As 2018 roars on, the idea of Digital Marketing isn’t one that needs to be sold.  Companies have bought into the power of the Internet of Things and coupling that with Marketing Automation concepts.

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

Instead what companies are now hungry for is a strategy that ties all of those elements together.  Components such as SEM, PPC, Email Marketing, Web Personalisation, Branding…the list goes on.

I like military metaphors.  In any type of operation, it can be assumed that various things will be available.  Soldiers, Vehicles, Air Support, other equipment, etc.  It’s crucial for any operation, but you know what else is too?  A strategy that enables all of those components at a tactical level.  If they aren’t all combined for a common goal and interacting with one another, any military exercise isn’t likely going to be any good.  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 objective 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 personalized marketing.  If you can truly speak to someone as if you’re sitting across from them at a table, that will resonate more than anything else…and you’ll be rewarded with some kind of partnership.  To do that right, though, you do indeed need the various Digital marketing components initially 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, rather they are looking to train their resources.  The people who truly 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 and that’s how the wheel continues spinning 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 elements of web personalization and someone on staff that can generate content…but why are you doing it?  Is there a roadmap that spells out an objective, as well as the foundational items needed in order to have a chance at being successful?  Do sales know what to do once a lead is generated?  Disconnected elements of the Digital Landscape could do more harm then good and even start competing with each other under the same brand.  Trust me…that’s a mess you don’t want to deal with.

4 – … because it doesn’t have to be just 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 that have a better chance of closing when giving to a sales person.  I’m a big believer in it, but it doesn’t have to just be that.  Companies should consider tracking their brand awareness efforts or using it to bolster the four P’s (Place, Promotion, Product, Price).  No one really talks about Marketing Automation driving event management and I’ve always found that to be an interesting idea…

Get creative with the why.

5 – Guts versus Glory.
It goes back to the idea that the best professionals aren’t doing this for individual companies and it may be because they are cut from a different kind of cloth.  Not suggesting that particular cloth is any better or worse than others, just a preference.  The right strategy takes guts and bold risk taking… and the roller coaster that comes with those working or not working (The glory aspect) isn’t something most people want to stomach…and 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 just the tactical doer’s….we’re now the strategic dreamers that can truly move organization’s forward.  How awesome is that?

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