Business development in the digital era. Techniques & Tools

The main goal of marketing is to provide a future and growth for the business and one of the most important objectives is to generate leads and new business.

I remember reading one study one day that was debating the way business development changed nowadays and felt that my long time believes and professional experience was reconfirmed by the conclusions of this study. They pretty much said that despite what a lot of business owners still believe, the purchase behaviour changed a lot and purchase managers are now finding the Internet the first source of new information when looking for new service providers.

It was very hard for me to convince some entrepreneurs about this, though, because some find the Internet and technology to be a distant parallel future and still considers the old ways to be the norm for business development. There are leaders that consider marketing a support function/department and because of this his business is stuck in the past and lose tremendous opportunities.

In order to develop and grow a business, at the strategic level, there are some strategic choices available for the management, such as: Access to funding, New Business Partnerships, HR Recruiting, New product development, Product diversification, Internationalisation, Tailored Services, R&D Investing, Network Affiliations, Cost controlling, BPA & Software & Equipment Investing and EU grants/funds.

First, we need to address the concept of business growth and business development. One particular taxanomy that I find relevant is the one by Bibu and Sala. The concept of business growth consists of the following four growth types according to Nicolae A. Bibu and Diana Claudia Sala: ‘’first, financial growth, related to turnover, profit, capital, business value, dividends; second, strategic growth (changes in the way that a company fits to its external environment), measured by market share growth, maintaining sustainable competitive advantage, company reputation’s growth; third, organizational growth related to development of processes, changes in organizational culture and in attitudes, meaning the growth of total number of full time employees; and, fourth, structural growth, meaning the growth of the number of organizational departments.’’ (Nicolae A. Bibu and Diana Claudia Sala, 2014)[1] Although all are important, we will limit our scope to the financial growth, strategic growth and structural growth. Thus we will further address the critical literature on the topic of strategic growth and competitive strategy.

At the tactical level, the marketing head has the business development tactics and techniques that will support the need for new business.

Here are some business development techniques and tools that your company is probably currently using for marketing & sales. Which one is more efficient and most effective for your business should be the main concern of your marketing department.

Business Development Techniques & Tools:

  • Advertising (Press, Radio, TV, OOH)
  • Social Media
  • Newsletter Service
  • Website
  • Pay Per Click Campaigns (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • SEO Optimisation
  • Video Marketing
  • Email automation
  • Lead Generation automation
  • CRM Software
  • Website Interactive Chats
  • Re-marketing Campaigns
  • Marketing Automation Software (Workflow Automation)
  • Mobile Marketing Automation
  • SMS Automation
  • Smartphone Apps
  • Business Intelligence Software
  • Interactive Displays
  • POS payments system
  • Customer Experience & Ticketing Software
  • Online Payments
  • Submissions to Ranking Publications
  • Business Partnerships & Memberships
  • Network Affiliation
  • Event Sponsorship
  • Event Organising
  • Public Relations
  • Networking
  • Blogging / Content Marketing
  • Cold Calling / Call centre

Do make sure you are investing time in using as many of these tactics, if appropriate for your business, in your business development efforts,


[1] Nicolae A. Bibu and Diana Claudia Sala (2014) Aspects of fast growth in Romanian companies. The case of a successful company in Timis county, (Downloaded 19.03.2018 https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042814020333/1-s2.0-S1877042814020333-main.pdf?_tid=1f685ed9-67ce-414b-ae31-f8a1f8b21e31&acdnat=1521469574_94a4598dbd32b839b218234fdf505ba3)