It’s fair to say that now, more than ever, digital marketing should be a top priority for brands. With Web3 on the horizon, the list of retail store bankruptcies ever increasing, and the remote-first shopping experience becoming more and more common, brands that can’t crack digital face a hard road ahead. 
Digital marketing is a broad and blurry landscape sometimes, though. The challenge of diluting everything down to a core digital marketing strategy is a tough one, for both experienced and new marketers alike. Here are the key categories I lke to look at when planning out my strategies:

What gets measured gets done. In order to scope out an effective digital marketing strategy, we must first know the framework (budgets and goals) that we’re working within. 
With an understanding of budget we can assess goal projections, and with an understanding of goal projections we can start defining specific tasks – and the key performance indicators our metrics need to meet – to achieve those goals.

While your product or business might serve a wide range of people and audiences, you must get specific when thinking about your target audience(s). Targeting a particular audience doesn’t mean excluding folks who don’t fit this precise criteria. Instead, it allows you to focus your marketing dollars on the prospective customers most likely to buy from you. 
Spend some time writing out and describing your ideal customer, using that as a foundation for your target audience research. Specifically, consider:

  • Demographics, such as age, gender, income level, family/relationship status and geography
  • Personality, such as their character traits, hobbies, and political stances
  • Aspirations, such as career goals or personal dreams
  • Challenges, such as day-to-day problems and big, broad fears

You’ll also need to identify your key messaging angles (how you will communicate with your audiences). In marketing, we often refer to these as Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). These are the reasons that your product is different from—and better than—your competition.
Identify three or four things your product offers that no other product can match, and test these across the audiences you identified earlier.

Acquisition channels are the avenues you’ll use to acquire your customers. Examples of these might be Google Ads, Public Relations, TikTok, or SEO. 
In this digital age, the channels available are limitless, so the first step will be considering what’s working for you already. If you already have a great Google Ads or Instagram strategy, scope out what doubling down on that would look like. 
Alternatively, if you’re starting from scratch, I would recommend focusing on acquisition channels that (a) you feel comfortable using, and (b) are quickly measurable. Don’t fall into the mistake of shiny object syndrome – following a strategy just because others are doing it – if you won’t feel confident or capable working on such a strategy yourself. 
Keep in mind that strategies will change and develop over time. Your marketing strategy might be very different from that of other businesses, and that’s ok. The purpose of a strategy like this is to have a roadmap that you and your team can follow and drive your success, so don’t be afraid to review and revisit it, updating and advancing areas as you get new insight and information.

Bio: Will Russell is the CEO of Russell Marketing: a digital agency specializing in e-commerce launch marketing, and Executive Director of the Russell Gives Foundation: a family foundation that offers grants and mentorship to early-stage 501(c)(3) organizations. He is also the author of ‘Launch in 5: Take Your Idea from Lightbulb Moment to Profitable Business in Record Time’.