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For a brand to grow online sales, expand market reach, and increase website traffic, a blended technical/creative/data-driven digital strategy is a powerful means to achieve critical goals. The roadmap requires performance-based initiatives, well-planned campaigns, iterative testing, and an agile methodology.

Important First Stage

  • Define primary success factors
  • Craft a precise and unique value proposition
  • Identify key performance indicators
  • Pinpoint target markets

Establishing the business objective gives you a ‘North Star’ before strategy deployment. For each initiative, be thoughtful and explicit in forming the measurable results that you want the team to reach.

Sidebar – be ambitious with your objectives! Now is not the time to be conventional or cautious. 

A Sample of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

  • Capture more of the market share [how to outperform the competition]
  • Increase organic traffic to the website and social channels [how to better attract the audience]
  • Enhance customer engagement [how to create resonating experiences]
  • Reduce bounce rate [how to demonstrate value and relevancy to compel interest]
  • Improve conversion rate [how to enhance the customer journey to trigger action]
  • Raise incremental sales [how to effectively position products to motivate a purchase]
  • Consistency with monthly revenue rate [how to decrease churn and maintain a steady flow of new visitors]

When creating strategies – aim for impact and efficiency.  Be willing to forego strategies that cannot offer these requisites. 

Digital Marketing Initiatives

  • Content marketing
  • Digital channels
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media
  • Influencer marketing
  • Affiliate programs
  • Video marketing
  • Rich media
  • Events and community engagement
  • Email marketing

The advertising landscape can be perplexing in its scope, channels, models, and tactics.

Along with value-based offers, compelling copy, resonating visuals, and relevancy for the audience, the most critical factors for creating ROI-driven campaigns include the following:

  • Crafting strategies based upon extensive competitive analysis, keyword research, and use of business intelligence (BI).
  • Machine learning for understanding trends and customer behaviors.
  • Sufficient budget to gain key insights on consumer interactions with your ads.
  • An iterative approach to each campaign to test ad effectiveness and to measure performance.

Set clearly formulated performance metrics for these outcomes:

  • Conversion
  • Engagement
  • Optimization
  • Monetization

Perform extensive research to identify your target audiences. Build personas based on the following:

  • Demographics and Psychographics
  • Purchase Intent
  • Product Preferences
  • Online Buying Behaviors and Frequency
  • Social Activity and Engagement
  • Distinctive Solutions that are Problem-Based, Needs-Based, and Desire-Based

Here is a brief overview of audiences by generation:

Gen Alpha [2012 – Present]

The newest generation, and they are the first generation to grow up with AI, Web 2.0, and smartphones. They are also the most diverse generation in history.

Gen Z [1997 – 2012]

This generation grew up during the social media boom, which has had a profound impact on their shopping habits. They are tech-savvy and have a global perspective.

Millennials [1981 – 1996]

They are known for their use of technology and their commitment to social justice. Millennials are a large and important demographic for ecommerce businesses. They are value-driven and social media savvy.

Gex X [1965 – 1980]

Gen X shoppers are known for being value-conscious and practical. They are also loyal to brands that they trust and that have a good reputation. Gen Xers are more likely to do extensive research before making a purchase.

Baby Boomers [1946 – 1964]

This generation was born after World War II. They are known for their optimism, candor, and their work ethic.

Generational Values

Gen Alpha and Gen Z value empowerment, self-expression, creativity, and optimism. Millennials value experiences, authenticity, social responsibility, and innovation.  Gen X values quality, convenience, personal growth, and sustainability. Baby Boomers value genuine connections, informed decisions, unfiltered information, and visual experiences.

Understanding the target audience shopping preferences and triggers is an on-going effort. Motivation is wide-ranging. Considerations include:

  • Convenience
  • Value-Driven
  • Price-Conscious
  • Impulse
  • Emotional Spark
  • Sentimental Persuasion
  • Mobile First
  • Social Influence
  • Personalized Experience
  • Visual Engagement

Strategy Roadmap Planning

  • Breadth and Depth
  • Who, What, Where, How and Why

Breadth and Depth

Is your goal to build brand equity, compel an action, or spark a sale? By starting with your objective, the marketing tactic can be intelligently refined.  

Aim for targeted campaigns, each with a well-defined strategy, in place of saturated messages and routine pitches.

Consistency is critical, including messaging, visual experience, voice, style, and timing.

Ask or answer a question that is valuable to your audience. It’s all about solving a problem, inspiring an emotion, or triggering interest.

Make your brand relevant and resonating. How? Test a wide variety of engagements with different innovative and distinct strategies to identify the strongest pulse.

Care about content in these three areas – consumption, creative, and sentiment.

  • Boost the amount of messaging that people absorb
  • Use creativity in your design, audio, visual, presentation, and experiences
  • Manifest a positive feeling and an authentic response

Motivation is better elicited from encouragement versus a claim, promotion, or command.

Content should persuade so that people own their viewpoint.  Efforts to convince will turn them off and tune them out.

Metrics should be focused on impact over engagement. For example, return visits over impressions.

Who, What, Where, How and Why

  • Who is engaging with the brand?
  • What content are they consuming?
  • Where is engagement and actions happening?
  • How immersed and consequential is their brand interaction?
  • Why do they convert, connect, take action, make a purchase etc.?

Lean into the ‘why’ by experimenting with presumed answers. Hypothesize, test, measure, learn, and repeat.

Final Notes

If you truly design an extraordinary brand experience, the audience will respond.

An effective long-term strategy requires organically building authority, value, and relevancy.

Use testing to validate that your content is being delivered to the right audience in the right format through the right channels at the right time.

Have a purpose behind each KPI and measure at both macro and micro levels.

Use engagement to amplify opportunities by leveraging your strengths and magnifying the unique features of your products, services, or business model.

1 thought on “Digital Marketing Strategy Roadmap (Part 1)

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