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Digital Marketing Strategy For 2013 And Beyond


As digital marketing continues to evolve and purchase cycles becomes more complex, marketers struggle to find ways to get the maximum returns on investment. 2012 was no different, as social media and mobile became the mainstream digital channels while content continues to be the primary fuel for digital marketing. Adding to the complexity of the digital channel proliferation, buyers are becoming much more sophisticated. In a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, 82 percent of the buyers researched online before making a purchase. This crucial data point is a huge eye opener for marketers who are still hesitant to invest in online marketing.

With 2013 already in play, it is time to evaluate your digital marketing strategy and develop a solid model to drive improved results. In this post, we will discuss the critical components of a digital marketing strategy and how these components work together.

 digital marketing model

1. Digital Marketing Model

#1 PAM (Persona, Audience and Messaging)

The first step in developing an effective digital marketing campaign is to develop a persona. A persona is a very important aspect of any marketing campaign, and it should not be overlooked. Your business must have its own distinct persona and voice. A persona is basically a personality for your business, which you convey in your communications with your customers.

Your products or services could be perceived differently across your customer base. It is critical to understand the types of customers you serve and deliver your marketing message in accordance. As an example, if you sell mobile games, you need to cater your persona to suit this particular audience. If your customers see they can relate to your company, you will gain their trust and get them to buy your product or use your services. Make sure that your company uses the same persona, and communicates with the same tone or voice in all of your messages.

ScreenHunter 24 Feb. 07 21

2. Persona development

#2 Digital Marketing Mediums

In your digital marketing strategy for 2013, you must use as many different marketing mediums as you possibly can. The more marketing mediums you use, the more successful your marketing strategy will be.

Earned Media

Earned media in the digital world is a term used for generating traffic and customers through organic means instead of paid advertisement. Earned traffic can be gained through content marketing, search engine optimization, social media or editorial impact. Earned media does not involve advertising, and it is the complete opposite of paid media. It is a way of promoting your business without paid advertisements.

Paid Media

Using paid media is the fastest way for businesses to advertise their products and services. Paid advertisement comes in various flavors and forms. Paid search marketing involves paying for advertisements for your company to move high up in the search engine results page. Your company can also benefit from using display advertising in its digital marketing strategy. Display advertisements are ads that you pay to be placed on websites. Forrester research forecasts interactive display media to triple by 2013. The chart clearly shows how important paid media is for your overall online marketing strategy.

online display growth

3. Online display growth forecast (Forrester Research)

Owned Media

Owned media is one of the best ways that your company can build relationships with its customers. Earned media and paid media may draw potential customers to your website, but owned media is what can help turn these potential customers into paying customers. Using owned media in your digital marketing strategy is essential. Owned media involves lead nurturing using email marketing. Email marketing is essential to build customer relationships, and to turn potential customers into customers who purchase your company’s product or service.

Email marketing involves sending out a newsletter periodically, which is filled with useful information for customers. If your company doesn’t already have one, it must develop a newsletter. If a person goes to your website and signs up to receive your newsletter, but they don’t buy anything, using email marketing is a great way to turn that person into a paying customer. The content in your newsletter must be good, but this is discussed in more detail below.

Types of Content


ScreenHunter 28 Feb. 07 22

4. Content marketing

Content plays an important part in all three media types. Content that your company produces must be of higher quality, authoritative and helpful to your customers, prospects and followers. There are essentially three main types of content:

Dedicated Content: This is the type of content that you use on your website and on any other websites that you use to promote your company. This content must be informative, SEO optimized to include the right keywords, relevant and of use to the reader.

Supplemental Content: This content is used to supplement the main, dedicated content that appears on your website. The primary goal of the supplemental content is to educate your target market about your products and services. It also helps you establish your company as the thought leader in the market.

This type of content includes blog posts, articles and whitepapers, all of which must be well-written and valuable to customers. If content is poorly written, and does not contain useful information, it will reflect badly on your business. Supplemental content also includes slides and videos, which also must also be high quality.

Social Content: Social content is designed to increase syndication on social media sites. Social content should be developed to spark conversations, attract comments and generate fan following. This type of content must not only be informative and useful, but it also must be engaging and original in order to attract potential customers.

#3 WAM (Web and mobile strategy)

Your website is an important foundational element of your digital marketing strategy. It is also one of the first major interaction points for your customers with your company. The key goals for the website should be to engage or convert or retain customers, or all three in most cases. With a huge spike in the growth of smart phones, it is extremely important to add mobile component to your website strategy.

