It’s 2017, and the digital marketing world is chaotic. Google powers 3.5 billion searches per day. Vine is dead, and Snapchat is SNAP. We live in a multidevice world where more and more Web searches are happening on mobile devices. Digital FOMO is rampant, and so tactics supersede strategy. And the most recent US presidential elections demonstrated that using data (AKA polling) as a blunt instrument is risky.
But, in the chaotic world of digital marketing, it’s hard to know how exactly to create and use a digital strategy so that it meets business needs and is manageable.
Though every organization will need to customize its strategy to its own circumstances, the following are the foundations for building an enduring digital marketing strategy that works.
1. Digital Principles: Your Belief System
Brands need digital principles as much as they need brand attributes. Start by looking at the open source Digital Principles site to understand some of the basics, and then create statements that align your brand to how it should live and breathe in your digital experiences. Doing so will help you explain to your larger organization what role digital plays in building your brand and delivering on your business goals.
Those principles become a lens through which you will make all digital decisions. For one client, we put forward a digital principle that was simply this: “Make user-first digital decisions instead of organization-first decisions.” That statement transformed how they thought about their marketing, and it aligned perfectly with their customer-first mission.
2. Digital Ecosystem Map: Your Atlas
Create a visual map that shows which digital channels you are active in, who the primary and secondary users are for each, what those users need from that channel, what your goals are, how you’ll measure success, and what the pathways are between channels. Tools such as Lucidchart are great for making these documents come to life.
Create your map by conducting research with users, looking at competitors, reviewing any analytics data you have, and marrying all that with your overall business strategy. The best ecosystem maps are developed with a cross-functional team that includes information architects, digital strategists, content strategists, and analytics experts.
Look at that map daily as…