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Digital Marketing Has Evolved: Has your small business marketing strategy?

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, the evolution of advertising technology has transformed the way businesses connect with their target audiences. From sophisticated targeting capabilities to immersive ad formats, the possibilities seem endless. However, amidst these advancements, small businesses often find themselves grappling with the question: has our marketing strategy kept pace with these changes? Digital ad technology has undoubtedly revolutionized the advertising game, leveling the playing field for businesses of all sizes. Yet, for small businesses with limited resources and manpower, navigating this ever-changing landscape can be daunting. Here's how digital ad technology has changed and what it means for your small business marketing strategy:


One of the biggest blessings of digital advertising is the ability to cut down on wasted dollars. Gone are the days of having to buy wide demographics, only a small portion of which are realistically in-market for your services. And you no longer have to pay for wide service areas like DMAs and broadcast signal areas. With digital, you can refine your audience to only pay for people that fit into the demographics or behaviors and to only target those people in your defined service area. That means smaller budgets for your company, and less wasted ad dollars!

Optimization / Data-Guided:

When I talk to companies that are spending money on any form of advertising, digital included, and I ask them if what they’re doing is working, the most common responses I get are: “I’m not sure” “Maybe” or “I think so”. If you’re doing digital right, you shouldn’t have to guess. In-depth reporting is crucial to knowing if your ad dollars are truly paying off. And as a campaign produces data, you need to be sure that whoever is running those campaigns hasn’t just walked away – they should be using that data to optimize the campaign, shifting your ad spend towards the areas where they are seeing success and away from the areas where they aren’t.


It can be tricky to effectively advertise on a limited budget. In digital especially, it seems like the number of popular platforms grows every week but your overall marketing budget stays the same. And certainly, there’s real truth in making sure that you don’t dilute your impact overall by stretching your budget too thinly across too many digital platforms to ever really succeed on any of them. However, far too often I find the opposite to be true. A client will be spending an extremely robust amount on one platform, whether it’s Facebook ads, Pay-Per-Click, YouTube, or something else, and that’s the only place where there ads are seen digitally. Finding a saturation point for your audience on a platform is crucial, and that’s the reason it’s one of the first steps we take at Wheeler when putting together a recommended strategy for a client. Being on that platform may be impotant, but overspending in one place will net you diminishing returns at a certain point. We find that diversifying, making sure that our clients are seen on every different screen their user is on and a variety of platforms maximizes the impact of each and every part. So, depending on your budget you may want to be on Meta, OTT/Pre-Roll, Social Mirroring, Mobile Conquesting and more!

Stay Nimble:

Most of our clients at Wheeler are on annual plans, strategies mapped out and budgeted for 12 months at a time. But that rarely if ever means we actually end up doing the same thing for a whole year. People’s behaviors change, so does the market, so do your company’s goals. That’s why it’s crucial to have a marketing plan that stays nimble and is able to pivot targeting, creative and even whole platforms as the need arises. That’s also why it’s so important that you have a marketing partner willing to work on that timeline. Like we talked about earlier, let the data drive your decisions. If you’re seeing a dip in engagement, you don’t have to just furrow your brow. Look at making some changes to see what you can do to get your engagement back up where you need it to be!

While digital ad technology has undoubtedly changed the advertising landscape, the fundamentals of effective marketing remain the same for small businesses. Understanding your target audience, crafting compelling messaging, and delivering a seamless user experience are still paramount to success. By embracing the opportunities afforded by digital ad technology and adapting their marketing strategy accordingly, small businesses can position themselves for growth and success in the digital age.


Regardless of your needs or the changes still to come, know that Wheeler Digital is here to help!

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