and communication ability. Simply put, digital marketing is any form of marketing effort that uses an electronic device or the internet.As more and more of us spend more time in front of a screen each day, digital marketing has become one of the most influential ways to reach new and existing customers. For some companies, even having a website used to seem like a million miles away but now having a simple website is not enough these days. Marketing has always fundamentally been about connecting with your customers in the right way at the right time. Each marketing platform should have its own voice but should always incorporate your brands style and tone to create consistency. Depending on what you provide for your customers on clients you should determine the hierarchy of your social channels and online marketing.

For Refused Car Finance, their website is the foundation of their marketing efforts. It is the initial meeting point. This is where they attract car finance applications and then start the customer journey and pass through to their helpful sales team. How did the customer end up on their website? This could be through our Facebook Adverts, Google Ads or SEO efforts. All of which are powerful digital marketing tools. Because they specialise in helping people gain car finance with bad credit, most of their adverts and marketing efforts are tailored around this. They also know that from data in their Google Analytics account that over 75% of users visit the website from a mobile device. This helps them to optimise their website for mobile visitors and make the customer process as smooth as possible on both mobile and desktop.

If you don’t understand digital marketing or are more of an offline marketing type of guy, then creating a strategy can be hard. However, for a long time, specialist jobs in marketing such as social media gurus, search engine optimisation wizards and PPC experts have grown in popularity and helps you form your digital marketing strategy. If you’re creating a strategy from scratch, have a look at all channels and decide which is best for you. If you’re unsure, there’s no harm in experimenting and getting to know your target audience that little bit better. If you already have a strategy and a certain channel isn’t performing as well, don’t be scared to drop it and focus your efforts on a better performing channel, or invest in a new one! The marketing industry is constantly changing and you don’t want to get left behind.

Is offline marketing dead?

If you’ve been in business a while, you may be a massive fan of offline marketing but with the emergence of digital efforts, is it still as influential? Offline marketing mainly consist of what is typically referred to as ‘old school’ marketing e.g. the newspaper ads, cold calls, billboards, printed leaflets, networking and more. In 2018, flyers were one of the most cost-effective pieces of offline marketing and when placed in high traffic areas they can be highly influential. As much as people love their digital life, as a consumer, your best customer service is usually more than likely to be with an actual living breathing human. Offline marketing such as networking events are a great place to meet local people and make new connections and they aren’t used for the ‘hard sell’. People want to deal with and buy from people that they like and trust, which is something that digital will never be able to master. There hasn’t necessarily been a decline in offline marketing just more of an incline of digital marketing.

Can offline and digital marketing work together?

When creating your whole marketing strategy, it has been recommended that you incorporate both offline and online marketing. As mentioned before the channels that you use completely depends on your business and your target audience. According to data from Growth Business, 69% of adults still trust their local newspapers and in terms of brand exposure and it is estimated that 53% of people on twitter mention companies in their tweets.  With statistics as strong as this would you want to drop one channel and just rely on the other? At Refused Car Finance, their marketing strategy is mainly built up of social media, search engine optimisation, Pay Per Click and email marketing which are result driven online channels. However, investing in something such as radio adverts is great for building brand exposure and creating trust. As previously mentioned, people like to buy from people they trust. Radio might not necessarily drive customers straight to your site but it does help make your brand recognisable. If a consumer is has come across your Facebook post or advert but have already hears your radio advert and recognise you as a reputable company they will be more likely to invest in your product or company.