The day after Google announce that the UK internet economy is ‘worth billions’ and that the UK is now the world’s leading country for e-commerce, they announce that Welsh firms fall behind the rest of the UK in web presence. Can it really be true that 25% of small and medium-sized firms in Wales have no website at all?
Having spent the last 4 – 5 years submerged in digital agencies and working with online communities I can’t imagine not having an online presence and I must admit I wonder how companies manage to do much business without a serious online presence?
I’ve spent a fair bit of my time recently looking into mobile solutions, apps and social media strategies and the rates of return that small to large organisations are seeing from expanding their digital marketing is incredible.
One such story was on how make-up giant Rimmel London are now spending more money on mobile than they are on search. In targeting ‘brand advocates’ who are likely to be influential Rimmel saw an incredible 6,000 visitors a month who went straight from the Rimmel Facebook page to the mobile site. I appreciate that not everyone is as big as Rimmel but with figures like this can anyone really afford to only invest in offline media? The Google report also states that small and medium businesses that have an active internet presence grew seven to eight times faster than those that didn’t over the past two to three years.
I’d like to point out incidentally that I’m also a lover of the printed medium. I spent that majority of my life living with a journalist and for the first 6 years of my career I purchased print for various marketing campaigns, and I firmly believe that paper still firmly has its place (don’t get me started on my rant on ebooks…!) but as far as marketing goes, print is less environmentally friendly than web, millions of people can view your online presence without you having to worry about reprinting on a regular basis, if you find a typo or if information in your material needs updating its just a matter of finding your nearest computer, hoping online and updating – no need to worry about print runs and how to cover the cost.
So come on Wales, step up your game! There are a mass of great, local digital agencies out there who will be able to provide something within most budgets and will work with you to understand your needs and help you to grow your business. Can you really afford not to be online?