Digital marketing strategy - and how to triumph

By Anders Björklund

Digital marketing strategy - and how to triumph

Digital marketing hinges on a blend of digital techniques, technologies and data, facilitating marketers to augment engagement in dynamic dialogues with potential and existing customers, stakeholders, and influencers.

Understanding digital marketing

Digital marketing is becoming more crucial to B2B companies' strategic initiatives, propelling business expansion. Top-tier brands are tenaciously refining digital marketing channels, synthesising digital and physical experiences, and adopting nascent technologies that can offer a competitive advantage. 

Historically, marketers have balanced the goals of customer acquisition and retention. However, the pandemic has profoundly altered customer engagement preferences and underscored the importance of digital experience in business relations. Consequently, digital has evolved beyond merely enhancing customer relationships; it now serves as a primary medium for fostering new connections and relations with various target audiences, including employees, partners, and influencers.

The growth of digital marketing has significantly influenced strategic marketing objectives, budgets and key performance indicators (KPIs).

The anatomy of a digital marketing strategy framework

A digital marketing strategy delineates the objectives and execution of your tactics for digital experiences, campaigns, and channels, alongside the performance metrics to assess progress and success. 

There needs to be a universal framework for devising a digital marketing strategy. Nevertheless, integral elements of any digital marketing plan include the following:

  • A clear vision for your digital marketing approach and the role your execution plays in fuelling the desired growth. For instance, a momentum to boost profit might translate into a business objective of augmenting customer lifetime value. Conversely, a marketing objective might stimulate customer engagement or cross-sell/upsell customers.

  • A well-defined set of responsibilities for the digital marketing team and the leadership. Digital marketing leaders manage budgeting, hiring, technology selection and campaign planning to bolster strategy execution. 

  • A comprehensive roadmap displaying short-term digital marketing objectives and long-term performance accomplishments. Improving lead quality, amplifying brand awareness, and stimulating increased sales among identified leads are pivotal digital marketing objectives aligned with the goal of customer acquisition. 

  • I'd like to point out that a thorough evaluation of your team skills, knowledge, tools, and processes required to drive your digital marketing objectives, coupled with a coherent plan to bridge the gaps in your marketing performance.

Critical elements for a successful digital marketing plan

To optimise the value of digital channels and engagement and their impact on the shifting digital behaviours of customers, marketers need to plan, implement, analyse, and evaluate the influence of digital marketing efforts. 

Premier marketers facilitate business growth through carefully planned and coordinated customer engagements that span multiple touchpoints with target audiences. These touchpoints comprise websites, paid and organic social media, search and display advertising, over-the-top streaming media, video, email and mobile marketing, and voice-enabled endpoints.

This integrated digital marketing strategy necessitates a harmonised, multichannel approach and performance measurement against industry peers, predominantly in the following three areas:

Campaign and channel management 

To guide and upscale digital marketing campaigns within and across your channels.


To optimise content, formats, media, targeting and messaging.

Digital performance benchmarks 

To benchmark best practices across industries and glean insights from leading companies to identify brand-specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and lessons to enhance the commercial impact of your digital initiatives.

Highly effective digital marketing strategies

Marketing teams can orchestrate digital marketing strategies and techniques to ensure customer interactions meet customer expectations and enhance satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

Digital marketers typically rank social marketing and digital advertising at the top of the purchase funnels—spanning brand awareness, demand generation, conversion to sales, and customer loyalty. However, aligning the best channels with target audiences and specific goals and KPIs requires the right tools, data, targeting, and testing.

Key digital marketing strategies include:

Digital advertising

This encompasses display, video, mobile and social ads. Your digital ads must effectively communicate with the desired target audiences using appropriate timing, context, content, and tone across relevant channels. 

Paid search specifically refers to advertising on search engines and other websites; your ads should be presented based on the content and context of specific search queries.

Email marketing

Email serves as a fundamental touchpoint throughout the customer life cycle. It involves brand newsletters and contextually relevant, real-time, personalised communication and interactions with your target audiences. However, customer churn-ended consumer journeys and evolving consumer habits have created obstacles to successful email marketing execution. 

Digital marketing leaders must adapt to new challenges spanning privacy, data capture, and targeted content deployment. Considering pandemic-driven changes in customers' digital habits, leading performers increasingly rely on customer data and segmentation tactics to deliver high engagement. They now prioritise quality over quantity and stress-targeted, personalised messaging that enhances conversion and boosts email effectiveness.

Social marketing

This pertains to creating, curating, consuming, promoting and distributing marketing content mainly related to building and nurturing communities. It excludes paid advertising on social platforms but includes influencer marketing, social seeding, and social activations.

Digital marketers can no longer view social media as a channel exclusively for raising awareness. The impact of social media permeates the entire buying process. Given the heightened scrutiny over brand actions, digital marketers must tread carefully in messaging concerning social issues. Both long-term brand equity and health, as well as your revenue, take high priority.


Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves techniques to increase qualified traffic to your web pages by understanding the nature and intent of the online search and developing highly relevant content and experiences. However, an integrated digital marketing strategy requires a holistic approach across paid and organic. It's crucial not to pit SEO against search engine marketing (SEM), as they mutually enhance each other's performance.

SEO and SEM strategies must be tailored to service brand objectives, whether traffic-, engagement-, or conversion-driven. Serving relevant content to your potential and existing customers is the optimal way to achieve these goals.

The roles of digital marketing leaders and teams

Digital marketing leaders must delineate and meet strategic marketing objectives through conversations that engage their target audiences and market segments across all digital channels. 

Their teams need expertise across various functions, from core marketing channels to analytics, content creation and management, media planning and buying, and e-commerce. In addition, they must utilise technologies that support customer engagement across these different touchpoints.

As digital marketing leadership increasingly mirrors overall marketing leadership, these leaders require a wide remit to set the strategy and establish KPIs, aligning digital marketing objectives with the desired business outcomes.

In an environment that demands strategic prioritisation, agility, and emphasis on longer-term initiatives, digital marketing leaders must plan for and execute initiatives that propel their marketing organisation's digital transformation while maintaining an unwavering focus on achieving results. Their responsibilities include:

  • Digital content strategy and execution
  • Digital brand and advertising strategy and execution
  • Integration of mobile marketing into the digital mix
  • SEO and SEM strategy and execution
  • Email marketing strategy and execution
  • Media strategy and execution

Enhancing your digital marketing strategy through technology

Leaders are capitalising on various technologies in the evolving digital marketing landscape to achieve targeted business outcomes. This approach seeks to scale operations while effectively navigating the complexities of contemporary customer journeys.

The mandate of marketing technology and digital marketing leaders is broadening to encompass customer data management and life-cycle value analysis. Businesses are recognising that the efficacy of their marketing technology platforms hinges on their data analytics capabilities and the customer insights they generate.

Faced with the imperative to establish first-party data-gathering capacities, most B2B companies are bolstering their investments in technologies such as Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). This approach offers a comprehensive 360-degree perspective of their customer base.

Content management has also emerged as a focal point for digital marketing leaders. Companies have realised that achieving large-scale omnichannel personalisation requires an agile and interconnected content operations ecosystem.

Promising developments in AI and advanced technologies are set to revolutionise marketing abilities, including personalised advertising and marketing engagements. Platforms such as multichannel marketing hubs, CDPs, and mobile marketing platforms have already begun integrating AI and machine learning capabilities, with interest in these tools remaining robust.

However, the adoption of AI and machine learning in digital marketing is still in its infancy. Challenges lie in needing more skilled personnel, improved technology, and overcoming scepticism within the marketing and commercial sectors regarding these technologies.

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Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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