Although chapters 7-10 of Digital Marketing Guidebook provide an in-depth treatment of each of the four components of the IDM Strategic Model, dedicating an entire chapter to each component, at this stage of the book it seems helpful to provide a little more information about the Model to aid comprehension.
Following is a brief summary of each of the four components of the IDM Strategic Model.
Define and Establish
The first component of the IDM Strategic Model is to Define your organization’s values, goals, and message, and use them to Establish a seamless online presence across all relevant digital channels.
Clarify Values – Organizational values are those things or beliefs your organization finds important and meaningful. You must clarify your brand’s core values in order to create an authentic and transparent brand message.
Define Goals – Organizational goals are the standard by which you measure organizational performance. It is therefore important to define specific business goals that clearly lay out the future direction of the organization.
Shape Brand Message – Begin shaping your brand message by clarifying who you are trying to build relationships with (e.g. your target audience). Once you determine your audience, you should create detailed buyer personas for all relevant market segments or buyer groups.
Understand Brand Properties – Think of brand properties as having three components: brand essence, brand voice, and brand promises. Brand essence is an articulation of your brand’s unique Identity: brand voice is your brand’s consistent identity or the outward projection of its essence; brand promises are the things your brand guarantees to its consumers.
Establish an Online Presence – Once you’ve defined your organization’s values, goals, and message, you need to establish its online presence over web, social, and mobile. As the hub of your organization’s online presence, your brand website is a powerful tool to effectively communicate your brand message, attract prospects, generate leads and sales, and build long-term advocacy. You’ll want to optimize it for mobile devices with responsive web design (RWD) or mobile apps. Finally, you want to identify the most relevant social channels for your organization (which will likely include the “Big Seven” social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube), and set up profiles on them.
Convey and Promote
The second component of the IDM Strategic Model is to employ various digital content media to effectively Convey your organization’s brand message, and leverage organic and paid search, social, and mobile initiatives to Promote this message throughout your organization’s website, social, and mobile channels.
Content Marketing – In the context of digital marketing, content can be virtually any form of written, auditory, or visual media (e.g. blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, social posts, webcasts, webinars, podcasts, videos, emails, etc.). Your brand should focus on producing useful content that solves the problems of and adds value to your target audience, prospects, and customers.
Social Media Marketing – Social platforms allow your business to build deeper relationships with prospects, customers, and brand advocates by directly engaging and sharing (your brand’s content) with them. Social channels flow two ways; it’s important to listen and engage with others more often than you post.
Paid Social Promotion – Paid social ads allow your brand to micro target specific elements of your audience to trigger specific actions, such as visit a website, download an ebook, subscribe to a newsletter, or purchase a product/service. Marketers view paid social promotion as an integrated, cross-platform tactic to be used in conjunction with other digital media.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The primary goal of SEO has shifted from ranking high on search engines like Google to creating fresh and original content that addresses the problems, wants, and needs of your target audience. Only after your brand has created such content should you focus on optimizing it for search engines.
Paid Search – In contrast to SEO, which relies on unpaid “organic” means to achieve its ends, paid search allows you to pay a fee to have your web or social assets displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone queries a specific keyword or phrase into the search engine. Businesses use paid search to drive traffic to their web or social sites, promote a product or service, or build awareness for their brand.
Connect and Convert
The third component of the IDM Strategic Model is to engage and Connect with your target audience anywhere, anytime, over any device; the goal is to form personal connections that will Convert short-term leads into sales and foster long-term relationships.
SoLoMo – The term “SoLoMo” is an elision of three marketing elements:
- Social – The platform you use to Convey and Promote your message and Connect with your target audience.
- Local – Your area of concentration or relevant proximity; can be geographic or online.
- Mobile – The medium of connection between your brand and its prospects and consumers.
Today’s sophisticated mobile users expect brands to provide contextually relevant online resources and personalized experiences that not only add value to their daily lives but can be conveniently accessed anywhere, anytime, on any device. Your brand can employ SoLoMo best practices to create the very omnichannel experiences that increase connection and conversion.
Lead Nurturing – This tactic is all about communicating consistent and meaningful touches with viable prospects regardless of their timing to buy. Lead nurturing campaigns help your brand leverage content to more deeply connect with your target audience in order to convert prospects into customers and brand advocates.
Lead Conversion – As consumers continue to demand more assistance and personalized marketing from brands, closely managing individual customer relationships has become a strategic imperative. Your brand can use tools like social customer relationship management (SCRM) software to listen to, monitor, and participate in conversations with prospects and customers and manage ongoing customer loyalty and advocacy.
Measure and Refine
The fourth and final component of the IDM Strategic Model is to evaluate and Measure actual outcomes against expected performance, and then use these insights to further Refine future IDM initiatives.
Website Performance Management – As the foundation of your online presence, your brand website serves as a cornerstone of your IDM strategy. Given this, it is important to consistently measure your website’s performance using popular benchmarks such as unique visitor traffic, repeat visitors, bounce rate, inbound links, organic search conversion rates, and landing page conversions. Returning to these benchmarks frequently will ensure your website is always optimized to meet their current expectations.
Social Performance Management – Once you’ve established your brand’s social channels, and have begun to actively conveying and promoting your brand message and connecting with your target audience, you need some way to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Several metrics exist to help your organization aggregate and analyze social data. These include customer response, audience growth, and average engagement rates.
Integrated Performance Management – To effectively measure and refine your IDM strategy, you need an integrated performance management system, also referred to as marketing automation software, which has built-in web, social, customer relationship management (CRM), and content management software (CMS) functions.
Hopefully this summary has given you better understanding of the four-component IDM Strategic Model. Further information and insight on each component can be found in chapters 7-10 of Digital Marketing Guidebook.