Most businesses rely on some form of digital marketing to attract new customers and retain existing ones, but developing and implementing effective marketing on an ongoing basis takes up a lot of time and resources, and so that’s where a digital marketing manager comes in.
A digital marketing manager is an individual who is responsible for creating and executing digital marketing strategies to promote your business’s products or services. Whether you have a marketing manager in house or choose to outsource, their strategy should be to grow your brand recognition amongst your audience and generate a sustainable profit for your business.
But what areas should your marketing manager be paying attention to, and improvements can you expect to see in your business as a result?
The first thing your digital marketing manager should consider is what your business objectives are. These function as demarcations of your business’s progress and help you to understand what actions are required to move forward.
Your objectives can propel productivity, efficiency and, therefore, success in your business if done right, and so it’s important to develop them in the right way.
When identifying your business’s objectives, it’s a good place to start by creating a table, which includes a column for where you’d like your to accomplish in the next 3 years, 12 months and 90 days. By working backwards, it becomes much easier to identify exactly what needs to be done and in which time-frames to reach your 3-year goal.
However, to work effectively, your digital marketing manager should also ensure all objectives are developed as ‘SMART’.
SMART objectives are:
What outcome do you want? What’s the strategy to achieve it? Who will be responsible for each action?
How will you track the progress and measure the outcome? How will you know when an action or objective has been achieved?
Is the objective realistic? It’s important that your objectives are not out of reach.
Are the objectives relevant to your business’s overall purpose and goal?
When will actions and objectives be completed? This will help keep everyone on-task and focused on achieving the objectives.
Following this process will keep your business goals realistic and achievable, with the opportunity to shoot higher due to the close attention to detail that SMART objectives provide.
Identify your target market using segmentation
It’s impossible to get your digital marketing working if you don’t already understand your market, and so your digital marketing manager will usually take the time to research, identify and review your market segment.
To define your market segment, you’ll need to think who your audience and customers are, and then detail some of their commonalities, including some of the following factors:
(Including country of residence, city, language, population and density)
(Including age, gender, income, occupation, family and social status)
(Including lifestyle, interests, opinions, hobbies, personality and values)
(Including benefits sought from your service/product, usage, intent, occasion and buyer stage)
Once these points have been researched and listed, you’ll have a good representation of your market, which you can then use to start thinking about your marketing and product/service positioning.
The kind of language and approach you use in your marketing should be moulded by the answers to these four segmentation categories, and doing so will allow you to really hone in on your target audience.
But the people within your market, while sharing aspects like geography and age, aren’t all the same, and there may be a few differences that could dilute your market segmentation, making it more challenging to know and resonate with your customers. To overcome this and gain a better understanding of your customers in the process, your marketing manager can create buyer personas.
Buyer personas- who are you speaking to?
Once your digital marketing manager has segmented your market, you should be left with a pretty good idea of who your audience is and their characteristics- but while segmentation helps you to recognise some of the general commonalities that make up your audience, buyer personas ‘lifts’ your segment into life.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your customer. They provide you with the focus you’ll need to prioritise qualified leads, and they also help you to understand exactly what drives your customer as well as how your marketing can address their needs.
You might also have different categories of customers in your segment, and so if your market segment is particularly diverse, it can be helpful to create around 3 personas to represent the differing needs and drives of your customers- this will also make it easier for you to personalise your marketing.
To create your buyer persona, your digital marketing manager will need to conduct some research into your audience and how they engage with you so that you can paint an accurate picture of who you’re marketing to.
They can do this through a few ways, including:
- Analysing your audience for trends in how they’re most likely to consume your content,
- Setting up contact forms to capture relevant information e.g. company headcount
- Getting to know your customers through networking and conversational marketing on LinkedIn
Once enough research has been conducted, you should be able to see a few commonalities beginning to surface. The next step is to take this data and information to begin building your buyer persona including who they are, what motivates them, and why they are interested in your product/service offering.
Not only will your buyer personas help you understand who you’re talking to, it has the knock-on effect of optimising your spend so that you only invest in the processes that will make an impact on your market. As a result of conducting the necessary research, you’ll be alerted to the trends in your market, potential objections to your product/ services and opportunities to innovate to better serve your audience needs.
Value proposition canvas
After segmenting your market and identifying your buyer persona(s), you’ll have an in-depth understanding of who your audience is. If you’re going to market your product/service to them successfully, your digital marketing manager will need to ensure it’s positioned around your audience and their needs, which is where your value proposition canvas comes in.
You can complete a value proposition canvas by drawing up a direct comparison between your market segment and your business’s value proposition, which will provide a breakdown of the value your product/service can provide your market segment.
Your value proposition canvas should identify the gains your customers are looking for, as well as their pains- these outcomes of this should be reflected in their jobs or goals. It should also identify the pains your product/service solves and the gains you create for your customers- the answers to these should reflect your product/service.
The factors you detail for your business and market segment should align with each other. If the gains and pain points of your audience can’t be solved with your product, you will need to consider repositioning or taking another look at your market segmentation and buyer personas.
Having the correct product/service positioning is essential to reaching the right audience, but if there’s nothing setting you apart from the competition, it will be much more challenging to reach and convince new audiences to invest.
