Have a great website? Check. SEO? Check. Digital advertising, social media, and content marketing? Check, check, and check.
There’s a good chance that your organization is already conducting digital marketing campaigns — several of them in fact. But how many of them are specifically geared towards your customers, sales funnel, or business goals, and how many of them are just ticking boxes?
For a lot of organizations, it’s a question that’s impossible to answer. If this sounds like you, that’s OK — you’re certainly not alone.
You see, for many people, modern-day digital marketing has become both a blessing and a curse. Thanks to the internet it has never been easier to interact with your audience online, but at the same time, it’s never been harder to make sure you are heard.
As a result, organizations are constantly chasing silver bullets, investing in new tactics or technologies simply because their competitors have done so, or because they’ve read about it in the press.
The end result is that your budget — not to mention your attention— is stretched thinner and thinner in a bid to keep up with the Joneses when really you should be focusing your efforts on the channels that will make the most impact with your users, deliver the highest ROI, and boost your business’ bottom line.
That’s where strategy comes in
Marketing is evolving. Every day there are new technologies, new opportunities, and new tactics for companies to employ in order to engage with their customers. But in this increasingly complex world, it can be easy to lose your way. To use the old adage, it can be hard for organizations to see the forest for the trees.
It’s about being selective, concentrating on the channels that will have the biggest impact on your bottom line and implementing them in a coordinated manner so that you can get the best bang for your marketing buck. Before deciding on the what, the where, and the when, it’s about finding the why.
In short, it’s about strategy.
If you think about it, then it’s no different than any other area of your organization. Take your business plan for example: Did you just come up with an idea and set it into motion, repeatedly adding to it every time you saw a new opportunity to diversify or to engage with new customers?
Probably not, right?
Instead, you took the time to research the marketplace, to analyze your competitors and identify who your customers are and what they wanted. You meticulously plotted every detail so that you could map out not only what your business’ goals were, but how you would achieve them.
The same should be true of your marketing activity.
Putting strategy into action
Now there’s a very good chance that you have got to this point in the blog, thinking, “Hang on a minute, we already have a strategy.”
There’s probably a document on your desktop labeled ‘Strategy’, something that you share with the various stakeholders, creatives, and agencies involved in your campaigns. But how much solid data actually went into establishing that strategy, and how closely is it being followed? How much knowledge of the nuances of different channels and technologies went into its development?
Typically marketing strategies exist in the realm of the theoretical, designed to justify the work you had planned to do rather than guide it. They get lost along the way and are only referred to fleetingly by those who are operating on the frontlines.
But for a strategy to be truly effective, it has to be put into action. It has to get its hands dirty, informing each and every marketing decision that is made.
That’s why we’ve designed an agency that combines top-level strategy and impeccable implementation all under one roof.
It’s a holistic approach, designed to simplify marketing strategies by not only identifying the tactics and techniques that will work for an organization but having a team of cross-functional specialists in place to execute on them at a world-class level.
That way we can connect all of the dots on your digital marketing, keeping one eye on the bigger picture at all times, even when we’re working on the frontlines of the fast-moving world of digital marketing.
How to put strategy at the center of your business
Whether you partner with an outside agency or want to bring it to the forefront of your own marketing department, there are a few key things that you need to consider if you want to make strategy central to everything you do.
Understand your audience
Who is your audience? What do they think about your company? What do they like and dislike? What information do they respond to? Where do they find that information? How do they share it with their peers? These are all questions that you, or your agency of choice, need to ask in order to identify exactly what needs to be done to help achieve your organization’s goals.
Find the right needles in the haystack
The key to a strategic mindset is foregoing a catch-all approach and instead zeroing in on only those tactics and channels that will help to deliver on your organization’s objectives. That means that your strategy needs to inform your entire marketing plan, ensuring that every aspect of it is working in harmony to deliver the right information, to the right people, at the right time, on the right channels.
Analyze if it’s working
Strategy has to continually evolve. As such, analytics is key to making sure it works both now and in the future. Careful analysis can help you to separate what is working from what isn’t, and to help you pinpoint what your audience is interacting with and why. Then, you’re able to pivot in real-time to make sure that your marketing campaigns are delivering on their objectives.