20 Reasons why your business needs a digital marketing strategy
While the online marketing landscape is consistently changing, it is also continually reminding businesses why they need a digital marketing strategy to suit their business goals.
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving climate and the businesses who choose not to adapt to their surroundings often get left behind and are often too late before being hung out to dry.
Why is digital marketing essential to your business?
To understand your online market
Without a digital marketing strategy, you might not understand your online marketplace and where you stand within it. The dynamics of your online market may be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behavior, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications.
To understand your businesses direction
We often find businesses without a digital marketing strategy simply don’t have a clear goal(s) for what they want to achieve online. If you don’t have a clear goal in mind, then there’s a low chance of succeeding online.
To understand your online customers and their needs
Understanding your online customers and their needs can often be one of the hardest aspects of digital marketing. Unless you know where to look, it can be hard to find the sentiment of your visitors and what they think. You need to understand what it is they want from you to stand the best chance of succeeding online.
To stay ahead of your competitor(s)
Understanding your competitor(s) methods will help you to go one step further and beat them online. Never copy what your competitor(s) is/are doing, but build on their tactics and give your potential customers something better than what your competitor(s) are.
To choose the correct platforms
Selecting the correct platforms to advertise your business on depends heavily on the type of product or service you offer, as well as the types of customer(s) you’re targeting. What works for some business may not work for yours.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the process of marketing products or services using digital channels such as search engines, social media, email marketing and much more for business to reach new and existing consumers. The main objective of digital marketing is to promote brands through various forms of media.
A well thought out and solid digital marketing strategy should set clear direction, goals, measure your market share, optimise your current campaigns (if any) for your business to help you become or remain competitive.
If your company does not have a digital marketing strategy in place, then it’s time to get one. Have a digital marketing strategy? It might be time for you to audit and see if it can be improved.
The digital industry is forever changing at a rapid rate and it’s up to digital marketers to keep up with its evolution.
Here’s what the experts say;
The panel of digital marketing experts is here to help feed you some words of wisdom.
Today’s panel has one single focus: to help you keep you understand why you need a digital marketing strategy.
We have helped bring together some of the most astute and resourceful minds in digital marketing.
I want to extend huge thanks to everyone for taking the time to contribute to the panel.
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Great Wine, Inc
1. Customers learn about a product via omnichannel marketing, a multi-path experience that seeks to provide the customer with a convenient and seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store as a tool to communicate with customers. This method provides a seamless, consistent, and convenient communicating channel between the company and customers. Omni-channel marketing creates 1:1 experience between the company and customers
2. Cross-media promotion achieves high number of audience reach to increase brand awareness. We are on four social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Our goal is to build a community where we can share wine knowledge, offer promotions, and communicate with everyone. Through social media, the company hopes to build personal relationship with its customers and people who are interested in the company.
3. Different groups of audience needs different messages. Digital marketing makes personalization easier. GREAT WINE, Inc.creates different key messages for each groups of target audience. For millennial, the company emphasizes on “affordable everyday wine,” with additional classes on “vinotype.” For generation X and Baby Boomer, it highlights the concept of “ vinotype,” wine tasting, and wine lessons. Because messages present a product in such a way as to get the attention of, and be understood by, the specific people or groups they want to reach, the company tailors the message to each audience.
Having a digital strategy that spans from content to crisis management (everything in between) is vital in today’s climate. Users on social media will continue to increase and brands need to constantly switch up their strategies to stay ahead of the game. Plan to fail if you do not map out a robust digital strategy.
If you’re not on social, your company is seen as archaic and behind the times. Even a small social footprint is better than none. Having a strategy and someone to run it can and will bring leads and new customers to your business. That being said, have a full strategy ready. Go in and have a plan and goals. Make sure everything leads to the top of the funnel of sales.
I can tell you that in my experience when working in the online world its easy to get intimidated. Having an effective digital marketing strategy can act as a roadmap for you, thus giving you confidence in the direction you are going. The online marketplace is to great an advantage for businesses for them to ignore or become lost in, you can see a huge growth for your business once you’ve mastered digital marketing.
St. Bonaventure University
Digital Marketing represents a family of related marketing channels that are an effective way to reach consumers in concert with other marketing channels. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking a digital marketing strategy is something that can be effectively utilized on its own. However, it is important to understand digital channels as part of a greater Integrated Marketing Communications strategy that effectively delivers an overall message using multiple channels of media. Digital marketing channels have strengths, such as reach that can be focused by psychographic, demographic and geographic.
