Ask Digital Marketing

Ask Digital Marketing: Digital Strategy

Welcome to the second edition of Ask Digital Marketing! For those unfamiliar with the format, I’ve asked a few local digital marketers some questions, and this time we’re focusing on digital strategy. Every modern business needs one, but figuring out how to create and implement a digital strategy isn’t always easy.

This time, I’ve invited the following people to share their digital marketing wisdom:


So, let’s get started…


What is one of the most important first steps when developing a digital strategy?


If you don’t know who you’re talking to and what to say to them you need to go back a step.


Thomas Haynes:

I’m always surprised when people start to put together a strategy without a clear audience in mind.

For example, people will start to make decisions about channels and tactics (often based on what their competitors are doing) without any data-backed knowledge of who they should be targeting and what messaging will resonate with them. If you don’t know who you’re talking to and what to say to them you need to go back a step.


Simon Key:

Personally, I like to sit down with my client and get a good understanding of their business, its core objectives and their plans for the future. There’s absolutely no point starting a digital strategy if the client doesn’t have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve, whether its increasing web visits, sales or social engagement.


Simon Swan

Understand and get a clear explanation of what the objective is of the digital strategy. In other words, what outcome is it going to be delivering and what will be defined as success? Too often we see a “digital strategy” led by tactical elements of digital marketing. It leaves a yawning gap and does not take into account your market research, segmentation, targeting and positioning – these are all crucial elements of a digital strategy and provides the firm foundation.


Which analysis or tactic within a digital strategy do you think is commonly overlooked?


Speaking to your audience!


Thomas Haynes

Putting your brand’s logo on the side of a massive f*cking blimp.


Simon Key

I think people can focus too much on what is happening and not on what could be happening, which often leads to things being overlooked or missed. Often clients can be concerned about changing their tactics, so it’s important to present any recommendations with data. That way you’re presenting your ideas based on cold, hard facts as opposed to… “I think you should do this”. It’s all about getting your clients on board and delivering the best digital strategy.


Simon Swan:

It’s a tactic or analysis that does not require money spent and does not require technology – it’s speaking to your audience! In the world of digital marketing it’s so easy to dive straight into your analytics or to spent money on expensive analytics tools to start to build your digital strategy.

At the end of the day your digital strategy is a strategy to help engage with an audience through digital communications in order to get them to spend money, to build a subscribed audience or to drive brand awareness for example. Speaking to them is the best tactic I always start with.


What is one of the most important things to consider when implementing a digital strategy?


More often than not, projects can stall or be derailed by poor communications.


Thomas Haynes:

The important thing is knowing when to stick to the strategy and when to adapt or adjust it. It’s easy to bail on a campaign if it doesn’t appear to be working but often you’ll need to adapt it to find what works.

Similarly, it’s easy to keep ploughing ahead with the strategy even when it’s not providing results. You need to know what to measure in order to get an early indication of how a campaign will perform. This helps you to figure out when to keep going and when to cut your losses.


Simon Key:

Good communications. More often than not, projects can stall or be derailed by poor communications – whether that’s with internal or external stake holders. People need to be updated and kept in the loop and sometimes it’s just easier to pick up the phone and talk something through before it becomes an issue.


Simon Swan:

One of the most important elements to consider is “will this digital strategy have organisational buy-in”? In other words, will the digital strategy sit in a “silo” or will it be endorsed across the organisation?


So, there you have it- thanks everyone for contributing. Interested in being featured in the next Ask Digital Marketing? Just get in touch!


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