This is the first post exploring my 8 digital marketing priorities in greater detail. This post focuses on step one: your strategic plan.
#1- Strategic Plan
This step should seem obvious enough, but it occurs way too often that we simply plow through online with our existing strategic plan that likely wasn’t thought out with digital (online and mobile) specifically in mind. It really is important to revisit your strategic plan and consider it from a digital standpoint relative to your business. Go through your entire plan asking yourself “what about online?” “what about mobile?” for each point you encounter – ask to the extent of wondering if you should even be there to begin with – what’s your business reason? This could mean reconsidering what your digital geographic boundaries are vs in the real world – i.e. are you open for business elsewhere?
I recommend your also revisit your SWOT analysis with these same questions in mind. The important thing here is you’ll need to mentally take a giant step back from your day to day and consider your business as an independent consultant would – objectively. You know your business very well in the traditional / brick & mortar world and possibly thing you know it online as well, but you need to look wider at every player in your sector that’s vying for your customers in your market. Some may be well outside your normal region of business yet still do good business here. Others may at first glance not look worthy of a second glance, but that second glance may well highlight a threatening competitor you’ll need to watch out for – or could highlight a potential new opportunity for business if you are better set up to develop it then they are.
Is your online business objective going to be identical to your traditional one? What about your mobile business objective, will it be the same are online?
Who is your target audience, really? Is it defined by a demographic profile or a behavioral one? Where digital targeting capabilities are concerned, and they are almost unlimited, you really need to know who you’re trying to sell to without excluding secondary or tertiary target groups. How important are your secondary and tertiary target groups relative to your primary group? Study your target groups through primary and secondary research. What do they do for fun, for work, for entertainment? What media do they consume, what particular vertical do they prefer and how much time to they spend there – are they all over the map or have common interests? What does this tell you about where and how you can best reach them, in various frames of mind? Be mindful of your marketing ecosystem.
Determine your language tone for your website, advertising and social media presence. Justify why this is important and how a particular tone or style of writing / talking will have different impact on your business online and on mobile.
Establish early on what tools you will use to measure all your marketing initiatives, be they owned, earned or paid. If you cannot measure the before and after of your efforts, how can you set goals? How can you determine whether you’ve had any success or not? Keep track of your key metrics and performance indicators to benchmark against going forward. Your benchmarks will be different from industry averages – you’re the only one against whom you should compare yourself to, increasing profitability and overall business growth is your ultimate goal – not justifying why you didn’t by looking at how others didn’t succeed.
Next week we will look at priority #2: your website.
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below: would you change the order of digital marketing priorities I’ve put forth? Have I forgotten anything significant?