In order for a business to thrive and prosper, it must have a solid business value-added proposition that satisfies some need or want of the audience it is targeting. This is the basic rule of marketing. However, it does not stop at that. Relying on people to make the conscious decision of coming to you for your product or service without explaining to them the “why”, is hardly a business survival tactic that works. Just looking at the past year and a half since the pandemic became almost part of the fabric of the environment we operate in; businesses that passed this survival-of-the-fittest test were those who understood they needed to re-adapt, transform and invest. We have also seen several businesses having to permanently close their doors for several reasons, including their reluctance or unwillingness to change and adapt their business proposition to the realities we are currently operating in. Whether it is a world under the attack of a virus or a world that has been shifting slowly slowly to a digital way of life.
Over at The Concept Stadium we strongly believe in agility; and for brands to be responsive to changing market conditions and scenarios that shape the business life cycle. One of such scenarios almost necessitates the need for business transformation towards a cohesive digital offering and communication. Starting off by having a corporate or an e-commerce website that explains its purpose. Most online-driven businesses fail because they think that just by launching a new portal or online shop, selling should happen automatically. We’ve seen many businesses who invest in the actual infrastructure, but not on go-to-market strategies. A proper launch needs to have a thought-out and targeted social media and online advertising plan. In addition, it needs to be unafraid to speak up about its successes and areas of improvement through strong public relations and events (where permitted).
In this respect, I was particularly pleased to see that Tech.MT and the Malta Communications Authority have recently reached out to us and other fellow eCommerce Service providers to analyse the needs, perceptions, attitudes and current state of play of the local eCommerce industry. Such public consultations are needed to aid in the formulation of an upcoming National e-Commerce Strategy, that we augur should continue to position Malta as a go-to market for digital transformation and overhaul. And this because, as a branding agency, we genuinely believe and advocate that today’s brands are digital brands.
There are many stumbling blocks for business to set-up an eCommerce channel or platform, including in my opinion:
- eCommerce propositions not streamlined with other areas of business;
- Companies are sometimes reluctant to seek support from experts and instead adopt the in-house model; and
- Lack of proper marketing planning for the launch, promotion and sustainability of the online channel/ website as described above.
In this respect, there are many solutions one could adopt to counter the above, including more national awareness campaigns focusing on the tangible benefits of eCommerce, and publicising further the various support measures available for businesses.
Working towards a stronger digital presence can open doors for a business to reach a wider audience and get over the “island syndrome”. By far, larger than what relying on word-of-mouth can achieve. Investing in making a business visible and more importantly, sustainable, online, can ensure a foundation for business growth. While knowing full well that building an online presence is a tough nut to crack and requires a level of investment, taking this leap will for sure benefit any brand who wants to be successful in a post-pandemic scenario.