11 March 2013

3 Steps of Digital Marketing Strategy

You launched your blog, created your Company Facebook Page and signed up for Twitter, even your  website is perfectly optimized for your most important keywords. Nevertheless, your online presence is dead as a Dodo. Why? In this post we will talk about how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy to boost your online presence. Let's dig in!

Photo: Francesco Garofano.
Photo: Francesco Garofano.
A good online presence is like a long car ride. If you want to have a safe and pleasant journey, you have to...
  • be very motivated (it will be a looong ride);
  • know where you are and where you want to go;
  • define a timetable;
  • know possible secondary roads and alternative routes;
  • choose carefully the most appropriate car for your needs;
  • know perfectly how the car works;
  • carefully calculate and manage the budget for fuel, repair, maintenance and so on;
  • measure your progress. 

In few words, a good online presence needs a good Digital Marketing Strategy!

3 steps of Digital Marketing Strategy

A DM Strategy consists of 3 phases:
  • Analysis;
  • Diagnosis;
  • Action.

1) Analysis

Our online journey starts with the Analysis. In this phase we will define our:
  • Critical Business Objectives (a list of goals that a business owner sets down in writing for a company to follow);
  • Skills (technical and communication skills);
  • Budget (Digital Marketing Budget for the creation and development of our online presence);
  • Competitors (what are our current and potential competitors);
  • Stakeholders (a person, group or organization interested in our firm);
  • Benchmarking (the process of comparing our results with the best firms of our industry);
  • Peers;
  • Market trends (how the market is performing now and how it is forecast to perform over the coming year);
  • Technology trends (identify those technology trends that could drive innovation and influence decision-making);
  • Customers (the life-force of our business).

Customer Analysis represents the pillar of our DM Strategy. Only with a perfect comprehension of our customers we will be able to focus our efforts in the right direction. In order to better understand our customers we have to use some tools such as:

2) Diagnosis

The next step will be Diagnosis. In this phase we will define our:
  • SWOT;
  • Key Challenges;
  • Vision and Mission;
  • Tactics;
  • KPIs.

Thanks to the above mentioned steps, we will obtain a clear understanding of our product/brand. Analysis and Diagnosis represent the navigation coordinates of our DM Strategy.

3) Action

Once we have decided what matters most for our online project, now we can define our plan of action.

Digital Marketing Strategy: plan your journey and measure your progress.
Digital Marketing Strategy: plan your journey and measure your progress. Photo: Gareth Jones.

Like a mountaineer that divides his rock climbing into several steps, we have to identify distinct phases of our Action process, during which we will use different key digital tactics in order to reach specific and measurable goals. These phases are:
  • How to reach our audience;
  • How to convert to lead;
  • How to engage our audience.

A) How to reach our audience

What we need to know: if we want to reach our customers and "talk" to them, we have to segment our target audience (targeting demographics, benefits needed, lifestyle choices and so on) and develop our online presence in the most appropriate online platforms. Example: let's say our target audience is young people, we could invest our money in Facebook ads instead of doing email marketing.

Our key digital tactics are: 
  • SEO;
  • PPC;
  • Affiliate and Partner Marketing;
  • Display Marketing;
  • Mobile Advertising;
  • Online PR;
  • Social Media Marketing.

Our KPIs are: 
  • Unique Visitors;
  • New Visitors;
  • Visits;
  • Number of Impressions;
  • Per Visit Goal Value;
  • Number of Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets and so on in our Online Platforms.

B) How to convert to lead

What we need to know: How well are we using our online platforms? How are our customers reacting to our online value proposition? In this phase our objective is to encourage our potential customers to action. We have to give our customers good reasons for hanging around on our online platforms, always offering them great web usability and content. 

Our key digital tactics are: 

Our KPIs are:

C) How to engage our audience

What we need to know: How can we build customer and fan relationship through time? We have to develop an integrated communication strategy (i.e.: Blog, News, Email Marketing, Social Media Channels), understanding the tone of voice of the different channels we are using and orientating all our efforts in the same direction.

Our key digital tactics are:
  • Content marketing; 
  • Newsletters and promotional emails; 
  • E-contact strategy; 
  • Customer service and support; 
  • Mobile Marketing; 
  • Social CRM.

Our KPIs are:
  • Number of monthly visitors to our site*;
  • Time spent on site;
  • Goal Conversion Rate;
  • Number of Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets and so on in our Online Platforms.

* We could make the best of the Number of monthly visitors to our site calculating the Visitor Value:

Let's say we sell 50 products (€10 each) from the 1000 people who visited our site.

50 products sold x €10 = €500
€500 : 1000 visitors = €0.5 Visitor Value

So every one who visits our website is worth €0.50 to us. 


The success of your online presence depends on your DM Strategy: identify your target audience, define your goals and KPIs, measure your results and improve your strategy with Web Analytics. Don't leave too much room for improvisation but be flexible at the same time: Digital Marketing changes constantly, so be prepared to accept the new trends and challenges. Above all, always offer valuable content, listen to your customers and exceed their expectations!


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