“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
You may have heard the story of the social media manager who gets retrenched, and before clearing her desk, goes to town on the corporate Twitter account telling the world how awful it is to work for Company X. Like the proverbial bull in a china shop she rampages through social channels and in the process destroys the company’s reputation overnight.
The next morning the company is a laughing stock as her vitriolic tweets go viral and the CEO is running through the offices demanding the password and login to “the Twitter”. Hilarity ensues.
If only Company X had had a Digital Marketing Strategy in place before they’d even hired Miss Bull-in-a-China-Shop, their social media disaster would’ve never happened.
It pays (yes, really pays – in terms of real tangible dollars walking in and out the door) to have a Digital Marketing Strategy before you embark on the journey to marketing your company in the digital realm.
Okay, if you’ve read this far, I may have possibly convinced you that you need a Strategy before you act. So what next? You can hire a digital marketing company or, you might want to save some money and DIY.
If you’re brave enough to DIY, here’s some step-by-step guidelines to get the ball rolling:
STEP ONE: Use the Right (Creative) Brain:
Let’s get creative. Tap into your right brain. Pull out the crayons. The whiteboard markers and write stuff down on napkins. Like mind maps? Those are good!
Whatever works for you to tap into your creative brain? Do it. Scribble. Doodle. Sketch out rough ideas. Vision boards. Do some big blue sky dreaming. Reach for the stars. Dream big. Want to pull in $5million in the first year? Write that down. Want to have 30,000 app users in 3 months? Write it down. Don’t worry about order for the moment. Let it be one big glorious mess.
STEP TWO: Walk away. (Take a break).
Go out for lunch. Sleep. Whatever. Have a weekend. Go hiking. Let the oxygen in. (This is the bit where we take a break while switching from right to Heroin users generally begin sniffing the drug detox and gradually advance to injecting. left brain).
STEP THREE: Use the Left (Analytical/Logical) Brain.
Just like a lion tamer approaching a new unfamiliar animal, cautiously approach the mess you’ve made (see Step One) with a chair and a whip and create order and sense out of the chaos:
- What are the tasks or tactics you need to make happen?
- Create a schedule, set some deadlines: when is it going to happen by?
- Set out plans: how are we’re going to do it?
- Set goals: what do we want to achieve?
- Timelines & milestones: plan and add to schedule.
- Monitoring Metrics: how do we know if this is working?
- Competitors? What are they doing to market themselves?
- KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators – the things that let us know this is working)
By now you should have something resembling a Digital Marketing Strategy. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it need should create a workable and practical road map for your journey. It should also include specific tasks, actions and tactics to make your strategy real so that you’re ready to go off into war and have a better chance of victory.
- Don’t take too much time on your Strategy. You can get lost in the planning phase rather than starting to actually make things happen. Just like a business plan, just get it done and then get on with it.
- Treat it as an organic working document/s: need to tweak as you go? That’s okay. Healthy businesses are flexible and adaptable to changes in the marketplace.
- Touch base with it regularly. Don’t let it get lost on a hard drive somewhere. Print it out. Pin it to the wall. Write it up on the whiteboard.
Got a question about how to DIY Digital Marketing Strategy? Please email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.