I recently attended a webinar hosted by Shama Hyder – a digital strategist, author and award-winning CEO. Her sparkling personality and passion for digital marketing compelled me to seek out and read her latest book, Momentum: The five marketing principles that will propel your business in the digital age.
Following is a high-level overview of the five strategies and a brief summary of each. For much more detailed information, including step-by-step plans, real-world case studies and recommendations for digital tools and technologies. I encourage you to check out the actual book. You can also visit her website for more information.
1. Agility through Analytics
In digital marketing, things can change in an instant. That means to achieve maximum results, you can’t afford to wait a few months, weeks or even days to review. Review constantly and react instantly to trends or insights that could affect your marketing plan.
It’s also important to establish a baseline. Take time to identify measurable goals, quantifiable conversions and a clearly identified target audience. Then develop a solid strategy based on it. Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you’ll be available to develop targeted campaigns, monitor and analyze results, and continue to test and edit moving forward.
Getting data analytics you can use requires the right marketing automation and analytics tools for your business. There’s no one-size-fits-all tracker which means you’ll need to combine the right resources for your needs. Do the research and find the best fit for your business.
2. Customer Focus
In the digital age, marketing has moved from being company-led to customer-led. Hyder discusses the Identity-Based Ecosystem wherein companies need to ask themselves not “What does our brand say about us?”, but “What will doing business with us allow our customers to say about themselves?”
Monitoring your customers’ online habits and expressions will help define where they are, what they’re interested in, what they’re talking about and how to reach them most effectively. Start with a list of questions you want answered about your target audience to help you understand them more intimately. The list should go beyond basic demographics to include questions like “What does a day in the life of my customer look like?” and “What are their needs, problems and pain points?”
Answers to these and other questions should be obtained using the analytical tools you’ve acquired. If you’re unable to determine the answers to some of your questions, survey or interview your customers to get the data you need. These details will help you create customer-focused marketing campaigns that make your customers – not your company – the star.
When digital marketing was first introduced, it became a standard practice to manage it independently from traditional marketing efforts. Decades later, many companies are still managing them separately instead of maximizing marketing efforts and integrating them to build momentum and ultimately, results.
Although digital and traditional marketing have different approaches and methodologies, there should be common goals and one shared marketing strategy for the company. Of utmost importance is that your customer experiences consistent messaging every time they interact with your brand.
4. Content creation
There’s no lack of information available. Try searching for any random item and you’ll get endless pages of results. What consumers really need is for someone to cull through all of the information and present it in a relevant, meaningful, actionable way. Be sure to present it in an organized fashion that is easily searchable. And to tailor it specifically to your company’s mission and point of view. Give your customer’s a reason to come to you for answers and direction.
Equally important to content creation is a thorough audit and review of your current assets. If your content is outdated it’s a poor representation of your brand and your position as a knowledge leader. If the content can be updated or repurposed, make the appropriate changes and repost. Otherwise delete it entirely.
5. Cross pollination
Cross-pollination is like marketing integration on steroids. It requires involvement from every company resource – including employees, vendors and other marketing partners. Leverage other opinions by inviting them to share blog posts on your website. Comment on their social media pages and welcome their reciprocation. Partner on a video or training webinar with those who have like-minded but different vantage points on campaigns, strategies or trends.
Go outside your marketing department to find Subject Matter Experts. Do you have a millennial that’s obsessed with technology in your company? A research enthusiast who would love nothing more than to dig into your data? An employee or vendor who lives in another part of the country or world who can provide a completely different perspective than yours? Seek them out and ask for their input. You may be surprised by the depth of talent lying untapped in your organization and network.
In its entirety, getting a handle on your digital marketing can be daunting. But break it down into bite-sized pieces and you can get started today. And once you get going, use the momentum to drive you forward.
As a reminder, much more information can be found in the book or on her website.