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. The 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 target conversion rates on an average value of $100 per conversion, will result in 500 conversions equaling $5,000 in value.
Time-based: establish a target for when the results can be achieved. For example, the conversion optimization effort will last 3 months.
Don't Follow One of These Strategy Traps
The All-Things-to-Everyone Strategy - Failing to make choices and making everything a priority. It cannot be done. A strategy is a series of choices that 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.
The Don Quixote Strategy - 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.
The Waterloo Strategy - 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 digital national multi-platform display program, consider the content and participating in relevant social communities that will be much more targeted.
Dreams-That-Never-Come-True Strategy - 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 a strategic playbook. All the passion a team can muster isn't going to experience success from an incomplete plan.
Following-The-Heard Strategy - 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 the previous post (link to the previous post), 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 lasts forever. If you find successes you'll attract imitators.