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Digital marketing fundamentals: the essential steps

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Digital marketing has moved from the obscure to the essential, with the vast majority of companies in developed countries utilizing digital marketing techniques as part of their marketing mix; it has become rare for young businesses to know nothing about marketing in the digital realm. That being said, just because people know about it doesn’t mean they do it properly – all digital marketing fundamentals can be boiled down to these steps.

1) Objective Exploration

Any marketing campaign will struggle to be successful if the people running it aren’t exactly sure what they want. There are many different marketing aims you might have, from increasing visibility, boosting loyalty or diminishing reputational damage. Many people think marketing is as simple as trying to sell products, but often it’s about how the brand is delivered in a way that can increase sales, but indirectly. People rarely see an advert and then buy a product – there’s a complicated process, involving cognitive systems, behind purchasing decisions.

2) Pick ’n’ Mix

Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve with your campaign, you will need to take a look at how you will achieve your campaign goals. You should be familiar with the marketing mix and try to look at it from a digital perspective. How many elements of marketing do you think you need for this campaign? Do any of them complement each other and together enhance your campaign? You should use research to inform your choices, but understand that it’s part science and part art.

3) Pilot

This is where most marketeers save their energy but, to be fair to the professionals, their experience may mean they don’t need a pilot. If you’re new in marketing, you should 100% pilot the campaign that you have crafted – if you throw money and time at it without some evidence that things will work, you will just be relying on luck. You should monitor and measure your marketing ROI, as well as other key metrics like engagement and click-through rate. At this stage, A/B testing is a very good idea.

4) Launch

When you have some concrete evidence that your campaign is going in the right direction, you should launch it at scale. Remember that even after launch, you need to be flexible. That’s why you should monitor your campaign carefully and constantly be looking to improve. The very best digital marketing campaigns frequently conduct A/B testing, and always look for more efficient ways of doing things. You should be looking to build up your brand and your digital presence in a sustainable fashion, so make sure that every test you do is still consistent with both your brand image and your campaign goals.

5) Analysis

You should be constantly analyzing as you monitor your launch, but after your campaign is completed, you should take a step back and look at its performance. See how its achievements compare to your campaign goals and try to work out why any deviation happened. Don’t just settle for quantitative analysis – try some qualitative analysis too and ask customers.

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