Building A Business Strategy
The first of our three strategies is the business strategy, Digital Marketing Strategy. We’re looking for the mission statement, objectives, value proposition, and elevator pitch in this section of the document. These four elements will assist us in focusing our attention and will make it easier for us to examine our customer and marketing strategies in the future.
But first and foremost, we must complete the most fundamental tasks. Is your company fully digital? Do you have a solid organizational structure in place? Will your online marketing efforts be able to integrate with your current process? And do you have the resources to devote the time necessary to maintaining your Digital Marketing Strategy? We’ll discuss the bare minimum of effort required within each channel, but you’ll still need to be confident in your ability to maintain the day-to-day operations. Keeping things up to date is one of the most difficult aspects of online marketing to master.
A clear understanding of your company’s operations from the outset is essential to developing an effective business strategy. To determine which route makes the most sense, you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. When you encounter a stumbling block, you’ll need to take a step back and plan a new route that will get you to your destination.
So let us return to the task of developing our business strategy.
In order to get you started, I’ve put together a very basic worksheet that you can use to start collecting your ideas. Please feel free to elaborate on this as much as you need. I believe in keeping strategies as simple as possible.
If you want to reference this quickly and socialize it with others, you need to be able to do so without having to read it all the way through. At this point, all we’re concerned with is getting a dart onto a dartboard.
Marketing is a highly iterative process in which things constantly change. It is possible to fine-tune your Digital Marketing Strategy over time to find a method of getting closer to that bullseye. Okay, so the first step is to develop a mission statement for our organization. This one sentence should be sufficient to express what we’re attempting. It can be ambiguous, but it should be able to stand on its own two feet if necessary.
You’ll rely on your mission statement to keep everything else under control. It’s a good idea to put it at the top of the table. This is so that I can refer to it as I fill in the remaining elements of the form. I’m going to use an example from a company called H+ Sport and replace the information with the appropriate information. Following that, we should establish at least three organizational objectives. And if you want more, you can have more if you want.
Ideally, these should be the pieces that are required to keep the business running and to maintain your brand’s image. The goal could be anything from increasing product sales to boosting signups. Our goals as a company for H+ Nutrition include selling nutritional products, being a socially responsible company, and receiving recognition from the athletic community. These characteristics characterize the nature of the work that the company is tasked with accomplishing.
Following that, we must determine the value proposition of the objectives in question. What makes you stand out from the crowd? What distinguishes you from others? Why would someone choose you over your competitor, and why should they do so? In an ideal situation, you’ll choose one or two value propositions for each of your objectives.
Last but not least, include your elevator pitch.
Your pitch assists you in thinking clearly and concisely. There are numerous channels available for online marketing, which limits the amount of information that can be communicated.
The fact that you have the opportunity to practice thinking concisely is fantastic. I’ve created a two-sentence pitch for H+ that, in my opinion, captures the essence of the brand. So pick and choose the elements that are specific to your company’s needs and requirements. Through this process, you will gain a better understanding of your company’s identity and the direction you want your online marketing efforts to take you.
Building a brand strategy
At this point, we’ve got a good understanding of our business, but now we need to understand who our customer is and where we’ll find them. With our customer strategy, we’re trying to do three things. The first is to reach the correct audience. It would be a waste of time and advertising spend to pursue the wrong audience. The right audience will have the best return on investment.
The second is to understand that audience. Really know what it is that motivates them as it relates to our objectives. And finally, we wanna understand where we’ll find that audience, or more specifically, what marketing channel we can leverage to connect with them. When we talk about our online marketing audience, we aren’t referring to some special class of consumers.
The truth is, the customers that shop at a brick-and-mortar are often the same people who will order from an online store. The major difference, however, is that the digital customer is in control. They’re able to drill into a landscape that is more niche and personalized than ever. This means that when you go to identify this audience, you’re both blessed and cursed at the same time.
You have to be specific with who you’re targeting.
There’s no street traffic to market broadly to. Each view costs you time and money. But because your audience expects to see things they’re interested in online, you’re able to seek this ultra-fine customer out with ease, unlike the marketing efforts of the past. Now, just as we did with our Digital Marketing Strategy, we can build a simple table to outline our target audience.
I’ve set up three columns here, but you can expand on this, and you might need to, as being more specific is better than being too broad. For H+ Sport, I’m going to put my efforts into three different audiences. Age 24 to 35 males who are interested in sports. Age 24 to 35 females who are interested in fitness. And then 40 to 55-year-olds who are interested in wellness. We could get even more specific if we needed to, but this is a solid starting point.
Next, we need to put ourselves in the mind of the target audience. What are their goals? What are they looking to accomplish? List each goal for that audience below it. I’ve outlined that our first audience is interested in performing better. Our second is interested in seeing fitness results faster. And our last audience has a goal of feeling healthier and more energized. The idea is if you bump into someone on the street and they say, “I’m doing yoga every day.
