The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 forced many businesses to rethink their approach to marketing and sales. One company that was entirely unprepared for the rise of the world-wide-web was Grey Owl Marketing. In the aftermath of the financial crash, the company discovered that most of their business came from word-of-mouth marketing. They had no web presence and no social media accounts. The company pivoted quickly to adopt new marketing and sales channels through web and mobile-based platforms. That included creating a blog to generate web traffic and building a mobile app to engage customers on the go.
The result of all this effort is that Grey Owl Marketing now has a much larger customer base than they did prior to the pandemic. While the company’s revenue has increased by 60% since before the financial crisis in 2008 (and it’s projected to increase by another 80% within the next few years), their profit margins have narrowed. This is largely due to the increasing competitive nature of the e-commerce marketplace. To generate more revenue, Grey Owl Marketing has to find ways to attract more customers while decreasing their cost of goods sold.
One of the ways they’re doing this is by optimizing their marketing and advertising spend. To do this, they’re turning to digital marketing and analytics experts at Sumo to build out a marketing operation that can measure and optimize their results. The first step was to build out a digital marketing strategy that could take advantage of the company’s new-found digital profile.
Building A Strategy For Digital Marketing
Over the next few years, Sumo’s chief marketing officer Jim Collison says businesses like Grey Owl that grew rapidly during the pandemic will realize significant digital marketing gains as a result of the increased traffic they drive to their websites. He also notes that many of these businesses will see substantial growth through paid advertising on social media channels.
“The perfect storm of low interest rates, low barrier to entry, and ample digital marketing opportunities made the digital marketing channel a great place for growth during the pandemic,” Collison says.
In response to the increased demand, Collison and his team at Sumo developed a five-step guide for businesses to follow in creating digital marketing strategies.
1. Identify the goals and objectives for your digital marketing strategy.
To start, Collison and his team ask that you set some goals and objectives for your digital marketing strategy. As a business owner, you may have a general idea of where you want your business to go in the next few years. But beyond that, you’re not really sure. That’s where a digital marketing strategy comes in. Your team at Sumo can help you set some specific, measurable goals for your website traffic, social media engagement, and lead generation. For example, you may want to set a goal of increasing web traffic by 50% within the next six months. Or, you may want to increase the amount of leads you’re generating by 25% within three months.
Setting these types of goals and having some idea of what to measure can help you track your progress and determine if you’ve reached your target audience.
2. Choose the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll use to measure your success.
Once you’ve set your goals and objectives, you’ll choose the key performance indicators (or KPIs) that you’ll use to track your progress. These are the measurements that you’ll use to determine your success as a business. The perfect example of this is the metric that you’ll use to track the effectiveness of your website traffic – the amount of leads or conversions that you generate from that traffic. This is also the case for social media KPIs. You may measure your social media marketing’s success by looking at the engagement level of your audience or the number of leads or sales that you generate.
3. Consider what channels you’ll use to achieve these metrics.
Now that you have your goals and objectives in place, you’ll consider which channels you’ll use to get there. This is a crucial step in the creation of your digital marketing strategy. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once – that’s how most businesses fail in digital marketing. You need to pick your platforms wisely and consider what’s most suitable for your business. For example, if you’re looking to increase your web traffic, you might decide to focus on SEO (search engine optimization) or pay-per-click ads on digital platforms like Google. But if you’re looking to generate leads, you could consider trying out a new-to-the-marketplace channel like Chatbots.
The idea is to start with a few proven platforms that you can build on top of to create momentum and develop a base of support. Then, you can experiment with newer channels that help you reach your target audience more effectively. When deciding which platforms to focus on, consider what’s most suitable for your business – your product, your services, and your target audience.
4. Identify the content that’ll accompany these channels.
After you’ve decided on your platforms, you’ll need to identify the content that’ll accompany these channels. To start, you could consider creating content that’ll appear on your website – whether that’s an e-book, a how-to-playlist, or a blog post. Then, you could branch out and create content that’ll only appear on social media channels – like a Twitter list or a LinkedIn group. Finally, you could produce content for video platforms like YouTube to increase the odds of someone viewing your content.
The idea here is to create content that’ll engage your audience and encourage them to take further action – like making a purchase or subscribing to your email list.
5. Craft a tagline and identify a mascot.
Last but not least, you’ll want to write a short, descriptive slogan to accompany your brand. If you’re struggling to come up with a catchy phrase, consider using something from step four – that is, if there is content there that is relevant to your target audience. Once you’ve got your slogan, you can start thinking about the identity of your brand. Do you want a traditional logo with a brand extension to accompany it? Or do you want to go for a more subtle approach and use an avatar or a mascot?
The identity of your brand will guide all the visuals and wording used in your marketing and advertising materials. So, it’s important to consider what you want your brand to look like and what you want it to stand for. For example, do you want your brand to be associated with luxury goods and expensive clothing? Or do you just want to be known as the go-to source for your industry?
Once you have your brand identity in place, you’re well on your way to developing a marketing strategy for your business.