The Art of Digital Marketing – Waging War Digital Marketing Strategy Execution
We have laid the foundation for the Art of Digital Marketing, and we have outlined proper methods of planning your Digital Marketing Strategy. Now, it is time to begin your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution and get dirty. Sun Tzu doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of war. We will also be upfront with what you need to do when competing in the Digital Marketing Landscape. This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition and execute the plans that you have laid out to help your company succeed.
- Prolonged Period of Return –
2. Low Digital Marketing Budget –
3. Digital Marketing Expertise –
4. Properly Prepared Digital Marketing Team –
5. Content Creation & Curation –
6. Properly Motivated Digital Marketing Team –
7. Converting the Competitions Customers –
8. Your Marketing Director Determines Your Success or Failure –
When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.
Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.
It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.
Bring your war material with you from home, but take your food and fodder from the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.
Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.
Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the people's fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.
Digital Marketing Strategy Execution
Now, you have prepared your company for this moment. All of your plans are laid out and your Digital Marketing Strategy has been communicated to your staff. This is the do or die moment when you begin to wage your war against the competition that is trying to take from your company. You have worked hard to establish yourself in your industry and will not easily turn over to others in the industry. With your Digital Marketing Strategy and Business Intelligence in hand, you begin to deploy your troops to the battlefield.
1. Prolonged Period of Return
The ultimate goal of your Digital Marketing efforts is to realize a return on your investments. You cannot afford to pour money into campaigns that do not yield returns in a reasonable amount of time.
When looking back at Sun Tzu’s words above it is obvious that he is speaking about the length of time to defeat your enemy and end the war. However, when it comes to Digital Marketing, this is a never-ending war which your company needs to continually monitor and refine to improve your Brand Visibility and return.
With this in mind, the goal of Digital Marketing is to properly set your objectives, monitor your progress and get a return on your investment because although you may not literally destroy your competition you can effectively take their customers and develop a relationship with their audience base to shift their Sales Funnel into your own.
When you begin your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution be sure that you have your goals in mind. Do not lose sight of the data that you need to sustain your Digital Marketing Strategy; otherwise, you need to quickly pivot so that you are meeting your objectives. By leveraging Data-Driven tactics you will be able to anticipate what you need to do to be successful in your endeavors.
2. Low Digital Marketing Budget
According to Caron Beesley on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Post, “How to Set a Marketing Budget that Fits your Business Goals and Provides a High Return on Investment“,
As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.
Sun Tzu was referring to the results of a prolonged war which would cause an army’s weapons to become dulled, thus they would be vulnerable to attack. Now, this applies to your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution because your budget effectively feeds the weaponry that you will use to wage war against your competition.
By not providing enough budget for your Marketing Department you are setting them up to fail because they will lack the resources to properly execute your Digital Marketing Strategy. Do your organization a favor by budgeting at least 7-8 percent in your Marketing Department as the Small Business Administration suggests so your team will be prepared to optimize your Brand Visibility and provide a quick ROI.
The last points made by Sun Tzu in this quote are that the army will be exposed to others and no man will be able to avoid the consequences of such a miscalculation if their weapons are dulled. This is appropriate because once you begin to market and gain traction you will be putting a target on your company for your competition. They will notice your company’s improved Digital Presence. If you are not properly prepared to maintain your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution, then they will easily swoop in and take what you have worked so hard to gain. You must properly equip your team before going into battle to avoid these situations when taking on lengthy campaigns and competing head-to-head with your competition.
3. Digital Marketing Expertise
You need someone that is an expert in Digital Marketing to execute your strategy; otherwise, you will not win your battles. Digital Marketing is a complicated undertaking and without a Subject Matter Expert, you are leaving your company vulnerable to detrimental losses.
