This week I was delighted to give a talk on the importance of an action plan and an integrated digital marketing strategy to members of the BMF [Builders Merchant Federation] at their annual members day conference.
In this post are the presentation slides followed by a write up of the key points raised…
To understand the importance of a digital marketing strategy it’s useful to understand why you need one.
The ZMOT is, in principle, a term coined by Google back in 2011 to capture that precise moment when a business provides the right information exactly when your customers are looking (online), in a format that they can access, across multiple devices.
Digital strategies need to come from the top, otherwise they stand little chance of full adoption throughout the business.
The most successful strategies come from businesses who have taken the time to create a clear vision, and those that also understand that perhaps their current web presence isn’t working as hard for them as it could be.
Download the Builders Merchant Federation ‘5 Strategic Themes’ Here >> BMF_Roadmap.
From a clear business vision, effective marketing objectives can be created.
Being clear about where our businesses want to be over the next 12/18/24 months helps our internal teams and third party partners be more effective. Direction from the top is key.
As James Cameron said:
“Hope is not a strategy, luck is not a factor, fear is not an option.”
There are many planning models for marketers to use, our particular favorite planning model PR Smith’s SOSTAC.
Based on the Think, Plan, Do, Review’ principle SOSTAC’s approach is great for building construction marketing strategies and also for tackling one off projects too.
Don’t be Lazy, Your Audience Matters, Ask them Questions.
Your first priority, assuming there is a clear business vision to work with, is to research the hell out of your audience.
Who are they, where do they hang out, what level of decision making do they have, who are they influenced by and who do they influence themselves.
Understanding your audience and how your products and services can ultimately make their lives easier will help make your marketing messages more effective.
Following that, align your audience(s) to your core products and services. How do your products and services help your audience, what problems do they solve, how can you build trust and credibility within your audience. What questions do they ask online and offline – to your sales team and technical teams?
Have Broad Shoulders, Ask Someone to Tell You Straight.
Ask someone outside of the business to do a critical analysis of your current digital state.
Read this post on auditing the success of your construction website.
Ask your marketing team for an overview of your current marketing systems.
Find out whether your website is talking to your CRM system and vice versa.
Find out if your outbound channels and messages are consistent and are being measured for success – be sure everyone knows what success looks like. Ask them about the websites current lead generation performance – does the business get leads from online sources?
Wear Your Customers Shoes.
Do it yourself. Wear your customers shoes.
Research a few products or services and see if you show up.
And if you don’t, you will quickly find out who your competition is online.
You will quickly see how they are using digital to attract new business leads.
Possibly your current customers.
Don’t be Afraid.
Don’t be afraid of what comes back. Remember, whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger (so long as you put your new plan into action).
A great digital marketing plan comes into it’s own when all these factors and more are taken into consideration before we rush into tactical approaches.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
It’s an oldie but a goodie…
Where are we now, where do we want to be, how are we going to get there (and who is responsible).
From a digital strategy and web build point of view, research makes the process easier.
Once you understand the gaps in your current state not only you can plan for a better online experience for your customers you can also plan for better measuring of your efforts and as a result make better decisions about what works and what doesn’t.
Nick was speaking at the BMF [Builders Merchant Federation] Members Day 2016 on building a Successful Digital Marketing Road Map.
Nick’s personal mission is twofold:
- To turn the traditional ‘colouring in department’ into a critical business function that contributes and directly impacts business strategy and growth.
- To eliminate any and all random acts of marketing and therefore use marketing budgets more effectively.
For further information please visit our construction marketing resources page including our latest ebook: