Coming up with a digital marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task, but the fact is that traditional marketing strategies still apply. However, the internet has a huge impact on a company’s value proposition and competitiveness; therefore, these strategies need to be adapted to this contemporary medium (Stokes, 2011).
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when developing a digital marketing strategy is to focus only on where you can be most effective and have the most value to the customer. It can be very easy for your brand to get lost among the plethora of other choices available on the global marketplace that is the internet. You must define in clear terms who you’re targeting and what it is that you’re bringing to the table.
Once you’ve defined your brand’s value proposition, you need to decide how to create demand for your product or service online. That is, you need to develop a strategy. One of the more popular marketing strategies is The Four Ps (product, price, placement, and promotion). Let’s look at the Four Ps in more detail.
1. Products and Services
Obviously, to run a business, you need to offer some sort of product or service. Before the age of the internet, people actually had to visit a physical location to find your product, or look through the phone book to find your service. Now a preview of all your products and services, as well as those of your competitors, are accessible right at one’s fingertips (literally). Not only that, but there’s also much more opportunity for customization. This is where it would be a great idea to adapt your product offering strategy to make the most of the internet’s flexiblity and low overhead. Think about how you can enable customers to mix and match your products or services, without compromising your company’s value proposition.
Just as the the internet has transformed the visibility of the marketplace, it also has made pricing info readily available so customers can not only compare prices among competitors side-by-side, but they can even make their purchases on the spot. This is an important thing to take into account when developing your digital marketing strategy, because, depending on the perceived value of your product or service, your pricing will make or break how your business does online. Especially if you’re a small startup, you’ll need to differentiate on value (Stokes, 2011).
3. Placement or Distribution
When talking about product placement, the internet changes things dramatically. No longer do people need to visit a record store to buy music, or purchase tickets at a ticket booth. Even with tangible products, your entire inventory can now be synced online. This major technological shift can tempt some to try and reach too many people and offer too many choices. Again, remember to stay focused on your company’s value proposition. Do your best at what you do.
The final P in the traditional marketing mix is promotion. This one seems to fit the internet like a glove. Afterall, the internet is basically a giant billboard, right? Well, yes and no. The internet certainly gives your brand more visibility, but the biggest advancement it brings, which many people overlook, is the ability to track the effectiveness of your marketing. In addition to analytics and tracking, you can also include public relations in your digital marketing strategy.
A fifth P?
Some have suggested the addition of a new P when it comes to digital marketing: People. This stems from the fact that the internet is an interactive tool in which people are able to collaborate and participate in the representation of your brand. Think social media. When it comes to advertising we all know that nothing is more effective than personal endorsement. I would suggest that People is interchangeable with another word: Possibility. Why? Because when you can get people to tell your story for you, the possibilities are almost endless.
Stokes, R. (2011). Digital Marketing Strategy,
The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing (pp. 19–38).