Are you in digital poverty?
An independent survey of UK entrepreneurs has revealed how digital poverty – AKA digital ignorance – is costing Britain’s new and start up businesses their lives. It looks like a lack of digital ability is the single biggest reason for new business failures in the UK.
The sheer irony of it
It’s a shocking (and ironic) state of affairs when you can easily find out everything you could possibly need to know on the internet. So why are so many small business owners and entrepreneurs so rubbish at the digital side of things? Is it because digital marketing in particular and the online world in general are so complex and multi-layered, far more complicated and intricate than the offline world ever was? Is it because people just don’t know where to start, with no idea what to ask Google in the first place?
26 years of internet access… and counting
It’s a pretty weird situation, since the internet is 26 years old, hardly a spring chicken. I bought my first book from Amazon.com almost twenty 20 years ago. I coded my first web page in 1999. I got to grips with digital marketing the minute I built my own website, in the year 2000, and I’ve kept up with things ever since. So what’s the problem? Why aren’t new business owners making every effort to get to know the landscape they’re operating in?
Ignorance is no excuse
Whatever the reason for people’s failure, ignorance is no excuse. The information is out there, waiting for you, and it’s essential. If you’re setting up a new business online you’ll find it difficult to do a proper job of it unless you have a decent grasp of:
- How the internet itself works
- The way search engines like Google work
- How to use words to help search engines explore, classify, rate and rank websites accurately and fairly – in other words, SEO
- How digital marketing works
- How direct marketing works
- The bare basics of html code – something which is, at long last, being taught in schools
Know the digital landscape – Recommendations for novices
What about recommendations? You may as well go straight to the horse’s mouth. In Britain we tend to use Google, and they’ve created a Digital Marketing Course for people who want to learn how things work from the bottom up. Here’s a link.
To go deeper into the human side of digital marketing, try Commonsense Direct & Digital Marketing by Drayton Bird. It’s entertaining, clear, intelligent, perceptive and funny, and it comes highly recommended by the planet’s most famous direct marketer, the legendary David Ogilvy. You can buy it here.
There’s no real need to fail
If you can’t be bothered to find out about the commercial landscape your new business will be operating in for yourself, you will need to employ an expert of find a professional freelancer to support you. Otherwise it’s more than likely your enterprise will sink like a stone. And deservedly so. Seldom have so many failed, so miserably, when there’s no need to fail at all.