How digital marketing can help companies grow beyond their boundaries

Innovation and Development

How digital marketing can help companies grow beyond their boundaries

Posted 26 January

At Galway Business School, you can take up a Certificate in Sales and Marketing as part of the Springboard scheme, but how can smaller companies tackle the might of Big Data?

Most businesses start small - growing from niches created by geography (a local business) or by niche - selling into a specific need.

In the sepia-tinted past, taking the step from local and/or niche to global was difficult. Frequently, the only way for companies to extend their reach beyond the local area was to open shops or offices in new locations or spend a fortune on advertising. Often neither option was practical. 

Of course, digital technologies mean that any local business can now sell beyond its own postcode and a niche business can find enthusiasts for its products and services around the world. 

Digital is the key to breaking out from ‘small’ and, if nothing else, the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have meant that everyone has had a crash course in their own version of digital innovation and delivery. It has been adapt or crash this year.

That change, driven by circumstance rather than ambition, has taken many businesses into the world of multi-channel sales and marketing - where a business sells its products or services through more than one medium. That might be a combination of a permanent physical space (some people call these ‘shops’ or ‘offices’), a temporary physical space (a ‘pop-up’ or a market, or conference) via a website, via an app, by phone or by catalogues and phone orders. The more options that customers have, the more of them will be able to give you their business.

Digital is the key to breaking out from ‘small’

Digital is the key to breaking out from ‘small’

The options for multi-channel marketing are pretty wide:


Marketing on social media platforms is both key and obvious. What might be less obvious is the level of experimentation that might be useful. A company may have had success with Facebook advertising. But marketing in a range of social platforms can increase the visibility. Experimenting with Twitter or Instagram can generate awareness amongst different demographics. A close eye on the ROI of the different platforms (and chuck in Snapchat, Tik-Tok and Pinterest perhaps) can show what’s working (to be continued) and what isn’t (to be tweaked or abandoned).

Mobile and web

Much of mobile marketing can be filed under social, as the vast majority of social media activity takes place via the phone and social media apps, rather than via desktop. But that doesn’t mean that’s the entirety of mobile marketing.

The key component is the website. For one thing, a website needs to be mobile-first or else not only will the user experience be compromised, but the search engine optimisation (SEO) will be penalised by Google whose algorithms are based around visibility on mobile. A website which isn’t mobile-first will plummet down the search results. More generally, a well-thought through SEO strategy is the key to visibility to potential customers who are, by definition, looking for what a customer is selling.

Beyond that, alerts via an app and text messages, while potentially intrusive, offer a company highly direct routes to customers. But great care is required in the messages, the permissions for those messages and the frequency of delivery if a company isn’t careful.

Digital advertising

As an add-on to SEO, search advertising can be a way of keeping a company in vision til the search strategy catches up. Google Adwords and Bing Ads can guarantee your business will appear prominently in search results in certain circumstances and with some precise targeting  – with adverts placed in response to particular search times, in particular locations and at particular times of the day, for example. 


In these days of GDPR, managing people’s data can be tricky and ongoing, but it can be made worthwhile with email marketing. Email is a powerful marketing tool that is on the rise again, especially for small business. Research shows that email engagement has increased in the past year. A carefully constructed newsletter strategy, backed by a carefully constructed newsletter can build engagement and interest.

Content marketing

Content marketing is simply creating content on a company’s own or third party platforms as a way of building brand awareness and a sense of the expertise of the organisation. By building a bank of content that shows a company knows what it’s talking about, it also builds a bank of SEO-friendly content to tempt those search engines.


In a pandemic and the resultant shut-downs, the joys of in-person events have become magnified. The joy of the serendipity of meetings and conversations that meander to unexpectedly fruitful conclusions are suddenly nirvana to marketeers. When it's possible again, trade shows, conferences and events will seem like wholly new revenue possibilities to companies which have become used to the confines of 2020. Some will even trade on the spot with payment apps or point of sale devices. One day…

To become a multi-channel business, a company has to deliver its marketing with the same flexibility. And while there is nothing wrong with a post on Facebook suggesting customers visit a shop, the user journey is shorter (literally) if it suggests an online visit. Matching marketing to delivery always helps…

At Galway Business School you can learn to deliver innovation through a Certificate in Sales and Marketing programme as part of the Springboard scheme. Or browse all of the Springboard business courses we have available.