Analytics hone online appeal

03/03/2015 - 11:49

Small businesses in the resources sector, which have traditionally relied on reputation and word-of-mouth to secure work, are dipping their toe in a growing pool of SMEs embracing sophisticated online marketing.

TO MARKET: Ian Thubron says Titan’s revenue is growing as customers increase their digital marketing spend. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Small businesses in the resources sector, which have traditionally relied on reputation and word-of-mouth to secure work, are dipping their toe in a growing pool of SMEs embracing sophisticated online marketing.

According to Perth-based marketing agency Titan Digital, more businesses with fewer than 50 employees are using search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media to increase brand recognition, find leads and make sales from their websites.

Newly appointed director Ian Thubron told Business News the agency, which has 48 Perth staff and 100 total, now employed six full-time Perth-based campaign managers specifically to help manage customers refine online efforts to increase sales.

Despite a general malaise about challenging times for businesses, Mr Thubron said Titan had experienced a 30 per cent growth in its yearly revenue as more customers increased their digital marketing spend.

“There’s no point building a website and just making it go live, it’s like having a billboard in the desert, no one’s ever going to see it,” Mr Thubron said.

“The interesting thing is the intuitive person would say times are tough ... clients are cancelling (but) that’s an absolute nonsense.”

“Smart companies are asking how they can be more effective in this space.”

Perth mining services business MiPlan is about to discover whether redesigning its website, enacting SEO and trialling online advertising will grow the company.

MiPlan co-founder Louise Daw told Business News her newly business providing custom software for mining services companies had secured the digital marketing services of agency Juice Box.

“(We) didn’t feel it was essential but we just want to see what happens because you don’t know what you don’t know. It has traditionally been word of mouth but we felt that it may assist us with at least brand recognition,” Ms Daw said.

Meanwhile, componentsonly.com founder Ben Hailes has been reaping the rewards of enacting a sophisticated online strategy.

Mr Hailes had recognised the strong local demand for engines and other major mining, earthworks and agricultural machinery parts, but also could see many businesses had limited options beyond buying from original equipment manufacturers.

So last November Mr Hailes, who has a background in funds management and previously managed an earthworks rental company, launched componentsonly.com, which aims to create a transparent exchange for new and used, rebuilt and non-genuine heavy equipment stock.

The enterprise hinged on having an easily accessible online marketplace, but to get it going he had to convince sellers to pay a subscription to list components – all before being able to prove buyers would respond.

“What we’ve seen over the last three months is our idea and concept has been validated by market demand,” Mr Hailes said.

A key component in the business’s success to date, Mr Hailes said, had been his team’s ability to leverage social media, particularly LinkedIn, and search engine optimisation techniques so that new customers could find the website.

“About 50 per cent of the traffic that comes through every day are new users,” he said.

“Google analytics is incredible; what we’re finding is because of the nature of the website, people are on the site for an average of 12 minutes and 39 seconds, it’s sticky.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options