7 Digital Strategy Essentials for Your 2012 Plan

The holiday season ushers in gifts, caroling, great food, and a less well-received corporate tradition – annual planning. Your digital marketing planning doesn’t have to be painful, it can actually be an opportunity to reboot your program and build momentum heading into the New Year.

The key to successful digital strategic planning is to be organized and focused on the right questions.

Often marketing teams consider too many planning factors, exponentially complicating their strategies. Constraining your team’s planning to a concise list of success drivers will your strengthen your strategy and insure that you’ve considered the most critical elements.

We suggest starting with these 7 Digital Strategy Essentials:

1. Specific and Actionable Objectives:
Ambiguous objectives are a recipe for wasted effort and organizational frustration. Use the quantitative strengths of digital media to set meaningful objectives with realistic data. For example the objective “Build Brand Awareness” is too vague to be effective. However, ”Create social platforms that enhance ability to engage with target audience” mobilizes your team and inspires compelling strategic options.

2. Your Value Proposition
Your product value proposition powers all of your digital communications. An effective value proposition states why your product matters to your target audience. Once defined, your value proposition’s story can be shared in fascinating ways across multiple platforms. Email can reinforce it with your customers. Paid media can use it to pinpoint customer pain points and drive traffic to your website. Social can create conversations and attract influencers who are inspired by your perspective.

3. Call to Action
What action do you want your audience to take? Do you want a sale, a subscription, or a donation? It’s important to be clear here because your messaging needs to be unambiguous, short, and persuasive. Selecting a call-to-action may seem simple, but you would be amazed by how many marketing strategies suffer because they promote everything and end up selling nothing.

5. Cross-Platform Integration
Marketing in silos is inefficient and hobbles performance. Zoom out from the tactics and see your digital marketing strategy as a whole. Social Media can ignite your SEO initiatives. Email turns PPC into a profits machine. Paid media can quickly optimize landing pages and pinpoint conversion bottlenecks. Considering cross-platform integration will leverage your marketing investments across all of your digital platforms.

6. Superb Execution
The best plans aren’t worth the whiteboards they’re scribbled on if you can’t execute. As you huddle with your team, set aside time to concentrate on superb execution. Ask yourself – Do you have the people, the expertise, and the raw materials to pull off your strategy? Get solid answers to these questions before a lack of execution sabotages your strategy.

7. Optimization
An effective digital marketing strategy is a living document. In order to evaluate performance you will need to put the right tracking and analytics programs into place. The feedback from these programs will be used to make smart decisions about creative, messaging, and resource allocation. Allocating time to discuss testing, analytics, and reporting will pay dividends in sustained performance improvements.

If you need help…

It helps to have a second pair of eyes to bring a fresh perspective to your planning process. We’ve helped Fortune 500 brands, government organizations, and hyper-growth start-ups develop breakthrough search, social, and email strategies. Give us a call at (734) 302-3300, we would love to help.