I work with nation­al brands and help them estab­lish their dig­i­tal strat­e­gy each and every year. The results I have obtained have always been in rela­tion to three basic ele­ments that I think every­one should know. If you apply them right and opti­mize how you use these meth­ods, you’ll like­ly find your­self on a bet­ter path to suc­cess.

Often, cre­ativ­i­ty may lead us in dif­fer­ent direc­tions and we may lose the core of what a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy (or all of your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy) should aim to accom­plish: cre­at­ing qual­i­fied leads for your sales team.

It’s impor­tant to clar­i­fy that your mar­ket­ing and sales team should be work­ing togeth­er, hand in hand. Sales teams must under­stand and ana­lyze the sales num­bers to help iden­ti­fy how to define a qual­i­fied lead. And they must make sure they help the mar­ket­ing team by clear­ly estab­lish­ing the best types of leads. The worst thing that can hap­pen is to have a mar­ket­ing team that says the sales team can’t close and a sales team that says the mar­ket­ing team can’t gen­er­ate good leads. Those are excus­es, not solu­tions.

Here are the three basic ele­ments to accel­er­at­ing your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts to pro­vide your sales team with good leads.

1. Define who you are talking to

Basic, right? It’s sur­pris­ing, though, how this first step is often put aside. Defin­ing who you are talk­ing to is more than just know­ing that you are look­ing for cus­tomers. You want to estab­lish a pro­file for the types of clients you wish to have. In this pro­file, you must ensure you deter­mine the fol­low­ing:

  • Name (fake name, for ulte­ri­or refer­ral) that rep­re­sents the cus­tomer pro­file
  • Descrip­tion of the per­son­’s day
  • Descrip­tion of the per­son­’s job
  • Descrip­tion of the per­son­’s per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al objec­tives
  • Which types of media this per­son inter­faces with (social media, tele­vi­sion, radio, etc.)

One of the most impor­tant parts of this process is defin­ing what this per­son is doing on all of the media chan­nels they’re inter­fac­ing with. For exam­ple, when on Face­book, are they look­ing for enter­tain­ment, work or con­nec­tions? You must estab­lish a pro­file for every type of client you wish to con­nect with and turn into a lead. You will most cer­tain­ly have more than one pro­file to estab­lish based on demo­graph­ics or client behav­iors.

Know­ing who your clien­tele is will allow you to talk to the right peo­ple with the right mes­sage. You will be qual­i­fy­ing the leads through your con­tent and then pass­ing the right leads to your sales team.


2. Determine what pains your customer base has

Once you know who your clients are, you must estab­lish what caus­es irri­ta­tion in their lives. I’m talk­ing about ele­ments that make your clients’ lives dif­fi­cult in any aspect. There are dif­fer­ent ways you can deter­mine how your client base acts and which ele­ments cause pain points. It can be through data col­lec­tion with your account­ing sys­tem, cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) or enter­prise resource plan­ning (ERP) sys­tems. Per­son­al­ly, I pre­fer the data-based deci­sions. Sur­veys and focus groups tend to be a lit­tle biased, but they are bet­ter than bas­ing your con­clu­sions on noth­ing. Once defined, list all of your clients’ pain points.

When you know what deliv­ers pain to your aimed clients, estab­lish where your brand can be a “pain reliev­er” for them. If you know what your clients’ pains are, tar­get them in rela­tion to their inter­ac­tions with dif­fer­ent chan­nels. For exam­ple, I have a client that offers ful­ly pre­pared meals. They knew they were answer­ing to a pain — the lack of inspi­ra­tion for meals. Some­one who is look­ing for inspi­ra­tion could search online for ideas on recipe web­sites. We offered catered ads with a mes­sage that answered the, “What’s for sup­per?” ques­tion.

3. Determine what gains your customer base is looking for

Your prod­ucts or ser­vices may also be gain cre­ators. This is an impor­tant ele­ment that you need to think about so you can com­mu­ni­cate it to the right type of client, at the right time, with the right mes­sage.

As with pain points, you must estab­lish how this solu­tion can be posi­tioned on dif­fer­ent media chan­nels. Deter­mine what intent your users have. Are they look­ing for inspi­ra­tion? Are they look­ing to buy? Are they look­ing for infor­ma­tion? Answer those ques­tion on the right plat­forms.

I work in Québec, where real­tors are an option when sell­ing a house. Before look­ing for a real­tor, some peo­ple ques­tion if they should use one. Answer­ing the, “Do I need a real­tor?” ques­tion is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty for real­tors. Answers that touch gains (access to many media out­lets, access to a mar­ket of buy­ers) make sure the poten­tial client knows why they should do busi­ness with you and answers their need for infor­ma­tion.

Posi­tion­ing your brand as a gains cre­ator or pain reliev­er is not nec­es­sar­i­ly appro­pri­ate for all of your aimed clien­tele. It is a client pro­file deci­sion that must be thought­ful­ly deter­mined. Seg­men­ta­tion of your mes­sage will be nec­es­sary so that poten­tial clients will con­sume the right mes­sage in regards to their pro­file, goals and intent. Fur­ther­more, two poten­tial clients might need the same infor­ma­tion, but at dif­fer­ent moments in their cus­tomer jour­ney, so we must make sure we can guide them to the right mes­sage at the right time.

With any type of con­tent that you push online (ads, social media posts, web­sites con­tent, etc.) you must make sure that you send the right mes­sage to the right per­son. The best way to do so is to real­ly know the peo­ple you are talk­ing to and estab­lish how you can clear­ly help them through­out their day-to-day life. This will ensure that when you cre­ate a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy you will be effec­tive in engag­ing with peo­ple who are real­ly inter­est­ed in your brand and can con­vert to becom­ing a long-term client for your busi­ness.