Website strategy is critical to the growth of customers and revenue as it provides the framework for sales generation. Here are some of the key areas of focus for a robust WAM strategy:

a. Hosting infrastructure: Hosting could very well be the biggest investment component of your web strategy. It is extremely important for you to consider a hosting provider than understands your needs. Some of the consideration points when choosing a hosting provider are uptime, scalability, redundancy, compliance and support.

b. Web dev/design and UX: Web design is another major element to achieve success online. Your customers deserve nothing but the best web experience and your job as a marketer is to recruit the best team or vendor to design/develop your site. Customers will bounce away immediately from a low quality site and this could have a significant impact on your revenue.

c. Mobile site: According to Google, mobile online usage will surpass PC usage in 2013. A mobile site is not an option, but a mandatory requirement, and your users expect a better mobile presence. You can either develop a separate mobile website for your company or use responsive design so your website is easily accessible on desktops, smartphones and tablets.

d. Global presence : When you target global customers the two critical pieces to consider are site architecture and language translation. First, you have to select the right architecture for your international site. It is highly advisable to have a separate country specific top level domain (TLD) to host the international site while .com can serve the US customers. TLD allows you to capture maximum search rankings on international search engines and creates a virtual separation between country-specific digital marketing efforts.

Global TLDs can create some web manageability issues, and in this case subdomain or subdirectory is preferable.

The last step of the web strategy is to recruit a solid language translation company to translate web content in local languages.

Those are some of the critical components of a digital marketing strategy. We hope this has been helpful. Do you know of any other ways to sharpen a digital content strategy in 2013? Comment below.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Rackspace Blogger.

Rackspace Blogger

  • Julie

    Nice post Sameer. I think some of the data you mention is spot on. People are checking out online before they buy and it makes the point of having your on and offline marketing sit together even more important.

  • Grace Eline

    Hey Sameer,

    In 2012,Digital Marketing Strategy was very changed.Google was changed their algorithm widely.Now it’s a big challenge for whole Digital Marketing Company to survive in web industry.I hope after your post everyone can get good information from it.Anyways thanks a lot for sharing such a nice information.

    • Sameer Khan

      Hey Grace,

      Thank you for the comments and feedback. I agree the industry has changed a lot and it is getting harder but as digital marketers we are at the advantage over brick and mortar marketers as companies continue to move their marketing dollars to digital in the next five years.


  • Digital Marketing Company Bangalore

    Your post in very informative,thanks for adding !..

    • Sameer Khan

      Thank you

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  • Robert Lloyd

    Great strategy for 2013! Yes owned media is on top of earned and paid media. Owned media gives you the paying customers but earned media and paid media will bring traffic to site but cant assure the paying customers.

  • rudy baca

    Good read Sameer! All important pieces of the puzzle you have laid out in a brief concise manner.

    • Sameer Khan

      Thank you Rudy. Glad to know it helped.

  • Arun Kumar

    Nice thoughts on the new digital marketing strategies that are more likely to work out in the coming years. I am with you on all the points that you have made in this post.

    • Sameer Khan

      Thank you Arun. This is the year of digital marketing for sure!

  • Karleton Nasheed

    I’m interested in exploring careers at Rackspace. Any feedback on the corporate culture, work environment, strength of the people management teams?

  • Karleton Nasheed

    For more context, I am currently with Microsoft, spent 6+ years at Cisco, MBA from Johns Hopkins University. Thoughts?

  • Ankit

    it was very informative, but i want to ask can digital marketing be done for commodity sectors like say steel industry for creating awareness about the products & brands..?? Can we have digital marketing then?

  • Rich

    I guess I will source his content if he isn’t going to do it. 😉

  • Kausar

    Dear Sameer,
    I enjoyed learning about new trends..good insights.

  • Mickey Mixon

    Mobile marketing is a way you can move information about your business right into the hands of your customers when they are using the mobile web.

  • Aly Subhan

    Digital integration of a marketing campaigns and web based marketing is essential ingredient of today’s world

  • Romesh

    Key is relentless engagement but in a way that it constantly enforces the core brand. Engagement with end users without “the brand” being the central thread will not be effective. So, start with defining what the brand is. What are the core aspects the brand wants to be related with and then look for engagement opportunities that have the opportunity to express these core aspects.

  • Francis

    Yes good insight but lots of organizations are already caught unaware of this new trend. I still believe that as marketers we should understand our terrain know the best approach that will enable us meet the goal we intend to achieve.

  • youaredesign360

    This is an excellent guide to writing a digital strategy. As both a student and marketing professional, I have found this information useful and I will be using the models presented to help with writing my digital communications strategy. Thanks again.

  • Pradipta Chattopadhyay

    It is an effective article in today’s context. Now relevant content creation, content marketing, key word owning, content personalization, mid funneling processing through email marketing are some of the essential components of digital marketing. I am slightly eccentric towards inbound marketing and I believe, sales does not mean to irritate people. But I do believe that maintenance of business ethics in this faceless digital world is the most important thing and it will be relevant irrespective of time. .

  • Digital Marketing

    The article gives a substantive dialogue leading to convey that ‘content is king’ in marketing the brand of the website.

  • ave infosys

    This Very useful information,thanks you information Provided……

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  • Akash Agarwal

    It’s a nice article on digital marketing. These digital marketing strategies are really very useful. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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