There is no one size fits all approach to digital marketing, and when it comes to developing digital marketing strategies for our clients, we like to work with them to ensure we are working towards the right objectives, while developing your own digital knowledge as we go. This all begins with A STAR. Our A STAR strategy development process includes a digital audit, strategy development, tactical implementation, activity and review. These steps are explained in greater detail below.
Digital Marketing Audit:
Perhaps the most important stage of the strategy development, the audit stage is were we work with you to really understand your business, and your online challenges. We do this by working through our popular 7 C’s workshop. We dig into how your business works – not just online, but in all your channels. This audit and research phase enables us to develop a strategy that answers your online problems, and creates the right foundations to delivering on your objectives.
The 7 C’s workshop looks at:
1. Company – We begin by getting some background information on your company. What are your values and mission statement (this is important when considering how you will approach certain things online), and what is the history of your agency. We also use this stage to understand the challenges you currently have, especially online, and what your short, medium and long-term business objectives are, and the role of your digital channels in achieving these objectives.
2. Customers – Who is your current customer base and who would you like to target in the future? We spend a lot of time refining your ideal customer, creating personas for them and discussing ways of finding more of them online. What is their potential value to you, and what are their digital habits. How do you solve their problems and how do we begin to find more of them. We take the information provided here, and look to develop plans for targeting each of your customers, focusing on the most important ones, depending on your digital budget.
3. Competition – Another important stage in developing your digital strategy, we look at who your competitors are. Here, we are interested in your main online competitors, so, who is taking up that all important real estate on search engine results pages for your target keywords. You will know your competitors better than we will, so we work together on this to get an idea of what your main competitors are doing online, and try to look for some quick opportunities as part of the strategy development. We will also take a look at any potential local, national or international competitors, depending on where your target audience is. We also try to look at any potential threats to your business, and will look at things like your USP, and carry out a SWOT analysis – what makes you different from the competition.
4. Context – Here we take a look into your industry and how it works. Are there any regulations or common industry terms, and any restrictions to what you can and can’t say online. We also spend time here looking at any legal requirements within your industry, and the web, and work with you to ensure your in-house team is trained in understanding what they can and can’t do in a digital space.
5. Competence – This stage is pretty simple, as here we discuss what competencies you already have in your organisation. If you have an internal marketing or web team, or existing agency partnerships, this is all covered here. The digital marketing strategy we develop, is something for you to take to improve your business. It’s not a sales pitch from us, so we want to ensure we know the skills you have at your disposal, and how these people can help in implementing the strategy. We will also discuss the different people within your organisation, and how they can potentially help you with your digital marketing activity. The guys who deal with your customers on a daily basis can provide great insight here for your digital marketing tactics.
6. Content – Here we look at your existing marketing activity, both online and offline. What are you currently doing and what would you like to begin doing? We will also look at the type of content that your competitors are producing, and the channels they use to engage with your target audience. We will also look at the type of questions your customers ask, and try to map out a typical journey for your online customers, and how you can help them at different stages of this journey. Finally, we’ll look at any stories that you have about your business, product or service (good or bad), and any additional marketing activity that can lend itself to the digital strategy.
7. Capital – Last but certainly not least, your investment. Here we discuss the typical sales cycles, any online sales challenges you have and the impact of your digital marketing activity to your bottom line. We will also look to establish what the digital marketing activity could deliver to you, and how much investment will be required here. If you have a budget already in mind for your digital marketing activity, we will discuss it here, and go through the best way to get a meaningful return from this spend.
This 7-step process allows us to get a good understanding of your business and its challenges, to enable us to deliver a tailor-made digital marketing strategy that will help you grow online. Our purpose here at The Tomorrow Lab is to connect businesses with their customers online, and the 7 C’s process lays the foundations to develop an effective strategy of which to achieve this.
Digital Marketing Strategy:
Once we’ve understood your business, industry and customers, we start to craft a strategy based on our experience of working with best practice on a daily basis. We constantly refer back to the Audit phase, and the 7 C’s outlined above, so that we can keep your objectives and customers at the front of our mind. By focusing on your business objectives we use our experience to create an bespoke digital strategy that utilises the best digital marketing tactics to produce the right results. This digital strategy will form the foundations for how your business will grow and prosper in an online environment.
The digital marketing strategy will include detailed research from our team across all aspects of digital marketing, evaluating the SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing requirements that will help you achieve your online objectives. We will carry out audits of any existing digital channels, provide detailed keyword research and competitive analysis, and also look in greater detail at the online behaviours of your target market, and how you can begin to find more of them. The strategy document will then go into detail on how you can use these digital channels, what investment will be needed to achieve your potential, and what the short, medium and long-term recommendations will be.
Digital Marketing Tactics:
Creativity is at the heart of what we do here at The Tomorrow Lab and the Tactics stage is where we demonstrate this in detail. Using the results of the Audit and Strategy, the tactics session is where we begin to plan the recommendations from your digital marketing strategy, should you decide to work with us in achieving your online goals. Here we will look at a number of areas including content ideas, ad copy, social calendars and any SEO or website recommendations that were made following the Audit and Strategy phase.
We are a digital marketing agency, but that doesn’t mean every tactic will take place on a screen. Some of our tactical implementations will take place offline, in the real world, with an aim to create a digital reaction. We create ideas first and then look at how to best implement these online. Whether it’s short form or long form content, a video or social activity, we match the tactics and content to best suit your requirements, with your objectives always at on the foreground of our work.
If you decide to work with us to implement your digital marketing strategy, we will work with you to create a digital marketing plan, a content marketing workshop and creation of digital roadmaps.
Digital Marketing Activity:
Once the strategy and tactics have been agreed and signed off by you, we get busy creating content, building advertising campaigns and reaching your customers. The content we craft is focused on creating value for your business by bringing more potential visitors to your website. From social media calendars and blogger content, to paid advertising campaigns and working with online influencers, there are many activation’s we can use to connect you to your customers.
This is a two-way process where your input is crucial. Measuring the impact of any activity is vital to its success and we stay in close communication with you throughout this stage so we can be sure what we’re doing is having maximum impact. We set targets and objectives for our activity and work with you to agree KPIs to measure our performance. The activity we work on with you as part of your digital marketing strategy will constantly evolve, as we get a better understanding of what works best in delivering the results you need.
Review Digital Marketing Activity:
We try and keep this simple yet effective. As a minimum, every month you’ll get a report on our activity which looks at the analytics to make suggestions for how we can improve next month and one of the team will call you every month to discuss it (or however frequent you need).
As a minimum, once a quarter you’ll get face to face review, where we can look back at what’s happened so far and look forward to what comes next – both from The Tomorrow Lab and your other marketing activity. And if you need us at any other time, we’re only a phone call away.
When it comes to really implementing and evolving your digital marketing strategy and activity, this review stage is crucial. By evaluating what has worked well, and which channels are delivering your sales and leads, you can begin to evolve what it is you do, and continue to grow your online presence as a result. We can assist here in providing regular PPC and social media reports, while also analysing the data from your analytics account to spot any trends. We also help monitor your search visibility, and use a suite of tools to monitor your online performance across a number of channels, while also looking at what your customers are saying online (good or bad).
Need help creating a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Get in touch with us today to find out more about our A STAR process, and the 7 C’s that can help shape your digital marketing strategy. If you have already started work on your digital strategy and need help implementing it at the tactical and activity stage, contact us today and let’s have a chat.