You probably hear all the time about digital marketing, digital strategy or digital marketing strategy. But, what are they? Aren’t they all the same? Well, in a word, no.
Digital means the same for all, or at least it should. Digital is the method of communicating or creating a marketing asset such as a website, email, a computer-generated image, etc.. It does not include anything created by hand such as paintings or text (until they are digitised). And, it does not include developing a plan to achieve the marketing goals of the company.
The overall marketing plan (and the goals it tries to achieve) can only be determined by developing a proper Marketing Strategy. “Your marketing strategy is shaped by your business goals. Your business goals and your marketing strategy should go hand-in-hand.” (The Balance Small Business)
OK, crap. If you're not in marketing I’m sure this all sounds like bafflegab, so let me put it this way:
Your Business has products or services it wants to sell and sales goals it wants to reach. Marketing Strategy enables you to identify the best market to go after and the most efficient way to go after it in order to accomplish those sales. The Marketing Plan is created to set out the physical actions you should take and time in which you should take them. Marketing is simply a catch-all phrase that includes anything to do with the effort taken to promote the product or service.
So how do you know exactly what you should be selling and what sales goals you should be able to reach (realistically)? You have to truly understand Who is your ideal, #1 customer, with no exceptions. It is not acceptable to say, “Hey, everyone can use our product or service!”. Maybe everyone can, but exactly who has the most need for what you do?
That brings us to the next question: Why? Why does your best customer need your product or service? What is their pain that you are alleviating? What is that nasty problem that you are solving? Without knowing "why", there is really no way to truly understand "who" you should be selling to!
Once you have investigated the 'who'; and'why', you should have a much better understanding of What it is that you should actually be trying to sell. No matter whether you're selling a product or a service, what you are selling must be framed in a way that it answers the question: "Why would 'Who' buy it?".
After getting all of this information together, you have to research Where those potential customers you are going to go after hang out, and When to best reach them there. To do so involves understanding what all the 'Wheres' are, and knowing how to find out the 'Whens'!
This is how you develop a marketing strategy. A Digital Marketing Strategy is doing the same thing, but using digital assets, including online marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, search engine optimization, email funnels, influencer marketing, text bots, multimedia and reputation management to maximise the effectiveness of your online presence. In addition, you get any number of digital assets such as multimedia files or text that can be copied or otherwise used offline in a non-digital manner such as print.
So that brings us to the one ‘W’ that’s not a ‘W’: How. That’s really the question, isn’t it? Traditionally, agencies have included multi-media campaigns in order to maximise your “reach”. The biggest problem with traditional media is that there really is no way to determine exactly what that reach is. How many people saw that ad in the magazine? How many looked at that billboard? How many watched the commercial instead of going to the bathroom or getting some chips?
Almost everyone in the western world is more accessible via online promotion than through any other form of media (InternetWorldStats.com). Print media is declining almost to the level of the 1940s (PEWResearch.org), computer games earn 3-times as much revenue as movies and music combined (lpesports.com) and Network television is doing everything it can to try to compete with cable and online streaming services. Almost everyone in the western world has a smart-phone, tablet or computer of some sort, and almost everyone is online.
That is why we decided to be 100% digital. There are other agencies out there that are great at general advertising, and some of them are good at digital as well, but at what cost? Digital Marketing Strategy, when done properly, directs you to the proper ‘how’. At Zuzubuzz, we have developed tools and processes to make sure that we get to the proper how ‘how’ and show you how to execute it, whether with us or someone else.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll delve further into each of the 5 W’s of Digital online Strategy, and let you know exactly what it is you should do to be successful in this new and constantly changing environment.