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How to Create The Perfect Digital Marketing Strategy For Your Business To Prosper And Thrive.
Digital marketing is an exponentially growing avenue, opening a world of possibilities for organizations. If utilized properly, information collected from sources such as social media, financial records, customer surveys and feedback can provide important insights for the growth of the business. The information collected can be used to ensure advertising campaigns are placed where they will be more likely to create conversions and sales. Organizations that do not put their data into consideration when formulating marketing strategies end up spending more in blind, unsuccessful efforts.
Since data is readily available and inexpensive to collect, using it to reveal the strength and weaknesses of marketing efforts will lead to incisive, effective and less costly campaigns that will lead to growth and attainment of business goals.
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While implementing a working digital marketing strategy may seem like an impossible feat to achieve for start-ups, following the guidelines below will give your organization a strong base to build upon.
5 Steps To An Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
1. Build A Functional Team
For a marketing campaign to be effective, inter-departmental cooperation must first be fostered. The marketing team should consist of members from various departments such as IT, sales, data science and other associated areas willing to venture further than their areas of expertise. For instance, a data scientist who has taken their time to learn about sales will be in a better position to relate the collected data to real-world sales scenarios. This will enable them to offer insights on how the data collected can be applied to improve the product reach.
2. Make Your Goals Clear
Digital marketing is not difficult but determining the market worth targeting is where the challenge lies. By making your marketing goals clear, you will know what customers to focus on, collecting only as much information as you need to formulate an effective digital marketing strategy. With a functional and collaborative team working to analyze and implement the information collected together with the right customer relationship management software, identifying the correct target market should not be a difficult task.
3. Smart Data Collection
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Having made your marketing goals clear, the next move is to collect data. The data you collect should be tailored with specific goals in mind. For instance, if you want to know the popularity of a certain brand, you could collect sales patterns from various points of distribution and use these to know areas that require improvement. To formulate a data-driven marketing strategy, consider collecting the following types of data:
- Information on the target market.
- Competitor information.
- Social media and marketing analytics – such as impressions, click-throughs, conversions, etc.
- Data on prospects such as transactional data, social network activity, online actively, etc.
- Qualitative data.
- Customer data – such as persona, online activity, transactional data, and social network activity.
Before you venture into obtaining data from companies, first consult different departments and teams on the types of data they produce and consume. You will find that in most cases, all the data you need to make a working data-driven strategy is hidden somewhere within the inner resources of your organization.
Be sure to check your resellers, sales force and even your IT vault for important insights. Such data will give you a clear picture of what is happening at each stage of the customer lifecycle. Here you will obtain information such as customer inquiries, service calls and complaints, referrals, subsequent purchases, and issues at the point of sales. These will go a long way in helping you improve your customer relationship.
4. Implement Your Marketing Strategy
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After collecting the data you need, the next step is to evaluate it against your set goals and use the steps below to develop your marketing strategy:
a) Polish Your Content Marketing Strategy
Even without a clear marketing strategy, most businesses already use some form of content marketing to attract and engage their audience. With data to back up the content, you will have a clearer picture of those you are trying to reach, allowing you to make more insightful decisions.
b) Consider Creating a New Submarket
If you already had a product in the market, the new information you receive will help you know who you should be targeting. For instance, if you were selling spare parts for vehicles and customers keep inquiring about motorcycle spare parts, it would be wise to tweak your marketing strategy and to establish a new line to cater to them. Part of the goal of a marketing strategy is to hunt out and identify new opportunities to expand the business.
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c) Eliminate Challenges
Research carried out for your marketing strategy will allow you to identify the hurdles faced by your sales team and your customers during the sales process. The information collected could suggest that most customers are getting stuck at check-out and end up abandoning their shopping cart. After identifying such challenges, the next step is to take effective measures to eliminate them. For instance, in the example above, you could solve the problem by employing the use of automatic assistance software to guide them through the process.
When MacDonald’s realized that most customers were complaining about the long check-out time, they introduced a time-compensation plan where customers were rewarded if their orders were delayed.
d) Consider Alternative Marketing Channels
An essential element of any digital marketing strategy is to target some of the potential customers that you are not reaching. Competitor data could help you realize a whole new market segment you were previously missing out on. Insight from competitor research can help you identify new opportunities for your products such as collaboration with organizations offering dissimilar products to broaden your reach.
Making use of various channels will ensure you stay afloat even if one of your channels is disrupted. For instance, the Covid-19 pandemic saw the disruption of normal activities, limiting the extent to which customers could access the goods and services. At such a time, organizations which had invested in online marketing only suffered minor interruptions since their customers could still access all services through online platforms.
While online marketing channels offer a wider reach and flexibility, being overly dependent on them could hinder the organization from reaching its local audience. You should find a balance between different marketing and distribution channel to ensure your normal operations are not disrupted.
5. Test Your Efforts
Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated digital marketing strategies are not 100% accurate. Test it frequently to ensure it still matches your set goals. Keep conducting experiments to test the effectiveness of your strategies and take the necessary corrective measures. Using the conclusions from the test to improve your strategy will make your marketing efforts more effective.
For instance, scheduling regular surveys will enable you to obtain real-time feedback from your clients to see whether some of your new efforts are working. Such suggestions should be taken into consideration when adjusting the strategies.
Common Obstacles that Hinder the Success of Digital Marketing Strategies – and suggested solutions
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Even after following the steps outlined above, your efforts may still fail to meet your marketing goals. Below are some obstacles preventing the success of digital marketing strategies and some suggestions on how to tackle them.
Lack of Real-time Data
A major challenge facing organizations is the ability to obtain, analyze and implement data in real-time at multiple physical and digital touchpoints. This is mainly due to limited technology to unify the different distribution channels.
Most organizations do not invest in technologies to give them visibility of the information they need to create an effective digital marketing strategy. This leads to a situation where most of the data collected is never applied in any way to improve the organizations marketing efforts.
Lack of Internal Cohesion
Without the collaboration of various departments to ensure a unified system of creating marketing strategies, there will be a discoordination which will result in the failure of marketing efforts.
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Lack of Customer Focus
Without a specific customer segment, the digital marketing strategies will be so untargeted to the extent where analysis and implementation become too expensive. Focusing on a specific customer segment will enable a more accurate interpretation and the formulation of actionable strategies.
A unified solution for the hurdles highlighted above is investing in the appropriate marketing technologies. Most marketers fall in the trap of focusing too much on their messages and the product that they fail to address the most important part of the process; the customer. With data and the right analysis and implementations system, the organization will be able to gain a better understanding of the needs of the customers, allowing them to make decisions that are in line with these.
Building an effective digital marketing strategy is an essential part of any company’s online success. It is important to put certain steps in place like building a functional team, setting clear goals, smart data collection and testing your efforts in place to ensure your efforts are not wasted.
Author Bio:This article was written by Peter Desmond, Marketing Manager for Wisetek, who are global leaders in IT Asset Disposition, Data Destruction & IT Reuse.