But I just love to see faster results.
You could provide them with your elevator pitch and be fairly confident that you’ll land the sale. But we’re not going to bump into them on the street. Instead, we’re going to find them somewhere online. And that’s where this final row comes in. The audience technology section. Here you want to identify what channels this audience is using. Is it social? If so, what network? Is it a blog? Are they likely to be searching on Google? Or visiting a particular website? Now, I’ve filled out some examples here for H+.
But as you continue through this course, I encourage you to take note of which channels we review resonate the most with your audience. From here, we need to drill in and understand our goals for each audience. I’ll be referring to these as our customer segment. We’ll end up creating a new table to explore these segments in detail.
Now, for each segment, we need to understand four things. First, what is our business goal for this segment? These goals are likely a more granular version of our overall business objective. Second, what is the shared value for this segment? If you recall, shared value is when the goals of your customer overlap with the goals of your business. Next, we’ll look at the key performance indicators. These will be what you’re measuring. It could be how many units you’ll sell or how many people visit your website. Lastly, we want to create a target.
And this target will be directly related to our key performance indicator. Let’s take a look at how we can fill this out for the H+ brand. One of our customer segments was the 24 to a 35-year-old female who is interested in fitness. This segment’s objective is to see results faster. So, we’ll start with this segment, but you’ll want to build this information for each of your audiences. And from there we’ll identify our business goals. So, for this segment, we want to sell a supplement, obtain organic reach, and gain followers on our blog.
Next, what we need to identify is how our business goals line up with the goals of our consumers. So, under each goal, list why the customer is likely to see the shared value. For H+ we know that this audience is primarily interested in seeing results faster and our product can handle that. Therefore, it’s a clear shared value. Continue to fill this out for each business goal. Next, I’ll indicate how the business goal is measured.
In the first example, my key performance indicator is related to how many supplements are sold. Just as we did with our shared value, we’ll identify the KPI for each column. Finally, let’s create a target. What are you trying to achieve? For H+, we’ll say we wanna sell 1,000 units in three months. And your target is essentially directly related to your KPI.
So, take your time and think through your core demographic, the goals for each, and what your final target is. In the next video, we’ll take that information and build a Digital Marketing Strategy around it.
Building a Digital Marketing Strategy
Now that we understand our business and our customer, it’s time to identify how we’re going to go about our online marketing. So, you may have noticed a pattern in our previous examples. Each strategy builds on the strategy that proceeds it and, each time, we get even more specific. Our Digital Marketing Strategy will actually be many individual plans, each tailored to one goal for an audience segment we specify.
To help put that into perspective, let’s review another table. Earlier, you identified an audience of 24 to 35-year-old females interested in fitness. And one of our business goals for that audience was to sell H+ Nutritional supplements. So, our first marketing strategy will be focused on this goal as it relates to that customer segment. And, from here, we’re going to look at all the channels we intend to market on, and then develop a marketing idea for each of the media available to us: paid, earned, and owned.
Now, at this point, you might not have a sense of all the channels you can use and that’s okay. Take an educated guess for now and then refine this plan as you continue throughout this course. For this audience, I anticipate marketing on Facebook, Pinterest, and the H+ blog. For our paid media, we’ll identify what we intend to do under each channel.
In this case, H+ will run ads relating to their supplements on Facebook and pay for sponsored links back to their blog from a major fitness website. Now, not every channel has to participate in each medium. In this example, we’re not doing any paid media on Pinterest and that’s okay. Next, do the same for your earned media. Because this is our organic effort, we’re really identifying what we’d like to see happen. We might need to leverage the efforts in paid and owned to influence our earned media.
Here, H+ will aim to see viral campaigns.
And in an effort to help encourage blog distribution, we’ll be adding share links and questions in their articles to inspire conversation. Finally, make note of what you can do with your owned media as it relates to each channel. This might be as simple as posting on Facebook or it might involve a complex email campaign.
Remember, online marketing is an iterative process and you’ll work to continuously improve upon these ideas. As you build out a new audience, new objectives, and news channels, you’ll wanna make sure you have coverage with your Digital Marketing Strategy. It’s important to be flexible. As you collect more and more data, you’ll be able to get closer and closer to your real targets. You may also learn that your plan was too aggressive or maybe it’s even too conservative.
There is a lot to think about when you build your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Spend time doing research to further understand your business, your customer, and the marketing channels available to you. You may choose to implement all of the strategies available or you may choose to ignore a few. Both are valid options, depending on what you’re setting out to do. All in all, your Digital Marketing Strategy is the final piece of this puzzle. Build it last and revisit it often.