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Digital Advantage: How was your first quarter?

By Jason Holmes
April 2, 2014 at 6:04 p.m.
Updated April 1, 2014 at 11:02 p.m.

Spring has sprung, and that means that the first quarter of 2014 is over already. If you are like me, you wonder how this is possible.

It seems like we just finished the holiday season and all that goes with it, yet here we are at the end of March getting ready to plan summer campaigns for our clients.

However, before getting ahead of ourselves and looking too far ahead, I'd encourage you to reflect on the first quarter, measure your success versus the same period last year and make adjustments to your approach if needed. The growth within our market segment and our company was phenomenal. On the local level, it's looking like 2014 really is going to be the year of digital marketing.

The reasons for this accelerated shift are vast. Obviously the digital audience has exploded during the past few years. Last year was the first year we saw mobile and tablet Internet consumption overtake the desktop audience.

The Internet, once considered the "in-office media" became the everywhere media. This year, as the audience continues to shift more toward mobile platforms, digital video and radio services like Pandora, smart marketers are targeting this audience and carving out substantial portions of their advertising budgets to reach consumers wherever they are.

Back in December, I encouraged you to include digital in your marketing budget for 2014. Apparently, a lot of you had the same idea because we're seeing more and more local businesses finding new customers through these platforms.

I'll use this space to again encourage you to evaluate the digital marketing space, compare your business to national, regional and local competitors, and make sure you compete.

If you're like many local business owners, you may find digital advertising and marketing intimidating. After all, large corporations have departments dedicated to Internet marketing and niches within social, search and mobile. However, you have an advantage as a local business owner. You know your market and can craft a message that resonates locally. This is something very difficult to do from a corner office on Madison Avenue.

Internet marketing isn't something to be scared of or intimidated by. It's an advertising vehicle like no other. It's a tool that can help grow your business and compete like never before. It'll take a little time along with some trial and error, but the payoff can be huge.

Jason Holmes is the general manager of Advocate Digital Media, a sister company to the Victoria Advocate that focuses on digital marketing. He welcomes questions and column ideas.



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