What is the hardest part of marketing online

Post-crisis recovery - 7 simple online marketing tips for brick and mortar businesses

1. How can stationary trade recover through online marketing?

The strategy that has to be defined at the beginning is very important. Don't just go ahead and try it out! Ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve with online marketing and which channels can I use for this?” Classic goals are: to make the location known, to advertise the products and services or to set up additional communication channels via social media. This also includes recruiting employees. Online marketing offers ideal opportunities to make a name for yourself as an expert and to show transparency.

Another important point is to rely on different channels: Google MyBusiness, social media, optimize your own website for local SEO (example "Catering Bielefeld"), local advertising.

Online marketing measures do not require a long lead time. They can be provided very quickly, the target groups are precisely selected and the planned budget is not exceeded. Other clear advantages over traditional advertising - which has high wastage - are measurability and transparency. In addition, companies that only sell in their own region can restrict the measures to this area. Companies that want to go beyond their own region also have all the options. This is about new customer acquisition.

2. How can the analog service look digital?

We have found that the most successful projects consist of a good product and service. Almost all services can be made available online or even expanded. Good online service often beats lower prices and there are customers who are looking for alternatives to Amazon and Co.

Together with our customers, we at DIXENO develop various services that simplify an order. For example: virtual product advisors, ordering service, chat and callback service, integration of video calls. It's about making the purchase decision easier with good advice. Because many products require intensive advice and explanation. After all, this is exactly where the strengths of the specialist trade lie.

Booksellers can offer new releases and advice via social media or in chat.

A winery can use newsletter marketing to present products, regions, recipes and much more. Individualized packaging service and personalized products - gifts, for special occasions and topics - ensure unique selling points. Configurable labels also support this area. Of course, social media is always used to make this expert knowledge and special services known.

Shopping centers can present their offers via a digital shop window, they organize their own delivery service digitally and offer to determine the stationary availability of the goods they are looking for.

3. Which advertising formats are there and which are recommended?

The selection of formats should always be based on the individual strategy and objectives. Not every format is suitable for everyone. Many formats are developed over time. There are some basic tips to get you started:

For many companies, brick-and-mortar retail is the most important sales channel and digital content is mainly used for information (opening times, location, about us). That's okay for now, because brick-and-mortar business will remain the most important channel. Nevertheless, you have to think about further digital content and ask yourself how the customer is doing today. What questions do customers ask before purchasing? For example: Does the retailer sell the product you are looking for? Are there any reviews for this company? What service can I expect in the store? What are the prices like? Are there any additional products?

Another point is the Google MyBusiness entry: It should always be up-to-date and filled with information and products as best as possible. Your own website or shop must also provide a lot of information about products and services. The known questions from daily sales can be answered digitally.

It is important to have up-to-date content on your own website (Dates, blog, news and others). Then the use of channels (Facebook, XING, newsletter) through which current topics are distributed. The aim is to use your own website or shop not just for information, but actively as digital sales. A website with a lot of content will also reach significantly more customers in the long term because it is easier to find in the search engines. Finally, there is also the placement of advertisements for products and services via Google Ads.

4. Is it only possible to use Google as an advertising partner? What alternative is there?

Google has the greatest reach, but reach always brings competition with it. In most cases, Google is the first choice and impresses with its fast delivery and suitable formats such as video ads, remarketing or Google Shopping. So you can start quickly and easily! First of all, I recommend preparing your own content in such a way that it is worthwhile to place ads. No matter how good the quality of the advertising formats, the landing page has to be better! Does the user find the content on the pages that the ad promises? If your own content fits, ads on Google, Bing, and social media also bring significantly better results.

5. The advisory bookseller is a good example: Expert knowledge is required! How can this be implemented digitally? Many companies do not have the time and personnel resources for blogs and magazines.

The most difficult part is usually right at the beginning. The start! Hence my tip that you should work out the formats little by little, not all at once.

Unfortunately, expert knowledge actually costs a lot of time. However, it is precisely this knowledge that makes the difference to platforms such as Amazon or Ebay. Many dealers have a lot of know-how and no agency can map that in this form. Therefore, as an agency, we often work with constellations such as "the customer provides the technical input + we make this knowledge ready for the www".

In relation to the book trade, this means that many people order books exclusively on the Internet and rely on reviews. Here booksellers can proactively present products and give recommendations. Newsletter reactivate customers to visit the branch. A blog provides guidance on choosing. Critical handling of products can be communicated and appointments - for readings, book presentations and other campaigns - can be quickly communicated to a large target group.

6. That is a lot of information that has to be organized with these measures. How do you keep track of things?

If you try out a lot, isolated solutions often emerge and you fall back on various tools. In the beginning, that's fine too. At some point, however, it becomes confusing. This is how communications run through various channels. Examples: mail, phone, chat, messenger. Important inquiries must be answered at short notice; this requires an organization. Who answers questions? Who is responsible for which channel?

Tip to start with: See communication as part of your service and quality. Organize the responsibilities in the company and create a communication guide (dealing with criticism, answers, etc.). Organizing communication using “small tools” saves costs. However, this is limited to the most important functions.

Later and at the beginning with increased effort, all channels are bundled using tools. Modern CRM systems enable a focus on marketing, sales and distribution. That makes sense and entry is possible from small to large, depending on the requirements.

7. Can companies implement these measures themselves? Where is it better to consult a service provider?

As an agency, we are confronted with different requirements. Every customer has their own requirements.

If the customer wants to cover a large area himselfBecause he has the resources to do so, the strategy and consulting model is often chosen. Then we are a kind of sparring partner while the customer makes use of our experience and expertise.

Does a customer have internal resources, but needs professional support in online marketing, we at DIXENO offer all disciplines from SEO to marketing automation. These are the disciplines that very few companies want to master on their own. Many give us the entire online marketing.

my personal favorite is a mix and I always recommend it. The customer also has to deal with the issues with agency support. Voting should not be desired, but a duty. Digital business only works if the customer and agency work well together. Both sides benefit from their respective expertise.


Matthias Eggert has 12 years of experience in online marketing. For 3 years he has been responsible for this area as head of online marketing at the Paderborn digital agency DIXENO, which takes on the creation, marketing and operation of marketplaces, B2B portals, platforms and online shops for B2B and B2C companies. His passion are precise online marketing strategies with which online shops and marketplaces can be optimized in a targeted manner.

Do you have more questions? Then please contact Matthias Eggert directly: m.eggert [at] dixeno.de