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Digital marketing foundation

 This article was originally published on 5/2/16, but has since been updated with new and more relevant content.

Deploying a digital marketing campaign without first developing a comprehensive, connected, and strategic foundation is the equivalent of driving a car with no engine – it’s just not going to work. Before executing any sort of marketing activity, it’s critical that you consider how the following components will impact the structure, implementation, and delivery of your campaign.

1. Persona Development

You can’t expect your campaign to drive quality conversions if you don’t take the time to understand who your audience is, what they care about, where they are in the buyer’s journey, when they want to speak to sales, or how they prefer to learn new information and communicate with your brand.

Establishing detailed ‘buyer personas’ on the front side on your campaign will allow you to better align your brand’s ‘voice’ and communication strategy with the preferences of your target audience, while more effectively targeting the specific pain points that will ultimately influence their purchasing decisions.

To do this, you should reflect on the key characteristics of your current (and past) customers, and begin to map out any and all themes or patterns that relate to the following information categories:


  • Role:
    • What is their job title?
    • What is their job role?
    • What does a typical day look like?
    • What skills are required?
    • What knowledge and tools do they use?
    • Who do they report to? Who reports to them?
  • Goals:
    • What are they responsible for?
    • What does it take for them to be successful in their role?
    • How is their job measured?
  • Challenges:
    • What are the biggest challenges they experience in their job role?
    • What are the pain points they experience on day-to-day basis?
    • What is preventing them from reaching their goals?
  • Communication Preferences:
    • What publications do they read?
    • How do they learn about new information?
    • How do they prefer to interact with vendors?
    • What types of communications do they live to receive? How often do they like to receive them? 

The insights that are gained from going through the persona development process will give you a better understanding of who your audience is and what they care about. Additionally, it will play a critical role in dictating how the rest of your campaign is structured – from content creation and promotion to website design, system development, and more.

2. System Development & Alignment

“By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.” – HubSpot

‘Attracting’ qualified prospects is one thing – ‘closing’ those qualified prospects into customers is an entirely different story. This is where system development and the alignment between sales and marketing comes into play…

You can have a kick-ass marketing campaign that drives a ton of website traffic and generates a ton of qualified leads, but if no one follows up with those leads, it’s just wasted effort. To find success within your campaign, marketing must work closely with sales to determine what a ‘lead hand-off process’ looks like and the actions or behaviors that trigger a sales rep to reach out.

3. Goal Setting

Good campaigns have goals – great campaigns have specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals that are built off of an existing performance baseline. If done correctly, these goals will address the key performance metrics within your campaign, align team members, and provide the path to quantifiable campaign results. Although each organization has a unique set of key performance indicators that they’re tracking, we’ve found that the following provide tremendous insight to the success, or failure, of digital marketing campaigns.

  • Recommended Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
    • Website traffic
    • Lead generation
    • Marketing-qualified lead generation
    • Sales-qualified lead generation
    • New customer acquisition

Although there’s a wide spectrum of factors to consider when developing a digital marketing campaign, persona development, system development and alignment, and goal setting are hands-down the most critical to early success. To learn more about how to develop a strong digital marketing foundation, schedule an inbound assessment.

Inbound Marketing Strategy, Denver Marketing Company, Inbound Marketing Agency

Nicole Tennyson

Nicole Tennyson

Nicole graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a major in marketing and a minor in business administration. Since then, Nicole has gained experience in both sales and branding which has provided her with a well-rounded perspective on marketing. When Nicole’s not in the office, she’s working out or hanging out in the mountains with her fiancé and their two adorable Australian Shepherds, Otis and Louie.

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