If you’ve completed your value proposition, some of your ‘gain creators’ should indicate what you’re doing differently.
But to really get to the core of what makes you unique, conduct a SWOT analysis on your business as well as some of your closest competitors. This will highlight your USPs, which you can then work to communicate to your audience through your marketing activities.
You can find out more about how to conduct these in our SWOT analysis article.
Every business follows a marketing funnel, whether they know it or not. Each stage is as follows:
While all businesses follow each of these stages, the exact journey your customers will take will be unique, and there are a few marketing activities you’ll need to execute in order to reach your audience and move them forward through the funnel:
Blogs, Video, Website, Social Media
Social conversion on LI, Email acquisition, Signup to continuing professional development (CPD) webinars
WebChat, Interactive CPD Webinar
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If you’re able to execute each of these stages effectively, you’ll be well on your way to growing your business and sales in a sustainable way. If you want to find out more about the digital marketing funnel and how it impacts your business, check out our free course here.
Making it happen
Once your digital marketing manager has laid all the groundwork, they can start to make your digital marketing come to life.
Marketing is a big task, and usually requires the collaboration of a whole team to execute a whole strategy and provide the attention to detail needed for each aspect of the plan. Because of this, marketing managers also have the additional responsibility of their team working like a well-oiled machine.
Do you ever wish you had more hours in the day to get done what’s on your to-do list? Perhaps you’ll find that you can actually get more done in less time if you follow the right project management approach. We would recommend SCRUM, Agile Methodology. You can learn more about it here.
Marketing usually involves lots of little actions to make up the whole process, and the responsibilities for these actions could be spread across different team members with different specialisms. If actions aren’t sufficiently recorded and tracked, things can easily be forgotten, team members have poor visibility over process and other team members actions, and accountability suffers.
Scrum boards offer a solution to this. They are a project management tool used to optimise the efficiency, transparency and collaboration within teams. However, there will also always need to be someone (usually the digital marketing manager) delegated to drive the project management system to ensure all jobs are done and on-time. If there’s no single individual accountable for making sure the whole team takes action on their jobs, things get missed and project processes can become chaotic.
To create your scrum board, your digital marketing manager and team will have to create a backlog of all the individual marketing activities that need to be carried out with the individual responsible for the task assigned to it.
We use and recommend Monday.com as a cost-effective and user-friendly option to create our own scrum boards.
For example, if you’re starting an email marketing campaign, you’ll need to break down who’s going to create the email list, who’s going to clean it, who’s going to create the template, write the copy, approve the test email, report on the results, and so on. All these tasks would need to be added into the backlog.
Once you have a backlog, you can begin to prioritise tasks by assigning them into ‘sprints’. A sprint is simply a list of tasks that need to be completed that week. This means you can stagger, organise and adjust when needed, your progress towards your SMART objectives, making them more achievable.
Because the whole team can see each component each sprint, there’s more collaboration, transparency and efficiency in getting things done.
Scrum boards can be extremely effective, but your digital marketing manager should ideally hold a weekly Monday meeting to review what items are included in the sprint ahead of the week. This ensures everyone understands what the end-of-week objectives are and allows any barriers or ideas to be raised.
Many businesses now also support WFH, and so this Monday meeting is also useful for touching base with team members, helping to keep them engaged with the marketing strategy, the team, and the business.
To find out more about communicating effectively with your team while working from home, you can read our article here.
While Monday meetings review the sprint for the week, Friday meetings can be implemented to review the outcome of the sprint, including what went well and what needs to be developed. As your digital marketing manager and team-first introduces the sprints, it could be that too much or too little has been assigned.
Monthly digital marketing report and review
Your digital marketing manager should also be responsible for carrying out a monthly digital marketing report and review. This provides the opportunity to measure progress towards your defined business objectives and to refine the sprint process from week to week until the whole team is used to following the sprint and achieving realistic (but aspirational) weekly objectives.
Why ‘measure, review and action’ are important
By continually measuring, and then reviewing and taking action on your progress, your digital marketing manager will be able to build a clear picture of where your business is in relation to achieving its goals, and when combined with the scrum board, makes it clear what more needs to happen (and when) in order to stay on track and actually achieve those objectives.
A good place to start is reviewing the strategy that makes up your digital marketing roadmap, a step by step path to building an impactful marketing strategy.
There are different components that make up your digital marketing roadmap that will need to be measured and reviewed alongside your scrum approach:
This map is a great way to break down what actions are required along each step of the way to get more of your audience to convert into customers.
If you want your marketing to make your business flourish, there can be no hap-hazard method to get it to work. A water-tight strategy will usually be headed by a digital marketing manager with an entire team behind them, and so if you don’t have the in-house resources, it could be time to look at outsourcing the work so that you can spend more time focusing on the things that really matter to you.
No matter where your digital marketing stands at the moment, you can always benefit from revisiting and reviewing it to see if anything needs to be changed, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation.
As a result, we’re offering a complimentary 30-minute digital marketing review, where we’ll take a deep-dive into your marketing to identify which parts of your strategy are working well and where there’s room for improvement. You can book your free review here.