Digital marketing strategy essentials are our weekly round-up of the best advice from Smart Insights and around the web focused on developing strategies to succeed online.
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Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 30th August 2010
Commentary: Dave Chaffey presents a simple method of showing strategic integration and providing a one pager summary of your digital strategy.
Implication: If you feel that having a strategy is important to connect objectives with digital marketing tactics, then this model will help you do it efficiently and (more importantly) help you communicate it with others.
Commentary: More are realising that a strategic approach to content is becoming important. Content is moving from being among the final considerations of a Web-development project to being central to your digital-marketing strategy.
Implication: They key insight here is that the role of content has changed drastically from simple "web content" creation to recognising that content is social currency and is tied to marketing objectives. To this end having a content strategy woven into your marketing plans is important.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 23rd August 2010
Commentary: David Armano of Edelman PR fame shares a new infographic around the new emerging/emerged dimensions of PR and digital marketing.
Implication: With advances in networks, online communities and the ability of the average individual to become their own content producer and influencer"€”the face of PR is changing, shifting the focus from communications to engagement in increasingly public spaces both online and off.
Commentary: The original data is from emarketer but I like the value that Jeremiah Owyang has added here. It's based on surveying people to learn who's a trusted source of information - friends, brands or independents. It's not som much earth shattering yet there are some good insights in where to prioritise efforts, or not - particularly where independents are concerned.
Implication: They key insight: "Brands should focus on social marketing that harnesses the "€œsocial graph"€ which is getting friend to share with their own friends. By developing advocacy programs and focus on word of mouth marketing, brands can increase marketing and sales margins by getting customers to do the work for them".
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 16th August 2010
Commentary: Ian Lurie makes the important point that online lead generation requires you to erect just the right-sized barrier: Something juuuust big enough to keep unqualified, unpromising leads out, while letting interested potential customers, voters or clients in.
Implication: If you've got great stuff to offer people will find you, but you have to keep at it. The ten tips from Ian Lurie are great and you'll take from it what makes most sense to you - my feeling is that workflow (or process) for guiding prospects into leads makes the biggest difference.
Commentary: Although dazzling branding is more than just pretty pictures, it also is something that is easily attainable if businesspeople put the right thought and effort into it. This post is a great list though does miss the main one - that branding = logo.
Implication: Good branding is not fluff, immediate or expensive - it is considered, "live" and about relationships and trust. Don't leave your positioning, and the way you're open to be interpreted to chance. At least not too much.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 9th August 2010
Commentary: Dave's interview with Malcom Duckett of Magiq, Magiq are specialists in the dynamic personalisation of web sites.
Implication: Essentially it's about having the ability to adapt web pages, and areas of pages, towards what users are looking for. There are many suppliers in this area and prices vary drastically. We think Magiq provide a great value service so it's worth reading the interview.
Commentary: Good commentary from Marketing Profs Laura Patterson. She observes these leaner times are driving companies to disregard marketing strategy. It's the lack of a marketing strategy has huge implications on an organization's marketing effectiveness.
Implication: Selecting and deploying a strategy that supports the organization and is based on your knowledge of the market and its customers will go a long way toward making your marketing more effective. And though you want to be deliberate in your approach to and selection of a strategy, you may also need to be flexible and agile.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 2nd August 2010
Commentary: Our commentary based upon Steve Rubel's Endelman presentation concerning some of the key issues impacting marketing.
Implication: Adjust plans, organise and integrate the important trends instead of being too distracted by the lastest technical innovation.
Commentary: Online channels have made it easier and less expensive to distribute content in an environment where potential buyers are seeking information and are open to interaction - you're more likely than ever to get more leads that are less ready to buy, today.
Implication: Lead nurturing has high potential value when your acquisition programs have generated responses from interested prospects who are not yet ready to buy. Don't toss the prospect back into the acquisition pool - instead keep your leads educated, warm and in touch.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 26th July 2010
Commentary: An interesting short article about the recent and successful Old Spice campaign, with useful comments at the end too. Certainly the campaign gives us all further insight into what works online - in this case humour.
Implication: The best take-away is to keep close to what is working for other brands so that it can inspire ideas for yours, be careful not to be too similar to other brands since humour for one can be a wet fish for another.
Commentary: Facebook launched its new in-house application called Questions on the Wednesday which aims to make it easy for users to get recommendations, advice, and opinions on any subject from its 500m+ user base.
Implication: Questions has the potential to have make a big change in the way people think about acquiring knowledge, thanks to its ease of use and enormous user base. That said - naysayers will question quality as its potential down-side given so many see Facebook as a place for fun and friends, it's a hybrid unlike LinkedIn. One thing is for sure is that this is a significant move for Facebook that could help change the way some people use it.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 12th July 2010
Commentary: This week we've launched RACE, our own framework for helping people improve the digital marketing performance. We wanted to help simplify management and at the same time recognise that it"€™s ultimately about using best practice web analytics techniques to drive commercial value from digital marketing.
