More South Canterbury businesses seek online help

GoAnna owner and creative director Anna Brenssell advises businesses to create an online strategy.

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GoAnna owner and creative director Anna Brenssell advises businesses to create an online strategy.

South Canterbury businesses need to do more in strengthening their digital platforms according to some of the communications specialists in the region.

One of those specialists, Anna Brenssell, of Timaru-based GoAnna, agreed that South Canterbury would be in line with a recently released study that found that only 3 per cent of New Zealand businesses are digitally agile, meaning they are able to adapt to changing circumstances quickly and effectively.

“When it comes to being digitally agile in South Canterbury I would agree with that,” Brenssell told Stuff.

The workday digital agility index study also stated that 58 per cent of NZ businesses do not have a centralised budget for digital transformation, and 59 per cent lack a strategy to develop digital talents.

“Many businesses we deal with in South Canterbury don’t have a specific budget set aside for digital marketing, but they do have a digital presence.”

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Brenssell said about 20 per cent of especially smaller companies in her client base did not have a proper digital presence, but some were now converting “purely because of Covid-19”.

Businesses needed to be “more clever” in handling an online presence, she said.

“They’re competing in a market that’s become more and more saturated. The reality is they (websites) should be making money for them through digital marketing.

“In the past there were too many companies that really didn’t think about what that website was really doing for them, and they need some help in tweeking their websites and getting something out of it.”

Digital marketing had come a long way in a short space of time which meant learning was ongoing, but there are little changes which “can make life easier”, Brenssell said.

She advised businesses not to react to circumstances like Covid-19, but to implement a strategy to help it become profitable in the long term, and this included traditional avenues such as print and broadcast media.

“They need to determine who the company is, then work out the best medium to get that across.

“There is enough data out there that proves to us that companies that market during a recession will get out of it 300 per cent faster than a company that doesn’t.”

Skymedia director Corey Reid says many South Canterbury businesses do not have an online strategy.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Skymedia director Corey Reid says many South Canterbury businesses do not have an online strategy.

Corey Reid, director of Sky Media in Timaru, also agreed with the study that many companies in the region did not have a digital marketing strategy.

“I would say it is even higher than 59 per cent. It’s not just about having a website.

“Digital marketing strategy needs to cover quite a few different areas to bring traffic to a website.”

Reid and Brenssell both said they had been receiving more inquiries about digital platforms.

Brenssell said her company had quoted eight new clients, five of whom already had websites but wanted to maximise their profits from it while Reid said he has received at least four enquiries a week since the region moved back to level two lockdown.

“We’ve been helping a lot of clients integrate their social media and their website better,” Brenssell said.

“This enables them to track and run campaigns, so they can get a greater return on investment from their website.”

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