Stop Talking About Digital Strategy

When we talk about strategy one area we should cover, of course, is digital. But it shouldn’t be as a strategy within a strategy. Social media, web sites as well as PR and maybe print advertising all these should be part of a communication plan designed to reach a goal. It is a mistake to have two different strategies with little or no relation between them. What has been happening inside companies and media and advertising agencies is that there are two teams, one focused on “traditional” media and the other “specialised” in digital resulting in huge communication and marketing departments spending and two different creative campaigns.

The problem is the problem

What a marketing strategy is designed to solve can be: A new product being introduced to market or communicate a special sale or maybe a brand awareness campaign. What tools to use to link with audiences is what needs to be resolved. With the invention of writing, then paper and finally the printing machine the way we convey messages has been made easier. But the problem did not change: How to make people aware of our brand still is the problem. We have been immersed in the digital world for more than a decade a whole generation is not conscious that there was a time when TV ruled the world. For them there is no digital and traditional anything, things are as they are the world at their fingertips 24–7. Today we can communicate with audiences instantly, we can interact in real time. We can measure every bit of information we need to make advertising more effective and efficient and the problem still is: How to communicate something to somebody.

To divide communication channels is a mistake we all made. Now is the time to integrate marketing teams under a common goal and help them reach it with a common strategy. The creative challenge is, as always, how to engage with a target audience, how to be there when and where they need our product.

Going to a media agency and not be able to integrate a strategy in both the digital and traditional media is senseless, there are still agencies that have two separate teams handling the same client with the same target group only divided by the word “digital” resulting is a disintegration of the message and pulverisation of advertising budgets making the gathering and integration of information a gigantic task that confounds everybody and has data to determine ROI involved in mystery.

The design of an effective communication strategy must integrate all media that efficiently communicates to a specific target audience a specific message. Print, digital, BTL each has to add to the strategy its unique quality to engage and not divide budgets into a black.

We need to stop talking about digital strategy and start talking about communication strategy.