Digital Marketing

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Digital Strategy & Planning: Defining The Interactive Vision Organizations can realize meaningful competitive advantage by developing formal digital strategies that support key corporate business and marketing objectives. By proactively measuring and optimizing these digital strategies and programs, maximum return on investment can be achieved.

CATALYST

EAST COAST

Background

Corporate investments on internet-oriented marketing and sales initiatives over the past 15 years have increased from virtually nothing in the mid-90s to millions of dollars annually at big companies. Today, digital activities run the gamut from multi-functional websites, search and email marketing, banner advertising, web-enabled multimedia, and, of course, social media. This seismic increase in spending is not without good reason: digital marketing works – for new customer acquisition, lead generation, and brand building. However, given the speed at which the interactive marketplace has evolved, it should come as no surprise that many organizations now find themselves with sprawling, disjointed digital marketing operations that lack a central vision and/or meaningful, useful measurement systems. As a result, marketing and sales executives find themselves struggling to devise, measure, monitor and optimize the performance of scatter shot interactive programs - which now have the full attention of the entire corporate leadership team. And subsequent digital strategy and budget planning discussions are often overly reactive and disorderly without a structured framework and methodology to guide the process.

Old Methods Ineffective

We hear time and time again from frustrated clients, “The interactive world moves so fast - I constantly struggle to make sense of what we currently have going on while also planning for the future.” Though the same can be said for many functional areas of an organization, digital strategy is characterized by unique challenges, due primarily to aggressive investment in the sector. Business realities, however, necessitate regular planning, even in volatile environments characterized by perpetual uncertainty and constant change. Budgets need to be set, resources need to be allocated, and schedules need to be established. Digital programs that lack a meaningful framework for planning, execution, and measurement often yield the

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Old Methods Ineffective
(cont’d)

following symptoms: • Misalignment. Top-performing digital strategies are integrated with marketing, sales, and operations; efficiencies are difficult to realize without a defined vision. • Leakage. Weak measurement and optimization techniques inevitably result in underperforming interactive investments; and, reactive tactics are costly and fleeting. • Missed Opportunities. Under-performing digital marketing teams are unable to identify changes in marketplace conditions and capitalize on opportunities to take advantage of competitor missteps.

The Building Blocks of Digital Strategy

While the digital medium provides managers with a dizzying array of new tools and techniques, it hasn’t fundamentally changed the way most organizations do business. As such, digital strategies need to be considered within the context of an organization’s top-line objectives. Figure 1: The Building Blocks of Digital Strategy

The Digital Marketing Ecosystem

Meanwhile, the online marketing ecosystem – the nuts and bolts of interactive marketing – consists of a variety of dynamic components that play more or less important roles at organizations, depending on myriad factors such as industry sector, product maturity, competitive landscape, and the like.

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The Digital Marketing Ecosystem
(cont’d)

Figure 2: The Digital Marketing Ecosystem

The Planning Process

East Coast Catalyst relies on a multi-pronged approach to manage digital strategy engagements. 1. Discovery. Establish a sound understanding of the organization’s underlying corporate...
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