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Marketing in the Digital Age: The Fine Points of Strategy Development

Those in marketing know that the rules change overnight. Many of today’s current practices didn’t exist a mere three years ago. A constantly connected society calls for marketing strategies that take this into account and marketing teams that are prepared to shift gears at a moment’s notice.

What separates the companies and brands that are thriving within the digital environment from those who have begun a long slow downward spiral or a quick nosedive? Here are some pointers that may help your business rise to the top:

Take the time up front to create a persona
There needs to be an image and style to “clothe” your content. It not only helps build your brand, but it helps your team stay true to the strategy well into the future.

Plan to own an audience
Big numbers look good, but you need more than just random people dropping in.  Consistency is required to build momentum and motivate your audience to grow itself.

Cohesive communications create relationships
Content must adhere to a consistent voice and personality. This is the only way to reach critical mass. Remember, the objective is to build a long-term relationship.

Constantly stimulate your team’s grey matter
Make it a vital part of everyone’s responsibilities to attend important conventions and trade shows, as well as learning from lectures and seminars.

Encourage experimentation
Allow your team to be free to experiment.  The results may yield greater success than if your decisions are driven purely by data. 

Aim at an accessible target
In some cases, the people you want to reach are protected by gatekeepers.  Find an audience to act as a proxy to your target.  Going through them may be more effective than a direct approach.

Content is still the core
Content that has attracted links, buzz and attention must be left in place –robust digital archives benefit both search and social networking.  

To have guests you have to send out invitations
“If you build it, they will come,” worked in a movie, but can’t sustain a marketing campaign.  A plan to reach people and tactics to attract them must be in place and in action every day.

Differentiation is fundamental
The importance of differentiation is often underestimated.  Discover what makes your company stand out and relentlessly promote it.  Building a brand can only be achieved by being associated with something that is ownable.

Connect with others through relationships and alliances
Incorporate alliances and relationships into your strategy – essential if you’re small – and encourage mutual growth.

Team members must be in-touch with the digital world
People on your marketing team need to have their finger on the pulse of web culture and trends in order to be able to position your business and communications appropriately.

Fine tuning your marketing strategies – whether digital or otherwise – is always a good idea. You can be sure your competitors are doing something to gain an advantage. There will always be another company who can outspend yours – be the company that can out-think the others and you’ll be rewarded with results you can be proud of.

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