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Why Successful Digital Marketing Relies on the Marketing PST Framework

At the core of any successful marketing initiative lies a structured approach that delineates clear goals, strategic routes, and actionable steps. Enter the Marketing PST Framework.

  1. Plan: This isn't just about what you want to achieve; it's the bedrock of your mission. Here, we're addressing the bigger picture – be it expanding market share, launching a new product, or enhancing brand visibility.

  2. Strategy: Derived from the plan, the strategy is the roadmap. It's where you determine how to get from point A to point B. Whether it's through content marketing, leveraging influencers, or a direct sales approach, this component outlines the methods you'll employ.

  3. Tactics: Delving into the nitty-gritty, tactics involve the tools, platforms, and specific actions. It's the execution phase. For instance, if the strategy involves content marketing, the tactics might detail blog frequency, social media posting schedules, or the use of email campaigns.

In essence, the Marketing PST Framework is a marketer's GPS – guiding from the overarching objectives down to the daily tasks, ensuring each action aligns with the ultimate goal.


The Marketing PST Framework has several stages. Each one has its own universe where you can expand, create, learn, and optimize. Let’s take a look!


Know Who You Are

The "Know Who You Are" stage is crucial. It's about understanding the brand's core values, its voice, and how it distinguishes itself from competitors. This serves as the foundation for all marketing activities.


Plan: Establish a clear brand identity.

Strategy: Define the brand’s mission, vision, values, and unique selling proposition (USP).

Tactics:

  • Branding Workshops: Engage in brainstorming sessions with stakeholders. Tools like Miro can help facilitate this process remotely.

  • Competitive Analysis: Use tools like SWOT and SOAR analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and more. SEMrush and Ahrefs can aid in understanding how competitors position themselves.

  • Voice and Tone Guidelines: Develop a brand book that defines the voice, tone, and style of communication. Reference platforms like Frontify to centralize brand guidelines.

  • Feedback Sessions: Conduct internal and external surveys to understand how staff and customers perceive the brand. Platforms like Typeform or SurveyMonkey can facilitate this.

  • Visual Identity: Ensure a consistent visual brand presence. This includes logo, color schemes, and typography. Design platforms like Adobe Creative Cloud or Canva can help craft consistent visuals.

Once a brand has a firm grasp on who it is, it can convey a consistent and authentic message throughout all its marketing efforts. This stage serves as the foundation upon which all subsequent stages are built, ensuring a cohesive and resonant brand presence across all channels and touchpoints.


Have Clean, Reliable Data

Having access to clean and reliable data isn't just about better decision-making; it's about instilling trust in those decisions. When stakeholders know that strategies and tactics are based on solid, trustworthy data, it lends more weight and confidence to every action taken.

Plan: Establish a data infrastructure that ensures accuracy, consistency, and reliability in the data being collected and analyzed. Strategy: Implement systems and processes to collect, cleanse, and validate data, ensuring it's free from errors and inconsistencies. Tactics:

  • Data Collection Protocols: Establish standardized processes for how data is collected across all platforms. This ensures uniformity in the data being gathered. Tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and Salesforce can assist in streamlining collection methods.

  • Data Validation: Introduce tools and practices that regularly check and validate data for errors or inconsistencies. For instance, using platforms like Talend or OpenRefine can help in cleaning and refining datasets.

  • Regular Audits: Periodically assess and audit data sources and databases to identify any anomalies or outdated information. This can be done using tools like Tableau or Power BI for visual inspection.

  • Training: Ensure team members are trained in best practices for data collection, entry, and management to minimize human errors.

  • Integration of Platforms: Use integration tools like Zapier or Integromat to seamlessly connect different platforms, ensuring data consistency across the board.

  • Backup and Security: Ensure data is regularly backed up and stored securely, using platforms like AWS or Google Cloud. This not only safeguards against data loss but also maintains data integrity.


Understanding Your Target Audience (Focus on your customers' needs)

Understanding who you're speaking to is the crux of any marketing strategy. Identifying your audience helps tailor content, pick platforms, and decide ad spends.


Plan: Determine the primary and secondary audiences for our products/services.

Strategy: Utilize demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to create comprehensive customer personas.

Tactics:

  • Use tools like Google Analytics to assess website demographics.

  • Conduct surveys through email marketing or on-site pop-ups.

  • Monitor social media interactions and feedback.

For Example: Imagine the you have a bath remodeling company. After a deep analysis of your customers, you came out with several customer personas.



For the sake of this article, I am going to take one of the customers and dive even deeper to understand more about the one I would like to target.


Setting SMART Goals

In marketing, vague aspirations won't cut it. When objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound), they're more actionable, motivating, and effective, as they offer clear direction and criteria for success.


For instance, instead of "increase website traffic", aim for "increase website traffic by 20% in the next quarter, reduce cost per lead by 25% in Q4, improve website conversion rate by 2.5%, and so on".


Plan: Align marketing objectives with business goals.

