A Digital Marketing Guide: Setting Strategy

3.0 Strategy

Using PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Model  (created in the 1990’s by writer and speaker PR Smith), stage 3 of your digital marketing planning framework is focusing on the strategy. Strategy means how do you plan to get there in terms of fulfilling  the objectives set. The strategy section should also identify which segments of the market you aim to target with your plan.

Continuing the theme of World Cup 2014 as set out in part 1, Situation Analysis – We have already identified Company X will be focusing on its key strengths:  product range, organisational structure and global operations (as detailed in the SWOT analysis) whilst remaining realistic to its lack of financial resources in comparison to the competition.

It is recommended Company X to develop a micro site geared for the World Cup 2014 which will provide a dedicated section used to service the customer base and to meet and service the objectives set for the strategy. The micro site will act as a key differentiator from the competition and a reason to visit and carry out a transaction. The strategy will be to outflank competitors in order to grab market share for world cup online traffic.

To summarise the Objectives set in the previous post, specific questions have also been raised below to be considered within the strategy:

1) Acquisition: –  Increase brand visibility from April 2014 through to July 11th 2015. To be measured through Google analytics. Increase the brand presence within identified online channels that target the football fan audience. What is the most cost effective route to market? Are we reaching our key customer segments? Where can the brand name get increased exposure? Research our competitors and understand what online marketing tools they are using as well as not utilising and take a first mover advantage.

2) Engagement – Achieve 50% of existing customers to service their online account by July 2015. Understand our existing customer database and how they interact with the website.

3) Engagement – Increase email frequency from one email per quarter to one email per week from May 1st 2014 through to July 2014. How is the company currently communicating with its existing customer database? Who of our competitors have implemented a communication with their customers? 

To help achieve the objectives above, it is worth using the marketing mix to focus on the key attributes to be considered by Company X in order to meet the objectives. The marketing mix also provides a checklist of key areas to focus on:

Product – Company X enjoys global accreditation with the leading sports manufacturers. It therefore needs to ensure sufficient stock levels have been secured for each team playing at the World Cup finals.

Price – Review pricing of World Cup products and to ensure it is consistent to online competitors.

Place – Operating as an online retailer, this provides the main hub for all stock movements utilising courier companies to increase efficiency in delivering stock to the customer in the quickest time possible.

Promotion – Can utilise many of its online marketing tools available to utilise its effectiveness in promoting the product range to create a unique selling point (USP):

-Email marketing – Through past purchase history, set up targeted emails to send to existing customers based on team they support. Drive team specific promotions within each email e.g. Buy One Get One Free products, unique discounts on product lines. Also push refer a friend emails with incentive e.g. Send this email to five of your friends and if they register you get a 15% discount off your next order.

-Online voucher codes – Set up voucher codes that offer a 10% discount which are time specific to provide reporting (e.g. does the voucher include an expiry date).

-Social Media- Utilise the company accounts to engage with other football news accounts and provide information on latest World Cup products and promotions.

People – Utilise the customer service team to engage with customers should it be needed to provide support for customers who would like to answer questions on delivery of their order, tracking their order. Introduce Live Chat to allow existing and new customers to engage with staff.

Process – The customer would be to be directed to the website through a referral or recommendation. Locate the product of interest and add to shopping basket. Register your details online and add your credit card details to complete purchase. The customer will then receive an automate email response to confirm their registration along with an email to confirm order. A separate email will be sent to notify the customer when the order has been despatched.

Partnerships – List important strategic relationships with other companies that operate in non-competing sectors that have become an important selling point to differentiate itself from other online competitors.

You have now created an overview for a strategy and have now set a  series of SMART objectives which tie into the situation analysis defined in the previous post. In the next section, Tactics, we will look into how the strategy will be achieved for the SOSTAC® digital marketing plan

In a series of blog posts, this is my personal interpretation, created as an overview of the 6 sections of the framework for you to follow and use for your own digital marketing plan. For further information on PR Smith SOSTAC® planning guide, I recommend you purchase the book here

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