In war, only those that have experienced the horrors fully understand how to properly execute strategies because they are able to anticipate what will happen on the battlefield, properly manage the expenditures, and properly lead soldiers. Sun Tzu full understood the implications of placing untrained, inexperienced generals in charge of forces. It is up to you as a business owner to ensure that your Digital Marketing leader is fully capable of leading your organization’s Digital Marketing Strategy Execution.
The Digital Landscape is a volatile environment that can easily waste valuable resources if not managed and monitored properly. A Digital Marketing Expert on your side is worth their weight in gold because they will be able to help you stay up to date with the latest trends, best platforms, and most effective way of spending your budget.
Data has become predominant in the Digital Marketing Industry yet many lack the ability to fully analyze their ROI due to lack of structure and integration with their Digital Marketing Channels. You need to know what you are getting in return for your spend so that you can properly assess the success and failures of your various Digital Marketing ventures.
4. Properly Prepared Digital Marketing Team
Not only do you need qualified Digital Marketing Professionals, but they must also be prepared with resources necessary to win. A Digital Marketing Expert should not request additional resources in the middle of a month which has already been planned. If this is the case, then they did not provide you with the full requirements of the strategy or you did not properly prepare them to execute. Either situation is unacceptable when trying to win in the Digital Landscape.
Our novelist, Sun Tzu, alludes to the dangers of requiring additional resources when out on a mission during war. He emphasizes that a skillful general needs no more than two loads of his supply wagons. This is because it is costly to resupply during battle and this only prolongs the war.
When you have laid your Digital Marketing Strategy out you it needs to include the required budget, content, and other resources. When it is time for your Digital Marketing Execution you do not want to stop your campaigns due to lack of resources. Consistency is vital when executing your strategy and major stoppage due to lack of resources are costly to your company.
Instead, your leader needs to ensure your Team is adequately supplied prior to the execution of any campaign. This includes staff, software, budget, content, and time to prepare. If all of these components are in the hands of your Team, then your process will be smooth and there will be little to no gaps in your Digital Marketing Campaigns.
5. Content Creation & Curation
As our Post “Creating Brand Visibility Through Content Marketing” indicates, Content Marketing is the catalyst through which your company accelerates your Brand Visibility.
In war, troops require weapons and supplies such as clothing, food, and water. In Digital Marketing your team needs Content and Data. The Content created uniquely by your company is your ammunition while curated Content is their clothing and food. The Data accumulated by your team is the water that helps nourish your team so they can remain agile in the face of your campaigns. These elements when properly combined provide the foundation for successful Digital Marketing Strategy Execution.
Creating Unique Quality Content shows the public that you are in fact, an expert in your industry. Once, you have developed and distributed enough Content you will begin to become a leader in your industry, as long as that Content sparks engagement from your audience. Your company must develop a systematic method for continually developing unique Content to remain relevant and grow your Brand Visibility in the Digital Landscape.
On the other hand, your team must continually consume and even at times distribute Curated Content. Let’s examine the definition of Content Curation so that you have a thorough understanding of what it is.
According to Eileen Mullan from EContent’s Post “What is Content Curation?“,
Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter.
This method of distributing Content enables you to leverage other companies’ relevant Content to your advantage. By leveraging proper Content Curation to your audience base, your team is also consuming resources from another company which in turn saves resources from your own.
While this is a good practice it can become negative if your organization only relies on others for your Content. You must develop and establish yourself as the expert in your field; otherwise, your audience will just follow the competitor from which you Curated the Content. A healthy balance between Curation and Creation is required to share quality Content and establish your Brand Visibility.
Let’s not forget the all-important Data which will provide your team with knowledge on what type of Content, when to distribute, and who to distribute it too. Without this data, your team will be distributing your Content to people that may not even be interested in your company. This is a waste of valuable resources. Hence, we encourage continual monitoring and data gathering to refine your targeted audience which will place your content in front of the right people at the right time giving you the best bang for your buck.
6. Properly Motivated Digital Marketing Team
Your Digital Marketing Team whether internal or external becomes the public face of your company. If they are not passionate about their job and your company’s mission, then they will not be efficient with your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution.
