AIt’s not often that you meet someone who’s worked in a field for more than half the time it has been in existence. Arshad Madhani happens to be one of those rare unicorns. A decade’s worth of experience in digital marketing qualifies him for a consultancy role in an industry so young that it’s still in its puberty.
Little wonder then, that clients from the world all over look up to him for ideas and advice. He recently shared with us some his wisdom he’s gained over the years in the industry and why it’s important to have a
Why a digital marketing strategy is important now more than ever?
In the not-so-distant past, digital was just a new kid on the marketing block. It opened a new form of medium on which brands could promote themselves. Over time, the internet gave birth to virtual worlds (channels) where people could engage and interact.
It’s not until smartphones came along that things got really complicated. On one hand, they gave consumers the power to engage brands directly and voice their opinions. It also became clear that information doesn’t spread linearly online — it can flow within and across any number of channels. This holds true for both one-on-one and one-to-many informational exchanges.
Fast forward to the current age where consumers are accustomed to interacting in real time. While traditional platforms are yet to be rendered obsolete, digital marketing has become an absolute necessity. Like most other elements of business, it needs to be approached with a cohesive plan in hand. This allows for a controlled execution of online promotions.
To elaborate, a digital strategy outlines objectives, activities, and a path to capitalize on available channels. This not only makes it possible to measure performance, but also improve execution over time. A lack of strategy, on the other hand, increases the risk of wasting time on promotions that never really hit their mark.
How to craft a solid digital marketing strategy
This means making the right decisions for the development of your strategy. As a rule of thumb, you want to structure your plan based on three elements: Opportunity, Value proposition, and Action. Think of these as the key stages of strategy implementation.
Your strategy needs to be aligned to one or several objectives. Before laying them out, you want to scan the landscape and determine where the best potential lies. Studying your current customer base will help you conceptualize the kind of people who’d be more likely to take interest in your brand. The more clearly defined your targets are, the easier it will be to make your strategy resonate with them.
Marketing has become so ubiquitous these days that most people have learned to tune out. Sounds obvious enough, but how do you win the attention of your target audience? Just put them at the heart of your digital strategy. This means catering to their emotional needs and desires. Without going too much into detail, your value proposition needs to give consumers a good reason to lend you their time and trust.
It’ll take a combination of resources and infrastructure to put your strategy in motion. As such, you want to take a close look at what you have now and figure out how much you can commit towards that end. It’s also important to set in place a performance evaluation mechanism as well.
Should you outsource your digital marketing efforts?
Of course — digital marketing is only as the team behind its execution, after all. While you do have the option of setting up your own outfit, this’ll require a hefty investment of your resources. Just think about it:
-Your marketing activities will require various skill sets and competencies. Much as you’d want to hire the best candidate for each role, your budget will (likely) have other ideas.
-You’ll need to equip your team with the latest technologies, most of which won’t come cheap.
-You’ll need to scale up on both manpower and technology as your business grows.
In a nutshell, there’s no sense in setting up an in-house department when you could just outsource your marketing activities. This won’t just be cheaper; it’ll also allow you to make the best use of your resources.
Connect with Arshad
Want to learn more from Arshad Madhani? Of course you do! Just follow him on Twitter and Facebook via @ArshadMadhani and Facebook.com/arshadmadhani respectively. Better yet, why not follow his blog (http://arshadmadhani.com/) for more elaborate insights on marketing and entrepreneurship?