As is the norm we have been getting out and about at the Spring Fair in Birmingham. We have seized the opportunity to talk to retailers all about their digital marketing and have learnt a lot about what they feel takes centre stage for them in their campaigns. We walked around the fair and asked 25 people to answer one question for us:

What is the biggest gap in your digital marketing strategy?

We took their answers anonymously so we could get a frank and honest feel for where their struggles and strengths lie. There are some single word answers from those who know exactly what they should be doing better. There are some slightly muddled answers from those who have never popped their marketing strategy down onto paper so were not really aware what they did until I talked them through the various strands they might be doing. There are some very switched on answers by those who know where they need to go and are content with their efforts to date. And, there are some very honest answers about what digital marketing means to them and why it is sometimes far too much of a chore to handle.

There are four very clear response trends:

  1. Too busy to do their own digital marketing – they probably need it but haven’t got the time to implement it.
  2. Try different marketing strands for a time and then try others. Not particularly consistent but they maintain a reasonable web presence.
  3. Tried everything but nothing seems to for us.
  4. Never needed to market, word of mouth has always been enough.

So here are what exhibitors at the Spring Fair 2015 had to say about their digital marketing strategy when asked: What is the biggest gap in your digital marketing strategy?

(I recorded the answers and typed them up afterwards which is why they look like sound-bites, they are!)

 

“Social…I know we should be doing it. Facebook is huge isn’t it – I mean my daughter never comes off it. So, how do I reach that market..all those people. I would say that is the gap for me, standing out from the crowd on social media”

“It’s not so much a gap as…well a big wide open space – I don’t market my stuff. The website does ok and I have not pushed it on. This is my marketing – I do three shows a year so ye…does that count? It’s not very digital is it!”

“SEO…what even is it? I know people do it, I want it, but what is it I am wanting?”

“Email”

“The gap in my marketing…oh that’s tricky. Well we are active on social media, I have a pretty good blog that I write for myself quite often, I have an SEO guy who talks to the IT guy and does some sort of techy magic, I get lots of reports to read…plenty of it all going well. I would say the gap is just more of it…oh and probably email. Not got round to email – well I do about two a year so I am probably missing out there…am I?”

“Erm ok well Adwords…don’t understand it enough”

“I don’t have a strategy – word of mouth has got me this far and I am really bl***dy busy”

“PPC – never got it to work”

“Social media…I spend loads of time posting good quality stuff and I never get conversion. I am not focused on selling all of the time but it has to be profitable and when you look at the time I put into it and the money I make you would have to class it as a big loss in terms of marketing”

“I guess that would be SEO, would love to be able to afford to outsource it but that’s the thing with marketing its expensive and what you can’t do in house you don’t do”

“The gap is always the next big thing. What everyone else isn’t doing yet but will be soon to catch onto…don’t you think?”

“Oh gosh…everything – I just don’t get time to do enough of it full stop.”

“I don’t really do it. My team posts on Facebook and Twitter. We have a website and we come to shows…that’s it”

“The biggest gap in my marketing strategy…now that would probably be…ermmmm…blogging. I always wanted to blog consistently and be a real authority on vintage gifts – like a go to, really trendy…quirky…you know what I mean…but that’s a pipe dream…a good one though”

“I kind of need a gap in everything else I do to look at my marketing..not quite what you asked but I don’t do enough and its lack of time…always the problem, I bet everyone says that don’t they?”

“I would like to do more on social. Need a Pinterest account and we were just talking about Instagram…these are all things that I think could work for me. But it’s getting the good content on there, tracking it through GA and then picking out what works…that takes a lot of time to perfect.”

“Gaps…I would say plural. We don’t do email, our social is pretty good, we don’t do a lot of SEO and well that’s probably enough gaps isn’t it.”

“Getting more traffic to the site – that’s what you guys do right? Ye we used to stuff keywords and we bought a load of backlinks but none of that works anymore so the site is pretty dead.”

“Email, forget to do them and we have a huge subscriptions base”

“I don’t go on Facebook enough, everyone is on Facebook”

“I think we have gaps all over the place. We do a bit of everything, mix it up a lot…but I am not sure if we do anything well. The business does good but I think that’s more of a coincidence than by design”

“The gap is the strategy. We don’t have a plan – that could really help but I need the time to be able to write the plan…the strategy”

“Adwords, my competitors do it really well and I don’t”

“Well digital marketing is all about content these days isn’t it…I think. So more of that would be good. I never know what to write about to be honest…writing isn’t easy”

“Well we have a pretty well-rounded strategy and if there is one area I would love to throw more time and money at that would definitely be video. I would like 3D videos of all my products to put on each page and advertise them on Facebook, and YouTube…one day hopefully.”

That’s where the people we asked thought they had gaps. How about you? Do you have gaps in your digital marketing strategy? Do you agree with any of the above? If you have any questions we would be happy to answer them and of course if you need any help with your digital marketing campaign we would be happy to help!

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