Posted on January 1, 2019 by Kevin Getch …and GROW YOUR BUSINESS! If you’re reading this it’s because you want to win. To be the best at what you do. The top dog in your industry. And you know none of that is going to happen without a solid strategy in place. The good news is creating a digital marketing strategy isn’t as difficult as you might think. Before diving in to show you how to create a successful strategy today, I’m going to share two rules you need to live by if you want to be successful in developing and executing your marketing strategy: Complexity is the enemy of execution. If you want your strategy to succeed you need to be able to present it and communicate it effectively. What good is it if people in your organization don’t “get it”? The strategy is not static! The days of five-year marketing plans that are revisited once a year are long over. Technology and business move too quickly. We need to be constantly taking action towards our goals, measuring the KPIs, and adjusting as we go to realign our strategy. Depending on the size of your business and resources, my recommendation would be to review your KPIs somewhere between daily and monthly. You’ll also want to revisit your strategy quarterly at a minimum to see if you’re on track and/or need to make adjustments. Six Core Elements of a Successful Digital Strategy As I mentioned above, complexity is the enemy of execution. So let’s keep this simple. Are you OK with that? Great! I use the acronym 5WH to represent the six core elements of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy: Who, What, When, Where, Why & How. Simple, right? Let’s start with the most important element, “Who.” Do You Want a Free Marketing Strategy Worksheet? Take the first step to growing your business today and download the Customer-Centric Digital Strategy Worksheet! It’s completely free and works alongside this post to help you develop a successful digital marketing strategy. Who is Your Customer? For Your Strategy to be Successful You Need to Start by Gaining a Deep Understanding of Your Customer. The key to an effective digital marketing strategy is knowing your customer better than the competition does. I recommend two exercises to help with this: creating customer personas and mapping out your customer’s journey. These steps will inform the rest of your strategy so it’s important that you don’t skim over this section. Developing Customer Personas The process of creating personas can uncover so much value. When you truly understand your customers (what they want, what they fear, and what they’re uncertain about around your product) and how they make decisions, you’ll be able to more effectively communicate with them. You’ll hear me use the acronym F.U.D.D. when talking about understanding your customer. F.U.D.D. stands for Fears, Uncertainties, Desires, and Decision Making. If you’d like a little more detail about F.U.D.D., you can watch this short video below. The key to an effective digital marketing strategy is a deep understanding of your customer and their experience in relation to your product/service. We’ve created a very simple Ideal Customer Profile Worksheet to help you start working on your personas. Now that you understand your customer inside and out, you’ll want to map out their experience in relation to your product or service. Mapping Your Customers Journey First, let me define for you what a customer journey is. It is a visual representation of what a person is feeling, thinking, and doing as they interact across multiple channels and move through different stages of the buying process. When you understand your customer and you know the path they take every day, how hard do you think it would be to get the right message in front of them at the right time? Exactly! It’s simple. When you understand your customers’ journey, you’ll know when and where you can get their attention. Here is a video where I go into more detail about mapping out the customer journey: Why do we want to do this? Understand Your Objectives, Why Customers Buy From You, and Your True Purpose. Common business objectives might include: – Increase in Revenue – Improve Profit – Win/Beat Competition – Achieve Your Purpose: Supporting the Company’s Purpose/Mission Another question you can brainstorm here is: – Why do people buy YOUR product or service? If you haven’t already created a clear, concise, and compelling UVP (Unique Value Proposition), you should definitely do that right now. We created this Unique Value Proposition Worksheet to make it a breeze for you to complete. Maybe you’ve heard the quote by Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” If you haven’t incorporated this into your marketing, you should consider your WHY. This often comes out in a company’s purpose, but can be more clearly communicated to clients in a story. Often, it is the story of the Founder and WHY they started the company. When are we going to Achieve This? You’ve heard the acronym S.M.A.R.T. and you know it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. But are you utilizing this when creating your objectives? You need to know when you’re going to start and when you want to reach specific milestones. What are the KPI’s that Will Tell Us We’re Heading in the Right Direction? If I can expand on the map analogy: You want to be able to tell if you’re heading in the right direction, don’t you? If you’re using a map, you’d see certain things along the way… possibly a lake, a river, or even a mountain. These will affirm you’re heading in the right direction. I have some good news for you! Digital marketing is the most measurable type of marketing out there. You can specify Key Performance Indicators (KPI) important to your company that will help determine if we’re heading in the right direction. Here’s a short list of some of the KPI’s you may want to track. You should be able to segment these by channel, device, etc. – Revenue – Client Value – CLTV (Client Lifetime Value) – CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – Market Share – Traffic – Conversions – Active Time On Site – Retention – Keyword Rankings – & Many More Where are we now? Take an Inventory of “All the Things”. Knowing the destination you want to get to is great! But if you don’t know where you’re starting from, could it take a lot longer to get there? Of course. That’s why we need to understand your current state. Here are a few things you can do to better understand where you’re at… Digital Marketing Audits: – SEO – Content – Website Technical – Website Usability – Analytics/Tracking – Social – Paid Campaigns – Email Mktg./Automation Want 3 Free Hours of Digital Strategy? If you need help with doing some in-depth analysis or anything else, please feel free to reach out. If we determine you’re a “good” client fit we’ll do 3 hours of work for you for free. Where do we want to be? Set Goals for areas such as: – Revenue – Market Share – CLTV – Number of Clients – Client Retention – Leads (MQL’s & SQL’s – Traffic – Conversion Rate – Channel Specific Goals How are we going to achieve our plan? This is where we determine which tactics we’re going to use and how they’re going to work together. Now that we’ve addressed a lot of the core questions we can really start determining which channels and tactics align with our customer behaviors. This should be relatively straightforward to determine because your previous research should have some big flashing signs pointing to specific channels, devices, behaviors, and more. If you don’t have specialized knowledge of the individual channels and tactics, you’ll want to make sure you have someone who can help you with this. We’d be happy to help! In the meantime, I’m going to share a couple of general rules of thumb around the broad channels: Search If people are searching for information around your product/service, then Search is very likely going to be one of your top channels. The opposite is also true. If there is no demand (AKA Search Volume), then a search will most likely not be your primary channel. If your customers are utilizing search, you’ll want to consider a comprehensive strategy. This should include a number of elements, but focuses on search engine optimization and paid search campaigns. Social The more social your business is the more likely that social media could benefit you. If you think of this as a scale with 10 being very social to 1 being not at all social. A couple of businesses that would score very social would be entertainment related, events, and restaurants. Businesses that would score at the opposite end might be Preparation H or adult diapers. Another thing to consider is how niche your audience is. One of the benefits of social media is that you can hyper-target specific audience segments based on demographic and psychographic traits. Direct The Direct channel is when you’re reaching out directly to your customers (and sometimes they’re reaching out directly to you). This includes things like email, text, push messages, chatbots, and more. Generally speaking, this channel won’t be what fills the top of the funnel (if you’re not spamming). But it can help you deepen the relationship with your customer and convert the traffic that Search and Social are driving at a much higher rate. Know your customer When you develop a comprehensive customer-centric digital marketing strategy, it’s extremely important to understand all of these different channels and how they work together to benefit one another. I could keep going on about this all day, so I’ll stop here and leave you with this. Remember, when you obsess over your customer, develop a customer-centric marketing strategy, commit to providing the best product/service in your industry, and you measure meaningful metrics, your business will experience incredible success and so will your clients. Do You Want a Free Marketing Strategy Worksheet? Take the first step to growing your business today and download the Customer Centric Digital Strategy Worksheet! It’s completely free and works alongside this post to help you develop a successful digital marketing strategy.