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10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy in 2020

1. You’re directionless.

We find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have a clear strategic goal for what they want to achieve online, in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals with smart digital marketing objectives, then you end up not putting enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics, whether you’re achieving those goals.

2.  You won’t know your online audience or market share.

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven’t researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you won’t understand your online marketplace, the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications. There are great tools available from the main digital platforms where we can find out the level of customer demand, we recommend doing a search gap analysis using Google’s keyword planner to see how you are tapping into the intent of searchers to attract them to your site, or see how many people interested in products or services or sector you could reach through Facebook.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share.

If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using a normal approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch for sure.

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition.

A clearly defined online customer value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will help you differentiate your online service, encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing a competitive content marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social media, email marketing and also on your blog.

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough.

It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar analysis platforms will only give you volumes of visits but not the sentiment of visitors and what they think. You need to use other forms of website user  feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You’re not integrated (“disintegrated”).

It’s too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos regardless of whether it’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course, it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. We always recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy and once Digital Transformation is complete, digital marketing activities will be part of your marketing plan and business as usual.

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance.

Insufficient resource will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing which might lead to difficulties in responding to competitive threats effectively.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication.

Even if you do have sufficient resource, it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead.

If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Microsoft, they’re all dynamic  – coming up with new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10. You’re not optimizing.

Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing. So that’s our top 10 problems that can be avoided with a well thought-through strategy.

Digital marketing strategy

The importance of creating and using a digital marketing plan to support digital transformation and company growth.

Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don’t have an integrated plan to grow and engage their audiences effectively. They suffer from the 10 problems I mentioned in the previous article and are losing out to competitors.

The challenges of creating a digital marketing strategy?

In our experience, a common challenge is where to start drawing up your digital marketing plan. I think there is a fear that a massive report is required, but we believe that lean planning works best. Your plan doesn’t need to be a huge report, a strategy can best be summarized in two or three sides of A4 sheet in a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives within our RACE planning framework. We recommend creating a lean digital plan based on our 90-day planning templates to implement your digital plan rapidly to gain customers. 

Another challenge is the sheer scope and scale of digital marketing. There are so many great digital marketing techniques ranging from search, social media and email marketing to improve the digital experience of your website. Within each digital marketing technique, there are lots of detailed tactics that are important to success, so they need to be evaluated and prioritized, for example from dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, re-targeting and skyscraper content for organic search.

A recommended approach for developing a digital strategy.

Whether you have a strategy or not, at the heart of the Smart Insights ‘Opportunity, Strategy, Action‘ approach to improving digital marketing, is bench marking to compare where you are now to assess the potential against where you need to be in the future.