Businesses need a digital marketing strategy to stay competitive online. With potential customers searching online, digital marketing is essential to stay ahead. A digital marketing strategy is a channel strategy which means that it should be informed by research into customer channel behavior and marketplace activity. The strategy should also be based on objectives for both online and offline channel contribution percentage. A well-done digital marketing strategy is critical because it enables a business to interact with targeted audiences across the internet in real time.
Digital advertising and marketing offers a company the biggest source of data than any other type of marketing and allows businesses to really understand how their dollars are being spent. With ROI being the single most important factor in any marketing spend, a digital marketing plan can forecast how many results you can get within a timeframe, and forecast exactly how that affects your bottom line and profit.
R.M. Burros, Inc.
The internet is changing advertising in some very interesting ways.
Some of those ways are as follows:
A) Extreme target marketing in real time
1) It gives you the ability to do extreme target marketing based on follow-ups to search inquiries. Moments after you search for something, you may start receiving ads about that kind of item.
With attention spans getting shorter and shorter, the creative has to be made to be even more effective in a very fast time frame.
C) Media planning
If you look at the internet as a great way to do Direct Marketing, you have to put it into perspective along the lines of your entire marketing program:
There will always be Targeted Media that you might want to consider in your media mix.
DeCork Your Marketing
business needs to have a digital marketing strategy is that people’s attention is on their iPhone or Android phone. Passengers in cars do not see the billboards, they are skimming their phones. People in cinema before the movie are skimming social media not watching cinema ads. When people watch TV, its recorded and they skip commercials or go to the phones on commercials. So in essence, so of the most priciest advertising is highly ineffective.
If you adopt a good digital marketing strategy, you will get good word of mouth. I notice sometimes a company will say on Instagram and Twitter, but only want to manage one stream and tell people to go to Instagram or Facebook. That’s like if you had a mall Restaurant and people came in through the back door entrance and you told them to exit and come through the other exit. Another bad strategy companies follow is not to respond to social media posts. Times have changed, marketing is not a stream from the big 3 TV networks to a captured audience nor trapped in the car with the radio commuting. Even there people have iPod, stream music or have podcasts, so normal radio advertising is mostly ineffective as well.
Another area where companies may fall short is by their website. Many organize their website as a brochure. The trend is that phones are now video capable and it is massively more converting than simple text. Your websites should have video with funnels by having offers. You can’t put out a mail sign in form for your newsletter. That’s like having people wait for the postman to sign up for more junk mail, they’re not going to do that. You need to offer something free in exchange for an email. Then you can capture that email to pitch several times over and over.
Every business, no matter what it specializes in, can benefit from a digital marketing strategy. Businesses need customers to make a profit, and there is no larger audience to advertise to than exists on the internet. Regardless of your strategy, whether it be PPC, SEO or SMM, any exposure on the internet for a business can help them grow their customer base. Nowadays so many people turn to the internet for advice, information, shopping options and more, that you are losing out on huge amounts of traffic by refusing to tap into that market. The internet is a marketing specialists dream because there are so many people available to their reach, and with the creation of specialized algorithms to determine buyer profiles, likes, interests, and any other relevant information, you can hone your advertisement placements to show exclusively to people you know show an interest in your product or service.
The Pony Group
A marketing strategy is one of the most important aspects of a business. I think of marketing strategies as a playbook for your business to grow, as not only focuses on marketing but also drives sales. The healthiest businesses that grow I have found develop a marketing plan, stick to it, and make marketing analysis and reporting a key part of executive discussions and the c-suite regardless of a company’s size.
Another key part of a marketing strategy is that it holds you accountable. Often, a prospective client may come to me and say, I want to do SEO because it is a buzzword everyone talks about. I then ask, do you have the commitment and resources to *really* do SEO? SEO is no longer a few tips and tricks on a website, instead, it is now part of a broader content strategy that is well-developed and researched based on keywords, competitive positioning on SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages), backlinks and quality content that can truly be a resource for a reader. The algorithms have moved past the SEO tactics of yesterday.
Last and not least, marketing is a science. By strategically developing your marketing channels and contributor responsibilities, you can then test hypotheses, measure results, and make educated decisions. Early-stage startups will often throw as much at the wall hoping something will stick, but certain marketing channels take more time and effort than others and unless properly tested, it can be easy to miss a home run.
Phoenix NAP Global IT Services
Digital marketing = targeted audiences: Digital marketing isn’t the future; it is the present. It allows companies to interact with targeted audiences in real time. Today’s customers expect active engagement and interaction. You need to be where your customers are, in our case our customers are online 99% of the time. But, the same can be said for almost any business in today’s digital age.
