The Hidden Growth Assets that All Successful Entrepreneurs Need

Climbing the ladder | Special End

Dinosaurs. That’s what causes problems for most businesses in the digital world. We don’t mean giant prehistoric lizards but marketing officers who are not in touch with the digital side of marketing. Most marketing managers from the older generation made use of traditional avenues like TV or radio ads and that was about it. They could easily hide behind the agencies and shift the blame of ineffective results on them. But with the advent of digital means, marketing has lost much of its opaqueness and moved towards transparency. Digital marketing methods yield tangible, measurable results that allow businesses to adjust their strategies. For example, Frontier’s success can’t be attributed only to the highly competitive Frontier Internet Packages. It is a result of extensive digital marketing, continuously improved based on customer needs. Growth in today’s landscape is more a result of hidden assets than tangible ones.

This blog examines certain hidden digital assets that contribute to entrepreneurial growth.

Modern Marketing

Today’s marketers need to pay attention to certain areas that did not exist 10 years ago. They include:

Social media marketing
✅ Content marketing
✅ Email marketing
✅ Paid digital marketing
✅ Influencer marketing
✅ Marketing automation

Most of these fields actually emerged less than 5 years ago and are in a process of constant refinement. Digital marketing is not a fixed science but the results it yields are measurable. To understand the nuances of digital marketing, understanding is required of digital assets first.

Digital Assets

Digital assets are a somewhat recent term. Most marketers simply view Facebook as a digital asset, seeking instant gratification and results. However, in the long run, all the digital marketing and advertising carried out by a company can be termed Digital Assets. This is a new concept particularly since this spending is usually classified as an expense. However, an asset by definition is something that gives rise to economic benefits to the organization. Similarly, digital marketing and advertising expenditures accrue benefits to the organization from a digital perspective. Hence they should be viewed as assets rather than expenditures.

Digital assets are simply the investments in building bits and bytes that appear on the radar. They include online traffic, social sharing and search engine rankings to name a few. One way to understand digital assets is to classify them into

Soft Digital Assets

Soft digital assets are typically hard to see and measure conclusively. That does not, however, mean that they can be ignored. They are core elements to going digital and can provide valuable insights into the success or failure of digital marketing strategies. They include:

✅ Culture: The mindset of the organization towards embracing the digital economy. Are executives abreast of digital developments or believers of old school marketing? Is the CEO technologically informed? These define how flexible an organization is when it comes to trying out strategies and how quickly it can learn from success/failure of said strategy.

✅ Expertise:Does the core team have the requisite expertise to reap the benefits of digital marketing? This is important to figure out if your organization has the essentials to ‘go digital’.

✅ Customer experience: This helps determine the end user satisfaction derived from your product or service. While customer experience is hard to measure in quantifiable terms, it is still essential to make sure your strategies are ultimately customer-centric.

Hard Digital Assets

Hard digital assets are more varying than soft ones and are typically easier to quantify. Some examples of hard digital assets include:

✅ Digital Brand Footprint: This focuses on online branding and positioning. It helps determine the impact strategies are having on the target market. Additionally it helps understand where your brand stands with respect to your competitors.
✅ SEO: This involves two objectives. The first one focuses on the rankings on the Search Engine Result Page, and how they position your organization in response, to set queries. The second one deals with creating good quality content to augment search engine rankings, and garner better engagement.
✅ Email Lists: This is primarily concerned with the size and quality of your email database. It helps determine if you’re targeting the right audiences.
✅ Social Media Following: Essentially, this comprises of the number of people actively following your brand on social media and engaging with your posts regularly. This helps determine the impact the brand is having on the digital market. This in turn allows you to tweak strategies according to specific market segments.
✅ Website Traffic: The amount of traffic you are getting on your website is a reliable measure of the success of your digital marketing strategies.
✅ External relationships: Your standing with influencers and indirect marketing channels is an asset to your organization. It impacts your reach as well as depth in specifically targeted customer segments.

Cumulatively, hard and soft digital assets make up your organization’s Digital Quotient (DQ). The Digital Quotient is an accepted measure of the digital intelligence of an organization. It directly impacts strategy, asset growth, business agility, and organizational ability. The higher the DQ, the stronger the influence on digital marketing strategies and ultimately, better digital results. To return to our initial example, the digital success of TDS is not simply because of competitive TDS Internet prices. Rather, it is also attributable to a high Digital Quotient. This allows for constant adjustment to its strategies in light of measurable results and emerging trends.

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