As most businesses have found out over the last few years, marketing online requires a whole lot more than just having a website, optimizing it some for the search engines and maybe buying some adwords. Doing just those things will leave you way behind the pack and struggling for traffic and return visits.
These days a digital strategy can be really complicated and can include a number of components, such as:
- Designing your overall brand experiences (beyond just the website — this should encompass everything that your business represents — and should be translated to your website).
- Coding those experiences for mobile and other access, not just the web.
- Deploying these brand experiences in ways where analytics and data can be easily accessed, consumer engagement can be measured and effectiveness can be measured.
- Hosting the digital experiences in easy-to-maintain and updatable environments, such as a CMS.
- Having sufficient resources, people and technology, that can evolve as needs shift.
There is a lot going on there that needs to be mulled over before jumping in and building a website. If you just start building a site without getting at the core essence of the business first, you will fall flat on your face in no time. The key thing is, stepping back and getting a good grasp of the company’s business goals.
Define the vision and business and operational strategy for the company and brand in general. Then, take that a step further and determine the specific marketing objectives for customers and product lines. Once you have all of that in place you can begin to determine how your current business processes should either be supported by a web presence or altered to accommodate a new way of thinking.
Business objectives and digital marketing strategy must go hand-in-hand. Otherwise you are building out something that will only drain precious resources and pull the business in a direction where targeted expectations cannot be met.
A sound emarketing strategy will always be built on sound business goals — not on online marketing aspirations. Success will always come from focus and exploited opportunities, leading to market-share growth and a competitive advantage.
Step 1 in your digital marketing strategy should always be the establishment of a sound business strategy.