Digital marking, like any other form of marketing, is very competitive. It is critical to integrate digital into your company’s overall marketing plan.
Businesses need a digital marketing strategy because consumers are online. However, the mere fact that you have a website does not mean that it will be found. Having been employed at an online marketing agency before, I saw websites that had cost customers hundreds of thousands to have developed, that had significant technical flaws limiting how often potential customers would find the website when searching in Google.
Without a digital marketing strategy businesses will fail.
Focusing in on one part of the digital strategy is the ensuring that you business is able to be ‘seen,’ by consumers online. This is the most tricky, yet most important of all.
The local search aspect of finding a business online has become key, and the 58% of small businesses who haven’t optimized for local SEO are doomed to fail.
*A few reasons why making sure local SEO is a part of your digital strategy are below: *
*- 14% of local searches occur when the consumer is looking for a place to visit immediately, therefore; if you’re not optimized you are missing out on customers who have very high purchase intent who will be at your place of business asap. *
*- 53% of searchers typically visit a business within 48 hours of search. *
*- Millennials are 50 percent more likely to make local searches when they’re on the go and twice as likely to be searching for a business to visit immediately (23 percent vs. 11 percent).*
*- 35% of all search traffic is local *
Every business needs a digital marketing strategy whether a one-person small business or a 100,000 employee international mega-corporation. Why? Because people are always online. People are addicted to their phones whether they’re reading, browsing social media, or sending an email. No matter what size your business is a large portion of your customer is online and you need to be targeting them. A digital marketing strategy lets you understand who your target audience is and where they’re likely to be online. Once you know that then you can actually target your customer instead of trying to find them where you think they are.
1: Low Cost, High Return
The entry level to digital marketing is very low. With tools like social media marketing (Facebook and Instagram ads especially) and pay-per-click advertising, a business can select whatever budget they prefer, from $5 per week to $500,000 and more. Like all marketing efforts, it takes some basic skills and a consistent effort to see results. Unlike other marketing methods, though, digital marketing allows entrepreneurs and companies to learn as they go without wasting many thousands of dollars on mediocre marketing.
*The downside to low cost digital marketing:* Since anyone can afford basic digital marketing, lots of people without much skill (or motivation to learn) jump in thinking it’s easy. Low cost does not always translate to low skill and there are many misconceptions about how digital marketing should be done effectively.
2: Targeted, Intelligent Reach
In digital marketing, there are plenty of excellent tools to help businesses and marketers identify their top prospects and send them the right messaging, even getting so granular as to target the right people at exactly the time of day when their mindset is most likely to facilitate purchasing behavior. Remarketing, analytics and measurement, and other advanced tools use data collection and machine learning to make marketing exponentially more effective. By working with a competent agency or shelling out the cash on your own, you have a serious advantage over your competitors who are still trying to raise brand awareness with traditional media.
*The downside to intelligent targeting tools:* At a beginner level, more advanced digital marketing tools are often out of reach due to the level of financial investment required and the level of skill needed to produce a return.
3: Ecommerce Potential
For online stores, digital marketing is an obvious choice. Online shopping and online marketing just go together. For brick-and-mortar operations, though, there is still a significant potential for ecommerce. By creating even a simple, well-managed online store, a traditional retail shop can expand their selling capabilities and their area of service without adding the significant cost of physical expansion.
Even without an online store, though, digital marketing is excellent at driving foot traffic to physical locations. Tools such as geo-targeting serve ads to a person’s cell phone when they are in a specific physical area – that means businesses in areas where tourism is prevalent can target viable customers while they’re in the area, and then stop advertising when those people are no longer prospects.
Meanwhile, since behaviorally triggered ads target a prospect’s propensities and interests instead of physical location, a savvy digital marketer can identify ideal leads by their likelihood of making a purchase. Traditional advertising relies on saturating a certain area or territory with messaging, while good digital marketing focuses marketing effort (and dollars) where it is likely to produce the highest return.
The quote He who fails to plan, plans to fail is entirely accurate when it comes to digital marketing strategy.
It’s not enough anymore to create a website, blog and/or social media accounts. Every single action online needs to serve a purpose. Without a strategy, there’s no way to track growth or failure, and you can’t learn if you don’t have a track record.
Having a strategy in place allows you to either succeed or fail fast, which is just as helpful as you can examine what didn’t work in pursuit to find what does. The plan needs to have a goal and ways to meet that goal, otherwise, you will fail.
