Digital marketing: An option for SMEs

Digital marketing is widely underused in Quebec.

Nicolas Mesly | Journalist 

With the birth of a digital world, data use is to the 21st century what the oil fields were to the previous century. Will Quebec businesses follow the trend?

"Digital marketing is widely underused in Quebec," observes James Eaves, associate professor with the Faculty of Business Administration at Universit√© Laval. According to Mr. Eaves, businesses in Quebec would fare extremely well using the online tools available--as start-ups do--to identify business opportunities, potential clients and distribution channels for their products.  

Getting a better picture of your clients
Commonly referred to as Big data, this brand new field analyzes billions of data generated by a large number of electronic gadgets. It can help companies pull off unprecedented levels of consumer profiling by eliminating unrelated information. Mr. Eaves advises entrepreneurs to go with tools that generate useful data. For example, Facebook and a slew of other tools, including Google AdWords, can generate data, assess what clients are interested in, create customer profiles and even anticipate consumer needs. 

"SmartBots will also revolutionize the world of business, but we're not going to see this tomorrow morning," predicts Mr. Eaves. In the U.S. alone, more than 200,000 algorithm developers work to transform data into useful and measurable information for companies. 

Sharing the product's history
When people buy Apple computers or Harley Davidson motorcycles, they're buying a product, yes, but they're also buying the product's history. Companies with staying power have changed or adapted their history to one that embraces the digital universe. "Let's take the example of a new buyer with a Star Wars licence; he's not only selling a time-tested and beloved story pumped up by a digital ad campaign, he's also selling more products about the film than the film itself!"  Mr. Eaves stresses.

Mr. Eaves feels that almost any product can be sold, provided it's got a good history, and that it's well-distributed. 

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