Australian business owners clinging to ancient operating practices need to wake up and realise that in 2024, their old marketing strategies are no longer effective.

In fact, some of the so-called old ‘tried and tested’ digital marketing strategies are so outdated that it’s estimated that some businesses are wasting up to 70 percent of their marketing budget on advertising that isn’t effective anymore. If you do not keep up with evolving technology, consumer behavour and media consumption trends, you’re going to be left behind in the dust.

Business owners need to urgently change their outdated approach to digital marketing in order to survive.

Digital spray and pray

Five years ago, digital marketing was a lot easier. The market was less fragmented and most people tended to gravitate to a handful of key online platforms including Google and Facebook to find things on the internet.  But times have changed. It’s 2024 not 2019, and consumers have become far more online savvy thanks to lock down and increased take up of online shopping.

Marketing budgets went further five years ago.  Not only is the market more fragmented, the cost of reaching consumers through online sites has increased as well. Sadly, many businesses have not adjusted or updated their approach to marketing and as a result, they are wasting much of their hard earned spend.

Why would you continue with this strategy when it’s no longer working? Money down the drain. If it’s not effective, you need to find the root cause of the problem and treat it. The best way forward is to engage an expert in the field of digital marketing.

Social media usage up

Australia’s usage of social media is in line with the trend we’re seeing right across the world. In 2023, 81 percent of Australians were reported to be active social media users.

With majority of consumers engaging in social media, it is important to ensure that businesses are reaching audiences on these platforms. With so many more platforms in the mix, it is imperative that marketing managers understand the different market demographics of each one.

Every platform is different and has different capabilities from an advertiser’s point of view.  In depth knowledge of these sites is fundamental to advertising success.

Why use social media marketing

One of the main reasons why social media marketing is so effective is because you can hyper-target ideal clients based on demographics.  You can target users based on their age, gender, location, interests and purchasing habits.

You also have the ability to keep tabs on the success rate of your campaigns. For example, on Facebook, this information is immediately available in the Ads Manager platform so that you can instantly view the performance of an ad and analyse the return on ad spend, cost per lead and more.

This is a game changer because you can see which ads are performing well and make decisions quickly whether or not you want to cut a campaign out or increase the scale of a campaign that’s doing well, so that you get even better results.

Market fragmentation

Consumer behaviour has changed significantly in recent years when it comes to online activity and shopping. People now explore a range of different sites, apps, social media platforms, review hubs and even games to find, research and buy products.

Businesses need to be in many locations online. Typically consumers search Google for services they need immediately such as a plumber or an electrician. Lifestyle purchases are normally researched and require an immersive experience in order to generate interest and engagement.

Budgets now need to be spread more strategically in a targeted way to reach more consumers with a higher propensity to buy. This requires intimate knowledge of all of the different online spaces consumers use and how to utilise the advertising features of each platform.

Invest in modern digital marketing

One of the major benefits of having an online presence is the degree to which you can capture and analyse data. Data provides the ability to generate insights and this gives us the capacity to interrogate results and adjust campaigns accordingly.

Analytics are now very sophisticated and require a high degree of skill to navigate.  If managed well, they can identify with precision, how and when to reach consumers and inform decision making.  All this means businesses are able to reach more customers that are better aligned with your market offering, for less cost.

Simple changes can mean that a business is able to reduce their advertising spend considerably while at the same time improve their sales performance.

Sagar Sethi is founder and CEO of Xugar.