Even before the advent of the digital age toward the end of the 20th Century, many businesses saw their marketing strategy begin to change somewhat significantly from the earlier norms of the Industrial Revolution. Previously, businesses had prioritized their upstream resources. These are essentially the resources that a company controls itself, such as manufacturing, research and development, employee quantity and quality, and so on.
However, toward the end of the 20th Century, more and more businesses began seeing the necessity of their downstream resources. These resources do not lie within the businesses themselves but rather occur in the marketplace made up of potential customers, loyal consumers, product placement, word-of-mouth, etc. In short, downstream resources relate to a company’s broader marketing strategy.
While these downstream resources may seem riskier since they, unlike upstream resources, are not entirely within a company’s control, they do provide a much greater treasure trove of potential for long-term growth and success of a sustained brand. For businesses seeking to build a core customer base, expand their brand recognition, and beat out the competition in the marketplace, a sound digital marketing strategy is necessary.
And now we enter the digital age, where the internet and social media have significantly expanded the potential for downstream marketing strategies. The world of digital marketing is a bit more complex than the traditional marketplace was even a few decades ago. Brands seem to appear and disappear at the speed of light, while marketing miscalculations can go viral in all the wrong ways, casting a permanent negative light on a company that can be hard to remove.
But the upsides are also significant, and businesses looking to establish maintained downstream success cannot ignore digital marketing as part of their core strategy. In short, downstream digital marketing is both a necessity and a gift for companies in the present day.
What Is a Marketing Strategy?
With the turn from prioritizing upstream resources to prioritizing downstream resources, companies are less frequently asking what they can produce, and instead of asking how they can effectively reach their customers. Simply put, a company’s core blueprint for reaching, engaging, and holding its customer base is its marketing strategy. A company’s marketing strategy will convey to its customers the “why” of why they are customers in the first place and define what specific value they derive from being customers there.
In today’s world, no marketing strategy can be complete without a vigorous focus on digital media and digital marketing. Not only do the internet, social media, and other examples of digital media provide companies with so many more avenues to reach their customer base, but digital media is becoming the predominant means by which people engage with the world around them. Thus, companies will need to invest in an effective digital media strategy if they wish to reach any significant number of people in the first place.
An effective digital market strategy must be data-driven to reap positive results. Companies should acquire meaningful data on the online habits of their customer base, including a general picture of their social media presence. Different demographic groups will have generally varied digital media habits, and thus companies should revise their digital marketing strategy to align with the best downstream paths to reach their desired customer bases.
Another major characteristic of an effective digital marketing strategy for companies is that it includes clear marketing objectives for how the customer base should ideally respond in the downstream digital marketplace. Does a company want to sell its products in terms of simple affordability? Does it want to send a message that speaks to social justice and related causes? Does it want to appear to qualities like toughness, eco-consciousness, luxury and wealth, or something else? These questions will determine how a company employs its downstream marketing strategy in the digital space.
What Should Your Marketing Strategy Define?
Given the significance of a good digital marketing strategy in the contemporary downstream marketplace, companies must have a clear picture of what they need their digital marketing strategy to define. With so many variables that can affect how customers respond to a digital marketing campaign, companies at the upstream end must do their due diligence and control whatever factors they can. Different companies may need to specially tailor their digital marketing strategy for several specific reasons, but in general, there are four main areas that a good digital marketing strategy should define.
How You Hit Channel Leads and Sales Targets
The digital marketplace is vast and varied, so you should start with a digital marketing strategy that clearly defines the specific marketing leads and targets for building sales. Knowing who to target will help you then determine how to target them, what mediums to use, how to position yourself, and what further strategies to use.
What Budget You Will Need
In the digital landscape, you must prioritize spending in terms of quality rather than quantity. Spending too much won’t help you if your targets are off or your brand positioning is unclear. Different types of digital media strategies may also require different budgets. For example, paid media like YouTube ads or sponsored content will involve different financial costs than owned media, such as digital videos created by your own upstream resources, or earned media like working with social media influencers to spread positive word of mouth about your brand. You should know ahead of time which avenues you are going to pursue in the digital marketplace and what kind of budget you will need to do that.
How You Communicate the Benefits of Using Marketing to Enhance Your Brand
When constructing your digital media strategy, you should be able to define clearly where this particular strategy fits in with your broader marketing strategy. While a digital media strategy certainly has numerous benefits, the specific role it plays in your overall marketing strategy will vary depending upon how exactly you wish to enhance your brand or what other upstream or downstream resources you prioritize.
How You Prioritize Audiences and Products
Finally, before employing a specific digital media strategy, you should clearly define both your preferred target audience and the specific products that you will be marketing. Different kinds of products and types of audiences both have specific considerations that will affect what your digital marketing strategy looks like, and so a good digital marketing strategy should define both the product-end and the customer-end of the marketing process as clearly as possible.
How Do You Use Digital Marketing to Create Value for Customers?
The major takeaway from the digital marketing revolution is that your company’s primary focus in the downstream marketplace should be more on what you can do for your customers than the upscale qualities of your actual products. When thinking of what you can do for your customers via your digital marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to think about what your customers are getting out of your product. Having a brand identity means that your relationship with your customer base goes beyond the practical usage of your product. Customers who are loyal to a particular brand derive much deeper fulfillment and satisfaction from the mere idea of that brand, even before getting to use it.
Thus, an effective digital media strategy should prioritize using your brand identity to forge a positive value for your preferred customer base. For example, if your product is a luxury car and your preferred audience is upper-class buyers who enjoy the concept of luxury and class, your digital media strategy will forge a connection in their minds between your car and the idea of living a luxurious life. Ideally, your customers will enjoy this value before they even purchase one of your vehicles. This type of value creation is arguably the most significant aspect of digital media strategy.
Getting the Right Tools for Your Digital Marketing Strategy
All in all, an effective digital marketing strategy requires the right tools and resources to connect companies with their audience. Aktify is the premier resource for forging lasting connections between customers and their preferred brand. If your business could benefit from an expanded digital marketing strategy, check out Aktify’s excellent services today.