Digital Marketing for Skeptics

Lesson #1

Why do I need Digital Marketing?

Welcome to Lesson #1.  Learning the ins and outs of digital marketing can be a real challenge, especially since the rules are constantly changing.  So what’s the point?  Does it really make a difference?  Let’s discuss that in Lesson #1 of your free audio course on Digital Marketing for Skeptics.

One Thing to do Right Now – Take 5 Minutes

PICK A VENDOR OR CUSTOMER THAT you have a good relationship with and send them an email right now asking them for their thoughts on your current website.  You can mention that you’re looking to do more digital marketing and would love their thoughts on what they’d like to see on your website.  Set the timer for 5 minutes and do this now.


You can listen to Lesson 1 by clicking the play button to the left of the audio player here, or read the content below.


Things to think about from Lesson #1:

  • Where do customers find you now?
  • How many find you online?
  • How easy is it for someone to make a purchase through your website?
  • How much content do you have on your website that can help guide your potential customers to a purchase?

Digital Marketing for Skeptics

Lesson 1 – Why do I need digital marketing?


Hey there and welcome to Digital Marketing Tips from a Skeptic, and thanks for your interest.  Kelly Berry here, your resident skeptic, former MBA and Business School instructor, current consultant, trainer, and peer group facilitator to small businesses across the country.

If you’re listening to this course, then I am guessing that you are a small business owner actively working to launch or grow your business.  And perhaps you are frustrated or confused about the wide array of choices when it comes to promoting your business online.  How can you gain traction in the vast universe that is the Internet with a limited budget and no dedicated Marketing department?

Where do you find your customers now?

Before we start talking about digital marketing, I have a question for you – where do you currently find the majority of your customers?  Or alternatively, where do they learn about you?  For the majority of small businesses, it’s through references, referrals, and word of mouth.  Many businesses make connections through organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, networking groups, conferences, and trade shows.  I think we all prefer to do business with people we know, like and trust.

So is there actually value in spending money & time on digital marketing?  Let’s look at some data about how B2B customers find the products or services they are looking for.

Where do you go to get information on a planned purchase?

  • 90% of B2B customers start their buyer journey with an online search

Think about where YOU go to get information for your business.  Where do you start?  If you don’t know someone who can help, then I’m guessing you begin with a Google search.

And these potential customers of yours don’t just stop at a quick search.  On average they read ten or more pieces of content before they narrow down vendors for their purchase decision.

How much content do you have on your website right now that these potential customers could find and read?

  • The majority of customers are MORE THAN halfway through the purchase process before they reach out  

Consider what that means.  The whole sales and marketing path has really changed over the years.  It is rarely a matter of starting with hundreds of cold calls and then turning 20 percent of them into leads and then turning 20 percent of them into prospects and then calling them, or wining & dining them, until 20 percent of them agree to buy from you.

That path of cold outreach and then lead generation might still be used by some businesses, but with less and less success. No one wants to be “talked into” buying your products or services.

In reality, your potential customers are already qualifying themselves – turning themselves into prospects – before you even know they exist.

Again, think about the process you go through when making a purchase decision – whether for business or personal.  Say you want to buy a new television.  Do you just run to the closest store and let the salesperson talk you into their most expensive model? 

Or do you do some online research first so that you know what you want and how much it costs?  And then if you do go to the store (rather than ordering it directly online), you have pretty much made up your mind already based on that online research.

That is the same process your customers typically go through. 

If they are reaching out to you, they already know what you have to offer and are that much closer to making a purchase.  As a matter of fact, nearly three-quarters of B2B customers prefer remote or digital interactions when making a purchase, rather than working with a salesperson.  Is your website prepared to sell your products or services online?  How far in the purchase process can they get on their own?

We are trending toward an environment where business customers want to learn as much as they can before they interact with a salesperson.  Partly that’s due to the younger age of the engineers and other professionals making the decisions.  

  • Nearly three-quarters of B2B industrial buyers are millennials who are more comfortable in the online world than in the traditional sales model. 

And certainly, the pandemic advanced our online progress significantly.

In short, if you want to continue to grow your business you will struggle without an online presence.  And the more Zoomers and Millennials in the workforce, the more important that will become.

Now that we’ve established the importance of your online presence, what comes next?  In the next couple lessons, we’ll talk about the current success rates of some of the different digital marketing options and why throwing money at keywords or social media posts may not be the best investment.  Shocker!