Let’s think of digital marketing strategy as the engine of a sports car. There are many moving parts that must work together in order to power the vehicle. If one component becomes damaged, or is not functioning as well as the others, performance of the entire car will be degraded and the engine may even cease up altogether.
The same is true of digital marketing. It’s a complex, multifaceted system that is powered by the rapidly-moving gears of search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media and email marketing. Similar to a car’s engine, these gears must move in unison toward achieving a clear, defined goal or objective. If one gear becomes misaligned, or stops functioning properly, effectiveness of the entire digital marketing strategy is worsened and faces the danger of total destruction.
Regardless of your goals, consistency is the key of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy. If the website’s SEO doesn’t match the goals of paid search and social media, and/or the email marketing campaigns are sending contradicting messages, uniformity and clarity are very difficult to achieve. In turn, effectiveness of the entire digital marketing strategy is compromised and significantly diminished.
This obviously doesn’t mean that an organization cannot promote its various products or services at the same time, or that messaging across every channel must be exactly the same. There is certainly wiggle room when it comes to creatives and daily tactics of each digital media channel. Furthermore, each channel deserves its own strategy that outlines best practices, budgets, goals, daily tactics, etc. In totality, however, these individual strategies must support one another toward accomplishing a unified, ultimate goal of a business.
Going back to the sports car analogy, it’s very rare that one mechanic can fix everything and specialists are needed to service different parts of the entire vehicle. In digital marketing, although it’s easy for a skilled professional to understand the entirety of the field, maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of each digital practice is a full time job in itself; staying atop the constant changes, rapid flow of information and novel strategies is impossible for just one person.
The solution to managing the dynamic, expanding pillars of digital marketing is for individuals and agencies to specialize in a particular one. Unfortunately, this solution comes with certain issues as well.
When working together for the same client, competing agencies may often choose to protect their egos, along with their strategies, in lieu of doing what’s best for their clients. Likewise, large agencies and in-house departments can form silos, either refusing or forgetting to share information with counterparts in order to protect budgets, attain higher results, or for a number of other reasons. In such cases, the digital marketing strategy, along with its ultimate goal, become nothing more than a dark trail of exhaust fumes that are produced from an engine that’s burning oil – and we all know what happens next.
Organizations can prevent this by keeping a vigilant eye on their various agencies. They can request to schedule regular calls with all agencies at once, or they can have their account coordinators work together to submit a single report. Additionally, they should ask questions, bringing potential conflicts to the forefront, and find out how often the agencies communicate with one another.
Similar to how vehicle owners choose a dealership that can fix a car’s body, engine, transmission and all other components, the best solution for companies is to hire one agency that’s capable of maintaining all aspects of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Mid-size agencies, like Dealer Product Services, are great options to explore. These agencies have the bandwidth to handle all the work, yet they’re able to ensure that silos aren’t forming.
In other words, organizations such as automotive dealers should look for an agency where the various digital marketing specialists sit right next to each other, willingly sharing data and information, and work side-by-side to achieve a single, unified goal for their clients.