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The Digital Survival Guide for Founders

It’s no secret we live in a world where our technological devices have become an ever-growing source of information, products, and services. It is therefore unsurprising that businesses are responding to this change by consolidating their online presence through more sophisticated means, primarily digital marketing.

Digital marketing has now become one of the most necessary aspects for digital businesses to survive and thrive in the new age!

Main benefits of digital marketing

The principal benefits that digital marketing has to offer to help get you ahead of your competition are as follows:

  • Tracking: The advancement of tracking tools, such as web analytics enable you to establish how effective your campaigns have been. In-turn, you can also obtain detailed information about how customers interact with your website and respond to your advertising.
  • Personalisation: Any messages or content that is personalised will keep consumers engaged on your site for longer as that personal edge will encourage them to click on and read further. This level of personalisation is based on data that has been collected about their digital presence (e.g., region, purchasing habits, demographic).
  • Low cost of entry: The key digital marketing platforms such as Facebook & Google have a very low cost of entry and brands can begin testing with budgets from as small as £10. The tools they offer are fundamentally the same for small and large advertisers alike.
  • Scale: A website allows you to theoretically to acquire customers on a global scale. Furthermore, the main advertising platforms Facebook & Google have over 80% reach in most major markets.

Covid’s impact on consumer behaviour and digital businesses

As we know, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the performance of many businesses (both online and offline) in the UK. Lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic (lockdowns and social distancing measures for example), have necessitated an acceleration to the level of digital adoption that was already underway prior to its onset. Some have even claimed that the first 2 months of lockdown saw us reach levels of digital adoption that would otherwise have taken five years¹. Importantly, a number of sectors not only saw increased usage and customers, but also an intention to continue using these products or services once the pandemic has subsided.

digital marketing table

In response to these consumer behavioural changes, nimble forward-thinking companies have reorientated their business models to emphasise their digital offering, in preparation for what is commonly referred to as the “new normal”.

Lockdown provided an opportunity for a number of companies to ‘double down’ on their digital marketing. As a result of a number of sectors withdrawing from the market (e.g., travel and hospitality), costs for digital marketing were driven down, which further provided an opportunity for other businesses that were less affected by the pandemic. One of our borrowers, the children’s cooking kit company Little Cooks Co, did exactly this and harnessed the opportunity to interact with an increased number of online users by being bold and raising their digital marketing spend. This, in-turn enabled them to acquire a far higher number of customers over a short period, at a relatively cheap cost.

This is yet another advantage of digital marketing, the ability to respond quickly to changes in the current market. In circumstances, where the cost of acquiring customers decreases (and the lifetime value of that customer remains constant), businesses can quickly react by increasing their digital marketing spend. Conversely, should those costs significantly rise, an advertiser can throttle or pause their marketing spend, rather than blindly ploughing ahead and reducing the efficiency of their spend. 

Post pandemic

Whilst there are businesses that have performed well during the pandemic, some will not be able to sustain the same levels of success after COVID. With increasing levels of competition as other sectors come back into the mix, companies that have experienced growth over the pandemic will need to continue developing their marketing strategies, refining not only their targeting but also their creative messaging.

This links into one of the most important benefits digital marketing has to offer, data monitoring (as mentioned above). We can all remember big marketing campaigns over the last century, such those of Diet Coke, Hamlet Cigars and Levi’s. These were big budget, eye catching campaigns for equally big brands. However, data analysis was imprecise. A campaign may have been working, but which bits of the campaign were performing most effectively? The reality was that no one knew.

Although creatives are still a key part of digital marketing, data is as important, if not more so. Therefore, having a range of analytic tools on-hand allows us to track and analyse data coming in from different campaigns.

Top digital marketing channels to utilise

The team at Juice have analysed a number of borrowers’ data to help identify the channels and strategies we think work the most effectively when it comes to transforming and growing a businesses’ online presence:

  • Paid search: This is usually executed via the Google Ads platform. This allows you to advertise your business on Google’s search engine results’ page, so you are reaching highly targeted consumers. This also encompasses YouTube and Google Display networks. Payment is ordinarily on a pay-per-click (PPC) structure.
  • Paid social media marketing: The big player is Facebook (including Instagram) but also includes other platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok. Facebook’s targeting tools and knowledge of their users are extremely powerful in helping advertisers generate enhanced sales, even if customers are not necessarily always in ‘buy mode’ in that very moment. Payment is usually on a PPC model.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): A strategy that allows businesses to focus on increasing a website’s ranking to increase levels of traffic. The higher your business ranks on Google’ search engine, the more relevant traffic you will receive to your business.
  • Organic marketing: This refers to any form of marketing that does not involve money being spent on, e.g., blogging, standard social posts, Facebook updates, case studies.
  • Content marketing: The creation and distribution of valuable, relevant content to attract new users. This can be done through blogs, videos, emails, podcasts etc.
  • Video marketing: You can use video marketing in many ways, ranging from promoting your brand, promoting a product, share stories, and testimonials, or showing behind the scenes of your business’ operations. This is commonly posted on platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.
  • Email marketing: One of the forms of marketing that has one of the highest levels of ROI. This involves sending out personalised emails to your target audience or existing customers. Emails are often overlooked but it should still form a core part of any digital brand’s strategy. More and more businesses are now using SMS messaging to go alongside email as well.
  • Influencer marketing: One of the most recent forms of digital marketing, which involves hiring prominent figures on social media to endorse an organisation’s products or services. Their endorsement then influences their own followers, encouraging them to purchase your product. 

Helping founders grow into marketers

At Juice, we are more than your average lending company, we are a team of entrepreneurs and marketers. We understand the struggles businesses can go through in regard to growing digitally in the ever-changing market.

Our view is that for founders and early investors alike, using Juice to finance your digital marketing spend makes total sense. For a number of consumer-facing businesses, there is a point in time at which marketing becomes your largest expense. Using Juice reduces pressure on your equity raises, lessening dilution and the frequency at which you need to raise capital. Our analysis also demonstrates that consistently using Juice can double your equity holding at the point of exit. This is due not only to dilution, but through enhancing enterprise valuations through increased revenue and customers. It’s not just about funding though. We want your business to succeed, and therefore look to assist you with all elements of your approach to marketing, to ensure the efficiency of each pound spent.

If you’re interested in applying or learning more about how Juice can help your company, contact us today via email (growth@juice.ventures) or by phone (+44  2038 388 361).

1. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-covid-19-recovery-will-be-digital-a-plan-for-the-first-90-days
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