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A 'no-nonsense' approach to Online Marketing
04 July 2011
Step away from the social media platform, website builder or email marketing system. If you were about to build a new office for your business, your first-step wouldn’t be to grab a hammer. Even if you were only fixing your office (read as: fix your digital marketing – we’re all analogies here), your first step still shouldn’t be a hammer (unless it is to whack the computer).
You know your business
Improving your online marketing should start with YOU and not with technology! What do you want to achieve, who do you need to engage, how do you intend to succeed, and what approach will suit your objectives best? These are business questions that should guide action. Don’t let platforms, designs, hyped-up trends or even ‘the message’ drive your strategy. That would be the ‘tail wagging the dog’.
Platforms outnumber business models
Online Marketing was relatively simple a decade ago, you built a website that ‘stood-in’ for your business and possibly engaged in some email marketing and search promotion. Today there are a litany of social media platforms, measurement tools, blogs, mobile sites, mobile applications, rich media angles and website options (and millions of TLA’s – Three Letter Acronyms). So why is everyone talking in jargon about platforms, tools and software instead of strategies, objectives and approaches. There are probably less permutations of business approaches than there are combinations of online delivery options, so why not start with what you know?
The right questions: who, what, where, why, when, how?
Who do you want to communicate with? What do you want them to do? Where are the best places to connect? Why will they gladly do what you ask? When should this communication and exchange happen? How will the process work for all involved?
Sounds obvious, right? Common sense you say! Well the thing about common sense is that it isn’t that common. Large organisations with big online budgets and highly paid strategists get this stuff wrong every single day. Obvious, then answer the six questions above for your business, right now, off the cuff. Got that far, then make sure you have the MOST valid answer and the root fundamental causes, not just superficial effects. When you have the absolute root answer and it doesn’t change every time you ask, then you have just worked out your approach to online marketing (and probably your business strategy). Now correctly deploying all of the online channels you need to supercharge your business will be a doddle (and the exploration topics of future articles). Eventually you can grab that hammer!
David is CEO of online consultancy Veridian Media, Director of Services for web agency bwired and Head of Social Media at boutique advertising agency Starship. David has an MBA from Melbourne Business School and is a regular speaker, writer and consultant on digital strategy, social media, online marketing and technology. Email email@example.com Twitter @drwarwick