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When developing your digital marketing strategy be aware of traps. These traps can result in a strategy that won’t deliver the results you’re seeking. Development of your strategy must start with clearly defined goals. We like to recommend crafting your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. approach.
Specific: target a specific area for improvement. Example: improve website conversion rate.
Measurable: quantify what success looks like. Example: improving website visitor to lead conversion by 10%.
Assignable: it is clear who will be responsible. Example: Ann in Marketing owns conversion improvement.
Realistic: given available resources, define what can be achieved. Example: Achieving cost per conversion rate targets with a specific value (i.e. $50 per conversion).
Time-based: establish a target for when the results can be achieved. Example: the conversion optimization effort will last 3 months.
Failing to make choices and making everything a priority. It cannot be done. Strategy is a series of choices which are sometimes hard to make. To create the greatest amount of value and sustain it, some markets will be served very well and others will not. For the markets you choose to pursue, go at them with everything you can.
By trying to be serve too many needs the Chevy El Camino was neither a good car nor truck. Although its production life was long, market penetration was very low.
Taking on the strongest competitor first, head-to-head. Look for opportunities where you have a chance to win. Perhaps a large competitor isn’t doing well in organic search on terms you know send qualified traffic. Choose to play where the likelihood of a win is greatest. There are many 3rd party tools that can help you assess how strong competition is in one area or another.
Consider operating below the radar of the largest competitors until you’ve amassed the resources necessary to take them head on.
Starting efforts on multiple fronts with multiple competitors at the same time. The likelihood of executing well on all fronts is very low. If you’re at all able to execute, the efforts will likely be very weak and expose you to others. Again you need to choose your battles. If you don’t have sufficient resources for a paid digital media program, consider content and participating in relevant social communities which will be much more targeted.
Pursuing aspirational and mission statement objectives that do not get translated into game plans. Before embarking on your strategy you need to know what success will look like. Then define where-to-play, how-to-win, needed core capabilities and management systems. A great strategy requires answering all 5 questions to develop the strategic playbook. All the passion a team can muster isn’t going to experience success from an incomplete plan.
The intent behind developing a strategy is to stand out from the competition. Following in their footsteps only positions you as another uninspired choice. When that happens to a market the result is commoditization and purchase decisions are based on price not value.
The strategy you choose to follow needs to highlight the uniqueness of your offer to the intended audience. If you’ve not gone through the exercise of developing your strategy as we discussed in our post on digitally enabled business transformation, it will take some time. Do a couple of test runs and then open it up to your team and/or advisors. Do keep in mind that no strategy last forever. If you find success you’ll attract imitators.