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Technology has become a critical part of the sales process, and its importance continues to grow. Last year, holiday shoppers spent a record $126 billion online, a 16.5 percent increase from 2017, according to Adobe Analytics. Mobile devices helped drive these record sales, accounting for more than half of all traffic to retail websites and more than a third of all online sales.
These numbers illustrate why technology is an essential component for successful sales strategies today. Here are three important ways technology can help boost your sales.
1. Positioning Your Brand
Digital tools provide marketers with a powerful way to position brands in a way that gets their marketing message across to large, targeted audiences. One company that has leveraged digital branding successfully is General Electric. For instance, GE solicits videos from B2C and B2B customers who have used their products, and then posts the videos on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook as a way of demonstrating their brand in action. This strategy has successfully generated millions of views and hundreds of thousands of engagements for GE content.
Digital platforms can also help reposition your brand in order to change the public perception of your company. For instance, to counter widespread confusion between pyramid schemes and Amway’s direct sales business model, Amway has published online content educating audiences about how the company helps Independent Business Owners sell high-quality home, beauty, and nutritional products. This turns negative publicity into a positive by turning searches on the Amway pyramid scheme myth into opportunities to promote Amway’s proven entrepreneurial approach.
2. Attracting Targeted Prospects
Another invaluable feature of digital marketing is the ability to attract target audiences with relevant content. Search engine marketing, social media analytics, website analytics, and email segmentation enable marketers to zero in on audiences with specific demographic characteristics, increasing your ability to attract prospects who are more likely to be interested in your product and more disposed to buy from you.
An example of a brand that has put this capability to productive use is inbound marketing provider HubSpot. HubSpot carved out a niche in inbound marketing by publishing blog content relevant to audiences interested in topics such as SEO, social media publicity, and blogging. This strategy helped HubSpot grow from a $75 million startup to a billion-dollar company in just a decade.
3. Customizing Your Sales Process
Digital marketing even lets you zero in on individual prospects by customizing your sales. Tools such as customer relationship management software, retargeting ads, SMS texting, and geofencing allow you to deliver personalized ads based on individual customer characteristics and behaviors.
Pizza Hut illustrates a brand that scored big with a customized SMS geofencing campaign. During a 15-month campaign, Pizza Hut set up geofences within a half-mile of 340 locations and sent targeted ads to customers within the perimeter. The campaign yielded results 4.4 times better than TV ads and 2.6 times better than online ads, averaging 142 percent increased efficiency over other marketing channels.
Digital technology empowers you to position your brand consistently with your marketing message, or to reposition yourself to change public perception of your brand. Tools such as search engine marketing, analytics, and email help you deliver your message to the audience you want to reach. Personalized marketing tools let you further refine your message to reach individual customers. Companies that learn how to leverage these digital strategies have a distinct sales advantage over their competition that can propel them to success.