Women In Business

Checklist to harness the strategic power of digital marketing

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It’s the New Year which means a new set of opportunities for your business. We spoke to digital expert Anna Kertesz, Managing Director of digital CX agency Guerrilla to get some insights to help you prepare a winning digital marketing plan for 2019. This digital checklist offers key strategic steps and poses the questions you need to be asking and why, to put you on the path to online marketing success.  

Digital marketing strategy has never been more important for brands. In this quickly evolving environment it’s critical for companies and organisations to have a strategy in place that can deliver on business objectives while developing a strong online presence and providing a seamless customer experience. 

What does success look like to you?

Defining what success looks like first will help you assess what channels, ad formats and calls to action you should be using. Ask what you are trying to achieve. Is it sales, database growth or perhaps increased following?

Ensure your corporate objectives are clear. Once these are defined, develop specific marketing objectives that are aligned to the corporate objectives and most importantly, are measurable.  If you don’t use a specific framework, building your objectives across the customer lifecycle and customer experience is a helpful methodology. This will assist you to focus on objectives for acquisition, conversion, retention and growth lifecycle stages.

As an example, if you are looking to drive increased sales, you should focus on using and optimising the channels that are driving conversion. While you may need a balance of awareness and conversion driven channels, you don’t want to get to the end of the campaign saying we generated 2m impressions if those impressions haven’t translated into sales. If that’s the case you’ve really just run an awareness campaign. 

Understand your audiences and their customer journeys

Clearly define your audience. Develop personas based on the data you have available and/or on your own research. Use these to guide the development of your channel mix and creative approach. Be strategically creative to appeal to different audiences.

Beyond understanding who your audience is, be clear on how people are using your website in the ideal customer journey. Take time to understand where the problem areas are and identify the pain points in managing one of your brand’s largest online assets, your website. Be across the answers to the following and discuss with your team:

  • When was the site last reviewed?
  • Is the role of the website informative or transactional? How does this affect its functionality?
  • Are users visiting the site once or multiple times during the purchasing process?
  • Is the content good? Is it delivered in bite-sized chunks? Is it engaging? Is it easy to find? Is it authentic?
  • Is the website a good representation of the brand and aligned to the desired customer experience? 

Be strategic, define the channel mix and channel tactics

A strong channel strategy will help businesses determine the channels they need to be in and how they should be using them. Ensure that your channel mix and channel tactics align with your business and marketing objectives. Outline the purpose and role that each channel plays and split your budget accordingly. If running traditional and digital channels, be sure to integrate your media approach.

Here are a few tips –

  • Understand how each social channel differs and the type of content that needs to be developed for each.
  • Be clear about your objectives for each channel and how you’ll measure value and ROI.
  • Plan content creation across each of these channels. This demands resources so be clear about what’s needed and map out each step of the way.
  • Make community management a key priority given the significant impact it can have on your brand.

Creative assets should be channel specific

You may need creative variations that use different imagery or copy to appeal to different audiences. An edited TVC won’t perform well in social. Personalise creative for personalised channels such as email, SMS and Messenger. If done well, these channels will often provide the biggest ROI. And remember, it is crucial that you monitor, measure and tweak as necessary.  

Campaign debrief – what did you learn to apply next time?

Collaboration is key. All stakeholders internally and between client/agency need to work openly and collaboratively to progress. And don’t be fooled — the end is really just the beginning. While the end of a big development project or campaign feels like a sprint to the finish — and the project fatigue struggle is very real — there’s no time for complacency.

Gather data from your live site. Review the data in granular detail through to the end of each campaign. Monitor, measure, tweak and maintain. Keep your team actively involved. Optimise throughout and take learnings into your next campaign. This will see you incrementally shift the needle on each campaign and gain greater efficiencies from your marketing spend. 

Having the right digital team and what to look out for

Organisations are taking on more digital specialists within marketing teams to maintain the growing number of channels used to communicate with customers. This includes both owned and paid channels as well as the management of partnerships, collaborations and sponsorships.

With this growing need, organisations are often faced with the dilemma of hiring digital generalists who can manage multiple channels, campaigns and projects, or specialists who can focus on optimising one specific channel.

Internal resourcing is a constant challenge. Having the right people in place to co-ordinate teams, specialists and agency partnerships while driving the many facets of larger projects and campaigns is itself no small feat. Add to this the need to keep the project focused on delivering against business objectives and managing internal stakeholders, and it’s clear why building an expert digital team is essential.

There’s much that organisations can learn from the agency model. Roles such as project managers and co-ordinators assist in the rapid delivery of multiple projects and campaigns for clients. These resources hold specialist teams together within an agency, facilitating high-levels of communication. Client-side they can be equally effective and can greatly assist in managing agency partnerships and important internal stakeholders, whilst keeping projects and campaigns on track. 

Top line takeouts

Take the time and budget to invest in strategy. It will help provide clarity around objectives, sort priorities and give you a clear implementation roadmap.

Be sure not to over invest time and money into this process. We’ve seen a number of clients get stuck in analysis paralysis that results in the delivery of a huge document providing little direction or actionable steps. This can often happen when engaging an agency that wasn’t born digital. Hiring a digital team isn’t the same as thinking digital as an organisation.

Don’t underestimate what a huge role your online brand plays and the all-encompassing part, your website, has in the business. When entering a new website project or rebuild, think about all the subject matter experts who will be required to contribute, how much new content is needed and the buy-in required from the rest of the business to make it successful.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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