Implication: Focus on the critical KPI's and improve performance by narrowing focus right down to those essential areas, at the same time make sure that you're not getting distracted with detail.
Commentary: Great post from Brand Strategy Insider who've dissected the way that apple launches product to reveal some of their secrets to success after selling millions of iPhone 4's within days. Dodgy antennas aside of course 😉
Implication: Apply the scarcity model that Steve Jobs uses to ensure that products sell out and that the people left waiting are itching to join the queue, and bring their friends along.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 5th July 2010
Commentary: Here"€™s Dave's summary of the Gartner Hype Cycle, recently updated, this is useful if you"€™re involved in digital strategy, where you"€™ll likely be constantly making judgments about which marketing innovations are most relevant to your organisation.
Implication: Useful for explaining to colleagues when you have adopted a "€œwait and see"€ approach or you feel that you can gain an edge as an early adopters of an approach such as social media or Web 2.0 technologies. Also useful to reflect whether you're making the right decision either way.
Commentary: Great post, from a great blog. The post resonates on so many level around the groaners who bemoan social media, and be reminded that we've heard it before, several times. Point 4 is fascinating and says it all!
Implication: The same old issues get painted on to new ideas, innovations and technologies - and yet we don't appear to stop and recognise it. It's worth stopping and thinking through.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 28th June 2010
Commentary: Here"€™s Dave's summary of the stand-out charts from Ecommera's latest research reviewing the key issues in 2010 for Internet retail strategy - this is part of their new Trading Intelligence Quarterly report.
Implication: Get the low-down for what leading thinkers believe are the key issues right now - useful, independent context.
Commentary: Short and compelling article from iMedia - Kmart's CMO explains why the move toward digital is more than a technology shift - it's an entirely new brand attitude.
Implication: In his own words: "This isn't about just selling more stuff. This isn't about playing around with neat digital technology. This is about creating an information strategy for the future".
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 21st June 2010
Commentary: Our post from Dave updated to show how two large, very different companies: Google and ASOS use BHAG. Using BHAG thinking can help you think out-of-the-box and think BIG, we've updated this post with some great case studies.
Implication: BHAG's help support digital marketing strategy since making big changes requires a big climb, or a long journey at least. Setting BHAG's helps show your colleagues how big the mountain is and the camps required to get to the top.
Commentary: Unisfair marketing survey reports that 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers said they were more likely to buy the brands they like on Facebook or follow on Twitter, strengthening the argument that social media is one of the most important emerging channels for lead generation.
Implication: Treat your social media presence in the same way you treat your other customer service initiatives. Be genuine, track conversations and respond to inquiries promptly and thoroughly. The better your customer service is via social media, the more you"€™ll generate site traffic and leads.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 14th June 2010
Commentary: Our Q&A post by Danyl, answering one persons question in growing a lead database via referral.
Implication: Create a marketing process that takes referral seriously, and make it attractive and easy for current customers to do.
Commentary: Report by Razorfish who're seeing a small 4% increase in digital marketing spend this year (after 13% drop last year). More interesting is that clients have not varied their tactics in 2009 over 2008.
Implication: Razorfish make interesting predictions and insights here - they are expecting brands to see increasing value in digital tactics that grow the brand online as well as the more established digital direct response, given the changing landscape this is important.
Commentary: Useful checklist post - marketers have three challenges to getting their message out and breaking through the ever-increasing digital noise, answering 25 metrics-related questions will help determine the effectiveness of the message and the context in which it's delivered.
Implication: Focus your media spend - think through what it is you need to achieve and who you're targeting - the key is to keep in mind your business goals and choose the metrics that yield the best results.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 7th June 2010
Commentary: Our post by Danyl, content marketing is arguably all that is really left of marketing as we knew it - it's central to success online.
Implication: Create a marketing strategy that embraces content marketing and is geared to deliver tangible results across sales, leads, traffic levels and inbound links.
Commentary: Strong and detailed blog with some pretty advanced tips around the "Amazon Effect".
Implication: Customer want to know "€œthe truth"€ when they shop, this requires reviews and ratings in order customers can trust enough to trigger purchase.
Our recommendations on latest developments from week starting 31st May 2010
Commentary: Our post by Danyl, in high pressured commercial environments it can be easy to de-rail marketing success, or have someone else de-rail it for you, here's our top 7 de-railers and how to avoid them
Implication: Keep your marketing efforts on track, do not loose focus and always ensure decisions get made.
Commentary: A Mashable post referencing a report by Cisco Systems predicting a quadrupling of consumer web traffic by 2014 and that 91% of that will be online video.
Implication: There a lot on this at the moment, in fact a second Mashable post today has appeared relating this. Integrating video into your marketing strategy, into your web content and into general communications is becoming more and more important.