According to research, 50% of brands do digital marketing without a digital marketing strategy. While it is still possible to get results, you are missing out on numerous opportunities or making costly mistakes. In a nutshell, there are 2 major phases involved in a marketing strategy. The first entails creation of a separate plan. The second involves incorporating it into the brand’s or company’s digital strategy. But why go to great pains to come up with a solid plan? Here are 10 reasons:
1. It provides directionAs aforementioned, it is possible to get results in digital marketing even without a strategy. However, this is working without a goal, thus there is no direction. A strategy helps you to work towards precise and specific goals. Some of the goals could be getting new customers or engaging them and building relationships with already existing ones. Having a strategy helps you to commit enough resources to reach the already set goals. You are also able to keep track of your progress using analytics.
2. It helps to identify your market shareIf you have no strategy, you are likely to underestimate your customer’s demand. Worse still, you will not know your market share. The online platform requires a different set of considerations in terms of customer profile and behavior, propositions, options for communications, and competitors. A digital marketing strategy will help in doing an e-market analysis. This way, you can identify gaps in the market that your competitors are yet to exploit. These become opportunities for growth as some customer segments will not be well served by the existent propositions. It also becomes possible to identify quick wins, where partnerships, public relations and online media application can be utilized, for instance via use of paid search and display ads.
3. It keeps you ahead of the competitionHaving a marketing strategy will help you stay ahead of the competition. This is because you will be dedicating enough effort, time and resources to it. It will be difficult for competitors to beat you.
4. It gives you a powerful online value propositionA strategy will help you to define your online value proposition. This will differentiate your online service, and encourage customers to engage and remain loyal. It communicates the online experiences and content that your brand will offer for the different types of social platforms, for instance, sites and apps. It answers some questions like what your brand or company offers, what makes your brand, product, service or company different, who you are as a company or brand and your target market. It identifies the reasons why customers click, buy from your site, register and even share their experience.
5. It helps you know your clientsA video marketing strategy will help you be very analytical so as to understand your clients and their purchasing behavior. You will go beyond using Google Analytics and other similar tools that only give information on value but not customer sentiment. Tools that show your customers’ sentiments are seen as prompts on every page. They allow for feedback on content, services and products, as well as the brand in general. Some of these tools include:
- Kampyle - integrates with Google Analytics for feedback analytics. It is mostly used on blogs and smaller sites. It is free, but if you need higher volumes, you pay for it.
- UserSnap - this is a tool for visual feedback
- OpinionLab - it is ideal for corporate sites
- CS Site Manager - it researches customer satisfaction and benchmarks it against others using the ACSI methodology
- PollDaddy - enables surveys to be added as widgets
- Bugmuncher - a feedback tab for sites. It allows users to send highlighted screenshots of webpages together with their feedback.
- KissInsights - this one asks specific questions about a site or individual pages, for instance, checkout or product pages
6. It helps you to integrateDigital marketing needs to be integrated with traditional media. A strategy will help you identify the gaps that are best filled by the older models. When you use the strengths of these 2 approaches you can only see a return on investment.
7. It helps in adequate resource allocationA strategy will help you to allocate adequate resources to digital marketing, ranging from planning to execution. You will also be able to allocate resources to specialist skills to ensure that you respond effectively to competition. Better still, you will become the vanguard.
8. It helps you avoid duplicationA lack of strategy results in duplication, which wastes even the little available resources. If you are outsourcing your content creation, you could hire the same agencies to do the same thing, or use the different tools to measure the same thing.
9. It helps you to stay agileA digital marketing strategy will keep every marketing effort in check. This way, you will begin to look for new ways to gain new customers and keep the ones that you have. The brands that have utilized this technique are 'online mega brands' today, for instance, Dell, Tesco, Zappos, Amazon, and Google.
10. It helps to optimizeA strategy will make it easier to review analytics and act on them, as you are measuring the results against already set goals. Once you identify what works for you, you need to improve on it. You could improve site user experience, social media marketing, email marketing, and search marketing. All these are aspects of optimizing.
It is important to note that you not only need a digital marketing strategy, but you also need to have it documented. This has a number of benefits:
- Increased effectiveness at marketing
- Better handling of challenges in digital marketing
- More effectiveness at use of marketing techniques and social media channels
- Better resource allocation