A digital strategy does not need to be (and should not be) a burden. It’s not about creating a paperweight, but more about an actionable plan – a roadmap of how to get from A to B.

Modern marketing, revenue focused

Yesterday’s marketing was all about activity, the art of doing something. How many emails have you sent this month? How many social posts have you sent out? Today’s marketing is all about results and is called Modern Marketing. This shift in focus means that all marketing activity should be focused on revenue. Marketing and Sales departments need to be aligned, with marketing providing the qualified leads (MQLs) that are ready for sales to pick up (SQLs) and turn into opportunities. Marketing is about providing Sales with the reason for a conversation, at the right time, about the right subject and with the right person. Feedback from Sales then feeds back into the Marketing to help the lead funnel.

Structuring your digital strategy

At SuccessFlow we break our digital strategy into seven work streams to help us focus on the areas required to create an action plan. Looking at People, Process and Technology, working across key departments, including Marketing, Sales, IT, Brand and Communications, we create a single aligned roadmap with supporting work packages for delivery.

The seven digital strategy work streams are:

Goals, objectives, KPIs and roadmap
– Before you start planning you need to know where you want to be in the future. Identifying the big goals for sales and marketing, breaking these down into smaller SMART objectives and then defining how these will be measured. Check to make sure you have the data to support your decisions. You then need to prioritise your SMART objectives over the next 90 days. We do this using the MoSCoW method and the Impact vs Effort model to identify the QuickWins. You will need to create work packages to address these objectives to construct a roadmap for the next 12 months.

Target audience
– Understand your audience: who do you want to talk to, what do you want to talk about and identify the language that resonates best. You then need to prioritise your audience and identify who are the decision makers and who are the influencers. Do you have personas that map the full customer journey from prospect through to customer and then on to advocate? Do you need to consider regional and language variations? The more you know, the better your targeting.

Reach, interact and convert
– We all want new leads and to find new opportunities. Start by filling the funnel with your lead generation tactics, then nurture them with personalised and relevant content to improve engagement and interaction and ensure they are passed on to sales at the right time with relevant sales insights to create better conversations. Remember, everyone is an individual, but they all share common goals and interests, therefore while personalisation is key don’t try to go too granular too early. Also, don’t guess, use data… Data will enhance your campaigns using both demographic and profile information and most importantly insights from your previous campaigns. This will then help you to personalise at the right point.

Customer engagement
– You’ve spent all this time and effort gaining new customers, so don’t just ignore them. You want to make sure they understand your services and products through an initial on-boarding programme (and/or an extended first year programme) as well as looking at relevant opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell at the right time. You should look to move your new customer to an established customer and then on to an advocate.

Sales alignment
– Very little can be achieved with modern marketing if your Marketing and Sales teams aren’t aligned and working to the same objectives. It is key to define your lead and opportunity stages, processes and management, including SLAs. Agreeing on lead prioritisation using behavioural and demographic scoring to help you define your MQLs and SQLs. Then agree together when to send alerts and notifications to the appropriate Sales/Account team member in real time.

Campaign planning
– While you will have an always-on approach to content marketing you will also need to run campaigns to target your audience with new themes and messages. The tactical execution of always-on content marketing campaigns, will include snackable, freemium and premium content along with personalised drip programmes to nurture your leads and customers through the funnel. Your content flow will outline how all the content links together and how you drive your audience to the premium assets so that you can capture information and start to nurture them. Your campaign will also have its own goals, objectives and KPIs that will support your main strategy.

Technology planning
– Technology planning is not something you will be doing every day or even every year, but it is vitally important to get the right technology stack that integrates all your systems to give you a single customer view. Technology is an enabler and not a solution that will give you all the answers, it will however help you to realise your digital strategy. An integrated technology stack is essential for marketing and sales alignment and is at the heart of modern marketing. A simplified model gives you a single customer view through CRM, sales insights, automation, notification and emails through marketing automation, social reach and amplification through social tools and insights and reporting through data visualisation. In addition there are many other technologies such as webinar platforms, video playback, data cleansing etc. in the form of applications, plug-ins and add-ons that will help you create a fuller stack.

Once you have your outputs you need to create a single ‘living’ strategy document that ties it all together and which is updated every 90 days based on your data, insights, priorities and the market. To structure our strategy documents we use the SOSTAC® framework by PR Smith and the Smart Insight RACE Planning framework by Dr Dave Chaffey. Your roadmap will steer you in the right direction, with your digital tactics defining your actions and delivering success.

For more information on how to create your digital strategy, why not watch our on-demand webinar, Creating a realistic, achievable and deliverable digital strategy, where we walk you through the key steps.

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