If you’re in business today, generic then you know that the Internet is fast becoming an essential channel for reaching your market. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is in the technology space or something as brick and mortar as a food kiosk.
It’s a great time to market your business online. Here are a few reasons why:
We are online
The biggest site accessed by users in the Philippines, therapy Facebook, herbal pegs the number of active profiles in the country to be north of 34 million. The growth in Internet users is largely driven by lower broadband prices, availability of cheap mobile internet buckets, and cheaper devices.
We are mobile
Two-thirds of Facebook users in the country have accessed the site via a smartphone or tablet. It is now possible to buy an entirely usable Android phone for under P5000.
We are transacting
The Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines (DCOM) assessed the total amount spent on e-commerce in this country to be about $1 billion in 2013, split 80-20 in favor of travel-related services. While seat sales and hotel booking are driving the way forward, online retail is fast catching up. And that’s not even counting peer-to-peer marketplaces like TipidPC.com, and a lot of what you find on Sulit.
We are open to relationships
One of the reasons to invest in digital marketing is so that you can quickly build up a customer database. CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, starts by saving every inquiry, nurturing potential clients kicks off by saving every inquiry, and as a result, helps you nurture potential clients. A good way to start for a minimal cost is a platform called Streak, which transforms a simple Gmail inbox into a CRM contact management service.
We would love to hear your brand voice
One of the best ways to attract customers and build a brand is to geek out about your product or service. Every time you blog, tweet, or post, it’s an opportunity to establish thought leadership. Low cost web platforms like WordPress or Squarespace are a great way to get started building a personal web presence, while you can organize your social media efforts into a single dashboard using a tool like Hootsuite.
We are reachable through online advertising
Both Facebook and Google allow you to get the message out via highly targeted ads placed on search, on social feeds, and on website display ads. Small budget? Fear not; the platforms scale to whatever budget you have. The tools for individual users are relatively customer-friendly and easy to use.
Everything you invest in digital marketing can be measured. This is the best part. Google Analytics is a great, free way to measure website visits and track conversions. Meanwhile, get a handle on your social media efforts both internally (Facebook Insights is a great way to understand what’s going on in your FB Page), while you can track external buzz across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using third party tracking platforms like Keyhole.
We have resources for learning
Where does one start? I usually start by helping clients find their brand voice. What is it that they want to say? What content can they create that can resonate with their customer base? Once we can figure out the voice, the channels and tactics follow.
There are two places to get thinking about digital marketing in the Philippines. The first is joining the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines. (Disclosure: I’m the 2014 President) For a deeper dive, consider taking a course from E-Learning Edge’s Certified Digital Marketing Program (CDM).