How any enterprise could make digital advertising and marketing profitable

Digital marketing - the big difference between a plan and a strategy

By Ellie Buckle, Head of Digital and Strategy, Purpose Media.

I speak to so many people from different lines of business who are not sure where to start marketing. And the problem is, marketing always sounds more like a mountain than a molehill. If you don’t have the experience, knowing what comes first when marketing your business online can be difficult.

The marketing industry has changed so much in the last year, and the speed of digital adoption has almost tripled – many industries have changed overnight. It is now time for a digital first world. A world where you either struggle to survive or fail. It is time for companies to invest in the future by delivering strategic, result-oriented solutions to their customers – and time for lasting change. Here are five tips to help your company begin its digital journey and how you – like many others – can outperform your business online.

Five tips for digital success online

1. Get to know your customers

Understanding your target audience and what your customers want is one of the most underrated elements of marketing. Customers I deal with always want to start their marketing and decide on communication channels – before they actually understand who they are communicating with.

So if you want to find out who your customers or prospects really are, there are three things to keep in mind:

– What are your audience’s problems? When you know how your product or service solves a problem, you can be sure that your path to market will be a lot easier. This is to find out WHY you should be able to stand in front of them.

– Where do your customers hang out? What do they read, what do they do with their free time, etc. This is where you think about how to step in front of them.

– What are your customers doing? This helps you focus on the “perfect customer”, who they are, where they work and what their roles are. This is the “what” you want to market too.

Write these things down. You may have a few different variations – but they are all important. I recommend looking across industries / industries as different people have different combinations of the above.

2. Get to know your company

One of the most valuable tools a company can have when starting its marketing journey is its people. Your employees know your business inside out and this is a huge resource to fall back on. What do you want from your company? What are your personal growth goals? Whether you are a CEO or a marketing manager, you have a responsibility to work with your employees on what they want and to get involved. Only then can you achieve your business goals.

3. Think of a goal

Before seeking marketing help or starting your marketing journey, you need to know the answer to this question. Every single marketing goal must achieve a business goal. If your business is focused on improving its bottom line, make sure your marketing goals are in line with it. When you focus on sales, you make sure your goals are focused on growth. And if your goals are aimed at physically growing the company in size, make sure your goals are contributing to it. If you don’t, you will get poor ROI and repeat bad mistakes – which ultimately will waste time and money.

Every business and marketing goal should also come with measurable goals. Make sure you have numbers on the goals you set – if they fail – there has to be a reason to hold all parties accountable.

4. Be patient

Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It won’t solve all of your problems overnight, and it certainly won’t give you the ROI that you are aiming for within a week. However, marketing, especially digital marketing, ensures gradual growth.

Using the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) model to guide your thinking will allow you to set measurable goals and see incremental growth. I always recommend setting short term goals and longer term goals – with a stretch goal if you really crush it!

5. Try again

Your marketing problems will not be resolved immediately. But for every solution you try that fails, you’re one step closer to finding a solution that works for you and your business.

Testing different types of marketing on different channels, as well as different messages, is a great way to do this. If you don’t see the results that you set out in your goals, maybe they weren’t realistic? Or is the growth maybe a lot slower than expected?

The trying and failing of SEO, PPC, social media, email, and digital PR only works if you measure it. Make a report and measure it every month. After a while, you will see the growth you want and focus on growing further with each new tactic you try.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Purpose Media can help you plan your digital marketing strategy, email Ellie here.