How to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

/ Thoughtspace - General, Strategy

What do the metaverse, Web 3.0 and the cookieless future have in common? They demonstrate the need for strategic agility in effective digital marketing. Three years ago, these topics wouldn’t have even crossed our minds. Now they’re in our inboxes on a daily basis.

Now we’re learning the implications they’ll have and adapting our routines to ensure our marketing strategies seamlessly integrate into the changing landscape. By clearly defining the business goals aligned to our strategy, digital marketers can make informed decisions faster than ever before, allowing for real-time adjustments. 

Let’s dive deeper into how you can build an effective marketing strategy with these four key steps. 

Define

Start by outlining your high level business objective. Is it to increase sales by 2X this year? Expand into four new markets? Or increase brand awareness among a new audience group? 

Whatever it may be, clearly establish that overarching goal with all key stakeholders. Then, define marketing’s specific role in supporting that goal. 

  • What are the marketing objectives that level up to the desired business result?
    • All departments in the organization should have a shared vision. Define marketing’s specific role in reaching success. 
  • How will you optimize your marketing efforts towards this goal?
    • If it’s brand awareness, set that expectation from the beginning and maintain focus. This will prevent you from getting sidetracked and optimizing towards tactics that do not ladder up to your primary goal.  
  • What are the key signals you will track to define short-term and long-term success?
    • Decide which KPIs will most accurately indicate your progress. We often choose a cost-based metric paired with an effectiveness metric for each key channel, to make sure we are prioritizing quality for our clients. 

Align

Before you proceed with any advertising campaign, it’s important to check for alignment within your marketing and across the organization. 

  • Does your creative messaging and channel selection align with your target audience?
    • Conduct audience research to understand the places where your audience is most active and receptive to advertising. One of the tools we use at Coegi is Resonate, an AI-powered consumer insights platform which allows us to identify and target audiences on the channels, platforms and sites they over index for. 
  • Do your marketing/media KPIs align with your overall business goals?
    • Ensure all campaign tactics and KPIs support your previously defined marketing objectives and business goals. Be strategic when selecting your target metrics and make sure you are measuring what matters for your brand. 
  • Is your advertising consistent with your brand values and aesthetics?
    • Regularly audit your content for consistency and alignment. Live out your brand values and maintain a cohesive identity across the board. This will establish a positive user experience and strong brand message. 

Activate

Now you understand where to reach your audience. You have impactful creative assets, and are armed with a strong understanding of how you will measure success. It’s time to put your plan into motion. 

  • Define what brand safety means to your organization.
    • Outline the content and topics you are and are not comfortable with your brand being near. Use these to set targeting parameters that ensure your ads are only shown in brand-safe environments.
  • Set guardrails for quality assurance.
    • Maintain updated blacklists and use bid exclusions for brand safety and suspicious activity filtering.
  • Use AI for efficient media buying.
    • Algorithms and machine learning can help personalize ads with dynamic creative optimizations, expand your targeting pool with lookalike audiences, and automate the media buying process. 

Assess & Optimize

Once a campaign is live, your job is not done. You must continuously assess the media mix and channel tactics to see where you can improve. 

  • Understand that what worked last year may not necessarily work this year. 
    • The digital landscape is constantly changing, whether it be due to data privacy laws, emerging platforms, or changing consumer preferences. Be agile and avoid complacency. 
  • Stay curious and open minded.
    • Don’t be afraid to be an early adopter of a new trend – if it makes sense for your brand. 
  • Continuously improve through experimentation.
    • Inform future strategy by testing and learning which messaging and creative imagery resonates with your audience. Place trust in your media experts, and the process, allowing time to try new things and test hypotheses. 

My final words of advice for fellow digital marketers are – be patient. Data trends don’t happen overnight, and neither do results. But by being intentional and strategic at every stage of your marketing process, your brand will be ready to weather whatever trends the industry has coming its way. 

For more insights on how to build an effective digital marketing strategy, contact Coegi today.

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