Why Businesses Need a Digital Marketing Strategy: I think we’re all agreed that an online presence validates your business. It says your business is real.
It doesn’t matter if your business is hyper-local, virtually the first thing anyone does anymore is search online to learn more about your business, location, hours, contact info, services, reputation. So, this means some kind of website and claiming your business on Yelp and Google. Pretty basic, huh? That, at its most basic, is…a digital marketing strategy!
It’s important to keep these current. At least, update the copyright on your website every year.
Depending on your business, your website can be the simplest one-page brochure website. Be sure to include some testimonials from happy customers. And, be sure the design is current. You really can’t get away anymore with a website that looks dated or amateurish. If you’re going to have a blog or press releases, those also have to be recent, as in the last month. A newsletter has to go out at regular intervals. It can be quarterly, but be consistent.
Social media accounts that haven’t seen any activity in the last week don’t do you any favors either.
We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try to keep up with all this. Or, we’ll ‘try’ something for a month or so and drop it because ‘it didn’t work for us.’ Or, we’ll buy into a hard sell by an online marketing agency to spend a lot of money to build our brand and presence to generate X leads every week.
Any business that is serious about growing needs a digital marketing strategy the same as they needed a sign above the entrance to a store or a listing and ad in the Yellow Pages. But, what it looks like is different for every business. Before you do anything, decide what’s important to your business and you *and* what you can easily manage, whether you do it yourself or outsource it without taking away from actually running your business and making money.
Businesses should implement a digital marketing strategy to become more visible and easily searchable online. Visibility is essential for both potential and past customers/clients to find them easily. Thus, sending them leads and increasing brand awareness which is both beneficial to the businesses.
Without a digital marketing strategy, a business is directionless. Companies need a digital marketing strategy to guide them in achieving their goals of an increased brand awareness, helping customers find directions to the storefront, increased visits to the website, and an overall increase in sales.
Today, people search the internet first before visiting the storefront. They search online for reviews of the company’s services and products.
The most used and searched platforms are Yelp and Google My Business which present online reviews as star ratings – five being the highest and one the lowest. These ratings and reviews affect the online sales and conversions of a business. A well planned digital marketing strategy keeps and maintains online reviews and ratings in good standing.
A digital marketing strategy fosters customers’ loyalty to the brand. Through social media, customers will become more engaged and updated with the company, its features, and products. This strategy also leads to new customers as loyal customers share content with their family and friends.
Without a digital marketing strategy, a business loses many sales and earnings. The digital age encourages real buyers and customers to check on a company’s product or service before purchasing or subscribing.
Implementing an effective and efficient digital marketing strategy is a must for every business –international or local.
Jennifer (Simpson) Peterson
Wavelength Marketing, LLC
Businesses that are serious about connecting with their target audiences need a digital marketing strategy. The key words here are serious and connecting.
First, having a digital marketing strategy is different from deploying digital tactics. A digital marketing strategy indicates that a brand has identified a path that connects its corporate objectives to its marketing objectives. Therefore, a digital marketing strategy is a means by which the brand will accomplish very specific goals, such as creating brand advocates, generating sales directly from social channels, and so on. Many companies, both large and small, mistake a robust Facebook page or Snapchat storyline for a strategy. Because the tactics themselves are dynamic and can be fun and exciting (even in the B2B world), it is easy for brands to convince themselves that the cool digital programs they are deploying are also strategic and connecting.
A digital marketing strategy should be able to connect with target audiences in ways that other tactics, those that are more one-way than two-way, are unable to do. Many components of a digital marketing strategy allow for two-way brand/audience interaction and engagement. They allow for and encourage connecting.
So, we come full circle to why businesses who are serious about connecting with their audiences need a digital marketing strategy. Businesses have to want to build a solid base of brand advocates and brand lovers, not just brand observers and brand Okay-ers. If your business culture is one that recognizes your core business objectives can be achieved by understanding your audience and then delivering content that connects with them, then a digital marketing strategy is the way to go.
This is particularly important in the micro-moment era in which we live. This era is one in which audiences have access to more choices, more information, more word-of-mouth, more of everything that allows them to identify a need, identify a solution, identify a solution provider, identify an alternative to a solution provider, and pretty much identify every reason why they should (or should not) buy from you-all without your knowledge or participation.
A digital marketing strategy, one that understands the audience and feeds them what they need to either solve a problem or fall in love with a product or service, connects with audiences at multiple micro-moments as they move through the decision-making process. If you’re serious about connecting with audiences in an authentic and lasting way, a digital marketing strategy is a must.