You’ll find plenty of resources on the web that talk about digital marketing strategies and may well find some ready-made marketing templates too but how many of them have you actually used up till now? The amount of content that is thrown at you for any search query is quite overwhelming and in most cases a total waste of time. Ten years ago I remember searching hours for something I could use and replicate at the start of my career but always ended up giving up my email and got nothing of value in return.
I had to create a digital marketing strategy that worked for my clients and something that could be replicated for various other businesses even organizations I worked for full-time. One day I sat down, turned on the airplane mode and started brainstorming for the product I had to promote. Finally I came up with something that made sense and was in a shape that could be presented to clients. Years gone by and I kept polishing my strategy and I became better at what I did. Here’s how I go about creating a digital marketing strategy.
Where do I Start?
Now, after all these years my advice is, always start from the scratch! It doesn’t matter if you’re building a digital marketing plan for a startup or an established business, you, as a marketer need to start right from the beginning. And, that’s how we’ll start today!
Step 1: Key Business Components
Understanding the business and its products is a key. Start off by describing the products and the business model.
|Key Business Components
|How does Client XYZ make money?
|Costs of doing business
|List what kind of expenses Client XYZ has to pay to operate its business.
|Product or service offered
|What product or services does Client XYZ offer and how do they benefit customers?
|Who are Client XYZ’s main customer groups?
Name of the Product: Product ABC
What’s the Marketing Objective? Here’s an example of a good objective – ‘Get 50,000 signups from small to medium sized businesses in the next 3 months.’
Every marketing objective needs to be SMART i.e make sure your objective is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-phased.
What’s your Primary KPI to measure marketing success?
Associating KPI’s with your marketing objective helps you understand what success looks like and whether you’ve reached your objective. KPI is basically a metric for the objective that you’ve set previously.
For example, your KPI for the above objective is simply ‘Number of Signups’.
Step 2: Value Proposition
There are various models but I use Geoffery Moor’s template, something I picked from his book Crossing the Chasm. Here’s what the value proposition looks like.
For (target customer) who (statement of the need or opportunity) our (product/service) is (product category) that (statement of benefit). Unlike (closest competitor), our offer (primary differentiation).
- FOR –
- WHO –
- OUR –
- THAT –
- UNLIKE –
- OUR OFFER –
Here’s a good guide on how to write a good value proposition.
Step 3 – Customer Persona
This is possibly the most important of all. Based on what you know about the business or product offering, it’s important to create a customer persona. Here’s what I normally do to create customer personas.
- Research competitors’ prospects and who you think are likely customers of the product you’re marketing.
- Interview a few potential customers and see if there’s anything common e.g behavior, demographics, interests etc.
- Collect information from your interviews and create a single customer persona by filling out each section of the table below.
Here’s what you need to add in your customer persona exercise.
- Background and Demographics
- Target Persona Name. (Add a related photo too, it helps your persona a personality)
- Customer Needs
Step 4 – Digital Marketing Channels & Buyer Journey Mapping
This is where the real brainstorming comes into play. In this step you list down all the digital marketing channels you know of or what you think would work for the offering you’re marketing. Once you have an exhaustive list it’s important to map those channels against different stages of buying journey.
For simplicity, I use five stages for buying journey. i.e Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action and Post-Action. Some even use 8 or 9 which may vary and the sales funnel.