Like much of the western world, Australians have truly embraced mobile technology. They are using their phones to do much more than just communicate with their friends, they are using them to find businesses and even make sales. However, small businesses in Australia have been slow to take up digital technologies, and according to recent research, are lagging behind those that have done.
Many businesses are afraid of the change and challenges associated with new mediums, mainly because they did not grow up with these devices at their finger tips. And it is in this notion where the solution may lie. Could it be time to recruit a worker to manage your digital presence?
Adding more customer communication channels could increase annual revenue by over $160,000.
The financial benefits of building a digital presence
A recent study from Deloitte revealed businesses that communicate through multiple channels can make a dramatic improvement to their bottom line. The study of Australian organisations revealed that having additional communication channels could lead to an increase in annual revenue of over $160,000. In fact, SMEs that only used one or two channels to communicate with their customers, such as a phone line and a store, were lagging behind SMEs using multiple communication channels by around 5 per cent.
Those sticking to a minimal communication strategy reported an average revenue growth of around 2.3 per cent. Whereas those that embraced digital technologies and made use of social media and other tools to engage with their customers reached average growth rates of over 7 per cent.
Small businesses lagging behind large business
Looking at statistics like that, the need to go digital is a no-brainer. However, Deloitte found that no more than 20 per cent of Australian small businesses are using social media to engage with their customers.
Local social media marketing firm Sensis found something similar. Only 33 per cent of businesses surveyed had a social media presence. This is less than half the number of consumers, with Sensis reporting that 68 per cent were using these channels. Furthermore, from 2014 to 2015, the number of small businesses using social media had not changed, while almost half of large business are investing money into these marketing channels.
It is clear that small businesses are still chasing many larger companies, possibly because they are yet to embrace digital as an essential customer communication channel or believe they don't have the resources or are missing expertise in their staff in order to do it well.
Reasons SMEs are resisting digital communication
United States B2B research firm Clutch concluded from a separate study that there are two reasons holding small businesses back:
- An unclear or overestimated knowledge of the costs of going digital.
- A lack of experience with digital tools and strategy.
SMEs clearly know that there are benefits of building an online presence, but the actual impact on revenue makes it worthy of a professional hand. While Clutch found that nearly three-quarters of businesses have planned to do something with social media in an effort to begin a digital marketing strategy by 2017, it seems that there could be no better time to make a move than now.
If you fear that your business may not be reaping the benefits from its digital presence, maybe it is time to take on a new office hire. At Flexi Personnel we have a range of human resources solutions for employers, from completing the entire recruitment process to providing you with temporary staff or consulting. Talk to the recruitment experts in Melbourne today.