It’s 2017, and the digital marketing world is chaotic. Google powers 3.5 billion searches per day. We live in a multidevice world where more and more Web searches are happening on mobile devices. Digital FOMO is rampant, and so tactics supersede strategy.

Literature about the importance of digital strategy is starting to reach fever pitch as marketers prepare to spend over $100 billion on digital by 2019, according to Forrester.

But, in the chaotic world of digital marketing, it’s hard to know how exactly to create and use a digital strategy so that it meets business needs and is manageable.

Though every organization will need to customize its strategy to its own circumstances, the following are the foundations for building an enduring digital marketing strategy that works.

marketing strategy 5 pillars

1. Digital Principles: Your Belief System

Brands need digital principles as much as they need brand attributes. Start by looking at the open source Digital Principles site to understand some of the basics, and then create statements that align your brand to how it should live and breathe in your digital experiences. Doing so will help you explain to your larger organization what role digital plays in building your brand and delivering on your business goals.

2. Digital Ecosystem Map: Your Atlas

Create a visual map that shows which digital channels you are active in, who the primary and secondary users are for each, what those users need from that channel, what your goals are, how you’ll measure success, and what the pathways are between channels. Tools such as Lucidchart are great for making these documents come to life. Create your map by conducting research with users, looking at competitors, reviewing any analytics data you have, and marrying all that with your overall business strategy.

3. Data and Insights: Your Pathway to Action

You can gather all the data in the world, but if you don’t have a mechanism for turning that data into insights, you might as well collect no data at all.

At a minimum, you should use Google Analytics for websites, but remember that its raw data measures traffic and lacks the contextual information you need to understand what’s really going on. Qualitative data inputs are a crucial additional input. Savvy marketers will measure social sentiment using a tool like Sprout or Sysomos—along with the analytics tools that come with business accounts on social platforms. And don’t forget email: it remains a powerful weapon in your arsenal if you get it right and measure it well.

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This may seem like a lot to take in. But, if you lay your foundation right now, your digital marketing strategy will be strong and you’ll save time (and money) later!

Read about the other 2 pillars and the full article at www.MarketingProfs.com