This is my complete guide to building a successful digital marketing strategy in 2020.
In this all-new guide you’ll learn:
- Why you should define your digital strategy before thinking tools
- How to develop a successful digital marketing strategy
- To profile your target marketing and map their buying patterns with digital tactics
So if you want to set a successful digital marketing strategy this year, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
- Strategy Before Tactics
- Ask Your Customers, Understand Them
- Develop Your Buyers Persona
- Identify Your Customer’s Critical Path To Sales
- Decide How Several Online Marketing Tactics Fit Into The Buying Cycle Of Your Potential Customer
- Create Your Own Online Marketing Plan
Strategy Before Tactics
It is tempting to assume that because you ordinarily use Facebook, Twitter and own a smartphone, all will go well when you start using them for business without adequate planning and strategy.
Arrrgh! No. Not like that.
With the rise of so many ‘experts this’ and ‘expert that’ formulating theories and all, running to social media tools as your first port of call is commonplace.
Many businesses start by throwing some random initiative around Facebook, another Twitter and a steady push of ‘digital shouting’ on Blackberry Messenger, cold emails blasts, status updates and tweets.
Soon, all get lost in a massive digital community of online discussions; because they are supposed to be designed to achieve a set of objectives defined by a strategy.
Marketing is, therefore, more strategic than tactical activities.
Though you see a lot of activities around marketing, it is essentially strategic.
You need to do your homework, you need to think about your customer and answer critical questions.
Must you use social media? How does the internet fit into your business and that of your customer? How do prepare for internet traffic and enquiries?
How do you prepare for leads? How do sustain the relationship with every new idea? How do you take your customer on a journey of trust and credibility?
With an endless platform to reach, your audience and numerous tools to use in achieving that, if you do not have a strategy, you will get lost in a maze of confusion.
If fact, a clear strategy should end up in a detailed tactical plan.
Ask Your Customers, Understand Them
Asking your market about your potential product is not only about marketing research; it is the smartest thing to do.
If your customers will ultimately be the people paying for your product/service, they are literally the life of your business.
Go and ask your existing or potential buyers, for what they look for before buying.
Who are your major competitors? What are they good at? What are people looking forward to that the competition does not currently serve?
How do you intend to satisfy the needs of your market? How do they find the products? How do they find it online?
Business ideas that succeed have been businesses that solve a problem people have; either by giving them what they want or by taking away what they do not want.
In an October 2012 edition of McKinsey’s report on “The rise of African consumers,” they highlighted seven admonitions is any business is to succeed in serving the African marketing;
- Focus where it matters
- Get the timing right
- Develop locally relevant quality products
- Create a strong value proposition at the right price points
- Build your brand now
- Ride the youth movement.
- Build a powerful route to market
Develop Your Buyers Persona
Once you have asked your customers and have identified where your product fits with them, it is time to develop a buyer’s persona.
Buyer’s personas are a system that helps you understand your target customers a whole lot better, by uncovering their demographics, psychographics, unique preferences, personality traits, and needs.
So if your buyer’s persona is so important; how do you develop it?
First, create a narrative that represents the basic demographics, motivations and preferences of your ideal customer.
Second, figure out your customer’s basic information, need, and behaviour.
With these in hand, you’ll be able to understand how to position your product and message towards your target audience.
Demographics include facts about your customer; age, nationality, gender, height, job and income.
These characteristics are measurable and verifiable.
Psychographics are the feelings, attitudes and beliefs that people hold; what they like, how they find what they need, make decisions and what influences their buying decisions.
All these essentially end by you creating a snapshot of what a day in their lives is likely to look like.
- Age: 35-55
- Gender: Female
- Ethnicity: Urhobo
- Religion: Christian
- Location: Delta, Nigeria
- Occupation: Lawyer
- Family Status: Married
- Education: Graduate
- Income: NGN 80,000/month
- Spoken Languages: English / Urhobo
- Amount of browsing time per week: Always connected through their smartphone.
- Greatest Fear: Having to choose between career and family. Ageing.
- Favourite Book and Movie: Grey’s Anatomy, Lekki Wives, Fashion & Style Magazines
- Favourite Blogs ( if applicable): Nairaland, Lindalkeji, BellaNaija
- Favourite Hobbies: Reading blogs, listening to music and radio, writing, splurging
- What words do they use to describe themselves: Creative, Gorgeous, Classy, Deep.
Identify Your Customer’s Critical Path To Sales
Someone looking for something nice to buy for his wife’s upcoming birthday is different from a lady looking for a black gown for a dinner in 24 hours;
the way they search for information and make buying decisions are different; because they are both at different stages of the buyer’s cycle.
In fact, if you are using the internet to promote electronics, and use your product is different from if you’re a software as a service (SaaS) or membership website.
Each industry and individual have their unique buying patterns, behaviours and their passive and active ways of making their buying considerations differ.
