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BLOGThree Digital Strategies

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Marketing, Social MediaTagged as: , ,

Most organizations invest in their external digital footprint.  They start with a strategy, then execute it, monitor it, and if they are good, they feed these results back into the strategy.  A feedback loop is critical, as it both injects market knowledge into the organization, and enables continuous improvement.

Unfortunately, this loop can also introduce a marketing blind spot: With all of the focus on optimization, is the strategic direction still correct?  Is there a category of activity that might be missing?  And are the individual initiatives focused enough… or are they too broad?

One way to answer this question is to consider the relationship between your digital and traditional marketing initiatives.  There are three ways this relationship can be categorized:

  1. Digital Outbound:  This group of activities are designed to drive users to action beyond Social Media:  to a website transaction page, to a real-world location or event, to pick up the phone, or to execute some other activity.
  2. Digital Inbound:  These are activities designed to move people into a digital community.  Examples include hashtags at conferences to “continue the conversation” and social links on advertising, marketing collateral, and signage.  A Digital Inbound strategy is designed to amplify real-world initiatives online.
  3. Digital Community:  This category of initiatives are designed to foster action within a digital community.  Usually this is done for the purpose of increasing brand affinity, market research, or advocacy.  As the community becomes more vibrant, it becomes a strategic asset – something that competitors cannot so easily replicate.


How do your digital activities stack up?  This week, divide your initiatives between these groups, and see how it looks.  While every organization is different, the best strategies have strength in all three.

Marketing insight:  There is a critical interrelationship between the three strategies.  Digital Inbound drives users to the community.  Digital Community builds trust.  Digital Outbound monetizes the relationship.  Or said another way, Digital Inbound, Digital Community, and Digital Outbound all have their place on the Trust Curve, driving users from awareness to preference, trial, and commitment.  (More on the Trust Curve here.)

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