Nov 15, 2016

Why Should A Digital Agency Be Physically Present?

Probably not a very good question, but like any, it’s still worth asking.

Let’s face it – Digital is a major buzzword that has everyone’s attention – for better or worse. Some thrive with it, while some resent or reject the very idea of how technology interferes in our everyday life.

Then there are those of us who sway in the middle, a little to the left and a little to the right. Not sure where on the scale of ‘Digital Savviness’ we rest our laurels.

Many have found success with being Digital, whether influencing consumer behavior on Instagram or starting a marketing company to help brands become more present and successful in their industry. There is no denying the impact of Digital on our lives, and we have grown to appreciate its complex but incredible power.

Digital Street is a boutique brand marketing agency that was born back in November 2014 as an idea, mainly because the founder had a domain and the name came naturally. Fortuitous? Perhaps.

After incorporating in Dubai in early 2015 with Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (DTEC), we quickly found our feet in 3 core areas – Social Media, Brand Design and Website Stuff (from building to managing).

Young companies need time and effort to figure things out, no matter how well you might think you know things. We made some mistakes, as is expected, but we quickly learnt how to improve and move forward.

One thing we couldn’t possibly perfect and keep struggling with was being physically present. What we realized (and comes so obviously now) is that no matter how much we aspire to be in the ether of the interwebs, physical access to clients and markets is fundamental to our success.

If we don’t take out at least 5-8 hours in a week for meeting with clients (current and new), we are missing out on the potential we don’t even know exists. When you think about that amount of time, also factor about 1 hour per visit in driving and parking and all that other time you would spend doing actual work.

That’s why we choose to concentrate our efforts on one big annual conference each year – the same one that gives us relevant presence and exposure to the right kind of target audience –– The Entrepreneur Day, hosted by and at DTEC in Silicon Oasis. This year’s event hosts double attendance over last years, along with an awesome agenda for those who get tired of meeting us startups.

“Messaging platforms are growing at a rapid rate and expected to expand from 2.5 billion to 3.6 billion global users by 2018” ~ Kishore Dharmarajan

Communication tools are changing the way we interact with people, but the one sure shot way to make a personal impact is to shake hands and look at each other in the eye.

So stop by and say hi to us from November 16 to 17 at this address. We might not feed you, but we’ll give you a laugh and a quote!

~ The People of the Street ~

Oct 13, 2016

How Social Media Can Help Increase Sales for SMEs

Social media presence is no more just a tool for organizations to use. It is an asset that all organizations small, medium or large to leverage from. The dgital platform has over the years only made globalization of talent and customers easier.

Digital media has kickstarted a global trend of startups in every country. From young to old, every individual now has a chance of fulfilling a dream of running a business of sorts, with no or limited budget to market their company, or even increase sales.

Following certain simple steps will help you in achieving effective and concrete results:

a)      Genuine Conversations with Customers

As a small business, you hold the advantage of engaging with your customers on a personal level. Just like any shop owner would engage face-to-face with its customer, social media provides a platform to invest in genuine long-term customers. While, businesses promote their products and services, they can also share these platforms for sharing visually appealing stories, both in print and video. Customers can share stories of their experience using particular products and services. Testimonials by customers, go a long way for small or even large businesses.

b)      Focus on Customer Service

Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, have acted as tools to driving revolutionary changes. Using a company twitter handle wisely can either help to gain customers for life, or drive away traffic for your business. Brands can start or jump into conversations with their current or potential customers, and by prioritizing customer service brands can prevent negative impact on the business.

c)      Make use of simple technology

Use the power of hashtags that has revolutionized the way customers shop and discover new trends on social media. Take the example of Amazon, that allows customers to add items to their cart by using #AmazonCart on twitter, that links directly to the Amazon shopping cart for purchase later. The good thing is small businesses do not need to use expensive social media management platforms to manage their clientele buzz. There are a lot of free tools like Hootsuite available, for small businesses to track their customer voice.

