For a multinational FMCG manufacturer we were assigned to develop a vision of the digital future. We hope it inspires you to create your own digital marketing strategy.
Based upon this challenge, we developed a digital marketing strategy and envisioned an incubation roadmap spanning three years for the Benelux market.
Today the implementation is well on its way and the findings are shared with the other countries in which the international food group is active.
So we investigated the entire digital marketing spectrum of the client’s brand by using the most recent, state-of-the art theories, models, methodologies and best practices.
What are our main findings and what are the implications for the development of a digital marketing strategy?
Make business intelligence explicit
In order to develop a solid and valid strategy, one needs data to build argumentation, vision and strategy.
In this case we helped our customer gather business intelligence by making a SWOT analysis and an in-depth description of the competitive environment.
We explicitly listed external opportunities and threats and internal strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, the competitive analysis demonstrated the strategic position.
Both insights provided a basis to develop the digital marketing toolset.
Make goals, vision and strategy tangible
All strategies ever developed started from a specific goal that needed to be achieved. We learned through interviews that only some people at the client’s side know these goals, often implicitly.
We helped the company in further defining goals on multiple levels: from company over product category and brand to digital.
Social is a hot topic but first things first
During the entire project the client was particularly interested in strategic advice on how to handle social media. We do agree that social is an opportunity, but it’s also a challenge.
That’s why our strategic social media part isn’t constructed of ad hoc reach campaigns. We’re currently building a solid base to turn social into a strategic business advantage.
This means we improve the current online micro and macro level. Regardless of the fact that a touch-point strategy and an outbound content plan are already developed, social activities today remain mainly reactive by nature.
This points to another important finding: social and digital requires resources (people and software). Do not underestimate the required effort.
Next to that, we noticed a missed opportunity in e-mail marketing and therefore we suggested an improved strategy and tactics plan.
After all, e-mail can be considered as the most widely known and used social medium.
Marketing can be cost-effective
As a part of the strategic investigation, we looked at the Web as a Service Platform.
For marketing this perspective has the advantage of spotting creative opportunities while cutting operational costs. Interesting digital phenomena with regard to this are collaborative tools and e-apps.
Offline matters more in a Digital World
We noticed that the alignment between online and offline can be key to competitive differentiation.
In a process of co-creation we developed some new offline/online alignment concepts.
So, take the offline aspect into account when creating your digital marketing strategy.
Gradual shift in budget and actions recommended
In this particular case, the client relied heavily upon traditional advertising techniques of the past. A consumer panel demonstrated the need to gradually shift to a « digital, social, mobile » identity otherwise the client would no longer be credible to them.
That seems in line with general human behaviour that favours incremental change over disruption. Next to that, it allows to gradually re-allocate budgets and run small-scale experiments.
Mobile future looks bright
Mobile is the next big thing for your digital marketing strategy. In fact, in most of the world it already is.
In the long run the client needs to adapt to the mobile society. There was no rush here however because consumer analysis pointed out there was currently little need for mobile support.
However, that same panel of consumers also came up with some good ideas for mobile initiatives that would add value.
In the perspective of a long-term strategy, we’ve learned that marketeers should not only be looking at the ‘mobile interconnected people’ but also at ‘mobile interconnected objects’, known as the Internet of Things.
Sliced down into an actionable digital marketing strategy roadmap
We’ve learned that you can envision what you want but if you don’t develop an actionable roadmap, the chances of non-incubation increase drastically.
We believe that a long-term vision of about 3 years is sufficient within this fast-paced environment.
What’s more, while implementing you must keep track of all digital evolutions and make alterations if necessary.
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