‘Marketing’ these days mainly happens digitally.
But what do we mean by this and also the phrase ‘marketing strategy’ ?
And how do we deliver business value?
We start at the beginning with brand, brand position and brand strategy. A company or organisation must have an identity that differentiates it from its competitors. The origins of brand identity begin at a brand workshop where company objectives, target audiences and customer profiles are set. It’s at this stage that it’s crucial to get to know the business and marketplace inside out.
Once a brand strategy is in place, we can consider core and campaign marketing strategy.
Core and Campaign Marketing Strategy
The core strategy is the week to week activity that builds the brand position and lays the ongoing groundwork, which can then be enhanced and complemented by campaigns. Before a core plan can be worked out, market and competitor research is carried out. This is all part of getting to know the business and the market in which the business operates. Again an absolutely crucial part of the equation! Search marketing, Google Adwords PPC, a website which evolves and on–going social media marketing can all be part of core marketing strategy. Search and PPC are both strong at attracting customers and leads who have, what we call, ‘intent’. They have an active need! These channels are the bread and butter of digital marketing and they convert the most opportunities, whether those are new business leads or products sold.
Visibility, Attraction, Engagement and Conversion
Marketers talk in terms of visibility, attraction, engagement and conversion when creating a strategy. A brand needs to be visible in the marketplace and attract customers. Brand awareness has to be built…Campaigns are excellent at raising visibility within a target audience. They can be tailored to different regions and also for different products. A campaign might run over a number of social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram for example. Increased brand awareness will feed into increased conversions over time, attracted through the core channels, including search and PPC. When a potential lead or customer arrives at a company’s website it’s there that engagement and conversion happens.
Not the type with nets and a crossbar! Any marketing strategy has to have clear goals. We call these key performance indicators (KPIs). The main goal will be products sold or new business leads generated. Other goals could be increased social media followers or increased unique website visitors. Goals should be agreed by the client before any marketing begins.
Data Capture, Intelligence and Tracking
Goals are tracked through tools like Google Analytics and also through Google Adwords and social media platforms like Facebook which has a highly developed reporting interface.
It’s important to think of marketing strategy in terms of capturing intelligence and information on potential targets and customers. This can seem a little ‘big brother-esque’ but it can also be of great value to the customer if they are introduced to a product or service that’s useful to them. For business to business marketing (b2b) digital intelligence tools such as CANDDi can be highly beneficial in providing information on which companies have been visiting a client’s website. All this data can be used to evolve and re-work core and campaign strategies.
Re-marketing is important too. It can take a while for a message to sink in and for a person to identify with a product and service, realise that they do have a need. Re-marketing uses intelligence to re-target people that have already received messages or have shown interest in messaging. This is all part of the data aspect of marketing that uses all previous activity to profile and target potential customers.
It’s a complex field of play (including goals!) and one which relies very much on research and data capture to be successful.