The Cost of Not Using Digital Marketing?

Have you ever wondered what the most dangerous mindset in business could be? No, it’s not “fake it till you make it”, it actually comes in a similar phrase which we will elaborate on more while finding out what the true cost of not using digital marketing in your business could be.

Think of digital marketing…

Throughout the last couple of years, I have been consulting with various business owners on their digital marketing, and have found that there are generally three different views on this topic.

They are:

  • People who had no clue what digital marketing even was
  • People who only saw it as an expensive business tactic
  • And lastly, the people who saw it as an absolute necessity to do business, and understood the cost of not using digital marketing

After doing some research, I found that out of the 3 groups of businesses, one group was outperforming the other two by miles…

In fact, these were the businesses that saw digital marketing as a necessity!

They were crushing it in business, capturing market share from their competitors with an alarming speed, and growing their revenue even faster.

They truly understood that there was a huge cost involved when not using digital marketing

This is what led me to create this blog, I wanted people to know why digital marketing is so much more than just a nice to have for their business!

History of change in using digital marketing

These days it has become so easy for us to ignore history, and miss out on learning from what went wrong in business before.

There is a great saying that goes: “Learn from others’ mistakes, you won’t live long enough to make them all on your own!”

Well, guess what?

It’s true!

And you should really be implementing this quote in business.

But, and yes, there is a big but…

We forget that before these big giant industries came into play, they were small companies just like us, and like us, they had to start somewhere.

In business, there is no zero to hero!

But let’s go back to even before these mega-companies came into existence, back to business failures that we can learn from, back to the pre-historic age in business…

Okay, maybe not the complete pre-historic age.

Maybe more the age before digital marketing came into play before there would be a massive cost of not using digital marketing.

Like the time of the Blockbuster video!

The cost of not using digital marketing – examples

Let’s have a look at some businesses that we can learn from…


Blockbuster – not using digital marketing

Why did Blockbuster fail?

The video rental company was at its peak in 2004. They survived the change from VHS to DVD but failed to innovate into a market that allowed for delivery (much less streaming).

While Netflix was shipping out DVDs to their consumer’s homes, Blockbuster thought that their physical stores were enough to please their customers.

They thought wrong!

Due to management being the leader of the movie rental market for years, they didn’t see why they should change their strategy.

This is called “stinking thinking”!

Back in 2000, the founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, proposed a partnership with the former CEO of Blockbuster John Antioco.

Netflix wanted Blockbuster to advertise its brand in the stores while Netflix would run Blockbuster online.

The idea got turned down by Antioco because he thought it was ridiculous and that Netflix’s business model was just a “niche business.”

Little did he know that Hasting’s idea would have saved Blockbuster. In 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and disappeared, while Netflix became a $128 billion-dollar company.

Kodak’s cost of not using digital marketing


Kodak was a tech company that dominated the photographic film market during most of the 20th century.

Steve Sasson, the Kodak engineer, actually invented the first digital camera back in 1975…

“But it was filmless photography, so management’s reaction was, ‘that’s cute – but don’t tell anyone about it,” says Sasson.

The leaders of Kodak failed to see digital photography as a disruptive technology which would change the face of business globally!

A former vice-president of Kodak, Don Strickland says: “We developed the world’s first consumer digital camera, but we could not get approval to launch or sell it because of fear of the effects on the film market.”

The management was so focused on the film’s success that they missed the digital revolution after starting it.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012. The Kodak failure surprised many.

MySpace’s cost of not using digital marketing

MySpace, a website that was once the dominating social network until Facebook came onto the scene.

Funny enough, in 2005 Myspace CEO, Chris DeWolfe, actually met up with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to discuss business together.

Mark offered to sell Facebook to Myspace for $75 million, which Chris ended up saying no to.

Because of the growth of Facebook, MySpace started seeing a decline in its users and decided to change its niche.

The flexibility and free expression allowed on the Myspace platform which was once its biggest differentiator had become the most common reason for users leaving.

In 2011, the company changed its focus from social networking to entertainment and music only.

Later that year, MySpace fired nearly 500 employees after a sustained loss of users.

Conclusion on the failed business empires

And just to put it out there – they clearly did not understand that there would be a huge cost of not using digital marketing.

