December 27

How Can You Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Want to know the one thing you can do right now to improve your marketing – especially the integration of your digital and traditional marketing?

I bet you would. But before I tell you, consider this. What is your biggest challenge when you’re crafting your digital marketing strategy?

I’ll tell you the one I’ve been hearing the most about lately. The elephant in the room so to speak. The single most common challenge amongst marketing directors, advertising directors and small business owners today.


Developing A High Quality Digital Marketing Strategy

That’s right. Over the last month I’ve spoken to more than a dozen companies about hiring us to help them with developing their digital marketing strategy. And every single one of them has said the same thing — I just don’t have time to think.

Brand Managers, Marketing Directors, VP’s of Advertising, you name it, they all suffer from tactical overload. Their companies are moving so fast, doing so much with so little that today’s marketing teams are mired in the minutia of tactics rather than spending even a few seconds considering upper level strategy.

So How Can You Improve Your Marketing Strategy

Ok, you’ve waited long enough. So here it is, the secret to creating that more effective marketing strategy.

Drink more tea.

Seriously. I know… you’re thinking, holly hell Tom, that’s the big secret! Come on…what’s the real thing I can do?

But seriously, the answer is drink more tea.

Allow me to explain.

Santa brought me one of those Keurig coffee makers for the Converse Digital office. So today, I used it to make a cup of tea. I didn’t use one of the prepackaged teas, I just ran a full cup of hot water and then dropped in a Sarawak Tea Potbag that I picked up a few years ago while conducting social media workshops in Malaysia.

Once I dropped the tea bag, it took about three to four minutes for the tea to properly steep. So I just stood there quietly stirring the bag and thinking.

Even though I had set aside this entire day to plan for 2013, I realized that during those three or four minutes, it was the first time all day my mind had been able to be completely quiet. It was the first time I had been able to just…. think.

The Biggest Hurdle To Marketing Strategy Development

Time… or lack thereof, is the single biggest hurdle to developing great marketing strategy.

Do you feel like you have enough time to truly think deeply about your brand, your consumer, your competition and the future of where you need to be growing?

And THAT’s the problem.

Strategic Thinking feels slow… hell it is slow. But we live in a Keurig world where everyone wants exactly what they want, when they want it and at the push of a button.

We don’t even allow ourselves three or four minutes to steep a proper cup of tea.

Create Better Marketing Strategy

So this year, skip the coffee and brew a cup of tea — every day. That’s right, don’t just stop occasionally to think deep thoughts. Make it a habit.

First, draw up a list of key areas you should be thinking about right now. The kinds of things that will truly effect your success this year.

Next, create a ritual in your day that requires you to stop everything, switch off the grid and completely quiet your mind.

Then each day, focus on ONE ITEM from your list. You can choose to focus on the same item each day until you feel you’ve solved it or at least made significant headway or you can move along to a new item each day. You can always choose to revisit each item more than once throughout the year.

You can also add items as the year goes  on.

The important thing is to create the ritual. Allow yourself to have a few minutes each day to just think about marketing strategy.  Whenever possible, add as many minutes to this ritual as possible.

And if you want any help thinking through the really thorny digital marketing problems, hire me. I’d love to work with you to develop effective integrated marketing strategies for you and your brand.

I’ll bring the tea.

photo by: visualpanic

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  1. Tom

    I agree on the time but also I see where there is the “I do not know if we really need this” or “how does this really fit into what we are doing.” They see it when you are there explaining it and are all excited and then they go off and do what they always have done and then it becomes the time issue. The resistance to change and the ease of pushing it to the side creates the challenges that you and so many others face. We are too young to remember the resistance to advertising on tv from radio. Let’s hope the transition is faster.

    Great post and enjoy your tea.

  2. LOL.
    I know it isn’t healthy, and I certainly don’t advocate it … but that is one of the major advantaged I have due to being a smoker!
    I get a handful of minutes to stroll around out side, letting my brain trundle of and doing it’s own thing.
    (Instead, try having a lolly, or just a short, unhurried walk, bounce a ball, feed the ducks etc.)

    Alternative methods?
    Sandalwood and similar incense, listening to repeating music, yoga, kata … anything that lets you “switch off” and let the back brain do the processing whilst the forebrain simply idles or plays.

    Once you are “clear” – you can hammer a specific problem, and more often than not, several solutions/methods have bubbled up, rather than simply chewing over the same stuff.

    1. Lyndon,

      Yep — clarity is a blessing. Funny how noisy our brains are and we don’t even realize it. But once you clear it all away you start to quickly get to places you normally can’t reach during the normal noise of the day.

  3. I joke with my husband that only when I brush my teeth do I give my brain a chance to shut up and think. If I combined that with a workout, I could get into shape AND have amazing teeth in addition to more “brain time.” 🙂 Enjoyed this post, Tom.

    1. Sheila,

      I don’t believe you — I think your brain never stops! But then, neither do you… thanks for the kind words and sharing this with your peeps. Have a happy new year and I look forward to seeing you here again next year 😉

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