March 18, 2021 by Michael Diez
Part of running a business is making strategic decisions. A good strategy is one that adds clarity when making decisions.
There are three key areas in a digital marketing plan where having a clear strategy puts your business in a tremendously advantageous position, these are Target Audience, Unique Selling Proposition, and Marketing Channels.
Who is your ideal customer? How are you going to find them? How will you find out what they look for in a product or service? How will you find out the options they have?
One answer might be that you are going to use your gut instinct and experience and answer these questions as they come.
And that may be fine for a one-man army kind of business. But as soon as your business starts to grow, you’ll need help, and if you don’t have a clear way to communicate who your target audience is to your team, then you will significantly slow down the growth of your business.
Even worse, you may trick yourself into thinking you know who your target audience is, when in fact you don’t, and then waste time, money, and resources sending your team on fool’s errands.
What sets your product apart from the competition? Is that difference valuable to your target audience? What feature should you highlight above all others about your product?
This step builds on knowing your target audience. What their needs are, what their pain points are, what options they have? etc.
A clear strategy puts your product in the best light possible, highlighting exactly what our target audience needs to know to make the decision to buy from you rather than the competition.
If you sell kitchen cabinets, there is no use highlighting that they are easy to assemble if your target audience is looking for luxury cabinets; they most likely will have someone assemble them for them.
Choosing marketing channels to employ in your strategy comes down to making sure your brand fits with the channel and figuring out your financials.
Brand fit with the channel is determined by your audience and product’s USP. Will you find your target audience in this channel? Does the channel help to highlight your product’s USP?
For example, advertising a premium product on Groupon at a 50% discount may make people skeptical about the quality of the product, therefore Groupon may not be an appropriate marketing channel.
There are two key financial numbers you need to figure out to help you narrow down your marketing channels: Your target Return-On-Ad-Spend (ROAS) and Customer-Lifetime-Value (CLV).
You’ll need a CLV to know the value-added when a marketing channel generates a lead, client, customer, etc.
Then you use that number to answer the question: For every $X0,000 spent on Ads with Y marketing channel, how much return must you receive to advertise on that channel?
Apple’s marketing strategy is probably something like this:
Let’s inform [people who appreciate design, above all other product characteristics,] about our [easy-to-use premium product] using simple language.
So Apple does not place their products on Craiglist, instead, they create their own stores to sell the product and select a few re-sellers.
Apple does not compete on price, they focus on ease-of-use (“swipe to unlock”) and premium build (“all-aluminum”).
Apple does not talk about technical specifications that much, they mainly highlight what is easy for the consumer to understand. So instead of saying 3.4GHz CPU, they say 20 hours of battery, or how light the computer is.
Coming up with the one-sentence strategy is actually the end result of going through a process.
You don’t start with this sentence. You start by figuring out your Audience, USP, and Channels.
Then you write one sentence (or short paragraph) that encompasses all these areas.
And finally, you provide a few key examples to make sure the message is clear.
A good digital strategist makes sure to develop a clear strategy before executing a marketing campaign.
Anyone who starts executing a digital marketing campaign without a clear strategy is most likely simply configuring Google Ads and Auto Posting on Social Media, therefore, generating inconsistent results, if any. I should know, I was one of them back in the days when Google Ads was called Adwords.
But then the going got tough, and I had to get sophisticated with my digital marketing skills.
Now, I start all my digital marketing engagements with a strategy session, and periodically conduct them in order to make the strategy clearer and clearer.