Preparing a Digital and Social Media Marketing requires strategic planning, starting by finding the answers to three questions: Analysis – where are we now? Development – where do we want to be? and Implementation – how are we going to get there?
1.Develop a SWOT Analysis
As in any other new business assessment, the first thing that a company should do before investing in digital marketing is a SWOT analysis. This step is important because it identifies the current level of digitalization in the company and the opportunities that will derive from promoting the company’s products and services through digital tools. It is very important that the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to be realistic and very well researched.
2.Don’t start without SMART objectives
Once the SWOT analysis is clear, the next step is to develop SMART objectives related to the digital marketing strategy. The most important part is to measure your objectives that is why you should include Key Performance Indicators such as: how much revenue contribution you will expect from digital channels, how many new online customers you will expect in next year/years, in how much time will you implement the new digital channels – be specific for each channel.
3.Analyse your Digital Maturity level
Despite the rapid development of digital tools, there are still many companies that don’t have an online presence or their presence is very limited. I was surprised to find out from an article written by Dr. Gordon Fletcher, that at least half of SMEs in the UK still exist at Level 0 of the model, which means that they don’t have any web or social media engagement. Although there no specific studies, I believe that the situation is the same in Romania, the country from where I am. So, it is important to use the Digital Business Maturity level (detailed below) in order for a company to see which level it wants to reach in the next period.
4. Target costumer before he makes the Purchasing Decision
Once the digital strategy is in place, the first thing that should be done is to target customers before they make the Purchasing Decisions. How is that possible? Well, the potential customer should be “contacted” from his Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), when he is searching for information about the products or services that he intends to buy. A study from 2011, revealed that consumers used more than 10 sources of information before taking the buying decision.
5. Increase your brand equity in order to have a competitive advantage
In the digital environment, a company has to reinvent its traditional working practices and to adapt to the new needs of its consumers. The perception of consumers about a brand has become more important nowadays, because most of the consumers have their own digital channels where they can exchange opinions with their peers or their friends. With a powerful brand equity, a company can influence a buyer’s decision from the ZMOT.
Note: This article is an assignment for the Introduction to Digital and Social Media Marketing: https://iversity.org/en/courses/digital-and-social-media-marketing