The economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to the launch of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
In May, amidst the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for achieving “self-reliance to fight and win the war against the novel coronavirus outbreak”. He said India had the potential to not just win the COVID-19 battle, but also emerge as a global leader.
“When the world is in crisis, we must pledge – a pledge which is bigger than the crisis itself. We must strive to make the 21st century India’s century. And the path to do that is self-reliance,” Modi said.
He even gave an example of how India can achieve self-reliance, stating that when the pandemic started India did not manufacture any PPE kits, but by May it had the capacity to manufacture 2 lakh PPE kits and 2 lakh N95 masks.
India’s self-reliance is based on five pillars — economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography, and demand – and SMEs have a huge role to play in this.
SMEs encourage urban and rural growth, helping the Indian economy by generating employment, reducing the poverty rate and urban-rural income gap, encouraging regional development, reducing migration, increasing production, and boosting exports.
And it is these very SMEs that will put India on the path to an Atmanirbhar Bharat and catalyse the country’s economic growth. But for that, they need to go digital. Digitalisation can help small businesses to:
- Simplify operations
- Optimise processes and increase efficiency
- Understand and engage customers
- Generate insights
- Gauge the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
- Transform products with feedback
- Open up new revenue streams
Going online presents a massive opportunity for small manufacturing businesses to directly reach their customers. For that, they need to use digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
This form of marketing uses the internet and online-based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and other digital media and platforms to promote products. In simpler words, digital marketing is all marketing that is done online. There are various ways this can be done, including:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
What helps small businesses with digital marketing? It could be just one or a combination of company websites, mobile apps, social media pages, search engines, emails and automation, digital partnerships, and more.
Digital marketing and Atmanirbhar Bharat
The benefits of digital marketing for small businesses are numerous:
- Lower costs and higher flexibility for marketing campaigns
- Access to consumers who search and shop online
- The ability to speak become a product/industry expert or authority
- The opportunity to use multiple media types in your marketing plan
- The option to engage with influencers and use them to grow your business
- The capacity to track customers’ purchase journeys
There’s more. Digital marketing can:
1. Help you be discovered by customers
When most people are taking out their mobile for a quick online search when looking for a new business or service, a website – with dedicated digital marketing – can ensure that potential customers find you.
2. Make you available round the clock
The internet is always open, unlike your offline store, and this means that your online presence can act as a shop that is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
3. Give your business a specific direction
Many companies are still using digital marketing without a strategic approach, but these firms are likely to miss opportunities. Experts say businesses without a digital strategy don’t chart out clear strategic goals for what they want.
Without proper goals, you are not likely to take your business to the next level.
4. Make effective storytelling possible
A lot of research has shown that storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention and create loyalty.
Digital marketing can help with effective storytelling to give your brand an image and narrative, by working on three aspects – problem, solution, and success.
5. Help you build a stronger brand
More than 70% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand they feel connected to. Digital marketing can help create a clear and compelling brand story across every online channel and attract customers.
6. Ensure cost-efficient marketing
In today’s world, marketing via online channels is a must. Using email, social media, or pay-per-click advertising – all low cost when compared to other channels – can ensure good returns on your investment.
7. Improve customer relationship
An online presence and digital marketing generate huge amounts of data, which can be analysed to better know your customer – age, demographics, choices, preferences, and other behaviour. This makes it easier for you to better engage clients and ensure customer loyalty.
Every small business owner should think of digital marketing as an essential investment, one that is crucial to drive sales and revenue.
With over 80% of businesses stating that their digital marketing efforts are effective in helping them achieve their goal, it’s clear that the way ahead for small businesses – and Atmanirbhar Bharat – is online.
Boost360 can show you how.