Most business owners always wonder where to start when they think about developing a marketing strategy. They are aware and know for sure how the digital platform has already become the most coveted medium to both attract new customers and also to retain existing ones. They are aware of the rules of engagement, yet they do not have a concrete and integrated plan to grow and engage their customers effectively.
At Digital Neurons, being one of the top Digital Marketing Company in Kolkata, we strive with our best endeavours to transform our client’s business by guiding and helping them develop such a sure-footed strategy which yields them results.
The challenges of digital marketing
A common challenge is where to start drawing up your digital marketing plan. There is a fear that a massive report is required, trust, that a 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 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 traction.
Another challenge is the sheer scope and scale of digital marketing. There are so many great digital marketing techniques ranging from search, social 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 for success, so they need to be evaluated and prioritized, for example from dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, retargeting, 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 benchmarking to compare where you are now to assess the potential against where you need to be in the future.
To help you get started we have a set of ready-made templates as our professional experience as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agency in Kolkata with one of the best series of benchmarks covering overall digital strategy and the key tactics like Search, Social Media, email marketing, and site/experience design.
But what if you're one of the companies that don't have a digital strategy yet? Well, the two simple alternatives for creating a plan may suggest a way forward:
• Start with a separate digital marketing plan defining transformation needed and making the case for investment and changes to your digital marketing.
• Then, following approval, create an integrated digital plan which is part of the overall marketing plan - digital is fully aligned and becomes part of business as usual.
So, what are the takeaways to act on here?
• Using digital marketing without a strategic approach is still commonplace. Many of the companies in this category are using digital media effectively, and they could certainly be getting great results from their search, email, or social media marketing. However, there are many missing opportunities for better targeting or optimization, or are suffering from the other challenges listed below. The problems below are greatest for larger organizations that most urgently need governance.
• The majority of companies in our research to take a strategic approach to digital. From talking to companies, we at Digital Neurons, find the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages. First, a separate digital marketing plan is created. This is useful to get agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems and map out a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital, including how you integrated digital marketing into other business activities. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it's a core activity, "business-as-usual", but doesn't warrant separate planning, except for the tactics.
If you don't have a strategy, or maybe you want to review which business issues are important to include within a strategic review, we've set out the 10 most common problems that in our experience arise, if you don't have a strategy.
10 reasons why you may need a digital channel strategy?
A) Being directionless
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 you likely don't put enough resources to reach the goals and you don't evaluate through analytics whether you're achieving those goals.
B) 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 from traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behaviour, 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 IQ.
C) Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share
If you're not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you're using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!
D) 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 factor associated with this for many organizations since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing, and on your blog.
E) 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 will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of visitors, what they think. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.
F) You're not integrated
It's all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that'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 part of business as usual.
G) Digital doesn't have enough people/budget given its importance
Insufficient resources will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing and there is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.
H) 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.
I) You're not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead
If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they're all dynamic - trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.
J) 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 the 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.
Being one of the Best Digital Marketing Company in Kolkata, our efforts are always in the direction for our clients to get the very best, both in terms of expertise and knowledge.
So, the good news is that there are powerful reasons for creating a digital strategy and transforming your marketing which you can use to persuade your colleagues and clients. At Digital Neurons we have a highly experienced and motivated team whose job is to continuously work on the best digital marketing strategy for clients to cater to their ROI.