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7 min read

10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy

15 May 2021

Digital marketing is more important than ever. Take steps to create or improve your marketing strategy today to accelerate your results

Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It’s still a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don’t have an integrated plan to support digital transformation and company growth, and engage their audiences effectively online.

If your business doesn’t have a strategic marketing plan you will suffer from the ten problems I highlight later in this article and you will lose out to competitors who are more digitally savvy.

For each of the ten problems, I will also recommend marketing solutions and next steps to help you optimize your marketing strategy to win more customers.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing, specifically, refers to ‘Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital technologies and media.’

Digital technologies and media include:

  • Company websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Social media company pages
  • Search Engines
  • Advertising
  • Email and automation
  • Digital Partnerships with other digital companies

However, to be truly successful, digital techniques must be integrated with traditional media such as print, TV, and direct mail as part of multichannel marketing communications. More importantly, now more than ever, you need to be able to demonstrate the value of your work.

Our RACE planning framework splits up the customer’s digital experience over Reach, Act, Convert and Engage – the full customer journey.

10 reasons why you may need a digital channel strategy?

So, if you don’t yet have a strategy, or maybe you want to review which business issues are important to include within a strategic review, we’ve set out the 10 most common problems, that in our experience arise if you don’t have a strategy.

1. You’re directionless

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have a clear strategic goal for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals with SMART digital marketing objectives you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals.

2.  You won’t know your online audience or market share

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven”t researched this. Perhaps, more importantly, you won’t understand your online marketplace. The dynamics will be different from traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications.

We’ve got marketing tools to support your research and planning. Our popular competitor analysis module in our RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path is packed with templates and matrixes to review the relative performance of your key competitors. Plus, find out more about your audience’s intent with our Google Keywords planning tools.

All our marketing training will support you and your team to build a winning marketing strategy to reach, convert and retain more customers and accelerate your ROI from digital marketing. Sound good? Take your next steps to a winning strategy by getting started today.

3. Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share

If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital, or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!

As a member of Smart Insights, we’ll keep you updated on the latest trends and innovations in your sector. So you can stay ahead and not fall behind.

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition

A clearly defined digital value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing an omnichannel marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations, since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing, and on your blog.

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough

It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of visitors, what they think. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.

6. You’re not integrated (“disintegrated”)

It’s all too common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT, or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package ‘digital’ into a convenient chunk. But of course, it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels.

That’s why we recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy, so your digital marketing works hard for you! With your integrated plan in place, digital will become part of your marketing activity and part of business as usual. 

7. Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance

Insufficient resources will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing. There is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

As a member of Smart Insights, you’ll have access to strategy and planning tools including performance and digital maturity benchmarking, and regular marketing data reports, so you can keep track of your position in a competitive landscape.

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication

Even if you do have sufficient resources, they may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

That’s why you need to invest in a marketing strategy that works for you and your team, to plan, manage and optimize your digital channels and platforms. Drive the marketing results you need to achieve your business objectives, and boost your marketing ROI.

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead

If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic  – trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.

10. You’re not optimizing

Every company with a website will have analytics. But many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once your digital marketing strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to the continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email, and social media marketing.

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This article was written by:

Louis du Pisani

Louis du Pisani

Louis is a seasoned marketer. He likes building digital solutions that delivers results. He enjoys sport and the outdoors. A lot. He also enjoys spending quality time with his family. Connect on Linkedin