The true value of Digital Strategy to your business
With marketing budgets generally increasing it could be easy to think that pouring more funds into the same old channels will yield the results your business needs.
Due to the constantly shifting digital landscape however, it’s worth investing in digital strategy, to evaluate new directions, channels and campaign ideas.
“Since Q2 2017, 28% of UK companies have had bigger marketing budgets” – IPA Bellwether 2017
Ignoring the importance of digital strategy risks your marketing having no direction, wasting budget on underperforming channels or missing opportunities entirely. The right
strategy however can integrate online and offline marketing, bring coherence to your messaging and help you achieve business objectives.
Documenting strategy is also an excellent method of linking overall business direction to commercial objectives and channel by channel tactics, which can be extremely helpful when reporting on performance, and answering those tricky questions on ROI, current activity and overall value.
This guide sets out to demonstrate why a digital strategy is a vital ingredient in the marketing mix and some of the fundamental elements that should be included.
“Creating a well researched digital strategy allows us to set a path for and use insight to develop future marketing efforts in line with our clients’ goals. Strategy essentially helps to replace gut feeling and guesswork with educated and informed decision making.” – Darren Bond, Digital Strategy Director, Coast Digital
Research is a fundamental element of strategy and to gain the full picture, you should aim to understand the business, its users and data.
Some personas may be guilty of highlighting whether a user type prefers nights in over sunny walks, cheesy pop over thrash metal or even food likes and dislikes. Personas however should be purposeful, giving insight into the user and their behaviours. They should also be based on research and fact, not supposition.
A good persona provides a reference point throughout the creation of the digital strategy and ensures the user remains a consistent focus. Beyond that however, they can provide a window into your audience for other activities, such as offline marketing or website redesigns.
Positioning statements clearly document who a business is, what it does and who it serves. They are useful in providing definitive direction and act as a reference point for all marketing activity.
It includes the following elements:
Messaging goes further by taking selling points and demonstrating how these points can be substantiated.
It should also relate all messages back to a customer need to ensure they resonate with the target audience. At this stage, using the personas as a reference point is extremely useful.
Analysing the opportunity out there for your business can be split into 3 distinct areas, data, competitor and search marketplace.
“Over one fifth companies ranked ‘optimising the customer experience’ as the single most exciting opportunity for 2017.” – Econsultancy/Adobe 2017
“Coast looked at ALL aspects of our online activity. From the nuts-and-bolts of how our website can work better to coming up with campaign ideas we hadn’t thought of, they’ve been really thorough and creative and have already provided some great insights.” – Eryl Price, Comms Manager, Lumie
When compiling a digital strategy it can be easy to lose sight of the wood for the trees, to become overwhelmed or to simply run out of time and resources. Handing over your strategy to an external party may be daunting, but there are many advantages to outsourcing:
- Gain an independent view of your business and the direction it should take.
- Take the best options based on merit, not opinion or because of internal politics.
- Have fresh eyes reviewing current activity to gain new insight and direction.
- Use a team of strategists that have dedicated time allotted to works, rather than juggling strategy with other jobs.
- A perspective that spans multiple industries and sectors enabling the cross pollination of ideas.
- Get access to personnel with better developed skills and a broader view of the potential within the digital sphere.
“71% of companies consider optimising the customer journey across multiple touchpoints ‘very important’ for their digital marketing over the next few years – a good digital strategy can help you achieve this.” – Econsultancy/Adobe Trends Report – 2017
Let us understand your opportunity
If you are looking to review your digital activity, feel that your business is falling behind through a lack of focused effort or want your digital marketing to be more integrated then we can help. To speak to someone about a digital strategy, please get in touch today.
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