It is important to discover your buyer’s path to sales and uncover how several aspects of online marketing ties into the overall process
AWARENESS/ CONSIDERATION/ PURCHASE/ RETENTION/ ADVOCACY
The customer identifies a need and subsequently searches for solutions by asking others offline and on the social web.
Customer consults search engines and looks for validation and credibility from other websites. Here customer has primary contact and becomes aware of your product and service.
Customer investigates, evaluate and compares prices and reviews. For example, a cursory check on the two top online shopping websites in Nigeria i.e. Konga and Jumia will reveal a similar trend.
The action of ordering and buying from your e-commerce site. How will you make it easy to close a sale? How will you make it easy for them to be reached, contacted or followed up?
There is one thing: Get your customer to make a payment, subscribe to an email list, download an ebook, and add items to cart or request for more information.
all these essentially describe the process of conversion.
The quality of interaction and service can yield an emotional and logical bonding that leads to repeat purchase.
These include secondary offers including membership deals, discount offers all designed to encourage secondary sales.
One of the main aspects of developing your digital marketing strategy is to understand your potential customer’s path to making a buying decision on your product or service.
While you can base your entire digital marketing strategy on a single customer, there is a science to knowing how most of your customers generally discover products they are interested in, how they get convinced and eventually get to pay for your products.
This path to sales will need to be developed based on the understanding of your target audience and your buyer’s persona.
Some of the questions you need to ask include;
How are they likely to find out about your company or product category?
What initial considerations are made when deciding whether to buy from you?
Where are the likely places they look to for validation?
How long does the overall process last? About how much time does each stage take?
Decide How Several Online Marketing Tactics Fit Into The Buying Cycle Of Your Potential Customer
Next, you need to decide how your online marketing initiative will fit into your customer’s journey.
Today’s customer is a moving target, shifting attention between websites, screens and devices.
In its 2009 McKinsey article on the Consumer Decision Journey by David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder & Ole Jorgen Vetvik. They also asserted that,
“Consumers are moving outside the traditional purchasing funnel-changing the way they research and buy your products. If your marketing hasn’t changed in response, it should.”
Marketing has always sought those moments, or touchpoints when consumers are open to influence.
For years, touchpoints have been understood through the metaphor of funnel consumers start with a number of potential brands in mind (the wide end of the funnel).
Marketing is then directed at them as they methodically reduce that number and move through the funnel, and at the end, they emerge with the one brand they chose to purchase.
But today, the funnel concept fails to capture all the touchpoints and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer.
A more sophisticated approach is required to help marketers navigate this environment, which is less linear and more complicated than the funnel suggests.
We call this approach the consumer decision journey.
The challenge of customer mapping is to identify the most crucial moment where your marketing message can have the most influential impact on their buying decisions.
Several online marketing tactics will help businesses in building awareness about products, services and creating platforms, apps and tools and systems to engage them throughout the buyer’s process.
For example Konga, here are examples of how Konga engages several aspects of their customer’s buying cycle.
- Konga integrates offline with online channels during its campaigns and promotions. It message runs across radio, video and text runs across its digital channels.
- Konga runs a corporate blog
- Konga runs an affiliate programme for bloggers
- Konga runs an online marketing store for vendors or other sellers
- Konga engages its target audience on social media
- Konga uses Twitter for customer service
- CEO uses his personal brand to power the business
Create Your Own Online Marketing Plan
The aforementioned steps will then evolve into your own series of channels and activities that can be used to engage your target audience in a way strong enough to make them make orders and to make them come back to you every time.
Your online marketing plan should answer the following questions;
What are your company’s online marketing goals?
Your marketing objectives may depend on whether you are a Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Customer (B2C).
Are you using online marketing to promote your product or brand? Are you going to use the internet to build your reputation as an expert or consultant?
Are you hoping to generate emails sign-up for your business? If you hope to use the internet to achieve more than one goal, it may also be smart to spread the goals so as to know how to coordinate and concentrate your marketing efforts.
Who Are The Internal And External Stakeholders?
Remember the paragraph about personas? It is important to identify the key stakeholders that will be important to the future of your business.
Who are they? Where do they hang out online? What about your employees? This segment of your online marketing plan should answer these questions.
What Channels And Tactics Will You Use To Engage Them?
There is no point pouring six-figures amount into a channel your customers do not appreciate.
It is important to know the channels your customers will find and appreciate when you use them.
How Much Resources (Time And Money) Are At Your Own Disposal
Social media may be free but social media marketing is not.
Apart from spending some amount of money to get things done faster, it will consume a lot of time and resource.
How do you plan to get this done? When things pick up and you are generating attention and results, do you plan to hire someone?
Do you plan to use your personal brand, employees to drive internet promotions?
Your ability to allocate resources and remain consistent in using social and digital media determine the success of your business enterprise.
Now It’s Your Turn
So that’s it for my guide to digital marketing strategy in 2020.
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:
Which strategy from this guide are you going to try first?
Do you plan on creating your buyer persona?
Or maybe you want first to ask your customers, understand them.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.