As Adzooma Marketplace has launched, we look at Adzooma's move to help digital agencies and their customers come together and why they've made the move.
Right now, the world is struggling. As the economy hits the first recession in 11 years, businesses across the globe are scrambling to make ends meet. With uncertainty fresh in the air, it feels impossible to know what’s still to emerge from the gloom of these dark times.
And yet, there have been some glimmers of positive change. Many have refocused their attention on what is important; no longer caught up in the 9-5 grind and enjoying more time with loved ones, people seem to have wrestled back some of the work/life balance.
In the wake of this revelation, we too have reflected on what’s important, and the type of business we want to be for our customers. We’re now looking to the future to see what new opportunities lie waiting for Search and the wider Digital Marketing community and believe collaboration is the way forward. Playing our part in this, we’ve recently made Adzooma a free-to-use platform, and our latest release of the Adzooma Marketplace furthers our efforts to help businesses collaborate and support one another’s progress, despite the world’s uncertainty.
The small business struggle
Let’s put the struggle into context. Of course, the worst-hit have been small businesses. In mid-April, it was reported by Facebook that more than half had shut down. Some of these were temporary and businesses have since reopened, but others just don’t have the money to do so.
The problems are set to continue with COVID-19 looking to be something we have to live with for years to come. As a result, online shopping is booming as it offers a safer, more convenient way of getting what you need. The businesses which are doing best are those that have the adaptability to profit from the arms of their company that are still relevant.
For instance, if you own a small local bakery, then footfall figures are likely still down. However, as companies sought ways to still turn a profit during the lockdown, people have now become accustomed to places offering takeaway. Shifting to this being the main offering of your business may not be what you initially envisaged, but it brings the money in.
Now, customers aren’t going to be walking past your shop and be enticed by the window display; instead, they’ll be scrolling down their Facebook feeds and see photos of today’s delicious baked goods. Whilst previously your resources may have been spent on in-store experiences, now you’re more likely to see a better return from your online presence. Business is not dead, it just looks different from before.
The example above is backed up by Google’s latest trend data. In a nutshell, they are:
- Consumers are driving businesses to innovate
- Consumers’ expectations are fluid across product categories
- Consumers have a heightened need for live information
- Consumers are driving major shifts in demand
There has been a rise in searches for things like ‘virtual try on’ and ‘virtual pub quiz’; more people want delivery from niche industries such as ‘compost delivery’; QR code and app popularity has soared once more.
These trends highlight the increase in demand from the online experience businesses offer. It is no longer just some industries which translate to online, it is the majority. Those SMBs who did well enough offline to only need a basic Facebook page to establish their presence, now could do well to lay more solid foundations.
Going back to basics
It’s reported that 63% of small businesses have experienced an increase in late payments since COVID-19 with 46% of invoices being paid late in the last 18 months. Adjusting to having an online store/presence can be challenging for even those with experience. How do you suddenly build a new strategy in an ever-changing world where money is tight?
In times of uncertainty, go back to basics. Think of who’s important: your customers. Look at what the possible barriers could now be between them and you. What’s stopping them engaging, accessing and buying your product? If your service is no longer as relevant to their daily lives, how do you reposition your brand and compensate for the change? By understanding your consumers’ new behaviours, you can discern where your small budget can be best used to bring in new leads.
How Adzooma Marketplace is designed to help
Whatever your business, COVID-19 will mean you’re in need of some change. This is simply down to the fact the world is not as it once was.
This is why we’ve created the Adzooma Marketplace: designed to make it easier for businesses to come together, the Marketplace is an online directory of all the best Digital Marketing services out there. So, if you’re looking to expand on and enhance different aspects of your brand, or are unsure what your change of direction could be, we can put you in touch with the right experts.
Agencies and freelancers are a great option if you’re unsure of whether you need to employ someone full time. They allow you the flexibility and freedom to pick and choose when you need them. With years of experience, you can also ensure you’re finding the best person across the glove for your project, rather than just being limited to who lives nearby. In fact, there are lots of reasons why now is the best time to hire freelancers.
Now more than ever is a time for collaboration. We hope every business, small and large, can find a sustainable way to survive COVID-19 and we believe the best place to start is by coming together. This could be a time of great opportunity – something the data seems to back up.
Listen to the data
There’s also no pressure to make loads of changes right now. Marketers who use a data-led approach to things will find a gatepost to lean on in this storm. We’ve recently made our PPC optimisation platform entirely free to use to help advertisers boost their ad campaign success. Improving on your current foundations can be all you need to do to bring in those extra customers.
It’s important to stay up to date with Digital Marketing trends and predictions so you can anticipate the near future. Data from our webinar with Microsoft, for instance, revealed that Search has never had a bigger audience than right now.
- There’s been a 73% increase in over 65s using Search
- The increase in digitalisation that has been seen in the first 2 months of lockdown would normally be seen in 2 years
- The virus has given people a renewed consciousness of the environment; 57% of people are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce the negative environmental impact
It’s a great time to start advertising online if you don’t already. Running Google, Facebook or Microsoft ads will open up doors to new realms of customers. Finding handy offers, such as Microsoft’s £100 in ad credits when you deposit £20, can save you cash when setting up your new endeavours. Then, utilising AI-driven optimisation software for free, such as Adzooma, ensures that you’re getting the maximum return from your ads.
Digital transformation is the future
If you want help navigating this changing landscape, you’ll find it on the Adzooma Marketplace. Whether you need an SEO strategy to get you seen in the SERPs, help building an ecommerce store, a brand redesign or something entirely new, the experts are ready and waiting.
If you’re an agency, freelancer or software company that would like to advertise on the Marketplace to get more highly-targeted leads, get listed today. You can expect to see more enquiries than ever as global spending on transformation tech and services is forecast to grow 10.4% in 2020 to $1.3tn.
Above all, don’t lose hope – there are loads of businesses that have succeeded in hard economic times. For example, Hewlett-Packard, Walt Disney, Airbnb and Uber are all brands that were established during recessions. It’s about positioning yourself in the right way and helping one another through these unprecedented times.
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