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6 Ways Filipino SMEs Benefit from Digital Marketing

Dubbed the “Facebook Capital of the World”, the Philippines is undoubtedly one of the most active nations on the social network.  In South East Asia alone, Filipinos rank first in terms of number of hours spent online outside of work. This is based on a recent study by international company Limelight Networks.

The study reveals that a typical Filipino adult spends at least 16 hours a week on the Internet — connecting with friends on social media, watching videos, checking emails for sales and promos, shopping, and more. As a tech-savvy population, Filipinos are a promising market for businesses.

In 2017, big brands like Jollibee, Uber, and Manulife successfully tapped their market online, thanks to their engaging video ads and strong social media presence. The sales of Yum! Burger, for instance, quadrupled after the video of Kwentong Jollibee Valentine Series: Crush went viral.

The digital arena, however, isn’t only for big brands. If anything, it levels the playing field for both small and big players across industries. In fact, even you can reap huge benefits from digital marketing if you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner. Here’s how:

1. You Become Searchable

Google search cafes with suggested topics

A typical Filipino consumer makes an average of six to seven searches online before making a purchase, according to a collaborative report by Google and Kantar TNS.

Imagine a male Filipino buyer looking for a new pair of running shoes online. On his first go on Google, he would probably see a list of websites that sell a variety of running shoes from different brands. Of course, he wouldn’t stop there. He would probably look for brands that offer great deals. After trimming his choices to a few brands, he would then search customer reviews for those particular brands. To put it simply, he would keep searching for information until he’s comfortable with his choice.

Now, if you own a medium-sized shoe company with three or more branches in Manila but don’t advertise your products online, there is zero chance that buyer would know about your business. You need to put your business on the digital map. Otherwise, you lose the opportunity to pitch your product to a huge market online — even to those who make more than seven searches before buying.

2. You Convert Shoppers into Buyers More Effectively

Person adding to cart

Not only does digital marketing make your brand searchable for millions of Filipino consumers, but it can also help you convert shoppers into buyers more effectively. Several digital marketing techniques are available so you can reach out to your targeted audience online and generate strong sales leads.

In a physical store, not everyone who walks in will buy a product. Some are just window shopping, while others are merely killing time while waiting for a friend. Without any intention to buy, these shoppers are difficult to convert into buyers — even if your best sales professional does the pitch.

With digital marketing, you can make your products easily searchable for those who are ready to buy. You can engage with those shoppers so that they no longer need to search repeatedly before finally making a purchase. Through effective digital marketing strategies, you can avoid wasting time and resources talking to the wrong market and instead, generate profitable results.

3. You Connect with Mobile Consumers

Person using a mobile device

About eight of 10 Filipinos check their smartphones within 15 minutes after waking up. Filipinos also browse their phones repeatedly throughout the day, especially during their commute. These bits of information are from the latest survey by the international financial consulting company, Deloitte.

The Deloitte survey also gives a peek into Filipinos’ popular purchasing activities on mobile phones.  25 percent of mobile consumers in the country use their phones to shop for products. 17 percent reserve products, while 10 percent use their phones as a proof of their purchase.

Again, with digital marketing, you can reach out to your targeted audience online, including those that are mobile users. Plus, when you work with digital marketing professionals, you’ll likely get valuable tips on how to connect with mobile consumers more effectively. These include making your website mobile-friendly, marketing your ads to certain demographics of mobile users, and creating content that is easily digestible through the small screen of a smartphone.

4. You’re At Par With Competitors

Chess pieces

Ever wonder why the mobile company Nokia lost to Apple and Android?  In today’s digital age, consumers expect constant innovation from brands. When companies fall behind, consumers are quick to punish them — and that’s exactly what happened to Nokia.

More and more businesses in the Philippines are ramping up their digital marketing campaigns. They capitalize on the various channels, such as search engines, mobile phones, and social media networks. After all, Filipinos now heavily use the Internet to shop, buy, or just even get information that will help them make a purchase. If your competitors are one of those businesses, you may get left behind and lose many customers, both regulars and potential new ones.

5. You Compete with Big Brands

Competitor's business and your business being compared

Digital marketing does not only keep you on equal footing with your competitors, but it also allows you to compete head-to-head with large companies. A 30-second ad on a primetime TV show can cost over P600,000 per airing. If you spend, say, a quarter of that money on digital marketing, you can advertise side by side with some of the biggest brands in the world — not just once, but multiple times. This is possible if you have creative, experienced digital marketing professionals by your side.

6. You Become Ready for the Future

Person using a tablet

By the year 2020, experts say, there will be about 30 billion gadgets — smartphones, tablets, watches, appliances, and more — all interconnected in a global online ecosystem. Now, with a tech-savvy population, the Philippines is expected to be well-adapted to that online ecosystem.

With more people going online to buy products or do business, it is crucial that your brand is online, too. Remember, digital marketing isn’t just about selling products on e-commerce websites or apps. It is more about helping you navigate the web so you can get the word out about your business more effectively, reach your target demographics, engage with them better, and convert them into paying customers.

The rise of digital marketing in the Philippines shows no signs of slowing down. So, the question now is this: Is your business ready for it? If not, you may want to get on board the digital train now.

Want to learn more about digital marketing? Sign up for our Digital Marketing Masterclass today.

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Itamar Gero
Itamar Gero made the Philippines his home in 2009 when he founded TrueLogic Online Solutions. Since then, he has garnered the brightest minds in digital marketing who have successfully executed digital strategies in the most competitive industries online. Besides being a serial entrepreneur, he travels the world, meditates whenever possible and dreams in code.