10 REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A DIGITAL STRATEGY
Many businesses are perfectly content with their traditional marketing strategy. They may not understand the potential digital marketing gives their business. But if they don’t have a digital marketing strategy, then they are missing out on a great opportunity. We’ve said it before but if you’re still not convinced, here are our top ten reasons why your business needs a digital marketing strategy.
YOU ARE NOT ALIGNED WITH YOUR COMPANY GOALS
Most companies set annual goals and objectives, yet often fail to then align a digital strategy with those goals and objectives. If you do not know where you are going, all roads will get you there. If you have difficulty allocating budget dollars to digital marketing it is likely due to the fact that you are uncertain of the payoff.
YOU ARE UNDERESTIMATING YOUR ONLINE MARKETPLACE
Marketers have always struggled to clearly understand the size of the audience or “reach.” Traditional media will often refer to number of households or the size of their subscriber base – but these measurements don’t translate well to identifying exactly how many viewers actually read an outbound message. Digital marketers have tools that can provide a much clearer understanding of the size of an audience as well as exactly how many people in that target audience consume the content. The metrics remove much of the guess work around digital advertising. These tools are effective but more so in the hands of an experienced pro who knows what to look for. If you have not used digital tools to map out your audience correctly you are likely underestimating your online opportunities.
THE WORLD IS NOT STATIC. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. YOUR COMPETITORS WILL GAIN MARKET SHARE
“Our customers don’t use Facebook” or “Our customers don’t really do much online” are still heard around the water cooler and in board rooms. Unfortunately, easily obtained statistics paint a different story about the number of people online and utilizing smartphones to shop and research products/services. We are a mobile society. The Internet is deeply ingrained in our lives and that is growing daily. Holding on to the notion that your partners, suppliers and customers are not online is delusional and only means it is a matter of time before your competition grows. If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, then your competitors will eat your digital lunch!
DO YOU KNOW YOUR VALUE?
There are 2 key components to your sales success. Selling success requires that you can differentiate yourself from your competition and that you can articulate your value to customers and prospects. Your digital strategy can and will help you communicate both of these key components to your audience.
YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR ONLINE CUSTOMERS AS WELL AS YOU SHOULD
It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever.” Google Analytics and similar tools offer volumes of data, but this data is not the entire story. Leveraging social media and other digital tools to gather a clearer voice from your audience provides sentiment that helps tell you the whole story. If your strategy does not include web, mobile, email, digital advertising and social media – you may want to rethink your approach.
IF YOU ARE NOT INTEGRATED, THEN YOU ARE SOON TO BE (“DISINTEGRATED”)
Marketing is not about the battle between digital and traditional methods. Rather, it is the blend and balance of both. The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it. Learn from the past but serve the future and your blend will be well accepted by your audience. Silos are common in business. Traditional PR or MARCOM departments compete with digital departments for budgets and visibility. Failure to integrate your marketing into a single traditional and digital strategy typically ends with one result – disappointment.
DIGITAL MARKETING DEPARTMENT DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE/BUDGET
Insufficient resources will be devoted to both planning and executing digital initiatives. There is likely to be a lack of specific digital skills which will make it impossible to respond to competitive threats effectively.
YOU’RE SHORT ON MONEY AND TIME – BUT RICH IN DUPLICATE EFFORTS
Resources are lean, yet silos and lack of a clear strategy usually results in duplicated efforts and even internal competition. This is particularly the case in larger companies where different parts of the marketing organization purchase different tools or use different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks. Hint: It’s not about the technology. Technology is a means to the end, but if you don’t consider the people and process before you select technology – expect extended deployments and disappointing results.
YOU’RE NOT AGILE ENOUGH TO CATCH UP OR STAY AHEAD
The pace of our lives is accelerating. Agility is necessary to keep us fit, strong and competitive. Adopting an agile digital strategy also keeps all eyes on the prize – the customer. Your competition is not just companies who sell what you do. Companies like Amazon and Apple change the user expectation for all of us. They have made it so intuitive to use their products and services that we now expect all companies we do business with to be as good as these stars. If you are not embracing change – expect to become the reason for it.
YOU’RE NOT OPTIMIZING
Optimize – to make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource). Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement. Consider improving tactics like search marketing, user experience, and social media marketing for your digital strategy.