What it is, why it’s important, and what it means for your business
After working with numerous small businesses on their marketing strategy, there is one thing we’ve routinely discovered – it’s easy to care about channels. Businesses we talk with almost immediately jump into asking for help on SEO, social media, video production, web design, and any number of other services. And yes, we do provide these services and we’d be happy to discuss them. But when we start talking about channels and individual services, we miss something very important.
But trust us, if you think about individual marketing channels first, you’re not alone. So do most other businesses. Take a look at this Google trends chart comparing the search volume for “digital strategy” with other popular web marketing terms such as SEO, social media, and email marketing.
The search volume isn’t even close.
Another interesting trend is the fall, then continued growth of the term “digital strategy”. Take a look at the search volume over the last nine years.
Searches for the term “digital strategy” actually decreased from 2005 to 2009. About mid-2009 (when searches for social media really began to take off), we see the number of searches start to increase again.
In case you’re wondering, we also did a search for “marketing strategy”. This term actually has decreased in popularity over the past several years – finally setting into a more-or-less flatline around 2009.
Why this matters
So why do we see a huge rise in searches for SEO, social media, and other related terms, but strategy related terms saw a decrease? After working with clients, our hunch is that coming up with a full digital strategy can be overwhelming. For many businesses, the time they devote to marketing just involves occasional moments here and there. Taking a day (or several days) to plan, execute, measure, and adjust a digital strategy seems to be just too much time.
Furthermore, after you’ve worked within your own business for months or years, you no longer see it objectively. You no longer see creative marketing strategies since you are too close to the day-to-day operations. Instead the urgent overtakes the important and you’re left to pick and choose different channels as you try to make anything work.
How you can win
But this isn’t all bad news. The fact that many organizations don’t have a cohesive digital strategy can actually work in favor of your business. If your competitors aren’t creating and executing on a successful digital content strategy, beating them with your digital strategy is generally going to be far easier.
At Analytive, we are in the process of creating a digital strategy guidebook to help you think through your strategic marketing planning. We’re excited because we’re continually seeing companies with solid, unified digital strategies outperform their competitors who don’t invest in an overall marketing strategy. At our core, we are a digital strategy firm, and we want to help businesses owners, marketing managers, and CMOs think in terms of digital strategy and not just marketing tools. Doing so will give them a unique competitive advantage that will be difficult to replicate.