Formulizing Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. Digital marketing’s development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing. As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life, and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops, digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing, e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones. In essence, this extension to non-Internet channels helps to differentiate digital marketing from online marketing, another catch-all term for the marketing methods mentioned above, which strictly occur online.
Digital Marketing Strategy is a business’s overall game plan for reaching people and turning them into customers of the products or services that the business provides by digital technologies. The digital marketing strategy of a company contains the company’s value proposition, key marketing messages, information on the target customer, what digital technologies to be used, and other high-level elements. The digital marketing strategy lays out target markets and the value proposition that will be offered based on an analysis of the best market opportunities.
Digital Marketing Strategy is often confused with Digital Marketing Plan. Because they do feed off one another, it is not unusual to find digital marketing strategy and digital marketing plan baked together into a single document. Although the transition between the two is blurry, a digital marketing strategy covers the big picture of what the business offers: the value proposition and related brand messaging. The digital marketing plan is how the business will get across the key message: the platforms, the creative, the timing and so on. Digital marketing strategy may also be absorbed upwards into the corporate value statements and other strategic documents.
To create a Digital Marketing Strategy, the company must review its digital proposition (what you are offering to consumers) and communicate it using digital customer targeting techniques. So, they must define online value proposition (OVP), this means the company must express clearly what they are offering customers online e.g. digital brand positioning. The company should also (re)select target market segments and personas and define digital targeting approaches. After doing this effectively, it is important to review the marketing mix for online options. The marketing mix comprises the 4Ps – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Some academics have added three additional elements to the traditional 4Ps of marketing Process, Place and Physical appearance making it 7Ps of marketing.
In 1980, Michael Porter developed an approach to strategy formulation that proved to be extremely popular with both scholars and practitioners. The approach became known as the positioning school because of its emphasis on locating a defensible competitive position within an industry or sector. In this approach, strategy formulation consists of three key strands of thinking: analysis of the five forces to determine the sources of competitive advantage; the selection of one of three possible positions which leverage the advantage and the value chain to implement the strategy. In this approach, the strategic choices involve decisions about whether to compete for a share of the total market or for a specific target group (competitive scope) and whether to compete on costs or product differences (competitive advantage). This type of thinking leads to three generic strategies:
1. Cost leadership – the firm targets the mass market and attempts to be the lowest cost producer in the market.
2. Differentiation – the firm targets the mass market and tries to maintain unique points of product difference perceived as desirable by customers and for which they are prepared to pay premium prices.
3. Focus – the firm does not compete head to head, but instead selects a narrow target market and focuses its efforts on satisfying the needs of that segment.
According to Porter, these strategies are mutually exclusive and the firm must select one approach to the exclusion of all others. Firms that try to be all things to all people can present a confused market position which ultimately leads to below average returns. Any ambiguity about the firm’s approach is a recipe for “strategic mediocrity” and any firm that tries to pursue two approaches simultaneously is said to be “stuck in the middle” and destined for failure.
Porter’s approach was the dominant paradigm throughout the 1980s. However, the approach has attracted considerable criticism. One important criticism is that it is possible to identify successful companies that pursue a hybrid strategy – such as low cost position and a differentiated position simultaneously. Toyota is a classic example of this hybrid approach. Other scholars point to the simplistic nature of the analysis and the overly prescriptive nature of the strategic choices which limits strategies to just three options. Yet others point to research showing that many practitioners find the approach to be overly theoretical and not applicable to their business.
The most important part of Digital Marketing Strategy is what digital technologies will be used and how it will be used. Digital Marketing Strategy is a sub division of the whole Marketing Strategy. Digital Marketing Strategy should support the whole Marketing Strategy of the company.
Don’t forget, it is said that ” Content is The King and Engagement is The Queen “. I believe it always works on all Digital Marketing Strategy.
iMarketology can help and assist you to formulize your Digital Marketing Strategy. Formulizing Digital Marketing Strategy is the first important step in the whole process of Digital Marketing.
Happy Formulizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy !
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