We were fortunate to have worked on a project that involved digital marketing strategy
driven business transformation over a long period of 4 years. This piece of work
was picked up as a case in Marketing, 9th edition by Philip Kotler et al*.
As part of this engagement, we helped the customer company to activate new revenue
streams, reduce their marketing cost of acquisition, and shift from a transaction
based interaction to a relationship based network. From a low margin, broad-based
financial services event production, they moved to being a go-to destination of
their niche market.
This case has convinced us, if there ever was a need, which a digital strategy,
which is carefully thought through to achieve tangible long term outcomes and is
woven into the firm’s core business strategy, can help business and marketing strategists
transform their organisations. When we achieve this type of outcome, we receive
an unbound trust capital from business owners and boards.
Here are a few lessons:
Never confuse strategy with tactics. Often, the business provides a mandate to introduce
a newsletter, an SEO campaign or a social media plan, when what they really need
is a holistic assessment of their business and marketing strategy and a makeover
based on digital strategy. Be honest to tell them what you believe in and if needed,
do unpaid work to convince and prove your point.
Always be educating. Digital awareness and expertise in many organisations is still
low and marketing managers and their agencies have the onerous task of keeping it
in front, educating about its potential in business and making its importance known
all the time.
Think transformation, not campaigns. Complement online with offline assets, find
new business models, and recommend ways to build sustainable competitive advantage.
I believe, marketing is not advertising, marketing is business. We must immerse
ourselves deep into the business and use our digital marketing and digital strategy
skills to transform it.
Build your digital team’s capacity and capability. Always keep training. In a rapidly
evolving digital marketing world, it is essential to keep the workforce trained
and skilled in online tools, build their awareness one technique at a time. Over
time, you’d find advocates of digital strategy who will second your plans and provide
a base of support to your ideas.
Marketing is our job but business is our livelihood. Always relate online initiatives,
metrics and results to core business objectives, whether it is market share, profitability,
revenue, quality or any other business aspect. We must practice business success
and not just marketing.
*Marketing 9th edition by Kotler et al Copyright © Pearson Australia (a division
of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) 2013 www.pearson.com.au.
About Hasnain Zaheer
Hasnain Zaheer, CPM, is a consultant and trainer at Simplogy (www.simplogy.com),
a Sydney based digital strategy consulting, training and solutions firm that has
achieved accolades for its tools and methods that are a step apart from the industry.
You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the case study referred