A Strategic Roadmap for Digital Marketing


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How can you increase ROI and accountability? Isn’t that the question that keeps you up at night?

Specifically within digital marketing, how can you accomplish this systematically and without getting sidetracked by the hype of the day or whichever digital channel is yelling the loudest?

That is just what our Founders Council of DigitalMarketingOne aims to help you with. For this purpose, I am kicking off a series of articles to synthesize insights from experts in the numerous niches within digital marketing. Together, we’ll show how the many puzzle pieces can be assembled into a strategy that supports your business.

Framework for Digital Marketing Strategy

I will start us off with a framework to help you set your digital marketing strategy at the highest level. The chart below summarizes the most critical elements of a digital marketing strategy.

Here is a brief description of each of the major elements.

0. Inform Digital Strategy by Overall Marketing Strategy
If you haven’t set your overall marketing strategy yet, stop wasting your time with digital here, go back, and do that first. Research your market, select your target segments and set your overall marketing mix (the 4Ps).

1. Define Digital’s Mission
Job number one with digital is to define how the channel should be contributing to your overall business and to the customer life cycle across multiple channels. How should the channel help with creating customers and making money?

2. Select Your Overall Digital Strategy
Based on the mission that you set for Digital, you can now derive your overall approach. This includes the presences that you should prioritize (e.g. website, mobile, Facebook, etc.) and their related “site types” or business models, i.e.

  1. eCommerce,
  2. Lead generation,
  3. Customer service,
  4. Content/publishing,
  5. or Brand marketing.

Based on these decisions you can then derive the top five KPIs (key performance indicators) that you should manage the digital channel towards. You can also form an initial opinion on the ad channels that suggest themselves for the audience that you wish to reach.

3. Interactivity

Digital still can’t beat traditional advertising media on reach. Yet, digital’s unique strength is interactivity. Doing Digital justice therefore means to make appropriate use of its interactive capabilities when promoting your brand and offering. Interactivity means taking promotion, which is one of the 4 classical Ps in the marketing mix, and expanding it by focusing on many more Ps that digital is really good at: persuasion, permission, personalization, growing net-promoters, etc.

4. ROI Measurement, Accountability, and Optimization

The other strengths of Digital are measurability and testing. Put these to use towards continuous improvement.

5. Technology Strategy and Selection

Finally, your use of digital marketing technology should of course be determined by the digital and interactive marketing strategies that you are going after.

Maturity Model

It makes sense to have a maturity model as a companion to our framework so that you can score your progress against the framework.
The model below provides a score for each of the five major areas (#1 -5) in the framework above. For each area, the model describes different levels of maturity at which a company may be. The lowest level of maturity gets a score of zero and the highest level a score of 3.

As an example of using this maturity model, below is how a company might score that is really good at digital as a standalone channel but hasn’t yet made the step to cross-channel integration.

Next Steps

That’s it, as to setting your top-level strategy. In subsequent articles, members of our DigitalMarketingOne Founders Council will then add expert advice about each of the rich elements of digital marketing:

  • Channels (Advertising, search, social media)
  • Marketing Techniques (content, customer, revenue management, lead management)
  • Accountability & Optimization (marketing performance, ROI measurement)
  • Technology strategy

This article is part of a free e-book for Chief Marketing Officers:
Strategic Roadmap for Digital Marketing
Learn how to engage with customers and create value for stakeholders in a complex digital world. Covers digital channels, marketing techniques, accountability and technology. (No registration required to view/download PDF.)


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