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What Are Digital Marketing Strategy

what are digital marketing strategy
what is a digital marketing strategy

What Are Digital Marketing Strategy

The key question is not whether to deploy Internet technology – companies have no
choice if they want to stay competitive – but how to deploy it.

A digital marketing strategy is needed to provide consistent direction for an organization’s
online marketing activities so that they integrate with its other marketing activities and
support its overall business objectives.

The digital marketing strategy has many similarities
to the typical aims of traditional marketing strategies, in that it will:
1. provide a future direction to digital marketing activities;
2. involve analysis of the organization’s external environment, internal resources and
capabilities to inform strategy;
3. define digital marketing objectives that support marketing objectives;
4. involve the selection of strategic options to achieve digital marketing objectives and create
sustainable differential competitive advantage;

5. include strategy formulation to address typical marketing strategy options such as
target markets, positioning, and specification of the marketing mix;
6. help identify which strategies NOT to pursue and which marketing tactics are not suitedable to implement;
● specify how resources will be deployed and how the organization will be structured to
achieve the strategy.

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what is a digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing strategy as a channel marketing strategy

Digital marketing strategy is primarily a channel marketing strategy that defines how
a company should set channel-specific objectives and develop a differential channel
proposition and channel-specific communications consistent with the characteristics
of the channel and end-user requirements.

Note that the digital channel strategy has two
components – many may see it simply as a digital communications strategy (reviewed in

The digital strategy determines the strategic significance of the digital channels relative to other communications channels that are used to communicate directly with
customers at different customer touchpoints.

Some organizations, such as low-cost
airlines, use virtual channels, such as websites and email marketing, for delivering
services and communicating with customers, whereas others may follow a strategy which
uses a mix of digital and offline channels – for example, retailers which use face-to-face, telephone, mobile, direct mail communications, and the web.

We saw in Chapter 2
that the ROPO (research online–purchase offline) behaviors and ‘Click-and-Collect’
services remain important. what is a digital marketing strategy
So the focus of digital marketing strategy is decisions about how to use the channel to
support existing marketing strategies, how to exploit its strengths and manage its weaknesses and use it in conjunction with other channels as part of a multichannel marketing
strategy. This multichannel marketing strategy defines how different marketing channels should integrate and support each other in terms of their proposition development
and communications based on their relative merits for the customer and the company.
Indeed, Keith Weed,

The head of communications at Unilever, predicts that omni-connectivity
is a major technology trend and suggests that in the future connections will not only be
between computers, phones, and tablets but also home appliances, heating controls, smart
watches and health monitors.

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what is a digital marketing strategy

The scope of digital marketing strategy

When reviewing options for online strategy, it is useful to consider that this now involves
more than the narrow focus of a strategy to develop website functionality and attract

visits to it. Although enhancing a desktop and mobile-responsive website and mobile site
will be a central part of the strategy, digital marketers should also examine broader issues
of how to:
1. Use marketing automation tools for customer relationship development These may include email, mobile and web-based personalization based on
CRM databases.

2. Develop the overall customer experience across multiple channels
3. Maximise the results from partnering with online intermediaries such as publishers and
influencers such as bloggers
4. Harness social media marketing both through use on its site through user-generated
content and within the main social networks like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and

Developing a digital marketing strategy may also involve redesigning business processes to
integrate with partners such as suppliers and distributors.

Sultan and Rohm (2004) suggested that digital technology created opportunities for new business processes, which
could also deliver business benefits. Their study looked at three major organizations representing the printing, sportswear, and automotive industries and identified different forms of
aligning online strategies with business goals. Their framework identified these strategic

1. Cost reduction and value chain efficiencies. In the printing industry technology was used to
improve customer service processes and the efficiency of traditionally labor-intensive
2. Revenue generation. Sportswear industry through the introduction of direct licensed sales
of products.
3. Channel partnership. Partnering with distributors using extranets (all three
4. Communications and branding. All three industry examples were using technology to
foster close relationships with customers. what is a digital marketing strategy

As the Internet and digitally enhanced trading environments are more widely adopted, the
scope for redesigning business processes extends even further.

Marketers not only need to
look for opportunities to use technology to enhance their offer but must also ensure they
protect their competitive positioning.
Figure P.1 in the Preface suggests the range of digital marketing activities that must
be managed as part of a digital marketing strategy structured around the customer
lifecycle is defined as the four steps in RACE Planning (Smart Insights, 2015).

The figure
shows that the operational activities which need to be implemented and managed as
part of strategy can be usefully divided into those focussing on (1) customer acquisition,
(2) customer conversion, proposition, and experience development, and (3) customer
retention and growth.

Improving the capability to execute many of these activities will
be decided upon through the review process of creating a digital marketing strategy. An
output from the digital strategy will be a series of strategic digital marketing initiatives
in the areas of customer acquisition, These initiatives will typically be prioritized and placed as part of a long-term
e-commerce ‘roadmap’ defining required developments over a longer period, say one to
three years.

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what is a digital marketing strategy

summary of typical focus for main types of strategic digital marketing

(Type of digital marketing
strategy initiative)

New customer proposition
(product and pricing)

Customer acquisition
or inbound marketing
strategic initiatives

Customer conversion
and customer experience
strategic initiatives

Customer development
and growth strategic

Social media, content
marketing or social
business initiatives

Enhance marketing
capabilities through
site infrastructure

Resourcing and
governance strategies


New site features or other
online communications which
are directly related to offering
new products or services that
will generate revenue

New site features or other
online communications which
are directly related to offering
new products or services that
will generate revenue

Investments in new customer
features designed to engage
the audience and increase
conversion rates and average
order values
New functionality,
e.g. new online store
components; special
functionality, e.g. real-time
stock checking
Strategic initiatives aimed
at improving the customers’
brand experience

Investments to improve the
experience and delivery of
offers to exist, customers,

A narrow social media initiative
will look at how social media
can support the acquisition,
conversion and retention.
A broader social business
strategy also includes
improving product and service

These typically involve ‘backend or back-office features’
which won’t be evident to
users of the site, but will
help in the management or
administration of the site

Changes need to
marketing management
given the increased
importance of digital media
and technology


Bank – introducing a new product

requiring different quotations
• Publisher – introducing a price
comparison service

• search engine optimization (SEO)
• pay-per-click (PPC)
• Affiliate marketing
• Aggregators

implement online shop/secure
• Introduce customer reviews
and ratings
• Merchandising capability for
offer tailored promotions
• Interactive tools to help
product selection
• Buyers’ guides

recommendations and
services for existing
• Email contact strategy
focussed on the customer
journey and level of brand
• Communities, social media,
blogs or to encourage
advocacy and repeat purchase

Social media listening
• Developing content hub
• Encouraging review
• Influencer outreach
• Communities

CRM or personalization
• Content management system
• Performance improvement –
improve management
information, a web analytics
systems including systems for
multivariate and AB testing
• Improve customer feedback

Process change
• Skills development
• Team structure

What Are Digital Marketing Strategy

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