It is extremely important to ‘plan’ your digital strategy. But it begins really with your marketing strategy. Many people confuse between Marketing Strategy and Digital Strategy. In fact, your marketing strategy is the prime thing! Digital strategy is just one of the tools to be used to achieve your marketing goals. Having said so, it is a fact today that ‘digital’ has become the buzzword today and your marketing strategy will be more and more dependent on the way you plan your digital strategy
So how do we go about it?
The first and foremost thing is to understand what you stand for. What is the purpose and objective of your business? Again, many get confused with the question, as they believe that the sole purpose and objective of their business is to make money — period!
Well, it is implied. No business can be called ‘business’ if it is not making money. But we are going beyond this. We need to have some purpose and objective for the business, as our customers are going to know us and trust us because of it. Let’s get some more clarity:
Some of the possible objectives of your business:
1) Reducing time and energy wasted in completing a task (examples — washing machine, vacuum cleaner)
2) Helping physically challenged live better life (examples- Alexa, Google glass, Braille Smartphone, Sign Language Interpreter)
3) Improving productivity, efficiency (examples — Robotic arms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Jigs and Fixtures)
The purpose of doing business can be:
1) Generating more employment (example — The MSME sector and start-ups are just the right examples today)
2) Improving quality of life (example — companies working in healthcare, learning and training, environment sectors)
3) Nation building (example — Defense equipment manufacturers, Infrastructure project companies)
Having defined the purpose and objective, you create your desired position in the market. It also helps you look at various products and services you offer and eliminate the ones that don’t fit well in your desired market position. For example, a healthcare company cannot make cigarettes.
Who decides the marketing strategy?
Let’s first agree that marketing strategy is far more different than your sales strategy. Many people get confused here. Sales strategy is more of an action plan to implement your marketing strategy. For example, if your business objective is to improve productivity, then your marketing strategy will be built around it. It will involve creating your brand image, positioning your products, orienting your research towards the business objective, conducting market surveys to understand what the market feels about you and what it expects from you next…
You need a good expert to help you do all this — either within the organization or an expert advisor.
Who would be the expert for you?
You need an expert who can:
a. Understands your business objective and business process
b. Understands your customer requirements
c. Understands your strategy & can help you device / revisit it
d. Can understand your organization culture
e. Can understand how your people do business — what is the business process that works for you
f. Can probe and smell what your competition is doing with the help of your team
g. Can work like your core management team member for doing all this — at times provide constructive criticism
The Digital Strategy:
Ultimately, we reached the main topic!
It was important to have all the above explanation to prepare your mindset for the digital strategy. It is important to know what NOT to do, else there are great chances of you jumping to some SEO / SEM agency to handle your Digital Marketing!
Your digital strategy needs to be built around your business objectives and your purpose of doing business.
In case of MSME’s serving B2B (Business to Business) customers, the next step would be looking at your target customer base, their possible geographic location, financial position, style of doing business, buying patterns, possible competition and so on.
While developing this strategy, one of the important things is to involve your management staff in the process. You can’t succeed unless your staff is on the same page!
In the next article, we will come up with the next few steps of going digital. Stay connected!
© Nitin Kirloskar