5 Sparks of Digital Marketing Wisdom

With my small experience but great passion for publicity and graphic design, I’ve just begun a Digital and Social Media Marketing course on iversity.

My most immediate motivation is to support the work I’m doing on a voluntary basis with Thirdway in Ghana (updated website to be up soon – and we’re definitely always on the lookout for more virtual volunteers!), as a communications strategist and social media manager. Apart from that I love graphic design and the presentation of information in the most attractive and human-friendly way, and I’m hoping to pick up truckloads of strategic concepts in this course, to support and expand my interests in communications.

Wonderfully enough there’s already been  flashes of wisdom in this first week – here are 5 digital marketing tips which can immediately improve the way you form your marketing strategies:

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1. Start with WTP/HTW

I’d always thought that SWOT analysis and mission/vision-setting should be an organization’s starting points. So this HBR article was illuminating in telling me to first look at possible “where to play / how to win” choices, and to keep this in mind when carrying out SWOT analyses.

2. Use social media to build gift economies and self-regenerating networks

Social media isn’t meant to be a static tool. It strikes me that I’ve been using SM far too much as a mode of one-way communication; I’m now busy brainstorming ways to leverage on its power to draw people into an orbit around a product with its own special gravity – the gravity of constant interaction. I really like that image! Whilst I’m uncertain how well NGOs can be transformed into status-earning social currencies online, this definitely has me pondering how to build upon inter-NGO relationships as plus points, rather than merely competitive in nature.

3. Frame strategies within STORIES

I love good stories, and this set of five questions on HBR come together to form a solid, memorable picture which is of amazing help when crafting strategies. No checking off of staid lists this time!
a) What are our broad aspirations for our organization + concrete goals to measure progress?
b) Across the potential field available, where will we play – and where not?
c) In our chosen place to play, how will we win against competitors?
d) What capabilities do we need to build and maintain to win in our chosen way?
e) What management systems must we operate, to build and maintain key capabilities?

4. Make strategy management ITERATIVE

Probably my greatest takeaway from computer science classes – now am I glad those are over – is the power of iteration. Marketing strategy is no different from any others – it should be constantly evolving as the results and surrounding environments themselves change. These are the steps, broken down:
a) Analysis (internal and external environments)
b) Strategy formation (basic, organisation-level plan)
c) Strategy execution (operational planning and action items)
d) Evaluation (ongoing refinement)

5. Develop SMART Objectives

As in life, people at every corner have their own ideas of what smart means. But the following combination I found the most useful:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable (can they be used to improve future performance?)
R – Realistic
T – Timely

Signing off,
Addie goes Digi