Strategy: Implement SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) criteria for goal-setting.

Tactics:

  • Monthly team meetings to review and adjust goals.

  • Use analytics tools to measure progress.

  • Adjust campaigns based on performance data.



Budgeting for Digital Marketing

Budgeting for digital marketing is crucial. It ensures that your efforts are adequately funded while optimizing for maximum ROI. The budget you allocate can vary depending on your business's size, goals, industry, and more.


Plan: Optimize the return on marketing investments.

Strategy: Allocate budget based on performance metrics and potential of each channel.

Tactics:

  • Quarterly budget reviews.

  • A/B test ad spends.

  • Allocate extra budget to top-performing channels.

It's essential to remember that budgeting is iterative. Regular reviews, combined with a willingness to adapt, will ensure that your digital marketing budget delivers the best possible results for your business.



The Digital Marketing Funnel

A digital marketing funnel represents the journey that consumers take from being unaware of a brand to becoming loyal customers. It's an essential framework that helps marketers visualize and understand the process by which prospects are converted to buyers.


Plan: Guide potential customers from awareness to conversion.

Strategy: Create content and campaigns tailored to each stage of the funnel.

Tactics:

  • Use content marketing for the awareness stage.

  • Email marketing and retargeting for the consideration stage.

  • Offers, discounts, and testimonials for the decision stage.

The digital marketing funnel underscores the importance of addressing potential customers' needs at every stage, ensuring a seamless transition from one phase to the next. By understanding and catering to these stages, businesses can craft more targeted and effective marketing strategies.


ABM Funnel

The PRACE Funnel

Source: Smartinsight


MICRO MOMENTS Funnel


Importance of Content Strategy

A content strategy is an integral part of any successful marketing plan. It defines how, why, and for whom content will be created and distributed to achieve specific business objectives. Let's delve deep into what a content strategy encompasses, how to create one, and the elements that form its foundation.


Plan: Establish the brand as an industry thought leader.

Strategy: Create valuable, unique, and consistent content.

Tactics:

  • Monthly blog posts on industry trends.

  • Weekly social media posts and updates.

  • Multi-channel content distribution.

  • E-books or whitepapers quarterly.


Remember, the digital landscape is always evolving. Your content strategy should be flexible enough to adapt to changes in your business environment, technological advancements, and shifts in audience preferences. Always keep the user at the center, aim to provide value, and iterate based on feedback and performance metrics.


Source: accent


Utilizing SEO

At its core, SEO is about ensuring your content appears prominently in search engine results when users search for terms related to your products, services, or content topics. Effective SEO boosts your visibility, bringing more users to your website and potentially converting them into customers.


Plan: Increase organic website traffic.

Strategy: Optimize website content and structure for search engines.

Tactics:

  • Perform keyword research and implement into content.

  • Personalize content

  • Ensure mobile optimization and speed.

  • Build quality outbound, inbound, and backlinks.

Incorporating SEO into your content strategy requires commitment, but the rewards in terms of organic traffic, visibility, and credibility are well worth the effort. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint; results often take time, but they have long-term benefits.



SEM and Pay-Per-Click

SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), primarily through paid advertising. It encompasses both organic search activities (SEO) and paid search activities (PPC).


PPC is a form of online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked, as opposed to earning those clicks organically. The most popular PPC platform is Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), but Bing Ads and other platforms also offer PPC opportunities.


Plan: Boost immediate website visibility and traffic.

Strategy: Bid on relevant keywords to display ads to potential customers.

Tactics:

  • Use Google Ads for PPC campaigns.

  • A/B test ad copy and landing pages.

  • Monitor and adjust bids regularly.

In summary, while SEO focuses on earning visits organically, SEM and PPC allow businesses to buy traffic through paid search listings. To maximize ROI, businesses should adopt a holistic approach, balancing both organic and paid strategies based on their goals, target audience, and budget.


Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is an essential aspect of the modern marketing mix, leveraging platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, and more to connect with audiences, foster brand awareness, and drive sales.


Plan: Build and engage a loyal social media community. Create a value-driven content distribution across all social media channels. Create multi-funnel paid social campaigns.

Strategy: Tailor content to each platform and engage with followers consistently. Target premium demographics. Combine Evergreen messages with promotional initiatives.

Tactics:

  • Daily posts and updates.

  • Weekly interactive sessions like Q&As or polls.

  • Collaborations or partnerships with influencers.

  • Facebook Ads multi-funnel campaign

Social Media Marketing isn't just about pushing products or services but building relationships with your audience. A well-strategized SMM campaign can foster brand loyalty, turn customers into brand ambassadors, and generate impressive ROI. But remember, it's a two-way street; always listen as much as you speak.


Native Advertising

Native advertisements seamlessly blend into the pages they're displayed on, ensuring a non-intrusive experience. These ads resonate with the material the reader is already viewing, making them more noticeable and engaging. Nowadays, it's typical to spot such ads in social media streams or as suggested content on websites.