d)      Upsell through Customer Rewards

Introduce your customers to some of your other valued products, through customer reward promotions. Not only will this increase in sales, customers discover something new, and as a business you get to upsell a product, not for free, but at a discounted price. Such customer reward promotions are enticing for customers, and easy conversions for businesses, especially in the food industry. Be sure to package complementing products for your customers, and advertise the same across all platforms to gain hype.

e)      Make use of Online stores

All product based businesses should have an online store, to drive sales, by engaged and willing customers. Food businesses can make use of free tools on Facebook like the ‘Shop’ a powerful tool to have an entire menu, or even list of products with prices available. It’s a great way to encourage potential customers to shop virtual, use the power of messenger to get orders online. This is just one example of driving traffic to your website, or shopping cart, use Pinterest to sell itemized products. Explore the social platform to encourage new trends in online shopping.

As a small business you might not have big budgets, but you do have the will and power to gain customer loyalty through direct personal sell. Most of all, keep blogging and sharing your customer experiences, as great stories that will help to create a specific niche market for your business. Remember being small is not a disadvantage, but not using your social space wisely can become one.

Sep 18, 2016

Factors to consider when choosing a digital agency

In the past few years, digital marketing has not only grown in scope and added more value for small and medium sized companies, but has been the platform that initiates direct conversations with audiences for small and large organizations alike. No doubt a digital marketing company has its advantages, but if not chosen smartly, it could be ineffective in regards to time, money and resource utilization.

Here are a few tips to factor before hiring a digital agency on board:

1. Business Strategies should align

Just before you embark on a long and confusing journey of looking for the right match to your company, sit back and give a thorough look at your own company goals and objectives. What is it that you want to attain in the next 6 months? What future plans do you want to address over the span of 6 months to 1 year. With that, you might also consider market conditions, and business challenges that might hamper the growth of your company, or simply reduce the rate at which you expect to grow. Clear goals and objectives will help in setting aside a budget for a particular campaign or a few months.

Once you as a company are aligned with your resources you will be able to demand and ask for the same from the agency you are about to hire.

2. Practice what they preach – Online Presence

The digital company you are about to hire should be practicing what they preach or claim to be experts at. Are they regular smart content producers on their own social channels? It is imperative for the company you hire is familiar and have a strong following on the platforms that they claim to sell to you.

3. Jack of all and expert at none?

You do not want to be stuck with a marketing company, that has bits and pieces of information on all platforms, but command over none. As a hiring company, you will have to do some necessary homework about the company you are considering to work with. The platforms they use and marketing tools that they use to brand their own organization should say a lot about the knowledge they hold. Is the team technically attuned to industry standards?

4. Knowledge of integrating marketing tools

A good digital agency should be updated with advanced technology in their own marketing endeavors, along with being adept to innovations in the tech world that are not only useful for their own business, but also the services they offer to clients.

You might want to run a few background checks by looking through their online portfolio, the clients they have had, and the social improvement and engagement they have had or created for their clients. This will also speak of their own credibility and transparency as an individual organization and of their expertise.

5. Creativity

The world of digital runs on content that is produced and then marketed. If the agency under consideration is not creative and innovative in their design element, and are not experimenting with new digital tools to create content, to create a strong digital presence of their own brand; then it is likely that they might use a similar approach with their client work.

Remember, the rules of marketing have not entirely changed, nor have the rules of referral. It is just the platforms that have switched roles in terms of priority. Your online marketing efforts will push the offline traffic to notice your brand.

6. Price Sensitivity against Cost of Customer

At the end of the day, it is all about the numbers, and the number of customers standing outside your doorstep. Don’t ever ignore the basics of business, that will define the success of a campaign and give a direction to the budget spend. If an agency does not inquire about this, you definitely need to think twice before hiring them. It is all about the customers knocking at your door, whether you market it offline or online.