Speaking at the Digital Marketing Forum 2015 hosted by Sensis and The Australian, Maile Carnegie, Managing Director – Google Australia & NZ, said now more than ever, marketing should be seen as an investment and a driver of growth in the digital age.
“In this environment you want to be a growth stock and what I see in the pre-internet companies is they are managing themselves like they’re a yield company.
“One difference is when you talk to older companies they think of their marketing as flighted, whereas the internet companies and start-ups think of always-on strategies and that they should always be there for our customers to interact. It’s all about driving growth and it’s a fundamentally different mindset.”
“When you look at a lot of Australian businesses, they are cost saving their way to decline,” Ms Carnegie said.
She says there is no doubt what digital can do to drive a much higher return on investment. “What saddens me is that increasingly the savings on that is going to the bottom line versus being reinvested back into the business.”
“Small businesses make up 50 percent of private employment and one third of GDP… When you kind of putting together the web and small businesses, it’s like rocket fuel… Those that make the most of web are twice as likely to be growing.”
“One of the differences for me between a small business versus a start-up is that when you are really working with start-ups, growth is key to them,” she said.
Managing Director of computer service company Geeks2U, David Hancock, said marketing should be seen as an investment, highlighting the ability to measure the impact of any spending on digital services.
“There’s that old saying about ‘I know half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half.’ I think it’s very true… With radio and TV it’s far harder to measure and break things down, but with things like Google and most digital media, it’s so granular.”
TrueLocal Group Manager Ruth Trewhella, said business should view product or service reviews from their customers and the company’s response to them as marketing opportunities.
“You need to be open to having reviews everywhere because you never know where a consumer is going to find you. They might find you in the Yellow Pages. They might find you on your website. Don’t be afraid to ask consumers for reviews.
“You know, if eight out of 10 Australians are looking at them, there’s a great audience to get even more people contributing,” Ms Trewhella said.