Why a Digital Strategy is the wrong place to start marketing

Our consultants are often placed as plug-in marketing managers at our clients. So when they attend industry events in that capacity they’re often asked “what’s your digital strategy?” in a manner that implies digital is everything.

It’s easy to believe it is. A huge percentage of enquiry arrives through the inbox, or straight into the CRM or ERP system. Direct mail has dropped right off, my kids have never even heard of the Yellow Pages and if it wasn’t for the Real Estate and Cars sections of newspapers, they’d have died out a decade ago as well.

So you could be forgiven that you simply need to start and end with a digital strategy for marketing your product.

But that’s a trap in itself. Because really, digital is just a communication medium and being better at buying cheaper ads, or connecting with profiled buyers in still-untapped resources like Digital radio and Spotify is only one part of the solution.

Every business must invest and continue to reinvest over time in understanding its market. How do you know that the features you’re selling today will still be in demand 12 months from now? How do you know that it’s at the right price – you could sell half as much and make twice the profit by raising your price or do the same by lowering production costs to produce a lower spec product that you sell for almost the same. How do you know you’re marketing to the right persona? And so on.

Above all, where’s your whole marketing plan? And for that matter, where’s your business plan and are the two in alignment?

The message is this: don’t get lost in the marketing hype. Marketing strategy is the sum total of market and competitive intelligence, production planning and control, a spark of insight and some conviction about the right thing to do.

Digital is just a communication medium that is continuing to evolve, just like all the others.

I wish you good marketing.


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