Just continuing from where I left in my previous post
And I want to begin this post by quoting the legendary Sun Tzu:
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Whether you are a digital marketing manager or a Digital Strategist working for an agency, this post is to remind you the importance of digital execution.
For now, lets just go back to the most fundamental questions.
Do we really need a digital strategy?
And if we really need one, when do we know that it’ll work?
One of my personal learning after pitching digital to clients globally is that any digital strategy is nothing but a powerless, pointless presentation till the time is executed.
Why Digital Strategies Fail?
According to a C-level survey conducted by EIU, close to 1/3rd of the C-level executives believe that “lack of project management skills lead to failure in the strategy implementation.
As a marketer or a digital agency, we don’t realise that a strategy is not really a thing till we have a person and a team who could bring it to life.
Merely a bold vision & mission statement for your digital marketing at the beginning of every financial year is not sufficient till we really have a roadmap to work towards.
Perspective to Digital Strategy Execution
Tactics vs Digital Strategy
I quoted Sun Tzu in the beginning for a very specific reason, he mentioned about the importance of tactics in strategy, and often many digital marketing teams mis-interpret campaign tactics as digital strategy.
Honestly, there is a very thin line of difference.
In many problems, execution strategy is the real strategy itself. For example, if an e-commerce client is using Google search & Facebook in their marketing plans, it can’t be called as a “Digital Strategy”, as there is no rocket science there. Whereas, how you choose to use audience targeting & Re-targeting in Search and Social is the real “digital strategy”. ( Also Read: Difference between Targeted & Re-Targeted Ads )
Digital Strategy and Measurability
Any strategy without a measurable goal is like a shuttle without an orbit in an endless space.
In fact, I am one of the firm believers that the strategic process should complete, only after you have identified the most relevant metrics. Metrics lends a purpose and a stress test for your brand’s marketing efforts.
Every piece in your digital strategy can focus on pushing your brand closer to the metric, otherwise you might end up doing a thousand things but still would not find out its relevance or impact to your brand.
Digital Strategy and Technology
According to hubspot research, close to 1/4th of the marketers say that ‘Identifying the right technology’ is a major hurdle.
Remember, nothing in this digital world can be executed without keeping your focus on its technology implications during the strategy process.
Your digital strategy is as good as nothing if you have not thought about every technical nuance related to your idea.
In fact, most of the digital strategies today are “technology first“.
Understanding of technology could well be the deciding differentiator between the usual and staying ahead of the curve.
Even the best of the digital strategy would fail if the person or the team (agency) is not competent to create its roadmap.
Pritchard’s speech (from P&G) was a wake up call to the entire digital agency fraternity, that things are not going in the right direction. While digital has grown at an exponential pace, but very few agencies have understood on how to integrate the solution for the brand.
When it comes to digital as a medium, below are some of the common challenges faced by all CMOs:
- How to take the brand philosophy in the digital media without compromising brand safety & relevance?
- How to measure the impact of digital advertising dollars on the brand?
- Why do we need so many agencies / vendors to land one single solution?
- Why there is such a huge talent gap between the strategy and execution teams in digital agencies?