Setting up and maintaining a digital marketing strategy is an on-going relationship, it’s methodical, it isn’t a one-click stand that you can just switch on and off on a whim. In a previous article, we outlined the steps you can take to ; but taking a relationship from good to excellent requires some structured planning.
A good digital marketing strategy takes a multi-faceted approach to marketing. For example, you’d also take into account the various offline, non-digital touch-points that would need to be personalised to support your marketing plan as a whole. (This is the world of agile, after all; working in isolation is so last decade.)
In our combined 80 years of experience in digital, we’ve found that there are seven action categories that act as a framework for your marketing strategy.
Let us compare some of the actions within each category – from the bare minimum all the way to high-level optimisation.
Believe it or not, implementing digital marketing without a strategic approach isn’t too uncommon. We come across brands that know how to wow on Instagram or get clicks through their interesting eDMs organically without much planning, but these brands are missing out on opportunities to make an impression on other channels. Sometimes we think they could be doing more to optimise their airtime.
Being strategic means creating a structured roadmap. Every single action should be informed and based on insights.
Basic action: You prioritise activities and channels, but with no clear timeframe. Goals are not aligned and marketing tools are adopted on an ad hoc basis.
Optimised action: Creating a multi-channel marketing plan with a revenue-based funnel acquisition model. Actions are based on a lifetime value model, with 90-day plans and structured evaluation checkpoints throughout the marketing roadmap.
Building brand awareness and attracting visits to your digital assets is now a necessity, but you knew that. How do you drive visitors to your site?
Basic action: SEO and paid media use are ad hoc and limited. You use AdWords, target keywords and online media but on a simple scale.
Optimised action: Create clear targets for your media within a framework of owned, earned and paid. All media is properly attributed and you conduct regularly scheduled media reviews, consistently improving and exploring your options.
Ah, good user experience: the Holy Grail of digital. Well, we like to think so anyway, since we totally appreciate the je ne sais quoi / x-factor that goes into the calculated art form that is user experience design. Well-executed UX design considers experience, flow and content; and marries them all to create an invisible yet delightful experience.
Basic action: No user personas created as foundations for a marketing plan. No user journey mapping and profiling; CTA engagement and visits to various site sections are random.
Optimised action: A proactive content marketing strategy with high-quality content in place, integrating personalised customer journeys that lead to conversion. Testing is conducted for various scenarios, including A/B testing and multivariate testing.
How to turn people from being window-shoppers into actual shoppers? Building multiple sales channels is a good start. Targeting your marketing communications is even better.
Basic action: Sending out simple broadcast newsletters that target the general audience. Simple and generic welcome emails. No or limited paid remarketing.
Optimised action: Personalisation of all communications via user groups. Set up welcome and abandon emails. Send segmented lifecycle emails and roll out paid media retargeting. This should be applied across all touch-points.
Now that you have your customer’s attention, you’ll want to think about how to keep them engaged. What will keep them coming back for more? This is where your relationship-keeping skills truly come into play.
Basic action: Sending out a general customer newsletter. No personalisation, no loyalty program, no targeting. Engaging in an ad hoc manner on social media.
Optimised action: Conducting customer experience research to sharpen your assets. Have an active, well-managed loyalty program in place. Apply machine learning where you can via your tools.
- Connect emotionally
Making your customer love your brand, so much so that they’d stick with you through thick and thin, go where you go, trust what you say – that takes real commitment, and just a bit of planning.
Basic action: Brand identity and values are defined and expressed, but not clear in an overarching way. Maybe some reviews and earned media exist.
Optimised action: Every brand asset clearly communicates the brand identity, values and benefits. Blog and social media are active and further props up the brand personality. Research goes into unearthing pain points and brand defects to be rectified. Fully integrated brand reputation management, including public relations and community engagement.
Once everything is set up, you can sit back and watch the magic unfurl, but don’t rest on your laurels. Take a proactive approach to managing your approach and your brand growth.
Basic action: Setting up analytics, but reviewing them on an ad hoc basis. Performance is monitored randomly and without clear goals in place.
Optimised action: Value-based KPIs are put in place, preferably with lifetime values defined. Quick but effective weekly performance reviews are conducted, and weak spots are quickly amended.