During these uncertain times, many businesses are under pressure to reconsider entire digital marketing strategies. To stay on top, we must transform and find new ways to adapt to the current climate quickly and with maximum impact. By refocusing their digital marketing strategies, I believe that businesses can ensure they are in the best possible position to bounce back post-lockdown.
So, what makes an effective strategy? With a new set of challenges and priorities, teams must work as one to create a single approach that drives impact and encourages better decisions. There are several steps when creating a digital strategy, and of course, each business’s needs will differ. However, without adequate planning, a digital strategy will be doomed from the start.
Clear Objectives and Thoughtful Planning
Several different ingredients work together to create a successful digital strategy. We must begin with a clear understanding of the core objectives. By assessing the main goals, this will enable digital teams to identify the desired audience, agree upon the most useful set of tactics and land the key messages successfully.
The second point to consider is the budget and timeframe. The budget is one of the first initial steps to consider when solidifying a plan and will help us establish the goals. It also enables us to know what tools we can invest in, whether paid search, social or email marketing. Additionally, having an understanding of a time frame helps everyone stay on track and complete tasks when they need to.
With these objectives clearly defined, we need to understand how we are going to achieve them.
Research is a fundamental element of any digital strategy as it enables us to gain an in-depth understanding of our target audience, while also removing any misconceptions due to hearing insights first hand.
According to research, 60% of marketers believe that demonstrating marketing efficiency is more important than ever before.
One way to achieve this is by implementing a research-driven approach, meaning we can maximize business success as well as gain a deeper understanding of the business and users. Once we have acquired basic knowledge and have researched the situation, we can be better prepared and choose the right analysis for the business’s goals and objectives, while also shaping the digital strategy in the best possible way.
With social distancing currently molding our life, we have to make some changes, and it is crucial to shaping the research around this. The research comes in multiple forms, ranging from quantitative to qualitative – both of which are valid methods and can provide different insights.
For instance, quantitative research involves a large proportion of people, providing lots of numbers but sometimes little detail.
A more qualitative approach consists of spending time on fewer people but provides more detailed information about specifics and acquiring additional insights. Quantitative research typically involves a survey and allows us to find out about a user’s experience with a brand and their most significant challenges with a product or service. From the information captured, we can pull out some useful information that will help us improve the business’s service.
On the other hand, qualitative research can involve an unstructured interview with a respondent, which can provide a deep dive into particular opinions and motivations. Considering combining both of these approaches will help us gain the most benefits.
Of course, while the global climate has shifted significantly, many of us are optimistic that we will be able to weather the storm and bounce back. Therefore, when developing a digital strategy, we shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond the current situation and look at what the future could look like. As a result, numerous other research methods can be considered post-crisis.
One example is guerrilla research, which is a method in which you turn up to a place where you know your target audience is going to be.
Biometric research can also provide in-depth insights into the customer experience by using a combination of eye-tracking, facial expression analysis and galvanic skin response (GSR). This method allows us to obtain a summary of emotional reactions from any given stimulus – an extremely beneficial and successful process and one to look at in the future.
Once the research is complete, it is vital to use the data to adapt your strategy. By capturing the research into personas, you can gain a snapshot of the audience’s opinions and in turn, match the findings to your objectives.
The next step is working out where to find the audience and how to deliver the key messages to them in the digital space.
To achieve this, we need to analyze data available, understand competitors and gain insight into the overall marketplace.
Finally, we can see what areas are the most beneficial to allocate budgets and what can make the most significant difference to the business. Ultimately, all of this will help us create an experience that is desired by the target audience while also being cost-efficient and useful from a marketing perspective.
The global business landscape has been transformed, potentially for good, in the space of just a few months.
During times of uncertainty, business leaders often look to slash their marketing budgets or pause all activities indefinitely. However, rather than cutting all marketing activities, businesses should look to where they can achieve the best ROI. Having an effective digital strategy will better prepare business leaders for what’s to come in the future and where opportunities for growth exist.
In such unprecedented times, businesses must adapt their marketing strategies while still staying focused on the company objectives and its customers. As marketing budgets decline, it’s up to business leaders to decide where they can deliver the most value would from a marketing perspective. It’s never been more important to develop or refine your strategies.
Taking a strategic approach to digital marketing, which is led by data and user insights can help safeguard marketing spend and provide us with the best opportunity for success in the future.