Saturday, February 8, 2014

Four Foundations of the Digital Marketing Mix


Meeting the Challenge of Digital Marketing

Last year I reported a recent study that said only eight percent of brands thought their marketing team was strong across all digital channels. If the vast majority of companies don't think company marketing department is up to the challenge of digital marketing, I wanted to try to help simplify what can be seen as a complicated process. We traditionally think of the marketing mix as product, price, promotion and place.   I think it is useful to consider the Four Foundations of Digital Marketing Mix.  These Four Foundations are:  Web site design/usability, Email, Search and Social Marketing.  These Four Foundations are areas where the company wants to focus in developing a digital competency.  These important digital communications channels  are listed in the figure below.

email,search, social, web design
Four Foundations of the Digital Marketing Mix

The Four Foundations Work Together

The reason that these channels are the foundations of digital marketing is that they work together to produce results.  Of course, before beginning any digital marketing campaign, managers should carefully consider the overall strategy of the organization and the brand positioning strategy, i.e., the target market, the products offered, the product category and the point of differentiation.  Without a strong strategic background, all marketing efforts lack focus and are less effective.

Assuming the strategy is in place, the subsequent marketing campaigns that are run on digital platforms should work together.  For example, the web site should be optimized for organic search in terms of the title tag and appropriate keywords and point the user to sites for social interaction.  In turn, search and social media should work together also.  One way to do this is to monitor social media channels to understand how to optimize paid and organic search.  Email campaigns should also be integrated with social media.  Use email to send out social media updates.  Once people are interacting with your firm on social media, collect email addresses for social communication.  Include social media connection information on emails.

Effective Marketers Use All Four Channels

The most effective marketers look at all four channels of the Digital Marketing Mix and see how they can work together in an integrated fashion to produce results.  I have used Dreamfields Pasta in our textbook Roberts and Zahay and my class sessions here at +Aurora University as a good example of this type of integrated digital campaign across channels.  The company has a high price point, a unique point of dffierence and a strong grasp of digital channel communication.  Here is a video describing how this one company clearly understands its unique differentiating point and leverages it across the foundation channels of the Digital Marketing Mix.  By understanding its customers and which channels they use, the company created a highly effective cross-channel campaign.

By Debra Zahay-Blatz.
You can find Debra on  and Twitter as well as LinkedIn.
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