As we discussed strategy for our blog topics this month, the team realized that we have been in several, initial digital marketing strategy meetings that started out on the wrong foot. They started without the right data, frame of mind or strategic thinking, causing the initial strategy to miss its mark.
If your team is able to arm itself with the right info off the hop, you can start on the right foot and get your strategy firing properly right away. To begin, you can boil the pre-planning down to three core segments; language and brand positioning, sales process, and digital conversions.
When we have run successful strategy meetings the team brings the key terms and language they would use to describe the brand or product/service. Elegant, nimble, trustworthy, funky… It is really amazing to see how the language the client chooses to use shapes so much of the strategy. For example the language would shape:
- the imagery you will use for look, feel and tone.
- the type of content that will be created, whether it be long form blog, or short form posts, or in-depth white papers, etc.
- the audience you are going to focus on and thus what digital platforms we will use to present the content. Language that pushes you towards the audience on LinkedIn is very different than the audience on Snapchat.
Plus the discussion around language as it relates to your brand or products/services can add creativity into so many of your tactics and inspire new campaigns, new audiences, and new ideas.
When you enter a marketing strategy session, it is imperative to either have a senior member of the sales team with you or have a deep understanding of the total sales process. Marketing serves several purposes, one main purpose to help throughout the sales process, whether it is to generate leads, to collect leads, to help compliment the sales process with digital content, reminder emails, etc. But each sales process has gaps and needs marketing support at certain stages in the pipeline. Knowing those needs during your initial strategy sessions will help shape the right marketing strategy, help you prioritize certain tasks and help develop the right complimentary digital content for the sales team.
Finally you do need to discuss the end game of your marketing strategy. What is the most important activity you want those who are interacting with you to do? If you want someone to purchase online through your site, where does the marketing strategy help with that? If you convert best from your email list then how do you encourage sign-ups through your channels? Take the time to be brutally honest with what you need, and shape your strategy around that need. We have also had success ranking conversions from most important, to second and so on, and attached strategic thinking to each of those conversions and then some suggested tactics.
Coming prepared to build the strategy as a team will get you positive results sooner than if your team cruises into the meeting asking “Ok, what are we doing?”