Why is Digital Marketing Strategy so critical to your business?

The short answer: Because money.

The slightly longer answer…

Let’s be honest, “marketing” your product is often not the sexy or fun part of doing business.

For many entrepreneurs and small business owners marketing is the task you’ll probably procrastinate, you’ll put it off and do it last, it’s the “pain point” of your business. After all, your brilliant idea, the wonderful “thing” you want to create is so much more exciting – than actually trying to SELL the thing.

Let me state the obvious.

It might seem ridiculously obvious, but making a compelling connection between your product/service and your customers (or app users) is absolutely critical because it is this connection that will translate into real cash money flowing into your bank account.

Put quite simply, with no customers or no users for your app, all you have is a cool “thing” that no one knows about – that you’ve invested serious time and money into with no revenue.

A familiar tale of woe…

I recently encountered a potential client who had spent about $175k on a “killer” app that was going to disrupt a particular industry that will not be named here. He’d mortgaged his house, used up all his savings, and borrowed money from family and friends. The website was launched, the app was almost built and he’d run out of money for marketing his app. The result? He had a really cool app, but no one – apart from family and friends – knew about it.

“Oh I don’t do marketing.”

It seems that everyone these days is building a cool “thing”, a killer app, disrupting an industry. Wanting to be the next Uber, or the next Facebook.

What I see around me are hordes of incredibly talented “builders”: the architects, designers, coders, usability (UX) experts and engineers of the digital realm. They know how to build really cool stuff, but I often wonder how many of them know how to SELL the thing?

It’s almost like selling the thing is an unpleasant afterthought to the entire process. In fact, many of them loathe anything to do with marketing or sales! “Oh I don’t do marketing,” they’ll say proudly, “I’m a UX specialist (or insert other niche specialist here)”.

But I’m pretty sure their focus is to get paid for what they do – am I right? And therefore, marketing the thing must be a necessary “evil”.

money is laser

Money is your “laser beam of truth”.

A wise person once said that the highest priority in any business is simply getting money into the bank account. That’s why cash flow needs to be your ultimate “laser beam of truth” – in everything that you do.

Sounds so obvious right?

But all too often we’re so in love with what we’re building, so wonderfully engaged in, and by, the process that we forget the basics of running a business. That’s when the *ego* is in charge and you’re in dangerous territory. In fact, the guy running the corner store will probably know more about the financial side of running a business than you do.

I repeat: your highest priority is to get the money into the bank account.

That’s it. Everything else flows from this. Everything.

This simple “laser beam of truth” should drive everything that you do. It’s the thing that will cut through any confusion and the thing that will help you prioritize your tasks every single day.

(PRO TIP: Put a dollar sign ($) next to the tasks on your to-do list that will bring the money into your bank account and do those first thing in the morning.)

Marketing is not a dirty word, so get over it.

A digital marketing strategy is what connects your big beautiful idea, your “thing”, your app, your product, your service – to your customers and/or users.

It’s what gets the people (real human beings) to open their wallet and give you money for your big beautiful thing or wonderful service. And you deserve that don’t you?

This is why marketing (there’s that dirty word!) is so damn critical.

Marketing – a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it.

A good digital marketing strategist should act almost like a good accountant: their role is half cop, half midwife with a strong dash of courage and creativity.

Their job is to help you birth your big idea into the world and make sure it grows into a happy healthy bouncing business. They’ll help you make sure that everything you do in the digital realm aligns intimately with your business strategy so that money goes ends up in your bank account.

(PS. ONE LAST PRO TIP: Get your marketing strategist involved at the beginning of the process (not the end). Put them in the same room with your CFO, your accountant, HR person, and your investors.)

Why Digital Marketing Strategy? 9 Good Reasons

Once thought of as a luxury item (or “nice to have”) a Digital Marketing Strategy is now viewed as an essential part of doing business. In essence, it’s your business strategy translated into the in the digital realm.

