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Digital marketing: The real competitive advantage for SMEs

Media & marketing leaders come together to support Australian SMEs

Six of Australia’s leading marketing executives have joined forces to launch a disruptive marketing technology business that promises to keep online agencies and developers accountable by making independent, quality digital audits accessible and equitable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the first time ever.

The Independent Digital Audit Pty Ltd (IDA) pledges to save firms thousands of dollars and increase transparency in the often nebulous world of digital marketing. IDA offers to review and improve every Australian SME’s online visibility and performance, providing bespoke reports containing clear and actionable advice on how to improve return on investment.

Australian owned and backed by a global team of online specialists, IDA combines technical automation with expert insight.

Words from the leaders

IDA is the brainchild of a stellar collection of media and marketing leaders including Slingshot CEO Simon Rutherford, former Publicis and Ogilvy CEO Andrew ‘Billy’ Baxter, veteran marketer and CMO Magazine Hall of Famer David Morgan, founding partner of Slingshot Steve Douglas, and Slingshot’s Chief Innovation Officer Simon Corbett. The five are partners in, and advisors toIDA, which will be run by former 10, Fairfax and Condè Nast executive Steve Douglas, as Managing Director, with ex-Roy Morgan General Manager John La Rosa as GM.

Steve Douglas said “A business’s online presence has never been more vital to its success, yet the average Aussie SME is overwhelmed by its dependence on digital channels, and lacks the time, budget or know-how to improve it. As trusted and independent advisors, IDA acts as the next essential service, rectifying small businesses’ inaccessibility to honest, transparent and affordable digital help”.

“Whilst there are lots of search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and Google specialists in the market, none of them looks at the whole picture in detail nor provides a priority list of what needs to be fixed. We do both. We do not up-sell, we just provide honest feedback of what is working and what is not. Clients are armed with the knowledge of what needs to be done. We are independent and transparent, working hand in hand with business advisors, accounts, digital developers and governing bodies – anyone who looks after the best interests of their clients.”, Simon Rutherford explained.

Andrew Baxter noted that each of the founders is an owner of an SME business, and therefore knows firsthand the pressures that brings. He said: “You are constantly in the business and not working on it. Who with their hand on their heart could confidently say that they know how well their online marketing is performing? Most SME owners do not have the time or the inclination to dive deeply into their online marketing ecosystem to ascertain how well they are performing. But it is vitally important to their growth as a business that they are doing well. So, we are going to help them.”

Baxter went on to say “so many small business owners don’t know a lot about their online customers, as online brings a level of anonymity to the purchase cycle. The IDA audit gives these business owners a first-hand glimpse of who they are and their needs and wants. This is crucial to building your business plan and growing your online ecoms channel”.

“The Digital Marketing Ecosystem is the engine of growth for every SME business, IDA offers the opportunity to understand and deliver a real competitive advantage. As a marketer and traditionally money conscious Scotsman, I’m delighted IDA offers SME businesses wise management of their marketing dollars!”, David Morgan said.

Quote attributable to CEO and Founder of Succession Plus, Craig West  

“Independent third-party auditing around online marketing should be handled in the same way as all other areas of due diligence. It’s imperative for any business to understand their ROI and in particular, to anyone gearing up for sale. In our line of work, buyers, lenders and investors are constantly asking us about people’s marketing channels. It’s so important to know where leads and sales are coming from, and structures around digital marketing. Third party auditing reports help to give credibility. It also allows the opportunity to correct errors and optimise their business prior to sale, ultimately giving them the best chance of achieving their desired outcomes.”

Quote attributable to CEO of Nookie, Nikita Sernack

“The digital audit is outstandingly thorough and meticulous. It has provided us with clear, insightful and specific recommendations on optimising all areas of our digital activity supported by comprehensive testing and data. Actional steps are rated as Urgent, Medium and Low, which enable immediate prioritised response rather than being overwhelming. The audit identified significant issues we were able to immediately rectify, guidance and vision for growth. I could not be more impressed with this service.”

Quote attributable to General Manager Global Operations and International Media Director of Surf Lakes, Wayne Dart

“As a rapidly expanding company, Surf Lakes wanted to gain insight into its existing digital performance. The IDA report identified a number of gaps in Surf Lakes’ digital planning and provided vital data for a roadmap towards future marketing success. The Surf Lakes team is now able to clearly define the capabilities of strategic partners for a global digital marketing roll out.”

The IDA report is available now to small business through a growing partner program or direct to SMEs from their website https://independentdigitalaudit.com.au/. Full Audit Reports including a detailed audience profile starts at $5,750 and takes 2-3 weeks to turn around.

Source: Independent Digital Audit

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