Wow, what a great discussion topic. This is definitely one that shows up in my life often. So many times the two are interchanged. I find that people very much only look at marketing as a tactical check list of the ‘to do’ items. In the area of internet marketing, I often get the shopping list of ‘places we want to be found’. Although I agree implementation is the act of marketing (using as a verb here) the question is: Implementing what? A tactical to do list?
If I’ve learned anything from this class and the years I have in the marketing world it’s that now more than ever it’s about hearing the voice of the consumer. No longer do we do business in a world where organizations ‘push’ their message down into the crowd by pattern interrupting their daily activities. We’re in a world where one must stop to analyze the behavioral patterns of the consumer in order to even have the first clue as to how that consumer will ‘pull’ a marketing message down into their world. That is all about internet marketing (the noun) strategy.
Call me bias but I’m much more in favor of referring to internet marketing as a noun rather than a verb. It is indeed the marketer that spent time learning about the consumer’s online behavioral patterns that will garner the most traction during that implementation stage.
1. The way I prioritize the elements of a client’s marketing campaign is to first understand the client, figure out if they will indeed ‘fit’ the strategy or if they might find themselves in a bind later on because they were not a fit. Example: Designing an internet marketing strategy around a client that has been DiSC assessed with a low ‘s’ (steady). It would be criminal to encourage that client to create constant content for his company on a media channel like Blogger.com. It would also not serve that client if I made the suggestion that he personally get on the LinkedIn.com groups’ discussion boards a few times a week to build a following.
2. The next thing I do is to learn all about the target market and their ‘new’ behavioral patterns. Just because they did business with my client in the past does not mean they will follow or endorse his brand in a viral capacity. Example: Just because I bought a L’Oreal lipstick does not mean I’m going to go online to talk about it. However, incorporate the brand into an online VR game http://bit.ly/8ZOOsa where I get points for finding the L’Oreal cosmetic, I’m sure telling my team mates online about it. Strategy is very much the first step that leads to a tactical internet marketing game plan.
3. Once I have the first two elements, I then build a plan based on the strategy elements that surfaced. We factor in budget, expected ROI and turnaround timelines and we’re off to implement the tactical list.