Creating a digital marketing strategy that delivers results in 2017

What is a digital marketing strategy? Have you got a digital marketing strategy in place? Over the years, through research conducted by Gartner and E-consultancy, many brands do not understand the right methodology or approach to creating a perfect digital marketing strategy. Some have struggle to sketch one but are meet with bottlenecks and are unable to deploy it into their marketing mix. It is really hard to believe that many some companies don’t even have in place business plan not to talk of digital marketing strategy in 2017.

Without a marketing strategy and a business plan, how does a business expect to grow in a era where consumer behaviour is significantly drifting, social media media eating into the hearts of everyone and innovation and creativity being at the core business growth? When a C-suite hears the words data and insight, they frightened to near death because they have no got a clue what ask these means but yet they expect to grow and make profits.

Yet, when they are told to map out their target audiences before launching a product or services, it appears to them like some of rocket science from a alien world. This experience is wildly common. I quite remember one of my CEO asking me if we could create a digital marketing strategy that will last for the next coming five years.

Digital marketing strategy is not a strategy that works for all types of businesses. A good digital evangelist is always happy to make measurable mistakes and eventually to learn from them while relentlessly measuring and analysing both out comes. “A quitter never wins and a winner quits”.

Let’s get down to business. If you own a business without a marketing strategy, do not panic about failure and start creating a marketing strategy that will create a significant impact and I will going to show you the ins and outs as we dive deeply into best practices, industry benchmarks and plans that can pack a powerful punch and send your competitors crashing. So, start thinking about how you’d like to grow your online business and how to stay ahead of the competition because the competition is very fierce and not for fainted hearts.

The guidelines I am providing to you right now is the equivalent of the “mother of all bombs” and it should act as a blueprint for your digital marketing mix in 2017 and beyond.

Digital marketing strategy considerations

The first thing you need to consider is your target audiences. Who are they and where are they based. Whether you are starting a new business, carrying out performance review, knowing who influences your business growth and who you are out to target helps you understand the real impact of your strategy before it is implemented. A strategic approach to understanding your target personae is to consider them as part of your holistic digital strategy and or the wider ecosystem. As soon as you have in place identifiers of your target personae, you can proceed to identify, interests, demographics, goals, challenges, background and how you can help. A strategy is usually about solving an identified problem or covering gaps.

Your competitors

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Spying on your primary and secondary competitors is a powerful arsenal to every marketer. It is vital to identify their weaknesses and strengths (SWOT). This should help in identifying threats and opportunities. It is unfortunate that many businesses do not implement this type of analysis and simply rely on intuition without any facts. A competitor analysis is a critical part of any marketing strategy and should be considered very carefully. A good competitor analysis will take into consideration everything a prospective competitor is doing and this include spying to find out how they use social, how often they share content on social, what they share, the level of engagement, tonality, content formatting and much more. Your analysis should include all the channels and platforms where your competitors are active including their websites.

Your goals and objectives

Your business plan will need to feed your digital marketing strategy. Your business objectives and goals must fit into the bigger picture which is your overall business plan. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to achieve? Are you interested in creating brand equity and or a go-to online business? Is this your goal? Right! What makes you different from your competitors?

Your technology and human resources

Having a digital marketing in place means you’d taken into account available resources to create the success your business needs. You would also have identified the right channels where your audiences are active. Below are three resources you’ll me measure and analyse;

  • Have you got the right team in places?
  • Have you got the right budget?
  • Have you got the right technological tools?

Once you have taken stock of what is available, it becomes easy to map-out the way forward. For example, you may decide to outsource some sections of your digital marketing activities or decide to recruit some permanent staff or freelancers to cover missing gaps. Let’s say, during your audit, it appears that, there is no member of staff with the right SEO expertise or PPC knowledge, you may want to get to hire a freelancer or part-time based on the budget in place.

Brand message and communication

Since you already have target personae in place, it is important to speak their language and to make sure the brand message is consistent across all active channels and platforms. You’d need to relate emotionally and give them what they want. It is there paramount that your audiences are at the center of your digital marketing strategy.

The execution

Implementing or deploying your digital marketing should be about testing to identify what works. You are never expected to stick to your plan or strategy. No digital marketing specialist has ever created a succinct and perfect strategy that leverages success from the outset. Not every section of your digital marketing strategy is going to right irrespective of what type of insights, data and analysis you have recruited. Consumer behavior prostitutes which call for continues analysis, measurement and monitoring of your plan, successes and failures. As soon as you have identified what has worked or failed, then you would change those elements resulting in waste where needed. Digital is about continuous testing and testing without an end.