Overview of Digital Strategy
In this chapter, we define key terms linked with digital strategy marketing, including inbound and outbound marketing, paid, owned, and earned media operations, among others. The focus is then shifted to the framework that will be covered for the remainder of the semester: the RACE framework. Before discussing how to integrate persona, journey, and strategy, we provide a brief overview of the four phases of the framework. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the RACE framework might facilitate competitive analysis.
Internal and External Marketing
Inbound and outbound marketing are two excellent methods for connecting with consumers. Inbound marketing seeks to lure people “in,” generally through content marketing, social media, and website optimization. Digital Strategy. In this initial digital strategy, consumers locate you because you represent them.
Typically, when we think of advertising, we envision outbound marketing: the promotion of products or services through advertising and promotions. In this case, a message ‘goes out’ from your company and stops consumers in their tracks digital strategy (e.g., a consumer is ‘stopped’ by an ad while scrolling through Instagram or reading their Facebook feed; they are’stopped’ by an ad at the beginning of a YouTube video; they are ‘stopped’ by an ad which cuts a newspaper article or blog post in half). Digital Strategy.
• Permission marketing, when advertising is welcomed since permission to be advertised to has been granted beforehand, and advertising is anticipated; and (e.g., email marketing)
• Two-way communication, meaning that consumers and the brand can connect with one another (e.g., consumers can comment on social media posts and on blog articles)
• It is desired, which means that consumers locate you.
• It has been one of the fastest-growing web marketing tactics over the past decade.
• Companies do not need to invest in commercials, thus it is less expensive (although there are costs associated with content creation)
• Concentrated on customer acquisition
• Interruption marketing, in which marketing efforts such as ads interrupt a consumer’s activity;
• One-way communication, as consumers cannot communicate with ads;
• Imposed, as consumers do not consent to be advertised to;
• Decreasing, although this is debatable;
• Expensive, as fees are associated with placing ads online; and aimed at awareness creation, as has been the case with traditional advertising.
Inbound marketing examples include blog articles, infographics, ebooks, white papers, social media posts, and tutorials. Digital Strategy.
Outbound marketing includes all forms of advertising, which will be discussed in further detail in the following chapter.
Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
We distinguish three sorts of web media: paid, owned, and earned.
Paid media are media operations for which you must pay. Typically, these media efforts are conducted on a third party channel (i.e., not your own website) and are paid for by your company. Digital Strategy. Your firm controls the material, but a third party determines where it is displayed. Examples include search advertisements, display advertisements, paid influencers, paid content promotion, social media advertisements, and product placements.
Owned media activities are media operations that are hosted on channels or platforms that you own. They include your websites and social media networks.
Earned media actions are media impressions you receive as a result of your content being shared. Digital Strategy. In this case, customers (and occasionally professionals) serve as the channel. Examples of earned media activities include shared posts on social media, reviews, and other consumer-generated material such as content posted on wikis, ratings, social recommendations, and forum conversations. Journalists’ coverage of your company is likewise an example of earned media.
Despite the fact that they are essentially distinct forms of media activities, you should ideally build campaigns that integrate them. Digital Strategy. For instance, you can generate material on your website and social media channels that you will also promote with banner ads on social media websites and other websites in the hopes that it would be widely shared by others. This is the typical marketing strategy driving viral campaigns.
Consider the highly effective Doritos advertisement during the 2020 Super Bowl. This advertisement was made by Doritos and hosted on their website and social media outlets (e.g., YouTube). Digital Strategy. During the Super Bowl, the advertisement was promoted through paid media to the tune of several million dollars. It was also linked to a Tik Tok hashtag campaign, #coolranchdance, which generated earned media impressions. It is at this junction of sponsored, owned, and earned media activities that great internet marketing strategies are created!
Objectives, goals, and key performance indicators
The following notions are objectives, goals, and KPIs:
Objectives indicate the desired outcomes for a business.
Objectives should ideally be SMART:
• Specific \s• Measurable \s• Attainable \s• Realistic \s• Time-bounded
Goals are the actions you want users to perform. We use the terminology of goal to describe user behaviours because this is how goals are commonly positioned in web analytics (e.g., Google Analytics). Digital Strategy. The distinction between objectives (what you want to accomplish) and goals (what you want your users to accomplish) clarifies the situation.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, are measures used to analyse your company’s success in relation to a specific target or activity. Digital Strategy. KPIs often include targets, or particular values that your organisation aims to reach within a specified time frame.
