At my advertising agency, one of our primary jobs is to demystify the digital marketing process for clients, who most often come to us uncertain about the best way to approach growing their brand digitally.
In this piece, I will walk through the educational, planning and execution process we use to help brands achieve their digital goals so that even if you don’t have access to a digital marketing agency, you can still achieve the same level of success as brands that do.
Stage 1: Educate.
Helping a business owner or founder gain clarity on the factors essential to their long-term success is invariably the best way to begin. The good news is that these factors, after all, are self-intuitive and not very complex. (However, that is not to say that once the factors are identified that they are easily deliverable.) These factors include:
1. Understanding the core consumer for your product (i.e., your product-market fit).
2. Instilling confidence within this consumer segment that your product is a good choice or better than their current options.
3. Cementing and then leveraging this perception on your core consumer in the most direct manner to drive sales and cash flow.
While this process might appear to be common sense, in the vast majority of cases, brand founders often overlook one or more elements. For instance, countless brands choose to advertise their products directly to consumers shortly after launch without first taking the time to build objective or organic consumer confidence. Without consumer trust, they are pitching an obscure product to a cold audience that is already deluged with advertising material.
The result is that the barrier for entry to convert someone into a consumer remains high. Brands that want to shortcut directly to generating sales (without doing the hard work of building consumer confidence first) waste precious brand-building budgets on pay-per-click advertising campaigns that don’t convert positive returns on investment in the law of averages.
So though the fundamentals of digital marketing might not be rocket science, adhering strictly to them remains a daunting challenge for many brands.
Stage 2: Plan.
Now that you have realized the importance of sticking to the fundamentals, your next job is to clarify how the process of understanding market fit, building consumer trust within the best fit market and leveraging your product (only once that trust is established) is carried out.
Every element of this planning process has been outlined in my prior articles in this column. In general, the first step to making a plan is understanding how to use data resources to identify the consumers most predisposed to your product. Then, you need to establish widespread trust within this predisposed consumer segment. Finally, once a consensus of superiority is established, your brand can maximally and sustainably leverage its objective best-in-class status to monetize and scale at a predictable multiplier.
Stage 3: Execute.
Once you have a solid awareness of the steps you need to take in order to drive sustainable growth, set out to tackle them one by one and sequentially.
Remember not to mix apples with oranges. In other words, understand that the goal of Step 1 will be to use data to determine the consumer segment that’s the best fit for the product or service you sell. The objective then is not to collect or convert consumers right away, but to simply understand (and be able to back up with data) which consumer cohorts already respond favorably to your competitors. Then, you can extrapolate on what might give you an advantage over such competitors to present a superior value proposition to this predisposed audience.
Once you have a clear answer for Step 1, move into Step 2 and make sure, once again, you’ve delivered your objective before transitioning into Step 3.
If you don’t rush yourself and make sure that you have all of the mechanics of success in place from an execution standpoint, you can rely on the fundamentals behind scientific digital marketing to carry your brand to success.