SMEs in Ireland are missing out on the benefits of digital marketing and the use of digital media in today’s online world.
Firstly, let’s explain the terms Digital Media and Digital Marketing.
Digital Media is digital content that is posted online. This includes content, such as audio, blogs, imagery, video, and graphics.
Digital Marketing is the marketing of products or services online using digital technologies for example computers, laptops, and mobile devices.
Digital Media and Digital Marketing are now essential factors for reaching a larger audience. Going digital means owning a website and having a social media presence, thus, providing Irish SMEs with marketing potential to expand and increase brand awareness of their products and services not just in Ireland but worldwide as well.
According to a recent report by IrishTechNews.ie “One-third of SMEs don’t have a website.” (IrishTechNews.ie, 2017) additionally, the Independent reports that “Almost a quarter of Irish small and medium-sized companies are completely offline, despite half of them acknowledging that an online presence is important for generating business awareness, according to a new report by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR).” (Irish Independent, 2017).
It is evident from numerous reports, Irish newspaper articles, and statistics (cso) that SMEs need to up their digital skills in Ireland to compete with consumer demand. According to the Siliconrepublic.com “The latest research into Irish adoption of e-commerce shows that digital is quickly becoming king. According to iReach’s study, 81pc of Irish adults are now shopping on their phones or computers, with the low prices available online a growing attraction.” (SiliconRepublic.com, 2017). This article goes on to state that “Surveying 1,000 people in Ireland, 67pc identified pricing as the main reason to shop online”. (SiliconRepublic.com, 2017). Yet, “Ireland ranks first out of 28 countries in Europe when it comes to small firms selling online” (Irish Independent, 2017).
In conclusion, it is clear from this research that 1/3 of these SMEs in Ireland that do not have a website are missing out on an opportunity to grow, develop and generate an additional income for their business. “Statistics from the Central Bank, meanwhile, said that total e-commerce spend is likely to exceed €16 billion by the end of the year. which would be close to a 50% increase since 2015.” (TheJournal.ie, 2017). This indicates that SMEs in Ireland are missing out on capturing online sales within Ireland to other companies worldwide by not having an online presence. If SMEs dedicated more time to their digital presence and in general if Irish SMEs that are not online developed an online presence by applying the different methods that digital marketing and digital media offer (See Figure 1) (Online Marketing, Websites, Online Advertising, E-Mail Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media And Mobile Marketing) it would provide SMEs in Ireland with brand awareness, an additional revenue stream, help them to build direct customer engagement and encourage an online community around their business.
What is your experience with digital media and digital marketing? has it benefited your business? Are you going digital in 2018?
Let me know in the comments below.
Simon Cocking. (2017). 1/3 OF SMES DO NOT HAVE A WEBSITE, DAVID CURTIN, IE
DOMAIN REGISTRY, SPEAKING AT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONFERENCE, JUNE
8TH. [ONLINE] Available at: http://irishtechnews.ie/almost-one-third-of-all-smes-do-not-have-awebsite-digital-transformation-opportunities-with-david-curtin-digital-transformation-conferencejune-8th/. [Accessed 21 December 2017].
Ellie Donnelly. (2017). Consumers unhappy because almost one in four SMEs is offline. [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.independent.ie/business/small-business/latest-news/consumers-unhappybecause-almost-one-in-four-smes-is-offline-35804457.html [Accessed 21 December 2017].
Murray, S., Irish households to spend an average of €2,654 in the run up to Christmas. TheJournal.ie. Available at: http://www.thejournal.ie/retail-ireland-christmas-3730194-Dec2017/ [Accessed December 21, 2017].