The Art of War says that the troops need to be set against the enemy and motivated to destroy them so they are passionate in battle. When you select and acclimate your Digital Marketing Team to your organization, they must be motivated to aide your goals. Also, it is an added bonus if they have a distaste for your opposition, but not necessary.
However, they need to realize that effective Digital Marketing Strategy Execution does require they dive into your competition’s strategy. At times it is even necessary to reverse engineer their content and tailor it to your audience. Keep in mind, that we are in no way endorsing plagiarism; instead, we are saying that you must understand their tactics and you may want to take their content and engineer it in a fashion that it is completely unrecognizable as theirs by developing your own touch to it and by making sure it is truly your own.
Having a motivated Digital Marketing Team can make or break your Brand Visibility. You need to be sure that you have a passionate team that not only loves your company but also loves the work they do. It is well known that Passionate individuals produce excellent work so having a motivated Digital Marketing Team will ensure that they produce excellent work for you.
7. Converting the Competition’s Customers
One of the best methods of beating your competition is to acquire their customers.
Sun Tzu discusses the importance of assimilating enemies you overtake into your own army. This is because you may need their troops, land, and resources to continue the conquest. Digital Marketing is no different. Many times in your sales cycle you will lose a customer to the competition only to find they return to you for one reason or another. You can accelerate this process through proper Digital Marketing Strategy Execution.
First, you can avoid losing your leads by properly managing your Sales Funnel. If you are following through and providing quality customer service, then you will find that less of your leads will be lost to your competitors.
Second, you can begin to tap into your competition’s Sales Funnel by analyzing their Digital Marketing Strategy and targeting their audience, thereby expanding your own reach and Brand Visibility. When sneaking into your competition’s Sales Funnel you must be sure that these types of tactics will help your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution and not hinder them by making your competition more aware of your tactics.
You will find that taking customers from another company is a risky endeavor; however, it can be quite rewarding if properly executed because not only have you gained a customer, but you have also converted a customer from your competitors which will drop their revenue while increasing your own.
In the long-term, you will begin to realize that you are beginning to dominate the market if you have begun effective Digital Marketing Strategy Execution and maintain it, then you will eventually begin to kick your competition out of the marketplace and expand your own business. Once this occurs, an unfortunate result is that people will lose their jobs. They may even come to you asking if you have openings. Taking the advice of Sun Tzu, it is best to treat these fallen soldiers kindly. If you have an opening, then give them the opportunity to prove they are worthy of your organization.
8. Your Marketing Director Determines Your Success or Failure.
Marketing is the face of your company to the public; therefore, if you have a weak Marketing Director you will look weak to the public. You need a strong leader to guide your company’s image to the public and bring business to you.
Generals in war determine the success or failure of a nation’s campaigns. They determine whether the nation will be safe or in danger from the enemy. In the same hand, the Marketing Director will ultimately determine whether your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution is a success or failure.
Your Brand Visibility will determine how much revenue you are able to generate. If you are not known or known in a bad light, then you will not have the revenue to support your organization. This is why your Marketing Director is of the utmost importance to your success. At their hand, your Digital Marketing Strategy Execution will succeed or fail.
Invest the time and resources necessary to select a leader that will take caution and guide your company through the war you are waging in the Digital Landscape. Without proper guidance, your company can quickly waste your time and money on poorly planned, executed, and monitored Digital Marketing Campaigns. Your goal is to win and grow without that growth your company will become a victim of your competition and be at the mercy of the market. Instead, with a strong leader, you can control the market, create the need for your product(s) or service(s), and lead your company to the top of your industry.
As you tread into your battles keep this information in mind. We have only begun our journey through “The Art of Digital Marketing“, yet Sun Tzu has endowed us with much to think about while undertaking our Digital Marketing Strategy. Keep following along to find out more about optimizing your strategies and dominating your competition. The war wages on, are you prepared?