Digital Strategy As Part Of a Company’s Marketing Plan

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digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing is the promotion of brands using all digital channels: television, radio, the Internet, mobile communications, and so on. Today it is a fairly new field of marketing, all over the world. Unfortunately, our practice of using digital marketing tools? this is only the assimilation of the experience of the USA and European countries.

The emergence of digital marketing as such is the emergence of information technology and the Internet. Prior to the active introduction of commerce and email marketing agency promotion on radio and television is not considered digital marketing.

Strategy Development Steps

Marketers today share the marketing communications strategy into an offline and online environment. Immediately move on to the process of creating a communication strategy in the digital environment. There are many tricks, but the main steps must be completed.

The work of a digital strategist begins with a review of the company’s marketing plan:

1. Description of the product/service. This item should answer in detail the question “What does the company offer in the market?”

2. Market assessment. The main thing? possess market information that can influence the potential success of the brand. You must have all the answers. What about other brands in the category? Will innovative products or new brands appear on the market in the near future?

3. The source of business development. The following points should be clarified as accurately as possible from the marketing plan: how is it planned to increase market share? attract new customers to the category, lure consumers of other brands, stimulate trial purchases, stimulate repeat purchases.

4. Assessment of the competitive environment. Need to understand who consumers consider your competitor? What creative strategies do competitors use? It is necessary to clearly understand what kind of situation on the market is formed by the marketing communications of competitors.

5. Marketing goals. What marketing goals should a brand achieve? Here you should understand not only the marketing goals for the brand but also the objectives in terms of the market and sales volumes. As a rule, these figures are indicated in the marketing plan.

In the “classic” communications, the development of a communication strategy within the brand or a separate campaign has long become, in the eyes of the advertising community, an integral element of successful and well-built communication. However, in digital communications, strategy development is still accompanied by significant challenges. This is due to the fact that Digital Communications is the youngest area of ​​advertising communications with its inherent “childhood diseases”.

Of the most significant, it is worth noting:

  • Lack of a sufficient number of experienced professionals who have experience in creating a classic strategy, including analysis of the market situation, analysis of the target audience, setting goals and objectives, etc. Therefore, the creation of digital strategy in many ways remains a creative process.
  • Lack of “industry standards” in the field of digital strategy. Different agencies in their own way present the necessary sections in such a document and even the place of digital strategy in the marketing plan.
  • Focus shift towards tactical decisions. Often, tactical decisions replace strategic initiatives.

This problem is easy to identify

The agency’s strategy, in this case, is identified with the choice of a channel within the digital framework and specific tools for each channel. On the part of advertisers, this problem arises when the manager begins to “think” with well-known cases and references (“we need to develop a digital strategy that includes the brand’s video channel on YouTube with viral videos”). All this strategy could go in vain if you don’t secure a mechanism to keep all your strategy and database safe. So, make sure you have such a mechanism in place.

Trends and fashion for a certain technological solution are at the forefront, so at different times we see either the dominance of viral videos, activation on social networks, or the search for a wow effect for clients who are contraindicated. When developing a strategy, the choice of channels and tools should be based on 3 key elements:

Understanding the goals and objectives of the Client

Is the campaign image-building or aimed at tactical sales promotion? Do we introduce a new brand on the market or do we want to maintain brand loyalty among existing consumers? Without a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the campaign, further work on the campaign will not be successful. You should also make sure that the goals and objectives of the digital strategy are subordinate to the general hierarchy of goals and their achievement is aimed at solving the marketing problems of the Client.

Analysis of the target audience

It must be remembered that understanding the interests of the audience in the digital space is one of the main factors for the success of the campaign. Many people forget and plan from tools, and not from the interests of the audience, its behavior on the network. An accurate portrait of the digital audience of the brand and its behavior will clearly show which channels and tools are relevant for solving the goals and objectives of the Client. It is extremely important to use the research of the target audience available on the market in order to choose tools based on objective data, and not being guided solely by expert opinion or “common sense”.

 The “role” of a category and a specific brand in the digital space

Different categories and even individual brands have their own specifics of being in the digital space, their “natural” potential, and limitations on involving users in the dialogue, creating a viral effect and word of mouth (rumors). It is necessary to analyze this specificity and not offer channels and tools, irrelevant categories, and brand.

The most useful analysis tool will be the so-called digital listening – monitoring and analyzing the presence of the brand and its competitors in all digital channels. The tool selection matrix presented in Appendix 2 will serve as a kind of “hint” when working on a strategy.

Final Words

Today, in the world of medium and large businesses, marketing determines the work of a strategy. Further, it generates a brand strategy, a marketing communications strategy. It, in turn, generates an integrated marketing communications strategy, where the distribution of tools is already being formed (public relations, advertising, direct marketing), and then media planners prepare a strategy for placing them in channels (television, press, radio, Internet).

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