I’ve heard and read people (especially those in Finnish #digitalist scene) saying that there are companies – even industries – out there who believe that digitalization doesn’t touch them. I always assumed that this was just part of the digitalization hype, sort of a half-truth, spread to make a case, because surely everyone would actually realize that digital age is here to stay. That was until I faced the first B2C company who didn’t think digital marketing was for them.
I came across through another project a company’s website (I’ll leave the name of the company as well as their industry out of this) which, albeit being somewhat outdated in looks and usability, sported still some products I was instantly intrigued about. Although we haven’t heard about the company before, their products were a perfect fit for our audience. It was a no-brainer to reach out for them and ask for one specific piece for a review. We explained that we really liked their products (we had been actually looking exactly for something like they had to offer, but never quite found anything like it) and would definitely want to showcase and support a Finnish company. We could provide a reach of tens of thousands through video and blog review. In return, we asked for nothing.
The company answered quickly and curtly. “We’ve had 42 similar requests this year. Everyone wants the product for themselves for free. This is not how business works. We’ll stick to the channels we have right now and they’re sufficient for our capacity.”
I was stunned.
There are companies out there who actively (and some even desperately) try to get bloggers, Instagram or YouTube influencers to acknowledge their product. Bigger the reach, more money is involved as well – from the business to the influencer, that is. Although the company’s claim of 42 contacts is likely exaggerated, that’s insanely good sign for them! Bear in mind that this company had an outdated website and practically no online presence at all, let alone any digital marketing activities that we could find of.
I know that there’s a demand for the products they make, yet no one seems to talk about this company. I feel genuinely bad for the them, but maybe they just don’t realize what they could achieve if they would let even one of those 42 persons do something for them. Maybe this is just part of a bigger issue that has been uncovering in the recent years in Finland: our SMEs fear growth. According to pretty much every study, it’s the SMEs that create new jobs, fuel the economic growth and bring everyday prosperity in their regional level. It’s a shame if digitalization, even in its simplest of forms like in this case, is observed as a boogieman you don’t want to have anything to do with.
I’m a firm believer that with a bit more time and hard work, well get around these false presumptions. No one is untouchable by digitalization. Either your business adopts it by internal or external influence, or your business will perish, and believe me, no one wishes for the latter one.
I’ve got you tickets to the digitalization train – destination: Growthville.