When it comes to digital marketing, there are some common misconceptions about the best way to get started.

Do you build your team first? Or your digital marketing plan first?

Some business leaders believe they simply need a marketing unicorn or a junior team that can “do it all”, while others assume that their marketing department can simply follow their lead, despite having no in-depth knowledge of marketing themselves.

Because of this, many businesses hire their people first and then develop their strategy around them. The problem is, without a tailored blueprint, these businesses typically end up with a redundant, ill-equipped, confused or inefficient marketing team.

So, unlike the chicken and the egg debate, I have the answer for this marketing conundrum! It’s the plan first.

It’s important to develop the right digital marketing strategy before deciding who you need to execute it. This way, you can hire the right people to do the right tasks using the right marketing tools every time.

While you may already have marketing staff in-house, it’s important to stop, make a plan and then execute it together.

Here’s how to build and give your team direction based on a digital marketing strategy.

Step 1: Determine whether your business is ready to invest in digital marketing.

Before you rush in, it’s a smart idea to take a step back and determine whether your business needs a digital marketing strategy in the first place. Some key indicators include:

  • A growing sales team with ineffective processes and dwindling conversion rates
  • A sales team that needs a better marketing presence to compete against larger, more established companies
  • An evolving sales team and product offering that requires a consistent strategy to excel
  • A sales team spending too much time qualifying leads and explaining your business value
  • A sales team looking for new ways to improve conversion rates
  • The need to amplify current business growth by attaining more leads in a new or broader market

Step 2: Once you’re ready, you need to develop a strategy.

Despite popular opinion, you cannot hire the right people without first developing an effective digital marketing strategy.

Today’s marketing has become extremely diversified, with more than 40 different types of modern marketing executions and growing. That’s why the concept of a Marketing Unicorn, or someone who can “do it all”, is so far-fetched. Instead, by developing a great digital marketing plan first based on your business goals, you can hire the people most suited to each part of marketing for your business.

With the right digital marketing strategy, you’ll get:

  • A marketing roadmap with clear deliverables
  • Clear qualitative and quantitative goals to keep you on track
  • Exact pieces of content to develop in priority order
  • An effective resourcing plan
  • Integration and alignment of digital marketing with your business objectives

This allows you to effectively cover all your resourcing, content, and technology needs.

For more information, check out our 9-Step Digital Marketing Strategy Guide.

Step 3: Find the right people to execute your plan

Once you’ve got your digital marketing strategy, the person who delivered it should ultimately be the one responsible for determining who you need to execute it.

At Ask Marketing, we earmark every area of your strategy to indicate who we believe would be best to help execute it, such as:

  • A current or future internal marketing resource including guidance around:
    - What specific experience is needed
    - What their role title and expected remuneration would look like
    - What KPIs they should be measured on
  • An external agency partner - whether that’s our partner digital agency who we integrate with directly or another hand-picked agency we recommend
  • A combination of both

While there is no right or wrong way, a key component of developing an effective digital marketing strategy is understanding your business values and circumstances when it comes to team resourcing.

As an example, for service-based businesses that currently have no internal marketers, we can use your values and strategy tactics to determine what type of internal marketer would be best suited to act as the “middleman” between your business leaders and external parties. We could also identify which of the more technical components are better off outsourced, such as Google Ads.

For businesses that do currently have some internal marketing staff, however, we could assess your circumstances to determine the best course of action. For instance, if you have a Digital Marketing Manager or a digital-focused CMO, your strategy could potentially be implemented in-house.

If that’s not the case, however, we can start by determining which tactics could be executed by your current internal marketers based on their skillset and goals. If they require any upskilling, our Ask Marketing Academy can help.

Following this, we can look to outsource the more technical elements that cannot be executed by your internal team.

Do you need help developing your digital marketing strategy?

All you have to do is Ask!

At Ask Digital Marketing, we build your digital marketing strategy with you, based on your business objectives. We then help you find the right talent and implement the right marketing tools and tactics that you need.

Just get in touch with us and we can discuss your business to help you navigate the digital marketing landscape towards success.

Let’s harness the power of digital marketing strategy today!

For more great marketing content, connect with our company leaders, Alexandra King and Stephanie King, or follow our Ask Marketing LinkedIn page.

Alexandra King

Ali has a proven track record of aligning with commercial business objectives and translating research into key insights that result in exceptional marketing strategies, online user experiences and positive financial results.