ENSURING THAT DIGITAL IS FULLY INTEGRATED INTO THE MARKETING STRATEGY
As online interactions become a substantial component of how brands are experienced, it is imperative that traditional and digital marketing are blended into a unified strategy, with digital fully integrated from the very beginning into the design and planning of the marketing strategy.
However, many companies are still approaching traditional and digital marketing with separate and parallel processes. Strategies that have been conceived starting from different premises are "translated" into digital only at the end of the design phase.
Sometimes different teams plan and manage the two channels fully separately.
A marketing plan that blends traditional with digital
translates business objectives into funnel objectives
identifies behavioral micro-targets for specific digital and mobile marketing activities
clarifies online presence plan and content marketing plan
is orchestrated around 7 different areas of digital activation
THE 7 AREAS OF DIGITAL ACTIVATION
A digital marketing plan should be articulated along 7 dimensions:
ONLINE PRESENCE AND CONTENT MARKETING
ONLINE PARTNERS & AFFILIATE MARKETING
SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING & ADVERTISING
SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNITIES
PERMISSION & EMAIL MARKETING
APPROACH TO CREATING A DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN
A digital marketing plan is created following three high level phases: first a market mapping phase, that identifies all relevant digital actors, followed by a second phase focused on marketing strategy and positioning. Then a third phase centered around the design and planning of digital activities.
Approach to Digital Marketing Planning
A strategy that considers both online and offline actors, and funnel objectives as well as buying process objective, guarantees alignment in brand positioning, online and offline targets and investment priorities.
See below a detailed description of each step.
In our projects, depending on client needs, we perform all or a sub-set of the following activities:
PHASE I – MARKET MAPPING
I.I – Identify Digital Targets & Mobile Targets
In this step we segment the market, quantify each segment and choose primary targets. We align offline with online and mobile targets.
If needed, we develop the customer persona, based on web listening and / or ad-hoc research.
We then translate the digital targets and mobile targets into behavioral micro-targets for specific digital and mobile marketing activities.
I.II – Analyse Competitors’ Digital Presence & Positioning
We analyze competitors positioning, targeting, and investments.
We research competitors' digital presence and summarize their strengths and weakness.
This allows us to identify how our brand can differentiate and beat competition in the online space.
I.III – Analyse Own Digital Presence + Digital SWOT
We perform a SWOT analysis of our clients' digital presence, including online brand reputation, audience & traffic analysis, return on past digital marketing campaigns, user experience and conversion rates.
This allows us to define strengths and weaknesses, areas of differentiation and gaps to be addressed.
I.IV – Online Partners Mapping
We map potential online partners, including intermediaries, publishers, influencers, bloggers, portals, specialized sites, aggregators.
We then prioritize them based on their relevance and alignment with company's objectives.
PHASE II – POSITIONING & BRIEF
II.I – Define Positioning, Comm. Objectives & Creative Platform
In one or more client workshop(s), we define the brand identity, purpose and positioning.
We then derive the business, behavioral and communication objectives. We translate communication objectives into a messaging brief.
II.II – Set Specific Objectives at Each Stage of the Funnel
We translate the business objectives into specific digital objectives, at each stage of the funnel.
Specifically, we define what needs to be achieved in terms of:
- Traffic generation
- Customers' interaction
- Retention/repeat purchase
- Involvement with the brand
II.III – Define Digital KPIs
We assign specific KPIs to each objective, building an integrated KPIs dashboard that will give immediate information on how campaigns are performing and on which gaps need to be filled. This will allow our clients to measure to which extent objective has been reached, to evaluate the return of each marketing campaign and to be able to optimize the approach over time.
We ensure that analytic tools providers provide usable tools that can be used to enhance learning.
II.IV – Develop Digital Brief
If needed, we support our clients in the preparation of the brief for each of the agency partners involved into activities design and execution.
By doing so, we ensure that different agencies share the same premises, objectives and that the different activities and campaigns reinforce each other.
PHASE III – PLANNING ACTIVITIES & INVESTMENTS FOR EACH ACTIVATION AREA
There are 7 areas to be considered when designing a digital activation plan. All of them should be declined for both online and mobile audiences.
Depending on the result of the SWOT analysis on client's digital presence, as well as on client's business priorities and budget, we can decide to work on all of these areas, or prioritize only a few for immediate actions.
Below a short description of the typical output for each activation area:
III.I – ONLINE PRESENCE & CONTENT MARKETING
Typical output includes:
- Online presence plan
- Site look & feel
- Site features and landing pages, incl. optimization of conversion results (CRO)
- Content marketing plan and brand engagement strategy
III.II – ONLINE PR, PARTNERS & AFFILIATE MARKETING
Output is the partner & affiliate marketing plan:
- Affiliate marketing
- Online PR, use of influencers, blogging
- Other partners
III.III – SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING & ADVERTISING
- Search engine marketing plan
- Natural search, SEO
- Paid search, PPC
- Online advertising plan
- Type of advertising, placement (websites)
III.IV – SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNITIES
Typical output includes social media & communities plan:
- Social presence: objectives, management, content distribution
- Social media advertising
- Management of communities
III.V – PERMISSION & EMAIL MARKETING; DATA STRATEGY
Typical output includes:
- Permission and email marketing plan
- Permission marketing and econtact strategy
- Email marketing (promotions, newsletters)
- Data strategy and approach to data capture
- CRM and database integration
III.IV – PROMOTIONS
Output is the promotion plan, including:
- Promotion typology
- Target / micro-target
- Criteria (eg phase in the purchase process, product type, etc.)
- Vehicles (specific websites, emails, etc.)
III.VII – CUSTOMER SERVICE
Output is a plan for the management of customer service and online reputation
- In-house or external
- Policies, criteria and response times