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Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy in 2016

Lynette Rambo | December 29, 2015 

If your company doesn’t have a digital marketing plan, you’re not alone.  According to the SEO strategists at Mabbly, nearly half of U.S. small businesses allocated 20% or less of their annual marketing budget to digital marketing this past year.

2014 saw record online sales topping $304 billion with 57% of the population in the U.S. having bought goods online. Retail eCommerce sales for 2015 are projected to surpass $340 billion.

Why does this statistic matter, and why should your business be focusing on digital marketing in 2016? Let’s look at a few striking statistics from 2015:

The Importance of a Digital Strategy

The Content Marketing Institute partnered with MarketingProfs to compile the 2016 B2C Research report. Of the digital marketers who responded, more than 65% ranked eNewsletters and Social Media among their most effective content marketing strategies. And, 64% of respondents said Search Engine Marketing was the most effective paid method for promoting and distributing content. Reports like this are helpful resources as they not only show what your peers find most effective, but also give you a good place to start focusing your efforts.

The following points are summarized from Smart Insights CEO Dave Chaffey’s article “10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy.” Having a digital marketing strategy for 2016 will help ensure that you:

Set clear goals and stick to them

What do you want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers? How will you use digital strategies to build deeper relationships with your existing customers? Setting goals will help you determine where to focus your efforts and how to allocate your resources.

Know your customers better

The companies that use personalization in their digital communications with consumers generally perform much better than those who stick with generic messaging. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to marketing. To garner your share of the online market and stay ahead of the competition, it’s a MUST that you know your customers, their needs, wants and preferences and keep them engaged with your brand.

Part of knowing your customers requires understanding your marketplace. For instance, what digital options currently exist? Research your online market to understand the customer demand for online services. What is your ideal customer profile? What are the common behaviors your best customers exhibit when interacting with your brand?  What are your competitors doing?

Stay integrated and agile

Digital marketing strategies are most effective when integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts. Everyone in your organization should be on the same page. Marketing, Sales, IT, Customer Service and the top Brass all need to have buy in and support digital strategies. Your marketing will be more effective if you are also able to interact with consumers dynamically and in real time.

Have sufficient resources and avoid duplication

Make sure you have the people, tools and financial resources available to keep the momentum going. If you don’t have the skillset you need in-house, hire an agency (such as ListEngage) who can handle some of the ongoing technical requirements. Even if you already have the resources, if digital marketing is new to your organization, hiring a consulting firm to help you get established with the right tools and strategies can help you avoid wasting time and resources and duplicating efforts among various departments. And, of course, inter-company communications is going to be critical for optimizing your available resources and strategies.

Optimize your strategies

How will you know what’s working and what isn’t?  An effective testing and analytics program is a must. This also requires a point person who will ensure the results are regularly reviewed and communicated so that continuous improvements can be implemented. Ongoing analysis will help ensure the long-term effectiveness of your digital marketing program.

Where are you today?

Where is your organization currently in its digital marketing plan? Where would you like to be at this time next year? ListEngage wants to hear from you. Contact us today and let us know what you’re doing and where you need help.

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Lynette Rambo

Lynette Rambo | Marketing Consultant

Lynette Rambo is a Certified Email Marketing Specialist and a Marketing Consultant for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. She has over 20 years of marketing, communications, design, and public relations experience for both small businesses and larger corporations. As a Marketing Consultant for ListEngage, Lynette consults clients on email marketing best practices, strategic planning, content creation, campaign management, and provides training and demos on the Marketing Cloud. She also works with the Salesforce CRM and connecting Sales and Marketing initiatives. You can contact Lynette at lrambo@listengage.com.