According to a SmartInsights report, 67% of marketers were not utilizing digital channels in 2012. That number has shrunk to just 44% in 2016, which is quite commendable. This shows that marketers are realizing the significance of digital marketing and taking steps to tap into its huge potential.
The bad news, however, is that a majority of these digital companies market without a strategy. The SmartInsights report indicates that only 35% of digital marketers have a digital marketing plan integrated into their overall marketing strategy. Another 18% have digital marketing strategies but these strategies exist separately – they aren’t part of the overall marketing strategy. The remaining 47% have no digital marketing strategy at all.
Why you need a digital marketing strategy
A digital marketing strategy helps in many ways for example:
- A strategy gives you direction
Many companies without a digital marketing strategy lack clear strategic goals. This makes it difficult to allocate sufficient resources to individual marketing activities and even more difficult to measure, through analytics, whether you’re hitting your targets.
- It enables you to better understand your market share
It doesn’t matter if you have a digital marketing degree. Without a clear strategy, you could easily underestimate the demand for your digital services. Moreover, it’s likely that you won’t fully understand the dynamics of the online marketplace including customer behaviors, competitors, and customer profiles.
- It helps you develop an effective value proposition
The online marketplace is very competitive. In order to succeed, you need to differentiate yourself and stand tall among the crowd. Only a well-thought digital marketing strategy can help you with this.
- You’ll better understand your customers
Understanding your digital customers requires more than just analytics. You need to utilize other forms of website feedback tools to identify and address your weak points.
- Avoid time and resource-wasting duplication
Sometimes you’ll find different parts of a marketing department purchasing different tools or using different agencies to accomplish similar marketing tasks. You can eliminate such costly duplication with an effective digital marketing strategy.
- Avoid the risks that come with disintegration
Marketing that is accomplished in silos, where the digital marketer sits in the IT department, is a disaster waiting to happen. Digital marketing is most productive when integrated with traditional media and response channels.
How to integrate digital into the overall marketing strategy
Moz has developed a six-step guide to help with integrating digital marketing into the overall marketing plan.
- Gain insight into how marketing fits within the organization
- Identify a problem statement and establish your marketing goals
- Identify the appropriate marketing channels to invest in
- Develop core objectives for the marketing channels identified in step 4 above
- Draw up an integrated workflow process for marketing activities
- Analyze the results, reassess, and then expand or reallocate resources as necessary
Knowing how complex the integration process can be, organizations are increasingly on the hunt for top talent to help them meet their digital goals. This partially explains why a degree in digital marketing is such a big deal today. As more and more companies realize the importance of a digital marketing strategy, the demand for graduates in the field will continue to rise.