Kickstarting Digital Marketing Strategy for Business

The world currently under lockdown has called up the importance and practicality of digital technologies. Before the lockdown, there were dissemination of messages on the movement towards industry revolution 4.0 and encouraging business leaders to embrace the changing business landscape. Now with the lockdown, it has accelerated the adoption or at least the realisation of its significance.

In this writing, I would like to discuss one of the pillars of industry revolution 4.0, which is digital marketing. There was a quote by Google in one of their workshops; “your customers are online, is your business online?”. Well, to be frank, I do not have the data to show to which degree that businesses in Malaysia are online, which at least have a simple website, or being found in Google My Business.

To have a digital strategy introduced into the organisation there are few parties that are critical in successful implementation. Firstly the business owner and top management team, followed by the marketing team with its lead and finance lead.

Many companies have implemented digital marketing by hiring a digital marketing specialist and have him or her to do all the task required. This will not work. There isn’t 1 person who has all the skills in implementing this strategy. It is not an individual’s task but a team.

A digital strategy will require these few essential skills sets; digital marketing specialist who is familiar with the digital platforms such as Lazada, Facebook and Google, a graphic designer, a videographer or editor, copywriter and the marketer.

Having understood the requirements to kickstart a digital team in an organisation that may require up to 5 headcount would immediately mean cost to the company and would have overshadowed the purpose and opportunities of digital transformation.

There are 2 options to not compromise the need for going digital and huge investments in human capital. First is to have internal capabilities of implementing digital marketing by having them trained or secondly, outsource the entire digital marketing function.

However once the management has accepted the need for digital marketing as part of the digital transformation strategy for the organisation, the company needs to have the internal know-how. This does not mean to learn the required skills or hire them. The management team must first have a big picture understanding of digital marketing, an overview, having understood the digital sphere as another arena of competition. As I always put it to my clients “you are competing online and offline”. Once having the overall understanding is only then the management is able to set the directions with its objective and goals.

Resources evaluation, is the next step. Evaluating the internal capabilities of whether the company has talented individuals who can be entrusted on those required skills, If so, additional training can be considered. Followed by the cost calculation between internal implementation or outsourcing. There are many agencies in the market. The company can choose who they want to work with to achieve those goals. Hence it is the knowledge of digital marketing internally that helps the marketing team to choose a digital marketing agency to partner with and manage on its deliverables.

In conclusion, digital marketing is one pillar of IR4.0 that’s imperative to companies. The company’s top management must acknowledge the need and importance before implementation, Businesses can choose to implement internally or choose to outsource, whichever that brings a positive return on investment. However, all being said, taking the first step is key.