Too often, digital marketing is misperceived as having the capabilities to magically increase the customer base more cost effectively as traditional marketing through ever more sophisticated tools that very few marketers can actually master. This endless technology race actually moves digital marketing into a narrow expert silo increasingly remote from the board strategic questions.
Indeed, the digital world enables (and actually demands) an instant and direct relationship between companies and their customers whilst increasing the capacity for the customers to make a transparent opinion on quality and price.
The focus for a marketing strategy in the digital world should therefore be how to leverage this unique opportunity to engage with customers to consistently refresh the product offering, communicate effectively the company offering, and develop a stronger base: today as ever, the strong brands are those which can consistently deliver on a proposal which resonates in the market. If anything, the digital world reinforces this ethos and puts an increasing pressure on companies to focus on their customers and the experience they receive.
The key pillars of a marketing strategy need therefore to be:
- Customer engagement and retention
- Encapsulating the essence of the company proposition through a clear and consistent communication
- Acquisition, to compensate the churn of customers or to tactically accelerate the growth of the company
For each of the pillars, the expectations in terms of efforts and returns have to be clearly set so as to produce an effective marketing plan. Far beyond the technical and tactical aspects of channel, allocating the marketing efforts to the right priorities is critical.
Building a successful plan requires primarily three elements that can be implemented rapidly, and will provide invaluable insights to any company:
- A market map showing how customers research and select the company they want to transact with
- A review of the cost per visit, cost per acquisition and revenue per visit across the different channels
- An analysis of the customer base, lifetime value and churn
We complement those analysis by an audit of how the company engages with its customers and provide recommendations based on the best online practices on the tools and processes to put in place to create a perennial impact on the organization.