What's your digital strategy?

A recent survey by Smart Insights revealed that 47 per cent of businesses utilising digital marketing don’t have a digital marketing strategy
Carol Magill

OVER the last 15 years, marketing has become heavily weighted towards digital, thanks to the prevalence of fast wireless connections, smartphones, social media and data analysis. For many businesses, it no longer makes sense to discuss digital as a separate channel: marketing is digital marketing.

Everyone ‘does' digital now. But let's just pause for a moment. A recent survey by Smart Insights revealed that 47 per cent of businesses utilising digital marketing don't have a digital marketing strategy. It seems many brands are ‘drowning' in digital: using it as a default setting and creating a marketing plan for digital without a clear sense of how it connects with wider business goals.

Of course, each organisation will have short, medium and long-term goals – and these can range from increasing profit, revenue or subscription levels, to increasing brand awareness.

And yet, to deliver against any of these requires more than a plan to roll out content or brand communications across digital channels, calling it a ‘multichannel approach' – it requires a solid digital marketing strategy.

For senior marketers, building a digital marketing strategy means gaining insights in order to make informed decisions, and understanding how the customer's entire digital experience can be improved by optimising touch-points across all channels.

If it's your job to implement a digital strategy, ask yourself the following:

1 How do you intend to drive digital experience? Do you understand the customer's journey across your digital platforms? Have you located areas for improvement? How effective are you in using digital metrics and analytics to gain insights and report on customer experience?

2 Do you know how your organisation can cut through the disruptive digital environment, and use it to acquire, convert and retain customers? To do this, do you understand changing customer behaviours and how to respond to them across key channels and with digital content?

3 How well have you mastered your digital channels? Do you know when you should use them and why? Are you compliant with legal regulations in your digital campaigns and with the data you hold, and with customer expectations of how you use that data? Have you implemented brand safety measures online?

In a fast-changing digital world, it's also especially important to remember that strategy is not a fixed plan – a strategy must incorporate scope to meet the various evolving scenarios your organisation will face, and be able to keep your business moving forward. Strategy should underpin any digital to-do list.

This autumn, digital is a major theme for the CIM Ireland network. The local events programme will see CIM host a hands on interactive workshop on creating video content in September, and in November CIM Ireland members will be invited to explore digital transformation at a keynote event.

This focus takes place as CIM counts down to the local launch of CIM's Level 6 digital diploma. A qualification aimed at driving strategic understanding and improving management of digital channels. Watch this space or get in touch for more details.

:: Carol Magill is CIM network manager for Ireland

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