What’s your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Digital marketing strategy means different things to different people and interpretations as to its meaning can vary widely. From a managerial perspective, the term strategy typically implies having a long-term vision usually looking out more than five years. This long-term goal setting can extend organization-wide in the form of a corporate strategy, or it may be focused on a single strategic business unit. In either case, strategy provides direction and focus.
While a business strategy and a digital marketing strategy usually complement each other and have inter dependencies, they are significantly different. Their primary difference lies in the subordinate role of the digital marketing strategy, which is set in place, to support the business strategy.
Strategy refers to a cycle or process of planning around goal and objective setting designed to bridge the gap between the current state and a long-term future state.
This typically involves establishing clear big-picture objectives. In contrast, tactics are the means of executing the strategies. If you are having trouble defining this, a digital marketing agency can typically help devise and execute one with you.
Role of Business Strategy
The primary purpose of a business strategy is to identify opportunities for the company to generate sufficient future revenues to be profitable.
A business strategy comprises a range of initiatives, including how the company is organized and resourced, its management structure, the company’s mission and vision statements and contingency plans to assist the business in mitigating risk and navigating unforeseen market turbulence.
A business strategy can include plans for a company to diversify its operations or brands, make an acquisition, or spin off a brand or a strategic business unit. You may even find that as part of the new strategy, several new marketing services, tools or technologies may need to be acquired.
Digital Marketing Strategy Defined
A digital marketing strategy is a channel strategy designed to enable the business to succeed by delivering outcomes from today’s key digital environment.
Sound digital marketing strategies are based on an understanding of:
- Contribution to the business expected from online channels
- Dynamics of the digital marketplace
- Online prospect and customer channel behavior
- Online intermediaries, publishers, and competitor interactions.
An effective digital strategy will help the business adopt the right tactics to make a company successful online by:
- Identifying channel leads & sales targets
- Budgets for customer acquisition, conversion, retention
- Communicate benefits of using online channel to drive brand equity
- Prioritize online audiences targeted by channel
- Prioritize products sold by channel
A Digital Marketing Strategy should involve a situational review to ensure all core capabilities are in place to enable the business to deliver on its digital touch point strategy.
Importance of A Business Strategy
In order to compete in today’s complex operating environment, businesses must have effective plans in place to identify where the business is going in the future, what the desired future state is, and how the business will bridge the gap between the business’s current and future states.
Without a clear business strategy, which identifies clear objectives, time-frames, and resources, a strategic digital marketing strategy would not be ineffective.
Where Business Strategy and Digital Marketing Strategy Intersect
One of the key performance indicators of a businesses’ executive team is their ability to devise, implement, and monitor an effective strategy. In our increasingly digitized economy, ensuring the business and digital marketing strategies are aligned is a major element in driving the business’ growth.
Depending on the revenue split between online and offline business units, ensuring the digital marketing strategy is actively supporting the long-term needs of the business will be one of its major growth determinants.
7 Reasons Why You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Without It You Are directionless
Companies who fail to put in place clear goals for the digital marketing initiatives have no way strategically relevant means for allocating digital resources. They are effectively trying to pick winner blind. Goals should drive the priorities accorded to resource allocation decisions. Hope is never a reliable method of delivering success in business.
2. Competitors Can Get A Head Start On You
Without a digital marketing strategy, it is hard to understand if you are over or under-resourcing your digital marketing effort. If you are not clear as what you are trying to achieve online, your competitors will run rings around you.
3. Your Online Value Proposition Will Be Confused
A clearly defined digital customer proposition is integral to differentiating you from your competitors, making it difficult to nurture the customer loyalty and advocacy required to be successful online.
4. You Lack Deep Insights Into Your Online Customers
Online is the most measurable channel in the history of commerce. However, Google Analytics can’t help you understand the motivators, needs, wants and desires of your visitors. A set of savvy digital tools and techniques can generate deep insights into your audience enabling you to harness them more effectively.
5. Digital Silos Dominate
It’s way too common for digital marketing initiatives to be fielded and managed in silos. A digital strategy ensures everything connects, which is what your digital audience expects from their online brands.
6. Duplication Wastes Time And Money
In the digital ecosystem, everything connects so streamlining effort is critical for both the business and its audiences. The wrong initiative fielded in the wrong channel may well cut across a competing initiative resulting in confused audiences, blown budgets and wasted time. Understanding the cost of marketing is essential to streamlining this process for both short and long term success,
7. Lost Agility enough to catch up or stay ahead
Smart digital marketers are always testing and trialing new approaches and new tools to ensure their online footprint remains fresh and relevant. Without a coherent digital marketing strategy, it is challenging to keep with an ever-evolving online audience.
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All businesses, be they a major multinational corporation or an SME, can benefit from having a strategy in place. Two of the building blocks of strategy is the Business Strategy and the Digital Marketing Strategy. A Business Strategy should articulate a vision for the business and its goals, while a Digital Marketing Strategy outlines how the online marketplace will contribute to the business achieving those goals, both in terms of revenue and in managing brand reputation.