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Digital marketing? 2017 is the trend!

Is there something notable in the digital marketing trend of 2017?

It is high time you develop a digital marketing as well as the advertising and sales campaign for yourself. Why now? Because the year of 2017 is quite highly demanding, so you'd better prepare yourself. Otherwise, your business will trail behind.

Have you got a strategy of digital marketing for your business?

Many organizations have not had a digital marketing plan for themselves, claiming that they have to conduct some huge meetings to gather ideas and analyze the past and current developments of the market before producing a decent plan.
Personally, I don't think there is a need for elaborate reports to analysis and start planning a digital marketing campaign. You can make it lean, ideally two or three pages of information and strategy. The content of the plan should figure how to link SMART targets with you strategies you have come up with.

We have conducted research on the popularity of digital marketing campaign among businesses over the world since 2012. Each year, we see the number rise steadily. However, the two latest years witnessed such a big leap, and the figure of 2017 is no doubt higher.
In the most recent survey, the percentage of companies not having a digital marketing strategy is only 49%. It means that more than a half of the world has moved forwards. The diagram below may reveal something about the current situation of digital advertising adoption:

Which area is your company in? – Photo credit:

Big applause for you if your business is lying in the green area. If you are just in the blue one, it's pretty good, though. Companies which are staying in the red area should follow the trend now before others take their market.
What makes a good start for your digital marketing planning?

Whether you have got your company a digital marketing campaign or not, you'd better give the chart below a look. A good combination of the three factors: Opportunity, Strategy, and Action will lead your marketing campaign to sole success.

Things you have to take into account – Photo credit:

To assist you in the taking the difficult task, Smart Insight has created a set of digital marketing criteria which is free for download. Those criteria, or benchmarks, covers all the matters of digital marketing strategy and some pivotal tactics like search engines, social media, marketing by emails and so forth.

The image below is one example of Smart Insight's criteria templates. You can download it or others of the same content for free to assist your digital marketing planning.

An example of SM benchmarks – Photo credit:

However, if your business is in the red area of the first diagram: companies without any digital marketing strategy, then you should take smaller steps. The two more simple alternatives for digital advertising and sales planning below may give you some idea:
  • Start by conducting separate, single marketing plan for the sake of transformation your company lacks, adjust yourself and making other people in your team see the need of investment for digital marketing.
  • After receiving the approval of all the team, move on to build an integrated digital marketing plan, which is, of course, a compatible part of the whole new marketing plan your company will rely on. The digital marketing plan should be completely aligned with other elements of your business. 
A fair look at digital marketing planning’s popularity level:

Despite the remarkable rise of the use of digital advertising and sales, it is fair for us to say that:
  • It is more prevailing for business to use digital marketing without a proper strategy than spending time and thinking to build a decent strategic approach. We can surely say that companies having outstanding digital marketing approach gain much success from the move. However, many business owners have not seen the importance of a strategic plan. Or if they see, they choose to ignore it.
  • Many companies are suffering due to lacking the important element of marketing plans. Having a proper approach to digital marketing will improve your company’s targeting ability and optimization. 
  • After interviewing many companies with proper digital marketing strategy, we come up with a general process of said marketing plans creation. There are two stages in the process. First, companies create some separate digital marketing plans to test the effects and potential of the new marketing model. Second, when digital marketing has become familiar and proven that it is able to bring about profits, the companies go on to integrate it into their marketing strategy as a core activity. 
Do you not see why you have to get a marketing strategy as soon as possible? Then you should take a look at the 10 reasons listed below here. After reading those, I bet you will take planning a proper strategy into consideration.

10 reasons for building yourself a digital marketing campaign 

#1. It will give you directions

Digital marketing is not as simple as many may think. Surely, it brings about advantages and profits, but without a clear, strategic plan, it’s hardly advantageous. A planned campaign will help you gain new customers and build better, deeper relationships with your existing ones. If you do not have a goal, how do you know how many resources should be pay to reach it, or whether you have reached it or not?

#2. You will have better insights on your market share 

Without a proper digital marketing strategy that needs reports and information, you will hardly know your place in the online market. Companies which make ends meet well with offline customers may not see the important role of customers demanding for services online. A strategy produced will figure out the essential role of the customers’ group. 

Besides, businesses may be not familiar with the new kind of marketing activity. There are many different now, such as customer profile and behavior, competitor, marketing communications options, and so forth. You can take a look at the online marketing methods post for more useful information.
#3. You will be able to maintain your market share in the competition  

We are in a competitive era. Existing and start-up businesses are eager to take your place in the market if you do not pay enough attention to it. If you do not have a digital marketing strategy, your enemies will eat you alive in the new area. That’s what we don’t want, do we? 

#4. It is a chance for you to distinguish your business online

An appropriate approach to online customers will show that you appreciate their proposition. That will surely differ your online business from others and enhance the trust as well as the loyalty of customers. New customers will also be interested in your business, too. 

#5. It gives you better knowledge about your online clients/customers

There are tools such as Google Analytics and so forth to tell you how many people have visited your website and their potentials. However, it’s only empty number if you do not care about the number of customers’ sentiment. To make full use of your digital marketing strategy, you should adopt the tools for online user feedback. The easy-to-use instrument will point out your weakness and strength. 

#6. A proper campaign will make you integrated

Whether your online service is well integrated with other activities depends largely on the people who are assigned with the task of planning. You can hire a digital services agency to do it for you. However, it may be less effective, because a separate agency, despite how excellent it is, cannot integrate the digital marketing campaign into the daily business activities as well as you do. It is better for you to make the strategy in accordance with other types of media and communication channels. 

#7. Digital marketing cannot be efficiently implemented without an approach

If you do not have a digital marketing plan, it is hard to estimate how much resource and specialist marketing skills you need to devote to the marketing activity. You cannot expect to adjust just well when things happen. Your business is complicated, not just digital marketing, so have good vision, take advance steps. 

#8. Duplication can be avoided

I don’t know how much money you have and how much you are willing to pay for digital marketing activities, but you’d better not waste them anyway. Without a plan, you are likely to pour money into different marketing activities, buying different supportive tools just to show the same content, doing the same marketing tasks. 

#9. No plan? Say bye to catching up or staying ahead

Look at the Giants in digital services: Dell, Amazon, Google, Zappos, do you think they have an excellent digital marketing campaign or not? The answer is absolutely yes. Perhaps you don’t expect to your business to become giant, but staying ahead in the competition will at least will not drown you. 

#10. It is a useful tool for optimizing your activities

What digital marketing is for if you do not see the real profits come from it? Do you know the profits and advantages gained is the best it they can be or not? When should you make improvements? When should you go on with the existing activities? A plan will answer the question and guide you to success in this area.