Digital Marketing Strategy: the most important strategy you’ll have!

May 03, 2023 by Mark Baines Category: Marketing, Podcast

Everyone has a Digital Marketing Strategy, right?

Whenever I have asked a CMO, I have never (yet) been given a simple summary of their digital marketing strategy. They may mumble about tactics (eg ‘LinkedIn is really important to us – we use it all the time’ or ’email broadcasting is where we get the greatest response’), but there’s no mention of a strategy.

It’s as if marketers get overwhelmed by the specialised skillsets required to make digital marketing tactics effective, resulting in a loss of strategic focus. They’re so busy ‘doing it’ that they lose sight of precisely what they should be ‘doing’, and why.

However a Strategy is vital if all the digital elements are to be held together and work meaningfully towards a common goal. Without a strategy you will be wasting money by sending out random and mixed messages, which results in lower results and less ROI. In fact, we at Marcom have stopped working for companies without a Strategy – we don’t like wasting other people’s money!


So here’s how to do it properly:

Firstly, you must clarify your objectives, because if you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?

  • Here’s an example of a strong, popular objective: ‘become a respected thought leader in our industry’
  • And here’s an example of a lousy objective: ‘get 10K new followers on LinkedIn’.

In other words, your objectives should list what you want to achieve, not what you need to do to achieve it.


Next (and here’s the most important and difficult bit): you must come up with a digital strategy for how you are going to achieve those objectives. Here are the main questions you need to be able to answer:

  • What is your competitive differentiation and advantage that you will be focusing on? Will it be price? Innovation? Technological superiority? Specialist skills and experience? Etc.
  • How will you position yourself?
  • What perceptions of your product/service do you want to create – ie how do you want people to see you?
  • What sort of messages will you use to communicate your benefits and advantages?
  • Which digital techniques do you plan to focus on?


Here’s an example of a good strategy: ‘To leverage the benefits of our deep skills and huge experience, our superb customer service and comprehensive range of market-leading products, for XXXX to be recognised online as the most important supplier in the market.’

Here’s an example of a lousy strategy: ‘To increase our database by improving the design of our website and increasing our Social Media followers by 100% through more frequent posting, so that we have more prospects in our sales pipeline.’

It’s easy to see how the former gives rise to a series of digital tactics which may lead to the fulfilment of their objectives, whilst the latter is a shambolic list of things they would like to do, without saying anything to help the people who will be preparing these elements.


What is the difference between your Digital Marketing Strategy and your tactics?

It’s common to confuse the two and tactical talk always goes down well in the Boardroom. Everyone has an opinion about how you should go about running your campaign, whilst very few want to get bogged down in your strategy.

But it’s this strategy which will bring about success. Debates about when you should post on which channels, how often you should email, what your latest video should look like, etc are always interesting but these are not the elements that will decide between success and failure. ‘I learnt about you through LinkedIn’ is not the reason people will buy from you. That is down to the strategy: ‘I bought your product because I need quality, and I believe you offer it’.

Now that’s a sign of a successful strategy!

Mark Baines

Listen to our podcast


Now available – Ask the Experts Episode #03:

Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

Podcast by Marcom: May 2023

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