This proves why we should not rely on the way we did things before, to have the same winning results in the future. Learn from them and make them better, but never assume that if it worked before, it will work again. Things are always changing, if you do not learn to adapt fast, you will fall behind and eventually fail to exist.

From riches to rags

As you can see, these businesses were all once on top of the world, their downfall was not only the resistance against change, but also their stubbornness to see beyond the now, and to take more risks.

So, yes, Digital marketing might only have been around for a little over 10 years now, but I can guarantee you that any business that is not planning on using digital marketing, has already secured its place in history to join the businesses which you have just read about above.

Don’t let me update this blog one day and have me add your business to this failure list!

Let’s have a look at what you can do to get your business into the world of digital marketing, and benefit from it…

Do the following to keep your business from failing

When I find myself consulting with businesses on implementing digital marketing strategies in their businesses, I like to mention the 3 failed businesses which you just read about.

After this little bit of chit-chat…

I follow a very simple process that I’d like to share with you today, and I would like you to really use this in your own business.

Trust me, it works!

The Digital Marketing 3-Step Process

Step 1: What is your current situation?

The first step is understanding where your business is right now (currently).

Think of this process as a journey, one cannot start any journey if you don’t know where you are, and where you want to be (go).

You need to assess your business’s current state.

I find that using a business model can help with this process, you will see the 9 blocks of a business model:

  • Value Proposition – What problem or added value does my product or service help my customers with?
  • Customer Segments – Who are my current customers, and what do they look like?
  • Channels – How am I reaching my customers right now, what sales or marketing channels am I using?
  • Relationships – What type of relationship am I building with my leads or customers?
  • Revenue Streams – How am I charging for my products or services?
  • The Key Activities – What activities are needed to create and deliver my value proposition?
  • Key Resources – What resources do we use to create our products or services?
  • Your Key Partners – Who are our business partners and suppliers, and what do they do for us?
  • Cost Structure – What does it cost us to run our business?

Once you have completed a full assessment of your business, you will have a better understanding of your current situation.

Step 2: What does your future look like?

Once you know what your current state is, you need to think about where you want to be in the future.

Your business’s ideal state.

Again, think of it as a journey, you have a destination that you want to arrive at, where or what is that destination?

Below I have added some goals that you can use. You can use all of them or add more:

  • We want to grow our brand and reach more potential customers in our current location
  • We would like to gain more leads
  • Grow our monthly revenue from R 1 000 000 to R 5 000 000
  • Engage better with our current customers and turn them into raving fans
  • Reach more locations outside of our current location of the business

You can really think of anything you want to, the sky is the limit!

Step 3: Closing the gap between current and future.

The last stage in this process is having a strategy and plan that will get your business to where you want it to be.

You now know what your current situation is, and what your future looks like.

Next, you need to close the gap between the two stats.

In order to do this, you will see that strategizing, planning and execution are everything!

You will need to sit down by yourself, or with your team and look at your current state of business model, and decide which strategy will work best to close this gap between current and future.

Next, you will need to create a plan of action that has every step planned out in detail, from who needs to take what actions, to what needs to happen and what the deadlines are for each step.

Lastly, you will need to relay this plan of action to your team. Share the jobs with each person or department, in order to put this plan and strategy into motion.

Digital marketing challenges for entrepreneurs and business owners

Many of you don’t have the time or knowledge to go and study and implement your own digital marketing strategy, so why not leave it to the experts, and leave it to us?

We will do everything for you, and leave you to focus on running your business.

Give the below some thought!

If I had to choose between experts helping me and people who are trying to learn how to get the job done, I would go with the experts.

You want a pilot to fly your plane, not a trainee, the same goes for business!

Doing it yourself sounds cheap and easy. If you are not a digital marketing expert, the cost of running campaigns could cost you dearly. Not knowing what you are doing, will lead to endless frustrations.

Those who are not using digital marketing for business will be in for a surprise, by now you should have realized what a massive cost is when you don’t use digital marketing for your business.

Digital marketing will help you grow and expand your reach.

If you are not going this route, I’m sorry to tell you, but your business days are limited. You will be closing your doors sooner than you thought!

If you need assistance with digital marketing please click on this link and make contact with us.

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