How to help your digital marketing strategy to succeed

Earlier this year I wrote about how to start formulating a digital marketing strategy.

Getting the strategy right is of course paramount. But even when the strategy is right, if it’s not understood, supported, and turned into action then it’s barely more than an academic exercise.

Ella Fitzgerald was on the money when she sang “tain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it… that’s what gets results”.

Here are some actions to take when creating your digital marketing strategy that will also help to build the foundation for its success.

How can Pharma organize for agility in the digital age?

As pharma and healthcare companies embrace the need for digital transformation, how can they ensure that they are set up for success?

I was recently invited to speak at a Brand Innovation Summit in Princeton NJ. Senior representatives from a number of large Pharma and healthcare companies attended the session co-hosted by Hale Advisors and  eXL Pharma.  

Attendees were looking for answers to key questions such as: “what makes a company nimble and able to embrace digital transformation?” and “What types of organizational structures are best for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies looking to build digital marketing capabilities?” 

Anarchy is governance too

The primary intent of governance is to increase focus, reduce waste and capture learning. That doesn’t necessarily mean centralising everything.

Governance is sexy. All the stuff we used to manage – content, brands, projects, IT – now we govern it. And people who a few years ago had never heard the word, now talk about governance all the time.

However, drill into what they’re saying and it’s mostly about checks and controls. Governance, it seems, comes from a comprehensive list of policies and checklists, rigorously (and often centrally) enforced.

I think this is more likely to lead to bureaucracy than good governance.

Start Me Up! A profile of Addvocate, optimising employee social media

We know the benefits of enabling all employees to use social media. Sales, service and just seeming human becomes a lot easier. Giving employees this freedom is easy in some organisations, generally small ones with a well-trained staff.

There are, however, inherent risks. If an employee goes rogue and damages your brand, it can be difficult to react quickly and avert loss of sales or sentiment.

It can also be difficult to easily track the impact of your employees’ activity, and provide them with the best content to spread.

Addvocate is a platform designed to get rid of this tension, by offering guidance, daily messages and alerts, as well as analytics and optimisation.

We spoke to CEO and Founder Marcus Nelson…

Governance: nine steps to good decision making

Organisations that avoid discussing governance end up spending a lot of time on it. They define it afresh for each decision. They argue endlessly about decision rights.

They end up with little time to actually make the decisions.

So they make poor decisions.

Why should I care about governance?

My favourite definition of governance comes from the Institute on Governance: governance is “the process whereby societies or organisations make important decisions, determine whom they involve and how they render account”.

Organisations that don’t address governance end up spending a lot of time on it. They discuss it over and over again for each decision as they argue about due process and decision rights and accountabilities. They end up with little energy for the decision itself. So they make bad decisions.

Why you need to avoid governance vacuums

Say “governance” and blame never follows too far behind. Accountability, so far as I can tell, is a synonym for “who shall we sack?”

No wonder most people avoid discussing governance.

I’ve been facing it head-on recently. I’ve run several workshops on product development governance within a variety of organisations.  

In particular, we’ve been looking at some of the key decisions that people make during the course of product and systems development, and at how they allocate responsibility for those decisions.

Facebook ditches democracy: what it means for marketers

In 2009, perhaps motivated in part by its past privacy blunders, Facebook decided to do what few companies its size would ever consider: allow its users to have a say in how the social network was governed.

Over 600,000 Facebook users participated in the company’s inaugural vote, although it noted that this represented a “small” fraction of its user base, which numbered just 200m at the time. But the company was excited about its democratic direction, writing “We are hopeful that there will be greater participation in future votes.”

Start your content strategy with an audit

As a discipline, content strategy isn’t suited to rigidly standardised processes. Different businesses have radically different needs around content planning, creation and governance.

This means that a successful content strategy will always be customised, using the best tools for the job at hand.

This lack of a standard methodology can make beginning a content strategy a daunting proposition – whether you’re creating the strategy internally or hiring an external content strategist.

Fortunately, there’s one step that almost all strategists agree should come first: a content audit

Why online projects fail

Problems rarely kill projects. What kills them is failure to recognise and address problems.

A colleague said recently that online projects fail for three main reasons – poor governance, weak communication or problematic technology, and in roughly equal proportions.

I’m not sure I agree about the proportions, but the categories feel useful.

For a start, each has its own distinctive failure modes.

Seven common web governance mistakes and how to avoid them

Marketers and communicators are
creating more content than ever before and publishing to a greater diversity of
platforms and digital channels, and the errors are starting to pile up.

The business value of today’s digital
communications is being undermined by out-dated, erroneous, broken and
incompatible content. This is damaging the customer experience, causing sinking
rankings in web search, and putting revenues at risk. 

So how do you avoid these costly website
governance pitfalls? Companies need to address their approach to governance
in order to embrace today’s challenging multichannel environments while
dealing with quality issues effectively.

Below we take a look at the seven
most common web governance mistakes, and how you can successfully avoid

Central or devolved governance?

Say the word “governance” and what springs to mind? 

For a lot of people, the first thing is “bureaucracy”. Some central body to define a thick manual full of policies. Endless reviews and compliance checks. Long-winded approval processes. 

The next thing they think about is finding ways to bypass all the controls so they can actually get some work done.

It doesn’t have to be that way…