Marketing Strategy & Planning

Strategic plans, campaigns & research

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What is Digital Marketing Strategy?

As opposed to other types of Strategy, Digital Strategy concerns an organisation’s digital presence. At the very top of any organisation sits your business model from which your business strategy will be formulated. This business strategy will filter down into all other departmental functions including the marketing department from where you will formulate a brand strategy, general marketing strategy and communications strategy etc.

Digital Strategy however, can also refer to areas outside the Marketing function, for example the digitization of internal business systems, digital transformation, data mining, channels and more.  Generally speaking a disital strategy will heavily focus on marketing elements such as choosing the right mix of digital mediums (Search, Social, Content, Publicity etc) and other considerations such as higher level messaging strategies, USP’s, Competitive Advantages etc.

Where all Marketing Strategy should start

More often than not we find a lot of businesses haven’t considered basic considerations. If you can’t answer these three questions below, you are in trouble.

Who we are

Example: We’re James Hammon & Company, a strategic digital consultancy for progressive organisations

What we do

Example: We help organisations take advantage of all the digital world has to offer

Why does it matter

Example: It’s difficult for organisations to keep up with the rapidly changing environment the digital world brings. Customers can leverage our expertise to stay relevant and prosper in their marketplaces.

Brand Strategy – Your Brand is not a Logo

It’s interesting how many times people use the word ‘brand’, but if you ask someone to explain what it means, they will all offer very different answers. Most people immediately refer to the design elements of a logo. This is incorrect.
A defined brand strategy will answer these questions

  1. What is the value proposition – what value are you providing so to encourage someone to purchase my product/service
  2. How is the brand differentiated – how is it different to other competing offerings
  3. What benefits are you providing – functional, emotional and self-expressive
  4. What costs are you limiting – time, financial etc.
  5. What is the core product or identity or essence of the brand
  6. What segments are you going to target
  7. What brand proof are you going to supply or programs which support the promises you’re making

Strong Brands have Equity

Ultimately every business wants to increase brand equity which is a combination of 4 factors

  1. Brand awareness – how many people are aware of the brand
  2. Perceived quality – it’s the perception that matters, not the truth
  3. Brand associations – sponsorship, affiliations, accreditation etc
  4. Brand loyalty – how likely they are to switch to competing brands or not

If you don’t have a brand strategy, you should first perform a strategic brand analysis which consists of a

  • Customer analysis – trends, motivations, needs and segments of consumers
  • Competitor analysis – look at brand image and identity of your competitors – their strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities and positioning
  • Self analysis – look at your brand image, your story, the heritage, strengths etc.
    Once the analysis is complete, this data drives the definition of the organisation’s brand identity which consists of
  • Brand as a product
  • Brand as an organisation
  • Brand as a person
  • Brand as a symbol
  • Value proposition
  • Credibility
  • Relationships

Once defined, this drives the brand position i.e. how you are going to communicate your newly defined brand to the market. Whether is interpreted correctly by your customer segments is another thing entirely. Nonetheless, positioning is important because this approach feeds directly into your Marketing and Promotional strategies.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is a very broad function within the organisation and can include everything from pricing, brand management, distribution, public relations (PR), market research, segmentation, product development and more. At JH&C, we primarily focus on the marketing communications side of the equation and how this relates to end user sales.

Marketing Communications Strategy

Otherwise known as the Promotional ‘P’ of marketing, this involves formulating the messages and mediums by which the organisation’s product/service is communicated to the target market. Messages refer to what you are communicating whereas Mediums are how you are going to communicate the messages.

Online Communications Strategy

Online or digital strategy ignores all offline mediums such as Billboards, Radio, TV, Print etc. Online strategy is ever changing and many businesses find it difficult to keep up with the dynamic nature of the industry. Once your messaging strategy is defined we will then help you choose the most appropriate digital mediums to effectively disseminate your message. These could include…

  • Search Engines aka. Search Engine Marketing including SEO, PPC/AdWords
  • Social Media – Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital Publicity – press releases to online publishers and guest blogging
  • Display Advertising – programmatic advertising image, text and video ads on other websites – Re-marketing is a sub function of display.
  • Digital Broadcast – digital radio, podcasts, webinars, video blogs (vblogs)
  • Internal websites – everything to do with the content on websites under your control

It’s important that the correct mediums are chosen for the business. Too often than not, we find obvious choices not being used or too many mediums are being used ineffectively with no focus. Sometimes less is more, but all this depends on the goals set at the beginning and the nature of the industry.

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