Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy
Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy should not be an off-putting endeavor. Doing so will put in place a solid basis for planning and more importantly, for developing a marketing budget. Many businesses these days start right into on-line advertising without a plan and without a budget. They spend money, get “likes” and “follows” but do not have anything in place to track how many of these people actually become customers.
An oft overlooked aspect of digital marketing is goal setting. That is, identifying what success looks like in terms that can be measured. In many cases, digital marketing is done part-time by someone on staff who seems to understand social media, or is perceived as being hip and with it. Other times, businesses engage a “consultant” who just focuses on one platform (e.g., instagram or facebook) or is a part timer eking out enough money to get from one gig to the next. These are sub-optimal approaches and do not yield consistent results over a period of time.
Additionally, not developing a digital marketing strategy may mean that you are missing out on ways to reach potential customers. As the landscape has become more complex with competing social media platforms, and new ways of reaching people businesses need to stay up to date. Staying up to date means first understanding your customer base and how those potential customers can be reached.
Developing A Digital Marketing Strategy
Laying the Foundation for Success
Graphic: Developing A Digital Marketing Strategy
Ultimately, it’s about getting more sales out of your advertising spend. Not unlike it has been for years. The advent of new technologies has not negated old fashioned common sense about business decision making. So if, for example, your business spends X dollars on advertising:
- And that X dollars in advertising generates Y amount of additional sales revenue
- And Y additional sales revenue is less than or equal to the X dollars spent on advertising
- Then your business would be better off investing the X dollars in something that generates a higher return than Y.
A digital marketing strategy outlines what you want to achieve with digital, sets out a plan action, puts a budget in place AND identified how you will measure success. Now you can answer some of the basic questions:
- How much is too much? Or not enough?
- Did more customers walk through the door?
- What is my marketing return on investment?
These and other questions must drive the discussions when Developing A Digital Marketing Strategy. A Digital Marketing Strategy is a high-level blueprint for action that allows you to align various digital initiatives with business objectives.
Once those objectives have been agreed, you need to layout a timeline for execution. We tend to advise clients to consider a between a 6 to 18 month planning and budgeting horizon, with quarterly reviews, a detailed monthly marketing calendar and weekly execution schedule. This may seem like a lot of work, but once it’s set up, it really just flows.
Developing A Digital Marketing Strategy Summary
So in summary A Digital Marketing Strategy should address the following key points:
- What digital channels should be using?
- Are there major milestones between where we are now and where we want to be?
- What do we need to do to reach these milestones?
- How much is each initiative going to cost?
- Are there barriers and dependencies?
- How long is each initiative going to take?
- What should we measure to look at our return on investment?
- And lastly, what does success look like (in terms of things we can measure)?
We hope this has helped develop a better understanding of how to go about planning A Digital Marketing Strategy.