Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for Sustainable Growth
Digital marketing strategy begins with a thorough understanding of the business strategy and its measure of success.
I’ve been involved with marketing, technology, and business strategy for companies ranging from startups to over a billion dollars in revenue for the past twenty-plus years.
I’ve served as the head of corporate strategy, been in several CEO roles, and have done lots of consulting.
There is a common characteristic that spans nearly every organization that I’ve worked with. Most companies fail to align Marketing, Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, Legal, and other “support” organizations with their business strategy.
In fact, 95% of employees in most large companies don’t even know what the business strategy is. And two thirds of the leaders in these support organizations have compensation plans that are not linked to the business strategy.
It’s no wonder that most companies fail to meet their profit goals when everybody is rowing the boat in different directions!
Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy
Let’s say you’re responsible for the Digital Marketing Strategy.
Wouldn’t it make sense to fully understand the business’ mission (why we exist), vision (what we want to be in the next, say, ten years), and values (what is meaningful in our core, like integrity, fun, etc.)?
Those become a filter through which we view all activities and form a template for how we communicate with our customers.
Then, let’s understand the six, eight, maybe twelve or so key objectives of the business, starting with how we will delight our customers, what operational initiatives we will focus on, what skills our people need to execute those operations in a way that further delights our customers.
How to Measure Success
Of critical importance, we must understand how success will be measured.
- Are we trying to improve customer service by 14%?
- Increase brand loyalty as measured by a 12% increase in repeat business?
- Improve awareness by 20% as measured by random surveys about our competitors and us?
- Get existing customers to buy 8% more products and services?
- Get 17% more referrals from our customers?
Once we understand the strategic objectives and how we’ll measure success, then we can build a digital marketing strategy to target those goals with laser sharp precision.
We can leverage social media to listen to our customers, bring customers back to buy again, make more people (that look like our ideal customers) aware of our brand, cross-sell/up-sell customers in real time, and make it easy for our customers to refer us to their friends and contacts.
Imagine a Digital Marketing Strategy working in sync with the business strategy and playing out like a well-orchestrated symphony.
That’s what happens when we align marketing with the business.
And you can imagine the results that are likely to be achieved!
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