Seeking a Strategic Framework for Digital Marketing


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The DigitalMarketingOne founders council is seeking to design and explore a strategic framework for digital marketing.

Marketing does so many things though and does them so differently at different companies. How do we put all that into a framework that makes sense to marketing executives – our target audience?

Luckily, many clever people have thought about that before.

Starting from a Strategic Framework for Marketing in General

The Strategic Marketing Framework presented on (see below) was one of many frameworks that seemed especially appropriate for a CMO audience. It should serve as a great starting point.

Mind of Marketing's Strategic marketing framework

It’s just beautiful how this framework:

  1. Emphasizes that the job of Marketing is much more than just to be the “Hey, make this pretty and send us the leads!” department.
  2. Is also easy on the eye

Evolving this Marketing Framework for Digital

There are a number of things, however, that are so strategic to digital marketing that they should be better emphasized in our framework. Namely:

1. Interactivity

While digital can’t beat traditional advertising media on reach, its unique strength is interactivity. So, let’s expand the traditional marketing mix’s classic 4 Ps: Product, price, placement, and promotion. Namely, let’s drill open promotion to show just how much is possible within that one P in digital. Let’s add the Ps that are so key to digital marketing: persuasion, permission, personalization, multiple web presences, net-promoters, etc.

2. Ad channels
Rumors of the death of advertising in the digital age are greatly exaggerated: ads are everywhere on the net. But there is an immense amount of unique know-how within each of the digital ad channels. We should call out the most important channels in the framework to do that justice.

3. ROI measurement and optimization
Digital media are fantastically measurable. Optimization within a channel can sometimes even be automated. That creates the illusion that it should be almost automatic to measure overall ROI / returns across digital and allocate your investments appropriately. Not so easy! Therefore let’s add ROI measurement and optimization to the framework explicitly.

The Resulting Strategic Marketing Framework for Digital

Below is the resulting strategic marketing framework with the modifications for Digital.

What do you think?

Does this framework do a good enough job to encapsulate all that goes into measuring and increasing ROI (with marketing initiatives and customer relationships) in digital?

Once we have the framework down, we can proceed to the next step and explore the details with the help of DigitalMarketingOne’ers from all corners of Digital.


A number of folks deserve credit for pieces of inspiration that went into this framework. Namely:

  •, provided the Strategic Marketing Framework starting point
  • The idea of the extended Ps for the marketing mix came from Unica’s Yuchun Lee in his keynote at the 2008 Unica customer conference, MIS
  • Jim Sterne, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, coined the “windows into the hearts & minds of the market place”
  • The Eisenberg brothers while at Future Now Inc. developed Persuasion Architecture
  • I credit Digitas for the idea of the hour glass shaped funnel since I saw it on a slide of theirs


  1. “Does this framework do a good enough job to encapsulate all that goes into measuring and increasing ROI (with marketing initiatives and customer relationships) in digital?”

    I found this article to be helpful in providing a high-level view of some of the digital activities in a marketing framework. The diagrams are well-laid out and the content is good.

    While working with clients (mid-sized businesses) we are often faced with three key questions:
    1. How much should I spend?
    2. Where should I spend?
    3. What will I get in return?

    In order to help the thinking started we developed an in-house integrated digital marketing framework called Omnipresent Marketing (OPM). The idea is to take a broad view of all digital marketing activities and offer guidance to these questions. Presence is mentioned in your re-worked diagram, so I think that’s one of the key aspects of the OPM framework.

    We divided the digital marketing space into 12 main activities and decided to view them in 8 dimensions.

    The activities are things such as web design, PR, social media, and video marketing.

    The dimensions are branding, design, copywriting, public relations, conversion optimization, traffic, cost/ROI, and Lifecycle/Sequence/Weight.

    This is an attempt to take a holistic approach to a discipline often comprised of complex lifecycle events and ROI calculations.

    Thanks for your insights and I hope to see more on the subject.

  2. Hi Leman,

    Thank you for commenting and sharing about your OPM framework. It sounds like a really practical approach.

    The fact that it has activities should make it easy to translate into actions and distribute responsibilities to marketing team members.

    And the dimensions should show nicely which items (e.g. brand) are shared dependencies that are required inputs into the activities.

    So, I am thinking that OPM should make for a good basis for your consulting work at 64 clicks. I’d recommend that readers check out your overview page:

    For the purpose of the Digital Marketing One project, I am seeking a framework that makes interactivity and customer-centricity a bit more explicit. For example, things such as lead nurturing. I would also like to work out a connection to cross-channel marketing ideally, i.e. how online works hand in hand with what happens offline.

    Let’s see where we take this next. Will post a revision soon.

    Thanks much again for the thoughtful insights!


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