Bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, pickles and cheese… Just like these yummy combinations, strategy and digital marketing are better together. But even the most experienced marketers know implementation can be tough. It’s all too easy to get bogged down by the daily grind and an ever-growing to-do list, making your digital marketing strategy an afterthought. No one likes dry bread. The importance of strategy in digital marketing is crucial to your business marketing success. Here’s how you can recenter your priorities to make sure you’re buttering your bread.
Many marketing departments tend to function in a silo; setting their own goals and tracking progress accordingly. They’ll work with other team members and departments, as needed, but there’s often a separation from the organization as a whole.
The first step in creating the right strategy for your marketing efforts is to meet with your fellow executives and make sure you’re clear about the specific organizational goals they’re working toward. Now, you can adjust your marketing strategy and initiatives in order to support and further the efforts. This way everyone wins, you have the support you need, and keeps your priorities in focus.
What Will Get You from A to B?
Once you’re clear about how your department can help support larger organizational outcomes, create a roadmap to help you get there. As you keep in mind the goals you’re working towards, consider the following:
- What strategy (or strategies) at the marketing level will reinforce our new objectives?
- Which tactics are we currently using that don’t align with these refocused goals?
- What tactics could we explore that may be a better fit with this new direction?
- Who should be responsible for each part of this plan, in order to maximize strengths and better utilize resources?
- What metrics should we report on?
Putting Strategy in Action
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re the marketing director of a multi-location swim school. Your organization’s larger objectives are to launch three more locations in the next five years, grow its customer base by 50 percent in that time, and position your CEO as an industry authority.
You might then distill this into a few marketing strategies, including:
- Market research (with the goal of identifying markets where new swim schools are most likely to thrive)
- Geo-specific marketing campaigns (to lay the groundwork for awareness and interest)
- Inbound marketing strategy (to improve and increase customer acquisition)
- Speaking strategy (to secure speaking opportunities for your CEO)
From this point, you can break down each strategy into related tactics and assign them to your team. At this point determine if your outbound marketing efforts aren’t serving you and your updated strategies. Create a plan to phase those out, and gradually add in new inbound tactics (blogging, SEO, etc.).
You may determine that the best metrics to track are related to the performance of your geo-specific marketing campaigns, indicators of success with your inbound marketing efforts (time spent on a web page, blog views, etc.), and your ratio of speaking proposals submitted to speaking proposals earned. All of these metrics will help you understand where you are on the path to your goals, and the larger organization’s goals, and will arm you with valuable information to share with the rest of your company.
Without an understanding of strategy and a clear roadmap, your digital marketing efforts are at risk of being ineffective at best, completely lost at worst. This is why marketing (bread) needs strategy (butter). Need help defining your strategies and connecting the dots to the right tactics that will help you achieve them? Contact us for a quick chat today!