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No strategy, no success – this also applies to digital marketing. Digitisation is developing rapidly. It is changing the way we collect information, communicate with each other and consume things. 66.4 million people use the Internet – 72 per cent of them on a daily basis. The majority of them are mobile.

The digital world is the NOW. With more change than ever before. With more potential than ever before.

The multitude of marketing and communication channels increases the opportunities for companies to reach their target groups – and in a more targeted way than has ever been digitally possible before. Chatbots, customisation, automation and podcasts are just a few ways to reach and address customers via numerous channels.

But what is the right way for a given company? Where does a company reach its customers in the digital world – and through which channels? This is where a digital marketing strategy comes into play. Companies can make their marketing efforts easier, more efficient, more present and more successful with the right digital marketing strategy.

What is a digital marketing strategy?

A digital marketing strategy is ‘a plan’ with different and sequenced processes for all marketing employees in a company. The strategy enables cross-channel marketing and an excellent user experience along the entire customer journey. In doing so, it addresses the goals of the company and, in the best case, follows a strategically, creatively, data-driven and results-oriented approach.

Why do companies need a digital marketing strategy?

If a product or service comes to market that no one knows exists, then the product/service will not sell. With the help of a suitable strategy, consumer awareness of a company and its products and services can be increased. Digital marketing strategies make the work of companies easier, more efficient, more present and more successful – strategy provides security. Companies save time by having concrete structures and guidelines to guide all marketing employees. Digital marketing strategies give companies new insights for optimising marketing activities.

The benefit

A digital marketing strategy helps companies to clearly measure their goals, plan resources optimally and use them efficiently. In this way, companies always maintain an overview and control while future-proofing digital marketing. Trust and credibility can be built by nurturing social media relationships.

The process steps to a digital marketing strategy

There is no single perfect digital marketing strategy process, and designing one is no small task. There are different approaches and processes for developing a strategy, depending on the alignment with the business objectives. A sample process is shown below, which explains the individual steps and the tasks within each step. It is a basic template that can be structured differently for each company:

Step 1: Define the objectives

The first step is to clearly formulate the marketing objectives. KPIs can then be defined that match the goals. To define objectives more precisely and give them a structure, they should be formulated as SMART objectives:

  • Specific
    • Precise formulation of the objectives
  • Measurable by
    • Qualify the objectives
  • Achievable through
    • How can the goal be achieved?
  • Relevant for
    • For whom is the achievement of objectives relevant?
  • Time bound
    • Set deadlines

A better overview of the target tracking can be achieved in this way.

Step 2: Identify the target group

In the next step, the current, but also the potential target group must be identified. This will help to develop a precise customer segmentation. The customer’s requirements need to be filtered out in order to create personas on this basis. Personas are prototypical target group representatives that help make the own target group more tangible. The aim is to get to know the customer better or in such a way that there is an optimal basis for the effective and efficient use of marketing.

Step 3: Determine the status quo

After the target group has been identified, a status quo must also be determined. This requires an analysis of the current situation, including an analysis of the competition and a market analysis, which will enable an up-to-date and realistic positioning of the company. The analysis is supported by factual figures, which are collected with the help of web and/or data analytics.

Step 4: Develop the strategy

The fourth step is to develop the key element of the process. The result is a strategic and holistic target vision for digital marketing. Success drivers and success factors for the digital experience are identified and a TARGET customer journey is developed.

Step 5: Define the plan

Developing a strategy also means implementing it by means of a plan. Actions must be planned and priorities set in order to optimise the touchpoints/channels. This ultimately leads to an optimal allocation of the digital marketing budget.

Step 6: Measure success

After the strategic plan has been implemented, we naturally want to find out whether the measures are bearing fruit. At this point, it is useful to set up regular reports (daily, weekly or monthly) to observe how the figures develop. This is done through data analytics.

Step 7: Ongoing optimisation

With the help of the reports created in step six, the marketing activities can be continuously optimised and adapted (inspect and adapt). In the end, we need to keep in mind that a digital marketing strategy is a complex plan and should therefore not be viewed in isolation, but instead holistically as a recurring and continuously self-optimising cycle.

Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the world of marketing? Then check out look at our previous blog posts on marketing.

Picture Miriam  Eckardt

Author Miriam Eckardt

Miriam joined adesso in October 2020 as Associate Strategy Consulting Digital Marketing. Prior to that, she worked as a student trainee in online marketing at a digital agency for two years.

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