In our modern world, almost all companies recognize the importance of digital marketing. But the problem is that many still do not know how to build the most effective strategy and correctly enter it into the general plan of brand development.
A recent Smart Insights study found that 45% of companies do not have a clear strategy, although they use digital marketing. This can be called a clear progress compared to 2012, when the same indicator reached approximately 70-75%. However, the number of companies that are not yet fully utilizing the potential of digital marketing is still large.
In this article, we will look at 10 key signs that your company needs a new digital marketing strategy.
1. You don’t know in which direction you are moving
As experience shows, companies that do not have a digital strategy (and some of those who have one) have a poor idea of what goals they are trying to achieve in the online space. This applies to attracting new consumers and increasing the loyalty of existing ones.
Many brands also do not use the fully available resources to accomplish their tasks and analytically assess whether they have succeeded.
2. You don’t know who your audience is and what place you occupy in the market
You can underestimate the need of your audience for online services if you don’t conduct an appropriate study. And more importantly, you will not understand your position in the online commerce market.
You need to understand that the dynamics of a brand’s relationship with an online audience differs from an offline one. Also different are the demands and behavior of consumers, competitors, offers and opportunities for communication.
Many large digital platforms offer great tools to measure consumer demand. For example, you can use the Google Keyword Planner to gauge how effectively you use keywords in your online content. This way you can understand whether your offer meets the needs of consumers and whether it attracts visitors to your site.
Another useful tool is Facebook IQ. This service helps to determine how many people using the platform are interested in your products or services and, therefore, are potential customers.
3. You are not familiar with your online audience
Google Analytics and similar tools will be able to show you just the number of visitors, but not their intentions and attitude towards the brand.
According to IBM polls, while 81% of companies believe that they are familiar with their audience, only 37% of consumers agreed with this statement. Therefore, it is important to use a more personalized approach and conduct additional surveys among buyers.
4. You feel that you are being squeezed out by competitors and startups
If you are not fully utilizing the available resources on issues related to digital marketing, or don’t have a clear strategy and make decisions on the go, your competitors will take your place.
As a joint study by the CISR Information Systems Analysis Center, Truist Financial Corporation and Stewart Information Services Corporation showed, over the selected period, companies with executives who were knowledgeable in information technology observed revenue growth 38% higher than their competitors who did not use digital resources fully.
5. You don’t have a winning offer in the online market
A well-designed online offer, created taking into account the needs and interests of various groups of your target audience, will help your brand stand out from the competition. As a result, you will be able to increase the interest of your consumers and maintain their loyalty.
For many organizations, the key decision is to develop a competitive content marketing strategy, because it is the content that attracts your audience through various channels, whether it is email newsletters, news feeds or social media posts.
Surveys by the CMI Institute for the Study of Content Marketing showed that 72% of manufacturers believe that content marketing increases customer activity. The same percentage of respondents noted an increase in the number of potential customers. According to the results of the study, one post on social networks is enough to make a sale. Also, 69% of consumers admitted that they purchased a product because they read about it on Twitter.
6. Your digital plan does not fit into the overall marketing strategy
Very often, all actions related to digital marketing are carried out separately: either they are handled by a specialist who sits in the IT department, or even experts from a third-party digital agency. According to the Smart Insights study, about 85% of companies have not achieved the full integration of digital communication channels and traditional media, or have not taken an integrated approach at all.
Using a similar method – separating digital channels from traditional ones – it is easier to put digital marketing in an understandable form. However, this approach is not as effective as possible. Experts have long concluded that digital communication is much more effective when it is integrated with traditional media and communication channels. Thus, it is more expedient to immediately create an integrated digital marketing strategy, and after the company’s digital transformation is completed, all activities related to digital marketing will become a natural part of the business.
7. Not enough budget and resources allocated to digital activity
Companies that don’t pay enough attention to the planning and realization of digital marketing tasks often face the fact that they lack the budget and their specialists have the skills to successfully cope with the challenges of the market and competitors. The situation is aggravated by the fact that it is difficult for companies that do not get along well with technology to find and retain really strong professionals in this field.
A survey conducted by Randstad US showed that 80% of applicants find attractive job offers in companies that use the most advanced digital tools. In addition, 40% of respondents admitted that they left their previous place of work due to the fact that they did not have access to advanced technologies.
8. You spend time and money duplicating tasks
Even if you have sufficient resources, it is likely that you are wasting them. Such situations are especially common in large companies where marketing departments acquire different tools and turn to different specialists to perform similar tasks related to online marketing.
9. You don’t have the flexibility to catch up with competitors or maintain leadership
Top online brands like Amazon and Google are very dynamic. They are constantly trying new approaches that can help them maintain their audience and attract a new one. For example, Airbnb was one of the first to use Instagram promotion through collaboration with the stars. This happened in 2015, when most people didn’t even know the word “influencer”. And one campaign allowed them to receive 13.3 million responses and increase the number of subscribers by 341%.
10. You are missing out on opportunities
Any company that has a website uses analytics tools. However, management often does not ensure that their employees study available statistics and make decisions based on them.
A GetApp survey found that 42% of companies lacked statistics and another 16% did not receive the necessary insights. It also happens that team members simply do not have time to pay attention to analytics. Also, only 58% of the companies surveyed said that at least two employees are exclusively engaged in processing statistics.
Having a clear strategy helps lay the foundation for further action. You have the opportunity to constantly improve various aspects of the work, for example, search engine marketing, the interaction of site users with the brand and marketing on social networks.
What difficulties do companies face in developing a digital marketing strategy?
When creating a digital marketing strategy, the main thing is to find the strength to start. Many people are scared by the thought that huge complex reports will be required, but as practice shows, the more concise and simpler the plan, the better it works. The whole strategy can fit on 2-3 sheets. For clarity, you can use tables and charts.
Another difficulty is that there are a huge number of digital marketing tools, from email marketing to techniques for improving the quality of user interaction with the site, which you need to understand. Each digital marketing technique has many features, each of which in one way or another can affect your success. Therefore, it is important to separately consider the various methods, evaluate how they are suitable for your business and determine the priority.
What is the best approach to building a digital marketing strategy?
The approach used by most successful companies involves developing a strategy in two stages. First, a separate digital marketing plan is created. This helps to achieve agreement on the part of team members by demonstrating opportunities and potential problems. Also at this stage it is convenient to determine the tasks that will lead to the ultimate goal, and understand how to proceed to the second stage of integrating the digital marketing plan with other business activities. In the end, the digital strategy fits seamlessly into the day-to-day work of the company and does not need separate planning.