March 15th 2016

Creating a digital marketing strategy

by Martin O'Toole

So the awesome lot over at are running another annual survey of marketers, to ascertain how important digital marketing strategy is to them/you/us! We wrote about this some time ago.

The interesting thing is that the stats haven't changed all that significantly over the past couple of years and thus, according to their study of 2015, only 50% of marketers said they had a clearly defined digital strategy. This isn't to say they're not doing digital, just that there is no clear strategy. So what does this say..?


Clearly there are all-manner of marketing opportunities, channels and tactics available to us which don't always need a strategy in order to work. Plus, digital is clearly an easier opportunity to use tactics with quick and measurable results, so one might naturally argue "creating a digital marketing strategy isn't all that!" This is indeed one school of thought.

The other is that ALL marketing works better with a strategy - be it brand, PR, media, and digital. Otherwise, we're in danger of running around like dickheads, delivering the 'what', with no clear understanding of the 'why' (other than to sell more stuff) and the 'how', with no clear KPIs or view of what success really looks like.

I, for one, vote for strategy first. It's easy for agencies to sell (and client-side marketers to buy) 'shiny things', but without some real depth and/or planning, there can be no real longevity to this kind of shotgun and reactive activity. So it's better creating a digital marketing strategy than not, no..?

As for having a 'digital' strategy, here's the thing: for the majority of businesses, there is no marketing without digital. Thus, digital should be a carefully considered, structured part (on-site & off-site) of your overall marketing strategy. Turns out that 34% of last year's marketers are doing just that - integrating. About time too.

You can complete SI's digital marketing survey here.

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