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Building an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Do you have strategy/plan for any element of your Digital/Online Marketing activity?  

Digital Marketing will allow you and your business to:

  1. Build a brand
  2. Sell your product/service
  3. Reach international prospect
  4. Talk directly to your current/previous customers
  5. Connect with personal and business contacts
  6. Respond to customer queries/complaints
  7. Manage PR stories
  8. Recruit staff
  9. Get referrals from people who have used your business

What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

Digital marketing strategy builds on and adapts the principles of traditional marketing, using the opportunities and challenges offered by technology and the digital medium. User-centric thinking, which involves placing the user at the core of all decisions, is vital when looking at building a successful digital marketing strategy.

The advent of new technologies means the digital marketing strategist of today is offered not only a plethora of new tactical possibilities, but also unprecedented ways of measuring the effectiveness of chosen strategies and tactics.
The fact that digital marketing is highly empirical is one of its key strengths. Everything can be measured: from behaviors, to actions and action paths, to results. This means that the digital marketing strategist should start thinking with return on investment (ROI) in mind.

An effective strategy involves making choices, as the brand that attempts to be all things to all people risks becoming unfocused or losing the clarity of its value proposition. To make a strong choice, a strategist must first examine what the choices are: what are the factors that affect your business? These include market, competitor landscape, customers and core competencies

Crafting a Digital Marketing Strategy

The first step in crafting a successful strategy is to examine the context of the organisation and the various stakeholders.

1. Context:

  • Who are you and what is it about your identity that makes you useful?
  • Who are your customers and what needs and wants do they have?
  • Who are your competitors? These might extend beyond organisations that compete with you on the basis of price and product and could also be competition in the form of abstracts such as time and mind share.
  • What is the context in which you are operating (social, political and economic factors) and how is this likely to change in the future?

2. Objectives:

Digital marketing has technology at its heart. It is therefore crucial to involve both technical and aesthetic minds in the initial stages of strategy formulation. The objectives should speak to both system and story and the tools afforded
by technology should be a starting point in the process of developing strategic objectives.

The second factor to consider when setting objectives is that all channels of a brand operate as part of a greater hole. Digital marketing objectives should be aligned with the brand’s greater strategic objectives.

3. Value-Exchange:

• What value are you adding to the market, what are you trying to achieve and how will you know if you are successful?

Digital can achieve many things in terms of users and value creation. Once you have defined what constitutes success and have delineated your prime objective, you can examine other goals that support this objective. For example, if your prime objective is for people to view the full range of products that your organisation has to offer, supporting goals could be “we want people to share their comments to support our range development” or “we want to identify the most enthusiastic users and recruit them as brand ambassadors”.

Exploring all the options before defining the most specific and focused direction will result in the most successful direction.

4. Tactics and Evaluation:

A diverse variety of digital tools and tactics are available once you have defined your digital marketing objectives. The strength of the tools is dependent on the type of objectives set for the brand – for example, acquisition (or gaining new customers) may be best driven by paid search, while email is one of the most effective tools for selling more products to existing customers.

5. Metrics:

Metrics are important in defining what successful value-exchange is worth to an organisation and how this worth will be measured. This step needs to be considered in conjunction with value-exchange. As previously discussed, digital is an empirical medium and digital marketing should start with ROI in mind. Setting up the analysis and measurement tools early on in the online strategy phase will enable you to measure returns from inception. The metrics that matter to your business objectives are referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs).

6. Ongoing Optimization:

The growing necessity for an organisation to remain dynamic and agile ties in with metrics and should be considered in the early stages of strategy formulation, as well as being a continuous process in refining and optimizing tactics. The user experience and journey is vital to building successful brands. Budget should be set aside upfront to be dedicated to the analysis of user data and the optimization of conversion paths.