Want to know the simple reason your digital marketing isn’t working? Because it lacks a key component: strategy.
The truth is, today’s world revolves around the concept of “your digital marketing strategy.” It doesn’t matter what your industry is, who your target market is, or whether you’re in eComm or brick and mortar.
If you’re serious about growing your business, you need a clear digital marketing plan and purpose. Why? Because:
Today’s consumer is online, period.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis. Moreover, “more than 65% of consumers conduct online product research before stepping foot in a store,” according to Retail Dive.
But, your digital marketing strategy can’t feel like an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. All too often, even the savviest marketers get wrapped up in trying a little bit of everything – from PPC, to any and every from of social media marketing, to webinars, to blogging…and they don’t stop to think about what’s actually right for helping their specific company’s growth.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing – and not everything works for everyone or every brand.
Imagine for a moment that there were no system for managing air traffic. Planes would crash every day, and it would be total chaos! No one wants that kind of anarchy. And yet, that’s what many of us do every day in our companies - we operate without a digital marketing system...and crash every day.
Without a clear digital marketing plan you can easily drown in a sea of competition, with no way of cutting through the bullshit to tell your target buyers who you are and how you’re different. On top of that, it’s nearly impossible to prove ROI to your executive and sales teams - no matter how much hashtagging, blogging, or whatever else you do.
That’s why every business needs to kickstart its digital strategy with a digital roadmap.
The Digital Roadmap
If you’re a digital marketer who has taken the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach, a digital roadmap will help you uncover what’s going wrong with your current approach. It will also guide your digital marketing strategy, outlining what you need to do to start engaging your target buyers, bringing them to your site, and turning them into sales opportunities for your organization.
If you haven’t taken a strategic approach to digital marketing, but have serious growth goals, a digital roadmap is perfect because it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the digital channels in the marketplace. Your roadmap will help you figure out not only what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t do.
How to Create Your Digital Roadmap
Do a growth bottleneck analysis
This will allow you to understand what’s hindering your growth. The analysis includes:
- Understanding your current situation, gaps, and opportunities.
- Analyzing your business model and current metrics to understand where your priorities need to lie. Consider your current performance in each of these areas:
Based on your goals and conversion metrics from stage-to-stage, you’ll be able to quickly see which area is your current “bottleneck” and prioritize accordingly.
Find the cost of growth
Now that you have documented the metrics of your business and know where your bottleneck is, you must find the acceptable cost of customer acquisition (COCA).
Your max COCA is the most you’re willing to spend that still fits into a profitable business model. Finding your business’ max COCA is critical because it will help you shift your mindset from “what’s the least I can spend” in marketing to “what’s the most I can spend?”
The most successful marketers live by this mantra:
“He or she who can afford to spend the most to acquire a new customer, wins.”
That’s because, the companies who grow most aggressively use the mindset of “what’s the most I can spend?” If you’re serious about growth you need to have a “most” mindset as well.
Analyze, Document, Plan
Armed with your bottleneck analysis and COCA, you can now move into analyzing, documenting, and planning for how digital strategies and tactics can support your growth goals.
Remember, at this stage you will not build anything - you’ll simply assess and identify what needs to be tackled.
1. The Assess Stage
During The Assess Stage, you’ll conduct the research, exploration, and ideation needed to set the stage for your plan. In essence, you’ll say, “Here’s where we are, and here’s where we want to go.”
During this stage, you’ll assess your business’...
- Desired Time Frame
Read more about The Assess Stage here.
2. The Plan Stage
It is important to understand that the success of any digital marketing program greatly hinges on the quality of the up-front planning.
During The Plan Stage, you’ll plan your business’…
- Targeting strategy - What are the target audiences you want to engage with?
- Overarching content strategy - What content will you use to engage target audiences?
- Traffic strategy - How will you bring targeted visitors to your site?
- Lead generation strategy - How will you convert visitors to leads?
- Lead nurturing and marketing automation strategy - How will you stay top-of-mind with leads?
- Measurement and reporting protocol - How will you track success?
- Technology requirements - What technologies will you need to make this happen?
- Logistics - What people, time, and budget are needed to make this happen?
Are any of these items defined in your organization? Now is the perfect time to take an inventory of what you have and what you still need to do for your digital marketing plan.
3. The Build Stage
During this stage, you’ll want to make sure you have the right technologies and platforms in place to reach the goals established during the Plan phase.
These are the kinds of things you may need to build:
- Landing page templates
- Email templates
- A digital marketing dashboard
- A marketing automation funnel
- Lead generation offers
- Website optimization - a quick inbound optimization audit can help get you started. Does your website have…
- A blog?
- The blog linked in the main navigation?
- A “Resources” page?
- “Resources” is linked in the main navigation?
- A CTA spot available at the top of each sidebar, above the fold?
- Google Analytics code or Google Tag Manager code installed?
- Facebook pixel installed?
- LinkedIn pixel installed?
- Google AdWords pixel installed?
- A CTA on every page?
4. The Drive Stage
What are the activities in which you need to engage to drive visits from your target buyers? Consider:
- Email marketing like newsletters/email blasts
- Paid traffic via Google AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other sources
- Online PR/organic social media posting
- Blogging about topics of interest and relevance to your target consumer
5. The Optimize Stage
Now that you are driving visitors and leads to your database, how will you maximize your investment? You must optimize your “Built” assets for best user experience and conversion.
During this stage, the measurement and reporting protocol established during the “Plan” phase comes into play. You will be able to see your assets’ rate of success - allowing you to easily pinpoint where optimization must happen.
Be sure to stay committed to:
- Reporting and coaching
- Lead generation offer optimization
6. The Grow Stage
How will you attract new buyer personas, generate new leads, and continue to nurture the existing ones?
Tip - Always think of ways to create more:
- Target lead generation offers
- Content and features to support each buyer persona’s buyer’s journey
With your Digital Roadmap, you’ll be able to tackle the complicated world of digital marketing while seriously growing your business. The digital roadmap is an undertaking - and you don’t have to tackle it alone. The experts at Elevator can help you plan your digital roadmap for free. Click here to learn more!