Everyone’s got a digital marketing “plan.” But a plan is much different than a strategy.
Most companies are working from a one year perspective with their marketing plan, and that’s not enough. Some digital marketing initiatives (such as SEO) take time to build, and your approach must account for that.
We also find that many businesses look at marketing like it’s a set of services, when in fact it should be a comprehensive system. This means they’re always having to be reactive, and can never get their head above water to start to take a proactive approach.
If you take a minute to honestly ask yourself some critical questions, would you find that your marketing plan is lacking a strategic edge?
What are your 3-5 year goals?
What are the KPIs and benchmarks that you have to hit to get there?
What are your short and long term approaches?
If your digital marketing strategy can’t answer these questions, you might be surprised exactly how much time and money is being wasted in marketing efforts that are not going to be fully effective.
We want you to avoid the costly mistake of spending money on marketing without having a well-established set of goals, KPI’s, and most importantly, a defined system for how to achieve them. In this article, we’ll help lay the groundwork for how to create a digital marketing strategy.
Identify the Pain Points in Your Digital Marketing Plan
So many companies have thrown all their marketing eggs into one basket, choosing to focus only on SEO or invest heavily and exclusively in pay per click campaigns. If that’s where you find yourself, take comfort in knowing your efforts aren’t wasted. But, with the constantly changing landscape of digital marketing, we highly recommend that you learn to diversify and broaden your strategy.
Other companies work really hard to build brand awareness and promote lead generation, but their in-house sales and marketing teams simply can’t figure out how to get on the same page. Somewhere along the line, a huge percentage of their prospects are lost simply because of a lack of internal alignment.
Or, maybe the lack of alignment is an outside issue. Many companies have to rely on a whole list of vendors that specialize in certain subject or skill areas for marketing. Your CMO might be swamped just trying to manage the disjointed efforts of designers, content writers, SEO specialists, social media managers… and the list goes on and on.
Whatever your business’ particular marketing issue, you’ve probably landed on this blog because you have one. You’re struggling to establish an effective digital marketing strategy. And, no matter what your marketing pain point happens to be, there’s always one, tried and true place to start on the road toward a solution.
The First Step in Establishing a Killer Digital Marketing Campaign
Your absolute very first step before you make one more marketing move must be a comprehensive Gap Assessment.
What is a Gap Assessment?
In short, it’s your three-to-five year roadmap to grow your business between five-to-ten times, from a leads perspective.
The longer answer is that it’s a comprehensive research process that is both diagnostic and prescriptive. The end product is a report that gives you access to all the critical data to see where the holes are in your current marketing and to visualize how a comprehensive digital marketing strategy would make a difference for your bottom line.
Note: We also include an accessible, at-a-glance “scorecard” that gives you a digestible breakdown of the report’s findings in just a few pages.
Here are five things a Gap Assessment helps you accomplish:
1. Set Goals That Match Your Aggression Level
We’ll complete a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats or SWOT assessment of your current marketing plan combined with a projection based on potential in your industry.
We work backwards—examining your top digital marketing goals, and more importantly, your established revenue goal—and we work toward a corresponding number of sales needed, to a percentage increase in leads needed. Ultimately, we land on what conversion rate is needed to attain that original revenue goal.
2. Identify and Maximize Opportunities to Improve (Patch the Holes)
Gap Assessments often identify holes in a company’s fundamental marketing messaging. Sometimes, the opportunities to improve are more evident in website functionality or buyer persona establishment.
Because we look for these holes in your all-around system and process, the exact places where you can make strategic improvements to your digital marketing methods will be clearly identified and laid out for you.
3. Tighten up the Sales Cycle to Eliminate Slippage
A Gap Assessment will allow you to take a look at every touchpoint in your sales cycle. Where are clients slipping? How can you eliminate drop off? We’ll recommend how to create engaging, results-driven marketing materials that are unique to the buyers’ journey in each stage.
This process enables you to reach your target audience with the right message at the right time. And ultimately, we’ll help you eliminate slippage in your funnel process through strategic lead nurturing and lead scoring.
Case Study Snapshot
Our strategic three to five year roadmap helped the nation’s 4th largest orthopedic company aggressively grow their search visibility. Blog visits increased by 1,611% and SEO grew by 38% year over year. The result was 44,608 conversions that represented $13 million+ in revenue.
Check out more details on our work for Rothman Institute as well as other digital marketing campaign examples.
4. Make Your Boss Happy
The prescriptive part of this research process gives you a plan for both short and long term wins. We know that in order to make your marketing produce excellent ROI over time, we need to set you up with strategic, long-term strategies like content marketing and SEO. However, we know your boss also wants to see some quick wins. So, we’ve got you covered there too with effective, short-term marketing campaigns.
5. Get Back to Prioritizing Data and Analytics
Are you able to calculate the cost and ROI of every new customer because you have the analytics on hand? If you have no way to prove that your efforts are working, it’s time to get back to the drawing board. All of your marketing should be measurable, predictable, and dependable.
You don’t have time to waste with best guesses. When your marketing plan is based on data, you can constantly tweak and improve along the way to make sure you are getting the best return for your investment. When clients ask us how to do digital marketing effectively, we start by emphasizing the importance of a system that’s based on measurable data. Don’t settle for anything less.
Stay up to date with the latest digital marketing news. Like us on Facebook!
Imagine Your Ideal Marketing Scenario
Let’s say we helped you to develop a three to five year roadmap that included:
- Identifying your key buyer personas
- Developing messaging for those prospects in the various stages of the buyer’s journey
- Driving traffic to your site via SEO and paid ads
- Tracking every single visitors’ engagement with your site
- Delivering lead intelligence to your sales team via lead scoring
Would an approach like that radically transform your marketing?
If so, we have good news. This is exactly what we help companies do.
We implement the most effective online marketing strategies to deliver more opportunities for engagement, more lead intel, more conversion potential, and ultimately, more revenue for you.
Marketing Done Right
In our opinion, it’s really the only way to do it.
If you’re ready to take a deep dive into your marketing plan, we’d love to help you identify where the holes are from a digital marketing perspective. Digital marketing success requires a roadmap. Our Gap Assessment develops that map for you and puts you on track with a provable, predictable digital marketing strategy.
Finally! Your marketing doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss the Gap Assessment in more detail. We’d love to discuss your company’s goals and help you establish a plan for achieving them this year!