If you wish to create your own digital strategy, here’s a free digital strategy marketing plan template for you to use.
It outlines the five steps that need to be understood and undertaken when creating a plan for your campaign or website. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
You’ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing.
Achieving engagement with a customer or fan base is not so much about tactics such as Facebook or tools like Radian6, but how these are best leveraged to enable meaningful interaction with the consumer. We also have a new guide by Andrew Campbell describing how to create a customer retention plan, again part of a long-term process to build relationships. The people that have already bought from you are super-special, I mean really special when you think about it. There are multiple ways to generate insight, some of it should be engrained in your business day-to-day, other elements should be done at key times of the year. Get data from those masses who do nothing on your site, tools like 4Q and Kampyle are great since they're low commitment, fast and anonymous. Email surveys are good if you lack a steady stream of data and prefer to ad-hoc, mass questioning of your database, annually for example. With the proliferation of social media usage, the idea of message amplification is really key, I feel.
We're talking about the consumers experience of your product or service and how they feed that back. Reactive - Zappos are the best example we hear of a customer obsessed brand who put tools and process around their consumer.
Proactive - Think Dell as past masters at this, and where Gary Vaynerchuck pushes with his The Thank You Economy book. Each approach isn't mutually exclusive, after all they're just processes dependent on how an organisation wants to (and can) work. Of course, capturing and using data is at the heart of informing the creation of tailored content for the consumer. Useful content is at the heart of such a content strategy, on-topic content enables you to demonstrate a continued relevance to consumers who are buying certain types of products from you, or at least they're giving you indicators as to what is motivating and helping solve problems in their world. This approach has obvious potential for re-promotion of your products in the right way, and at the right time, adding value and re-engaging re-affirms relevance and earns you that right. A platform to share - One of the most powerful ways to remain valuable is to enable the consumer to connect and share with other like-minded consumers, this allows the like-minded to flock together and simultaneously deliver ongoing insight for the brand hosting the platform. It's a complex space, our recommendation would be to start with simpler tools such as Office Autopilot where the focus is segmentation of a lead database (based on whatever makes sense: preferences, subject of interest, product type) since this enables the communication of the most relevant content. This table summarises our recommendations on content marketing KPIs related to retention (Engage) and other parts of our RACE framework. This set provides instant and ready to use templates for a marketing plan presentation with the agenda of vision, situational analysis, target markets, marketing plan and forecast.
Note: Your credit card account statement will show payment to PAYPAL*PRESENTN.Issue or question? As Seth describes in the quote above, open and maintain conversation, ask questions, listen, build better products and market in a more relevant way - add value to the relationship with the consumer.


What insights do we have about our customers, their needs from online services and perceptions of our service? They paid you money - they bought into what you said and now have a unique perspective of what it is like to journey from finding you, to evaluating you against the competition, then deciding to purchase and… then what? The questions we'd suggest that you ask are surrounding satisfaction with the process, what it's like to deal with you from an outside perspective.
It's the most common form of insights gathering though done last minute when things feel broken, it's certainly better than no insights, just. Build relevant data capture at key buyer stages so that you learn more about your consumer as they near purchase, and beyond. It's not that everything has to be commercially orientated either, though personally I'd ensure it ties back. If you can engage any visitor on at least some level, then worst case, you can see how well your content and messaging resonates with an audience. Do you understand the gap between your customer needs and your delivery and how do you improve and prioritise satisfaction? As a business tools like Twitter and Facebook are channels back to customer service, no matter what they customer wants, apparently.
Dell's approach is to listen to the whole market and seed out unhappy (and happy) customers in order they can pro-actively solve customer problems.
Both require tools, customer process and at the more progressed, Dell, high-end a CRM software or community of some form (see question 5 and 6). Blogs are a way to centralise this, to form the content hub, then repurposing your content into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ represent additional ways to reach (with permission) and so re-connect. It's right-side up marketing in that sense since it has an inbound effect over interruptive outbound promotions that feel random to the recipient. How do we create an integrated communications lifecycle, integrating channels, content and marketing around the customer? Marketing automation can help here and Dave has reviewed marketing automation tools before in this post. The power is layering on purchase intent (inferred through click behaviour and explicit through web forms) to then tone up or down promotional intensity and the strength of offers as relevant to the consumer. Through measurement and then improvement through testing against objectives, it's only as complex as it needs to be for your organisation.
To create these conversations and build relationships is challenging - the biggest challenge in marketing perhaps. You thank them if, they're lucky, reward them somehow, just re-sell to them or simply ignore them?
Did you even meet the customer's requirements and is there a quality gap from the users reality.
But better is designing insight capture into the marketing and sales process in a robust way, for example using email sequences since it brings the consumer to the marketing table. This can be as simple questions built into existing enquiry, purchase and post purchase forms.
You can easily ensure that commercial goals tie to customer engagement or marketing KPIs by developing a simple matrix. Commercial sales are the end goal, and yet they're still preceded by a number of KPIs that are more manageable and meaningful to those working on the front line.


How this is done is dependent on what kind of organisation you are in terms of budgets and resources available. Layer on segmented email communications to such solid social media programme and you're pioneering brand communications! This is an area being pioneered by high-end, fully integrated marketing automation platforms like EDialog and Eloqua, and being made accessible to the rest of us by companies such as Genius, Office Autopilot and Marketo. Integrating email communications, SMS and outbound with direct mail is pretty obvious and totally possible with these platforms since you get to design the communications sequences for each segment, and sub-segment.
Focus on the basics as to what content, tools and techniques drive re-engagement, referral and re-purchase evidenced by your measurement dashboard. There are no quick tips we can give here, but we can offer this structure which will step you through the decisions you need to make to work towards long-term relationships. The first step is to understand how they perceive you based on the service and experience you have provided.
Of course you can target particular groups of customers with email, so they're powerful in this sense. Think about using tools such as Get Satisfaction for feedback too since it offers you progression into a feedback community and crowd-sourcing. Using this approach allows people at different levels, with different perspectives, within an organisation to see the value in an engagement or retention programme.
Being useful adds an incomparable value to a consumer relationship post purchase as well as keep you front of mind.
Marketing automation is a huge area and different platforms have strengths in different areas. So you need to harness insights  you have about this super special group of people, and what insights could you have to help you do a better job to generate more sales? You can also use the "Watch don't ask" approach of using analytics to see what customers click on or don't click on. For example, take the idea of customer making a second or third (repeat) purchase vs a referral of your brand to friends, both matter, both will tie to traffic to your domain and so can be tied to sale. Two reasons - you're connecting the consumer with others, and deepening their experience of subject area. Marketing automation includes analytics and intelligence gathering, automating lead generation and conversion and advanced cross-department workflow. So long as the KPIs can be tied broadly to sale (question 1) then discussions with management are much simpler and meaningful at the commercial level.
For the customer, repeat purchase can manifest in 'lifetime value' commercial goals as well as 'new vs returning' visitors for the marketers using in Google Analytics.
The practical start point is to take a lead from B2B marketers who focus around the automation of lead generation and lead conversion, with "get lead, convert lead" being the mantra, focussing mostly on email and outbound telemarketing in its simplest sense.
You can just as easily use other counters of engagement, such as use of Facebook (usually more customer orientated) and any owned web property such as customer forums or groups.




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