Not having a digital marketing strategy is like not having a map in a really big forest. Without a map you stand the chance of getting lost.
Your digital marketing map is not just a guide to where you’re going, but also to how you’re going to get there and what you’re going to do and believe along the way.
If you don’t want to get sidetracked, lost or distracted, it’s definitely a good idea to know where you’re going and to know what you believe in.
Your digital marketing strategy will begin with your marketing strategy. This is the first map you’ll need to create for your business. Once that’s done, you can shape your digital map about your marketing map.
Your Marketing Map
According to the American Marketing Association, the essential ‘marketing mix’ is encapsulated by the Four P’s.
These are elements that the marketer can control subject of course to the constraints of their environment. If you’re at the beginning of defining your digital marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to make a list of these elements and what each one covers.
The 4 P marketing mix is particularly valuable if you’re in the business of selling physical products. But what if you’re not?
That’s where the alternative Four P’s come in. According to author John Jantsch of ‘Duct Tape Marketing’, ‘The Four P’s are now more about how a business is experienced than what it sells. They reside in the expression of human characteristics that turn commitment into culture and culture into customer.’
As such, John has redefined and modernised those old 1960 P’s so that they now encapsulate everything a business does (the essential definition of marketing).
The Four P’s of Real-Life Marketing Strategy are:
According to John, these are traits that should act as the filter for every decision made in a business. They should be so well-defined that they help to guide how the business is run both internally and externally.
Your internet marketing strategy is a fundamental part of your marketing strategy. It may well be your entire marketing strategy, so it’s particularly important to spend some time thinking about who you are, where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
Here are some questions you might want to tackle / things you might want to think about:
1. What’s your game changer?
Know what you’re good at. If you do a little bit of everything, you’re probably not going to get known for doing anything! How do you stand out from your competitors? And if you don’t, how are you going to make yourself stand out? This might have to do with your packaging, your customer service, or the quality of the service/product. Make sure you’ve got something. At Xanthos, we stand out because ‘we care more’. It’s not just a motto, it’s our purpose. It defines the way we work and the services we offer.
Here’s why Xanthos cares more:
We respond to communications fast! Emails within 24 hours, calls within an hour and other more complicated issues on the same day.
We take your business into account. Your personal business. For us, you’re not just another fish in the sea. You’re someone we would like to build a long-term relationship with.
We try to take the worry out of digital marketing – we will help you develop a strategy suited to you! No business is the same and we’re well aware that not every marketing method under the sun is essential to your business.
You’ll get to know us all by name – we’re people – not just a business.
We focus on improving your business – we do this by using analytics software, by staying on top of statistics and by dealing with problems as soon as they are discovered.
We help you find new ways to expand. If we see something that could benefit your business, we tell you and it’s not always for a fee.
We only charge for what is absolutely necessary. If we think you don’t need something, we’ll tell you.
2. Know your audience
When it comes to digital marketing you’re probably going to want to think especially hard about what it is that makes your clients tick. Or rather, what makes them click.
What is it they’re looking for? Why have they come to your website, and what are they clicking on when they’re there?
This is really the ‘get to know your audience’ stage. It’s what novelists have to consider before setting out to write. If they don’t ask this question (and believe me someone down the line is going to ask it – be it an editor, publisher or the marketing team) they stand to create something that doesn’t fit anywhere.
When you create something that isn’t meant for anyone in particular, no one is likely to buy it / use it. This concept applies to big bookstores like Waterstones. Books have to fit into certain categories. The publisher’s that sell books to such stores know this, most writer’s know this, and almost anyone that spends a couple of minutes thinking about it knows this. When you walk into Waterstones you don’t ‘browse’ in the same way you do at an independent bookstore. You zone in on the section that you’re interested in and head for it.
3. Profit First
Before you stake your claim in the world of whatever it is you do, don’t forget to work on what will first bring home the bacon.
At Xanthos our speciality is designing and developing ecommerce websites. That doesn’t mean we don’t create websites for service driven businesses or undertake email marketing, SEO and web design, but we get the best ROI from ecommerce website development.
4. Get to know your happy clients
Make sure you have some way of identifying your happy clients. These are clients that will work with you and that will probably refer other potential clients/customers to your business.
Also, don’t forget to ask your happy clients those questions that you perhaps don’t feel comfortable asking others. Perhaps you’re thinking of redesigning your website? What about asking your clients what they don’t like on your current site and also, what they do like. If you’ve got a good relationship, you’ll probably get an honest response and a honest response is gold for any business.
5. What’s your value?
What value does your service/product bring to the world? For that matter, what meaning do you bring to your customer’s life? If there’s something you can believe in and something they can believe in, you can bet your customers will be loyal, your staff will be happy and overall your life will be simpler.
6. Other useful tips
Be interesting. Be simple. Surprise.
John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing believes that for your marketing strategy to work, it must be the filter that your entire staff uses for work with each other, with suppliers, customers and so on. The same is true of your internet marketing strategy.
Your digital map
When it comes to creating your internet marketing strategy, a better framework to go by is SOSTAC® – developed in the 1990s by PR Smith.
Situation – Where are we now?
Objectives – Where do we want to be?
Strategy – How are you going to achieve the goals?
Tactics – How exactly do we get there?
Action – Who does what and when
Control – How do we monitor performance.
Personally I still think it’s a good idea to map out your general marketing strategy before you begin working on your digital marketing strategy. It will help you address some of those core questions that will carry over into how you define yourself and what you will do online.
If you’ve got any questions about digital marketing, go ahead and get in touch – we’re always happy to help because….you’ve got it – we care more.