An SME's Digital Marketing Journey #2

A journey through Digital Marketing for Portuguese SMEs? Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, Analytics, KPIs, SEO, SEM, Remarketing. There are so many names and acronyms in Digital Marketing that it scares many entrepreneurs and I understand. The mistake may be ours, marketers, that in the desire to demonstrate knowledge of the "new" digital world, we are not clear and, consequently, we confuse more than we help.

What I propose in this article is to try to go back to basics, and maybe we should start with something that, for most marketers in the digital world, seems outdated: the 4Ps of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion), coined by Jerome McCarthy in his book Basic Marketing, in 1960, later used and spread by someone much more famous, Philip Kotler.

Has so much changed between 1960 and today in the relationship between company and consumer? Let's think about it for a moment.

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A product (or service) is essential in a business relationship. Likewise an established price, a place to sell your product (or offer a service), and promotion. The last 'P', Promotion, may not be clear on how it fits into the digital world.The immense access to information allowed by the development of theInternet has changed our perception of how we view the 4 Ps in the 21st century, but they are still alive and important.

In its essence, the Internet has brought us INFORMATION, a lot of information, and at the speed of the click of a button (or fingers if you prefer). Before going to a store to buy a product (hire a service), the consumer has already armed himself with a lot of information, read comparisons, asked a friend's indication, read reviews, asked in Facebook groups, WhatsApp, or even in Internet forums, and he arrives at the store knowing enough about the product (1st P), the prices charged by the market (2nd and 4th. Ps), and where to buy it in the most convenient way possible (3rd. P), which may even be online, in a virtual store. And how to "face" this new super-informed consumer?

Keep something very clear in your mind Digital Marketing has changed: nobody buys a product to solve your problem (sell), he buys it to solve his problem, be it a basic need (a light bulb to replace a broken one), a physical one (food), or an emotional one (a new 55-inch LED TV to watch soccer with friends).

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Now let's analyze the case of a person who wants to buy a new mattress that is suitable for his weight plus that of his wife, who has back pain problems due to a herniated disc. What would his buying journey be, that is, what path would he take from perceiving the need for a new mattress suitable for his needs to making the purchase? Let's look at one possibility:

Google. 1st step.

The search for the 1st Q: "mattress for those with herniated disc problems". After entering some links, watching videos, reading a bit about it, and looking at prices in various online stores, he now has a better understanding of which type or types of mattresses are best suited for himself and his wife.


Continuing the search for the first P: he now decides to try to talk to people who are or have been through the same need, and after talking to some people, he finds out that the "Confort 187" model, from the "Perfect Sleep" brand, is the most suitable.

Google: Step 2

The search for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Ps: "Buy Confort 187 mattress SonoPerfeito" or: "Price Confort 187 mattress SonoPerfeito".

After accessing the website of some online stores, and eventually calling stores near his address or work, our fictitious customer is already at another stage of his buying journey. He knows which product he wants to buy, its features, benefits, and how it can help him and his wife sleep better, and now he wants to know the price (2nd P), where he can buy it (3rd P), and if there is any promotion (4th P) going on that he can take advantage of.

We are talking about a fictitious buying journey these days, but notice that the same 4 Ps are there, what has essentially changed is how this consumer has taken advantage of the Internet to gather important information to help him/her make a buying decision.

I believe that so far you have seen that your potential consumer has used the digital media to search for information that is relevant to them in order to make the best buying decision.

And how can a small or micro-business owner participate in this buying journey, using his previous knowledge of the 4 Ps, within this "new" world of Digital Marketing?

Your 3rd P cannot be just another address, it has to exist as a website (or an online store), and a presence in the social networks that make sense for your business. And it's no use just using these digital channels to inform that you sell the product (1st P) that the customer needs, eventually disclose the price (2nd P) or offer a promotion (4th P), you need to truly inform, because remember, your potential consumer is looking for a solution to his problem, and this is no longer enough to convince him.

Okay, the question asked above hasn't been answered yet, let's try to go further.

The answer is simple: useful and quality information. You and your company have to become as much of an authority on the subject of mattresses as possible. Ok, but how?

Have you ever thought about writing about sleep disorders, benefits of the various types of mattresses, and how they can help your prospective client to have more pleasure and comfort in sleep?

Have you ever wondered how this could help your company sell more and better? Well, that will be the subject covered in more depth in the sequence of this article. A tip... SEO and Digital Content Marketing for SMBs.

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