That’s certainly the impression you’d get from reading most digital marketing blogs, where the question of whether you should have a digital marketing strategy has long ago been eclipsed by how to develop one.
And yet, on the ground, most companies remain unconvinced.
Here are five reasons why:
A written strategy gives you direction and focus
Without specific goals, it’s harder to know exactly what you need to do online, and later to measure how successful you are.
Creating a written strategy forces companies to tackle these crucial questions, as well as formulate a powerful online value proposition, narrowly define the target audience, and carefully consider all the other building blocks for an effective digital programme.
It ensures everyone is on board – and on the same page
Ensuring that there is broad support for your digital activity within your company can be difficult.
This is much easier to obtain if you have written documentation that spells out what you are aiming to accomplish, how it fits in with the company’s other marketing priorities, and gives you a way of measuring whether it’s working or not. Suddenly you have a digital programme that can be promoted and defended, rather than just “something some of us dabble in.”
You’ll be better resourced
If you’re working without a strategy, it will be harder to work out in advance what budget your digital programme needs in order to succeed, and what kind of skills your staff need to execute it.
It will limit duplication
Even if you do have sufficient resources, these may be wasted without a strategy in place to use them efficiently.
It will help you optimize and stay ahead
Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them.
A strategy will build testing into your programme, ensuring that continuous improvement is possible.
It will also help you optimise. A good strategy will benchmark your activity and clearly set out what goals you need to hit online, enabling you measure what’s working and what isn’t, and make the necessary changes. Again, regular reviews will be built into the system, as long as you have a document to refer back to.
Writing a strategy does not need to be complicated. Start off with one or two pages describing your goals, tactics and KPIs: That alone will make an enormous difference to your online performance, and you can build a more comprehensive document later down the line.
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