Recently I’ve been doing a number of audits for prospective clients, surveying their presence on the search and social web, how they are “known” and taking inventory of digital assets and the overall experience across their owned, earned, paid and shared media.
This exercise has reinforced to me that digital marketing agencies like ours are going to be busy for years to come.
It’s the difference between tactics and strategy.
More often than not, it’s clear that companies are executing tactics with no cohesive strategy to tie their marketing activities together. Blogs are often started without regular posts and those that are published: pure self promotion.
Social network profiles offer inconsistent visuals (we are guilty of this!) and in many cases, Facebook cross posts to Twitter which is cross posted to Google+ and a LinkedIn company page.
Even companies that are doing a good job of curating useful content across their social channels and blog often do little to engage those audiences. Or they focus solely on Facebook or LinkedIn and simply view other social networks as places to push links as if they were just a RSS feed.
Why does this happen? Is it a lack of resources? Is it a lack of marketing funds?
It’s a lack of vision. It’s the absence of a strategy. It is marketing without empathy for the customer experience.
Intelligent business professionals all know they need to identify what it is that they and their brand stands for. They understand it’s essential to define how the brand should be known amongst a target group of customers. They can visualize the problems their solutions solve for customers and what they want customers to do after consuming marketing content. They even understand the value of establishing key performance indicators to monitor progress of their marketing activities in order to adjust and optimize marketing performance.
These are the basics of a digital marketing strategy that we can pretty much agree on and yet it’s simply not happening to a large degree.
I think part of the problem is that a lot of marketers are spread thin because of chasing shiny objects. They’re distracted from core marketing. They’re tourists in the digital and social world without taking the time to understand what the locals do and care about.
The good news, is that there are many companies doing it right. There are agencies like ours that have helped some of those companies do it right. The important thing is to recognize that first important step:
What does your brand stand for and how do you want to be known amongst what target group of customers? What plan can you create that coordinates the creation of owned, achievement of earned and participation with shared media to create a congruent and meaningful experience across the web?
Yes it takes resources, but more importantly, it takes a vision and leadership.
Have you made those choices? Have you committed to them and turned it into a strategy that you can act on?