How digital marketers can develop their online marketing strategy

Here at Lima Consulting we use a 4 step process to help organizations develop, deploy and measure digital strategies.

Digital Marketing Strategic Planning Framework

Just this week alone we met with four companies, two of which are non-profits, and shared this methodology with them.  In all four cases, the marketing team had several tactics underway, such as an attempt to use Google Adwords, Google Analytics in some cases re-designs and launches to existing websites.  But the strategies, tactics and campaigns were not mapped back to their business objectives.

In all cases these very capable folks had a sixth-sense that told them something was wrong, they just couldn’t put their finger on it.  One organization brought in five PR companies to help them figure out their digital strategy and after interviewing them all, they called me and I suggested that they had not yet answered the question: “What is the purpose of your website?”

If you aim is to have it grow your business, I would suggest there are 4:

1. You can sell products, or you can create a marketplace where products are sold (think ebay).

2. You can generate leads, or you can create a marketplace where leads are sold.

3. You can sell content by way of subscriptions.

4. You can sell advertising to your audience.  This step usually goes along with subscriptions.

Of course there are other models that accomplish business objectives such as branding, but they are not direct paths to cash.

And in one case, I visited with a company that had all four business models on their website but had not determined which to pursue.  Without an understanding of their segments, they had built their website to appeal to all markets and as a result appealed to none.  It is important to begin the website re-design process and select the partners and resources based on the core question: What is the purpose of our website?

So we begin each online marketing strategic plan by starting off with our four step process.  The steps are (1) Think, (2) Tool, (3) Do and (4) Measure and Adjust.

Over the next few postings we will cover each step, we hope you look forward to returning.

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Paul Lima

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