I recently attended a B2B Marketers of Indiana meeting where the topic was Challenges for the Modern Marketer. During Q&As after the presentation, Dave Morse brought up a great point that many companies still plan their digital marketing strategy and tactics annually, just like they do for traditional marketing and paid media.
While annual planning makes sense if your company is buying traditional media like TV, radio, or print, it makes less sense when it comes to digital and social media marketing. Planning digital and social media buys annually won’t give your company enough flexibility to respond to the always-changing digital marketplace.
In today’s world, consumers have multiple touchpoints with a brand before they ever purchase. In many cases, those touchpoints span traditional, digital and social media. According to MarketingProfs there are 8 important touchpoints during a customer’s consideration phase – and those are just social media touchpoints!
Plan Strategy Annually, Plan Execution Monthly or Quarterly
While it’s important to define your company’s digital marketing strategy on an annual basis along with the traditional marketing plan, your digital execution should be more agile. Rather than determining in September what your Facebook ad buy will look like in 15 months, devote money and resources to advertising in a digital channel – even if you don’t know what that channel may be yet.
One reason it’s important to define you digital marketing strategy along with traditional is to ensure brand consistency across different marketing channels. Once you have an integrated marketing strategy, you can plug in digital channels where appropriate.
Example: Super 46 Sandwiches
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (Visit Indiana) launched a promotion to coincide with the Super Bowl in 2012 that included a printed insert, earned media and promotion through multiple digital channels. Their Super 46 Sandwiches promotion was a huge success because, while they planned far in advance for the printed piece and the overall integrated marketing strategy, they left flexibility in the digital budget and execution to be able to plug in the right digital marketing pieces when and where they were needed. From a microsite to videos and still images to blog posts and even an online voting element, the office was able to ensure a consistent message across multiple traditional and digital platforms that led to a tremendous promotion.
Is your company still planning all of your digital marketing purchases annually?