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Strategic digital planning: the need for 360-degree vision

This post was originally published on the Novacom blog.

The marketing journey you are on in your current marketing role will, over time, probably take you through the launch and evolution of a number of new products or services, their sunsetting - and so the cycle goes.

Cycling to nowhere

Over time, this cycle of launch, evolve, sunset can become almost mechanistic, and the process takes on a cyclical dimension, in as much as it just ends up going around in circles.

So, where are you going?

It is this question that will inform the marketing strategy, but even asking the question means you have to start thinking and doing at a higher level. A strategic level.

Enter a new dimension

Strategic marketing, strategic market planning or brand strategy - however you wish to define it - requires energy as it means thinking forward. But in doing so you turn your marketing cycle into a marketing vortex, as it can become a multi-dimensional force. And like a vortex it will move forward, adding narrative on how and why your products or services are introduced, evolve or are sunsetted.

Branded breadth and depth

Through developing a medium- to long-term strategy you will have written a story about your brand and enterprise and where it's going. This will give breadth and depth to your brand and enterprise, and will now add narrative to audience perceptions, and all audience-facing activities.

If properly constructed, this strategic narrative approach will tell a continuous story that will always raise expectations and excitement about the next brand event rather than offering what were once purely unconnected launch or sunsetting announcements.

Where do you want to go?

But to achieve this state of resonance with your existing audience and potential new converts, you must plan your brand and your enterprises' journey. To do this, you must have the vision to know where you want to be - and how you wish your brand perception to evolve.

You will also probably need significant multi-facetted input from the strategic team within your digital marketing agency. These are people who should know your industry sector and business intimately, and who should be able to deliver a digital brand strategy that can be retro-fitted to all other areas of your enterprise.

That is because brand strategy is a completely holistic, 360° process and requires the melding together of all aspects of your brand and enterprises' communications, the most visible most often being digital.

Ultimate long-haul visibility

This strategy will not be just for today. The strategic plan needs to provide a long-haul pathway to a clearly defined future strategic waypoint where strategy can be reviewed, and new strategic plans built on past leaning and successes. Take a look at Mobil 1, Google and Virgin.

There's an old saying in the music industry that just about sums it up - 'it takes about twenty-five years to become an overnight success'.  It certainly shouldn't take that long to develop significant visibility, but once you have it, you keep it.