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Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy

|Jun 10|magazine13 min read

Check this article out as it appears in our June Issue of Business Review Canada. Trust us, it's way cooler to read this article when you can flip through our user-friendly e-reader.

Written by David Preciado

A Digital Strategy That Works for You

When approaching digital marketing many businesses fail to understand its true power. They fail to see that it gives a business the ability to build a marketing factory that once assembled, and if well maintained, can produce ongoing marketing results and a strong advantage over your competitors.

Create Assets

To build your digital marketing factory, you need to have assets that act as the factors of production. Marketing assets are not a new concept. In traditional marketing, they are the prime retail location, the mailing list and the billboard. Digital marketing assets include the email database, Twitter followers, or mobile application users. Characteristics that separate digital marketing assets from traditional marketing assets are they are quick to build, can easily be automated and, most importantly, they require little capital investment.

One at a Time

The lure of digital marketing has turned many smart professionals into kids in candy stores. Trial by fire, saying yes to every opportunity or worse, assuming you need to be in _____ (fill in the latest digital marketing trend) will only lead to a string of failures or at best mediocre marketing initiatives that drain your resources. Build one marketing asset at time. These assets take time and focus. Spreading yourself thin will only lead to internal neglect and a diluted message. Once you have your first strong marketing asset, you can utilize it to help launch into the next; once you have two strong assets, you can use those two to launch into the next, all along saving time and money building your marketing factory.

Your First Marketing Asset: Database

You can have an audience, but your database allows you to own it. Think of your database as the raw material for your marketing factory, from it you will use marketing channels to convert into an audience. At the simplest level, your database could be something as basic as a spreadsheet of names and email addresses that give you the information and permission to communicate with your customers. At the highest level, it could be a dynamic information gathering and tracking system that gives you the information you need to make business decisions big and small. The size and scope of your database must relate to the size and nature of your business, but no business can live without one. You can think of it like stamina. The more stamina you have the more you can use your muscles. The richer your database the more effective all your marketing efforts will be.

Your Second Marketing Asset: A Channel

The database may be the raw material for your factory, but without a machine to turn raw material into a final product, you cannot produce successful results. Those machines are your communication channels. A channel can be Facebook, a mobile phone or an email inbox. Start with a channel that relates closest to your business, is obviously ubiquitous among your client base and has established best practices that will reduce your risk of failure.

Speak to Your Audience, Don’t Market to Targets

Congratulations, you now have your own channel and an audience to go with it! What the media had owned and managed for the last 100 years or more is now yours! You now have the raw material and the machines to run your digital marketing; all that’s needed  is the electricity – content.

Do not be misled to think that the bad rap media has means that it will be easy for you to become the new audience leaders. The truth is, that it is despite their expertise, not because of it, that they have had so much trouble. This means that if you want to maintain your own channel, you not only have to do the job the media once did, but you also need to do it better.

The media have stumbled for many reasons, but most importantly, it’s because they failed to adapt to the socialization of media. It means you now need to treat your market as an audience and above all, you need to socialize your communication. Communicate like a human, learn to listen and communicate directly with people, and do it publicly.  

David Preciado is an entrepreneur, marketing executive and business consultant with over 10 years of experience managing creative teams focused in marketing, online media, and public relations. He is an expert in creating and managing initiatives using a variety of mediums, channels, and technologies and leveraging market insight to capitalize on market opportunities. Read David Preciado’s social media blog at social-rocket.com or contact him at David@DavidPreciado.com