Note: This is the third blog post in our series about the five stages of digital marketing maturity that most businesses fall into. If you haven’t read the other blog posts in the series, you may want to check those out as well.
Here are the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth blog posts in the series.
Is your company doing digital or being digital? It is a small but important distinction.
According to this study by Facebook and Deloitte, most companies fall into the camp of doing digital. Instead of making digital marketing a part of their company DNA they simply use it to make moderate improvements here and there.
They know digital marketing is important but can never seem to experience any real digital transformation.
I like to refer to these companies as "experimental" companies. Their digital marketing plan is emerging but they still have some work to do.
Let’s look at the characteristics and challenges of experimental companies and how they can take their digital marketing plan to the next level.
Characteristics and Challenges
Studies have shown that 48 percent of companies don’t believe their digital skills training is effective. And 46 percent don’t believe they have the agility to deal with unexpected changes in the marketplace.
Through working with many different experimental companies, I have seen some common themes begin to stand out. Some of those most common characteristics of experimental companies are:
- Their digital processes are usually emerging.
- Their website is often not mobile-optimized.
- Digital marketing is mostly used as a promotional tool.
- They dabble in various digital channels without tracking ROI.
- They often find themselves reacting to market changes rather than proactively managing them.
It is easy (or at least easier) to invest in new tools and services but it’s far more difficult to put an effective digital marketing plan in place. This is because it’s the plan that makes the technology effective, not vice versa.
How to Improve Your Digital Marketing Plan
In order for experimental companies to stop doing digital and truly be digital, they need to find a way to tie all of the loose ends together.
Once they create a comprehensive digital marketing plan and use that to drive their digital efforts, then they can begin to experience transformation.
Listed below are several ways experimental businesses can begin to make positive changes to their digital marketing plan:
● Strategy: Create a documented plan and closely measure it so you can evaluate your successes and failures along the way.
● Team-centered: Put a formal team in place to focus on your company’s digital marketing tactics.
● Technology: Make sure your website is fully optimized and that you have the analytics in place to support your digital marketing efforts.
● Engagement: Start monitoring online engagement through email subscribers, website visitors, and social media followers.
If you are still feeling unsure of where to start, I would suggest starting with an overall marketing audit. This audit will serve as the first step toward helping you create your digital marketing plan.
It’s impossible to know how to improve if you don’t have a basic understanding of where you are now. That’s why we analyze your content, social media efforts, SEO, advertising efforts, and competitive advantage in the marketplace.
But we don’t just give you recommendations and leave it at that -- tell you what steps you should take next and provide the tools for implementation.