Similar to content marketing strategies, native ads yield better results when they offer genuine value to the audience. Ensure the ad's content is tailored to your target demographic's needs and interests. Address their challenges or offer insights they seek.


Presenting the information in a user-friendly manner, such as a list or informative article, makes it easier for the audience to benefit from your content.


Plan: Seamlessly integrate promotional content within the organic content experience of the target audience.

Strategy: Use ad formats that match the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear, ensuring they resonate well with the platform's audience.

Tactics:

  • Content Creation: Develop high-quality content that aligns with the platform's organic content but clearly denotes that it's sponsored.

  • Platform Selection: Choose platforms where the target audience frequents. For example, news websites, popular blogs, or social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • Segmentation and Targeting: Use platform-specific data to display native ads to a highly segmented audience, ensuring relevance.

  • Performance Analysis: Monitor click-through rates (CTR), engagement, and conversion metrics specific to native ads.

  • Storytelling: Ensure the content tells a story that's aligned with the brand message but is also valuable to the reader.

  • Ad Optimization: Continuously A/B test various elements of the native ad, including headlines, imagery, and CTA buttons.

Incorporating Native Advertising not only provides an additional channel for reaching potential customers but also does so in a manner that's less intrusive. This approach enhances user experience and, if done right, can yield a high return on investment.




Email Marketing

One of the quintessential aspects of email marketing is its ability to cultivate relationships. By consistently delivering valuable content, businesses can nurture trust, turning casual subscribers into loyal patrons.


Compared to traditional marketing avenues like TV or print ads, email marketing offers a cost-effective solution. With a minimal investment, businesses can reach a global audience, ensuring a higher ROI.


Plan: Nurture leads and maintain customer loyalty.

Strategy: Segment email lists and personalize content.

Tactics:

  • Monthly newsletters.

  • Drip campaigns for new subscribers.

  • Abandoned cart reminders.

Source: LucidCharts


Affiliate and Influencer Marketing

Affiliate marketing, at its core, is a performance-based marketing strategy. Brands collaborate with individuals or entities, providing them with unique links to track sales. When a sale occurs through this link, the affiliate earns a commission. It's a win-win: brands increase sales, and affiliates earn passive income.


Plan: Expand brand reach through collaborations.

Strategy: Partner with individuals or businesses that align with the brand.

Tactics:

  • Identify and reach out to potential influencers.

  • Set up an affiliate program.

  • Regularly review partnerships for performance.

Affiliate marketing is a boon for brands looking for cost-effective advertising. Since costs are tied to actual sales, wastage is minimal. Moreover, the performance-based model ensures that affiliates are motivated to drive sales.



Source: BrandBuilders


Analytics and Monitoring

Marketing analytics is the practice of measuring, managing, and analyzing marketing performance to optimize ROI and improve effectiveness. In an era where every click, like, and share can be quantified, understanding these metrics is paramount.


Plan: Continuously improve marketing efforts based on data.

Strategy: Use analytical tools to derive insights and iterate.

Tactics:

  • Weekly reviews of Google Analytics.

  • Monthly performance reports.

  • Quarterly strategy adjustments based on data.

This is just 1 example (Using a simple 101 Looker Studio report) of how marketers may use data.


A/B Testing

Plan: Maximize conversion rates, reduce cost per leads.

Strategy: Test variations of content, campaigns, or platforms.

Tactics:

  • Test different email subject lines.

  • Try different landing page designs.

  • Experiment with ad copy.


Mobile Marketing

Plan: Engage the mobile-first audience.

Strategy: Ensure all digital efforts are optimized for mobile.

Tactics:

  • Ensure website is mobile-responsive

  • SMS marketing campaigns.

  • Optimize ads for mobile view.




Retargeting and Remarketing

Our primary objective here is to tap into the pool of users who've shown prior interest in our offerings but haven't converted. We aim to maximize ROI by targeting warm leads and personalizing our engagement efforts.


Plan: Re-engage potential leads.

Strategy: Use online ad platforms to display ads to users who have shown interest.

Tactics:

  • Set up retargeting ads on platforms like Facebook and Google.

  • Segment audience based on behavior.

  • A/B test retargeting ad creatives.



Integrating Offline and Online Efforts

Plan: Provide a seamless brand experience.

Strategy: Integrate offline campaigns with digital touchpoints.

Tactics:

  • Use QR codes in offline ads.

  • Promote online offers in-store.

  • Encourage online reviews post in-store purchases.

Crisis Management in Digital

Plan: Protect brand reputation.

Strategy: Be prepared with a response plan for any potential online crises.

Tactics:

  • Monitor online sentiment regularly.

  • Have a PR team ready with response templates.

  • Address concerns promptly and publicly, when appropriate.

Continuous Learning

Plan: Stay ahead in the evolving digital landscape.

Strategy: Prioritize learning and development.

Tactics:

  • Attend industry conferences and webinars.

  • Encourage team to take relevant courses.

  • Regularly review and update strategies with the latest trends.


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