As 2018 roars on, the idea of a Digital Transformation strategy isn’t one that needs convincing. Companies believe in the power of Marketing Automation.

A few years ago I would have wrote about the definitions of those and how to get started. Now? Not needed as much.

What companies are now hungry for is a strategy that ties those elements together. Components such as SEM, PPC, Email Marketing, Web Personalisation, Branding, etc.

I like military metaphors. In any type of operation, there will be various things available. Soldiers, Vehicles, Air Support and other equipment. It’s crucial for any operation, but you know what else is too? A strategy that enables those components at a tactical level. If they aren’t all combined for a common goal and interconnected, any military exercise will fail. When do the troops go in? Before or after air support? Are they travelling via the vehicles or foot? If the latter, why are there vehicles? What is their goal and how long will they be there? Do they have enough food for the duration? The list could go on…but there needs to be a strategy that gives direction for the why and how.

Digital Marketing is the same way. Here are Five reasons you need a Digital Marketing strategy:

1 – One to One Marketing is all the rage (and always will be).
The most powerful marketing is one to one marketing. If you can speak to someone direct, that will resonate more than anything else. You’ll receive some kind of partnership as a reward. To do that right, you need the various components described above.

2 – Companies have able bodies, but not Thought Leadership.
I find it interesting that at this point in time everyone is the next marketing genius (myself included..). Companies aren’t looking for bodies or to outsource for this kind of work. They are looking to train their resources. The people who know what they are doing in this space aren’t working at a private company. They are either on their own or at a marketing services agency, which is how the wheel spins for them. They give their experience and get more in the process, which keeps companies after them.

3 – If people don’t know the why, they won’t care about the how.
Goes back to my military example. Yes – your company likely has an email platform. It likely has some web personalization and someone that can generate content. Why are you doing it, though? Is there a roadmap that spells out a goal, as well as the items needed to have a chance at being successful? Do sales know what to do once a lead is ready? Disconnected elements do more harm then good and start competing with each other. Trust me…that’s a mess you don’t want to deal with.

4 – … because it doesn’t have to be only about demand gen.
I’ve spent a lot of time in B2B markets and the normal conversation is to use Digital Marketing to generate leads. I’m a big believer in it, but it doesn’t have to only be that. Companies should consider tracking their brand awareness, too.

Get creative with the why.

5 – Guts versus Glory.
The best professionals aren’t doing this for individual companies. They are a unique breed. The right strategy takes guts and bold risk taking. The roller coaster that comes with that (The glory aspect) isn’t something most people want to stomach. Who can blame them? You likely don’t have that person on staff, though (if you do, let them loose on idea generation!)

So there you have it. There is no better time to be in marketing than now! No longer are we viewed as tactical doer’s. We’re now the strategic dreamers that can move organization’s forward. How awesome is that?

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