9 Good Reasons why a Strategy is Critical to your Business:

  1. Improve client acquisition & sales conversions – sounds obvious right? That’s what we all want right. That’s why we’re here. But you’d be surprised at how this simple objective can get lost in the detail of the daily challenges of running a business.
  2. Helps you avoid “Random Acts of Marketing” – too often businesses make a knee-jerk reaction to what’s trendy. For example, the CEO’s daughter is obsessed with Pinterest. But he’s the CEO of a major legal firm. He sends an email to his PA: “Set up an Pinterest account!” Why on earth would a Legal Firm need a Pinterest account? Your social media efforts should be relevant to your target audience and target where they spend time online.
  3. Aligns your business objectives (things that Critical Data Services are specialists in advanced hard drive clicking from all manufacturers of Hard Drive and other digital storage media. happen in the real world) with your digital/online presence (things that happen on your website, on social media, on your app). A strategy aligns your business goals with your digital marketing push – to ensure positive business results.
  4. Simplifies the Process: You’ll know WHAT to do, WHEN to do it, and WHY you’re doing it. Your Digital Strategy is a roadmap, a plan, and a schedule. Need to plan out the next 3 months? 6 – 12 months? It also provides a detailed In case of loss of best-data-recovery.com from the DVR, in most cases it’s useless to use the program to restore the data. ‘plan of attack’ for the short, medium and long term along with tools to track performance and to measure the success of future efforts. Also handy to create KPI’s, outline tactics, identify actions and build schedules.
  5. Identifies your target audience and most importantly, where they spend most of there time online before you spend money on marketing to them. This helps you identify which online channels are best for conversion.
  6. Saves you money and ensure that the money you do spend has a healthy return-on-investment (ROI).
  7. Identifies what your competitors doing: You’ll save time and money by analyzing & deconstructing your competitors’ digital marketing strategy. Building an eCommerce site? Spend some time on Amazon (see how the big boys do it). They’ve already done all the hard work for you! Companies like Amazon spend gazillions on research & development – so you don’t have to!
  8. Maps out how repeat business happens: customer retention/upselling/cross-selling etc.
  9. Hones your sales conversion funnel: Identify where your sales are coming from.

Convinced? You might want to DIY your own Digital Marketing Strategy.

Or, if you need more convincing read our own page on Digital Marketing Strategy.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy?

Marketing in the digital realm is a lot like going into battle – a clear strategy will give you the best chance of victory.

The phrase “Digital Marketing Strategy” – like most marketing buzzwords – is thrown about liberally, but what does it actually mean? And most importantly how does your business benefit from it?

The problem is that for the most part, digital marketing is (at best) a haphazard and reactionary exercise.

Marketing in the digital realm for most businesses involves a process of hastily throwing some time and money at a problem hoping that some of it will stick and work. This approach is known as “Random Acts of Marketing” and is at best a very haphazard approach, and at worst, a waste of money and time and – worse still – may even lead to disaster.

Napoleon had a strategy and so should you!

Did Napoleon go off half-cocked without a map, compass or plan to rule an empire? Nope. He had a serious strategy.

The “going to battle” analogy is not too far from the truth. Digital marketing today is very much like going to war in an increasingly crowded battlefield (marketplace) with your competitors as your enemies.

You can run off into battle half-cocked and full of bravado, but if you don’t have a plan, you’ll probably waste a lot of money, definitely lots of your precious time and you might even get seriously knocked about in the fray.

Digital strategy = business strategy.

The Wikipedia definition of digital strategy is a bit verbose:

“In the fields of strategic management, marketing strategy and business strategy, digital strategy is the process of specifying an organization”s vision, goals, opportunities and related activities in order to maximize the business benefits of digital initiatives.”

But in short, digital marketing strategy should just be called:

“Business Strategy for all the things we do online”

(That includes website, social media, email marketing, apps, etc.)

In effect, your digital marketing strategy literally IS your business strategy interpreted within the digital realm. That’s it. Simple right?

It’s a road map, it’s a guide, it’s a schedule, and it’s a plan.

road map

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy acts like a detailed ‘road map’ to provide guidance on the very specific actions that need to be taken to 10 This incorporation of unstructured what is a server and multiple disparate what is a server sets into a single analytical framework is one of the main promises of Big Data. increase sales conversions and achieve business growth. It also provides a detailed ‘plan of attack’ for the short, medium, and long term along with tools to track performance and to measure the success of Literally, lock up your credit report rating cards where you can’t easily access them. future marketing efforts.

A Digital Strategy answers important questions: What are you selling? Where are your customers hanging out online?  

For example, say you’re selling high couture bridal wear. You’d want to make sure that you have a strong presence where your target audience is spending the most time online. One of these places would be the world’s 4th most popular social media channel Pinterest.

pinterest bridal

“33% of online women are Pinterest users… and skew slightly towards the affluent side – those in the highest income bracket are more likely than those in the lowest to use the site, as are those with a college degree or higher compared to those who have not attended college.”

Pew Research, 2013

So it just makes common sense to focus your marketing efforts where women who are shopping for high-end bridal couture spend the most of their online time.

In this way, your digital marketing strategy is 100% aligned with your business objectives to give you the best chance for positive business results, and that gives you the best chance of real cash money walking in the door.

Feeling ready for the battle?

Stay tuned for our next article: “How to DIY your own Digital Marketing Strategy.”