As depicted in the diagram below, these concepts work together to facilitate campaign planning. Objectives can be used to identify user goals, which can then be monitored using key performance indicators (KPIs).
For instance, your company’s purpose could be to boost product awareness. Digital Strategy. In order to attain this purpose, you may establish goals for your consumers, such as subscribing to email updates and utilising certain important features that you believe would increase product awareness. Digital Strategy. Then, you may establish KPIs to monitor your progress in achieving these user goals, such as ‘number of contact forms submitted’ or ‘usage of the virtual mirror’s major feature’
Stratégie et tactique
Strategic and tactical are the final phrases we need to learn to fully comprehend the RACE framework. Digital Strategy. A strategy is the intended course of action to attain a particular aim. This is consistent with Jain’s (1993) definition of strategy as “the pattern of primary aims, purposes, and goals, and fundamental policies and strategies for accomplishing those goals, presented in such a way as to characterise the company’s current or intended business.”
In this course, we will emphasise how, in order to implement a strategy and achieve specified goals, a corporation employs tactics—i.e., tools utilised to achieve goals. Digital Strategy. We will explore tools such as banner advertising campaigns, search advertising campaigns, and social media content marketing.
Let’s use the language that was just introduced in a sentence.
Within the following six months, we will aim to increase eCommerce sales by ten percent.
• Search advertising / pay-per-click (PPC) campaign utilising certain keywords, with a budget and time frame…
• Social media campaign utilising the brand’s Facebook page and marketing materials
KPIs per tactic:
• Search advertising – CTR and Bounce Rate
• Social media campaign – clickthrough rate, ratio of shares to amplification
Targets per tactic:
• Search advertising – XX% CTR and XX% bounce rate
• Social media campaign – XX% CTR and XX% share ratio
We are now able to focus on the RACE framework.
The RACE framework proposed by Chaffey is a conversion-based framework. Digital Strategy. Conversion marketing is a tactic that expressly tries to increase client base. Digital Strategy. The framework we examine is part of a larger set of strategic methods, such as Hubspot’s original ‘attract-convert-close-delight’, which evolved into their ‘flywheel business model,’ or the ‘pirate metrics’ AARRR model, the grandfather of conversion marketing approaches (acquisition-activation-retention-referral-revenue).
These various frameworks present stages with varied names, but the core concept of this strategic approach remains unchanged. To convert, you must guide them through four stages:
• Visitors (people come to your website)
• Repeat customer
Visitors: You develop campaigns to attract visitors to your website.
Leads: Once they are on your website, you want to (1) determine if they are interested in you, (2) determine if you are interested in them, i.e., whether they can be a customer (since not all visitors can buy your product or service), and (3) find a way to continue the conversation with them (usually, collecting their email address or making sure they follow you on social media).
Customers: After identifying a shared interest, you move to accompany people on their path in order to convert them from leads to customers.
Repeated clients: You capitalise on their (hopefully) excellent experience with your brand after their purchase so that they can co-create on your behalf (e.g., write reviews) and continue their journey as a client.
The RACE framework consists of four stages that facilitate the planning and coordination of diverse marketing operations to meet these goals:
R stands for REACH:
During the Reach phase, your organisation has two objectives:
• Raise brand, product, and service awareness through offline and online media efforts; and • Drive traffic through inbound and outbound marketing activities and paid, earned, and owned media touchpoints.
At this stage, you will focus primarily on resolving people’s issues.
A represents interACT:
During the Act phase, your organisation has two goals:
• Generate favourable engagement on your owned media
• Generate leads, i.e., find possible consumers and confirm that they can be your customer (later in the semester, we will refer to this as “qualifying” leads).
At this level, we will emphasise the importance of addressing consumers’ problems and assisting them in evaluating their options.
C represents CONVERT:
During the Convert phase, your business has one goal:
• Converting prospects to sales
At this point, we will underline the importance of discussing why your brand, product, or service is the greatest option for consumers. We will also discuss how to increase conversions by optimising our owned media order, often known as conversion rate optimization.
E stands for ENGAGE:
During the Engage phase, your business has two goals:
• Increase consumer advocacy and repeat visits and sales
At this stage, the objective is to establish long-term engagement by continuously adding value to consumers’ lives. In addition, we want to find engaged customers in order to nurture their engagement and engage them in co-creation activities so they can support our marketing efforts and participate in our campaigns.