Digital Marketing Strategy: An Overview

Commitment to Digital Marketing Strategy Excellence
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Marketing by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator

I am committing myself to this blog to help marketers understand the principles of digital marketing strategy in the U.S. So much has changed so quickly in the past few years that the complexity can seem overwhelming. It is my intention that the posts herein can help de-mystify the apparently complex and help marketers optimize their efforts appropriately for their business needs.

Commitment to Success

Different businesses must define success differently. Success may be e-commerce transactions, foot traffic in a ‘brick-and-mortar’ store, donations or email sign-ups. Whether you are public-sector or private-sector, for profit or not-for-profit, a cause marketer or advocacy group, the internet and your website serve an important role for your enterprise.

Maximizing the business impact of your online presence is important to cut through thee competition and increase the reach of your message to your target audience.

Digital Marketing Strategy Components

The components of digital marketing can be summarized into “must have” and “nice to have” elements:

Must Have:

  1. Customer Identity
  2. User Experience (UX)
  3. Email and Mobile Marketing
  4. Search – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Nice-to-have:

  1. Search – Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  2. Display advertising
Customer Identity

Customer Identity (also known as persona) is the foundation of digital marketing, but are you marketing to devices and “digital identities”, or to real people? Customers are willing to identify themselves with brands they know and trust, but only when they gain value in doing so. Customers are clearly in control and they expect seamless experiences. “One size fits all” marketing is becoming less and less effective, and today’s digital marketers must define and market to clearly developed ‘personas’.

User Experience

User Experience (UX) is the customer journey. Your customers see brands, not channels. In some ways, you are not selling them products; you are selling them experiences. Are those experiences the right balance of pleasure, usability and functionality?

Email and Mobile Marketing

Customers have a love / hate relationship with email marketing. Have you found and nurtured your brand advocates? Your customers can (and will) actively seek out brand email in their crowded inboxes, find value in that email, respond to it, and, yes, share that email with others.

Mobile is embedded in your customers’ lives. Customers will engage your brand in the same way that they will engage in email marketing, but with their phones. The difference is that mobile extends digital into the physical world – where is the customer? how close are they? what is their intention? This is where marketing channels converge!

Search Engine Optimization

Everyone should know that more than 70% of purchases (online and offline) use search (engines) at some point along their customer journey. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ‘must have’ tool to ensure that your website is visible to search engines, and that your website’s pages are ranked in the top results for important searches.

Search Engine Marketing

The other half of ‘search’ is search engine marketing, also known as pay-per-click. While this is a “nice to have”, please be aware that consumers have a higher image of brand and are more likely to buy when you rank in both paid and organic search results.

Display Advertising

Your customers and prospects spend only a fraction of their time online searching for products or services. Display advertising is the best way to reach them while they are online, but not searching. The technology behind display advertising auctions is amazing no matter what you think about some of the ads that are served to you during your online expereince.

I will provide you with tools, such as Value Proposition development matrices, that will assist your process information and learnings from one stage to the next. Other platforms, such as Facebook, expand the reach of your message through advertising, but their function remains one of SEM.

Please ask questions in the comments if something is unclear or if you disagree. I do not want to debate whether the MarTech or AdTech sides are more critical for digital marketing strategy – they both work together – and so can we.

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