While figuring out a Digital Marketing strategy (or method to the madness) is all well and good, let's also not forget that we can try everything now.
If you wanted to test the waters and do some advertising (prior to the commercialization of the Internet), the barriers to make that happen were not only complex but expensive. Sure, you could do a minimal advertising campaign, but from strategy, ideation and creative to the media buy, tracking, etc... it simply wasn't a simple, cheap and easy task.
All of that has changed.
Usually, brands would advertise in media that provided relevant and timely content that fit the context of their brand story. Now, brands are (can and should be) publishers. They can create the timely and relevant content for next to nothing. Forget the fact that the "gatekeepers" (as Seth Godin calls them) are gone, we've come to the point where technology is actually pushing us to try new things. We're also at the point where technology is no longer one of those barriers. I'm currently in the middle of reading Clay Shirky's new book, Cognitive Surplus, and - like all of Shirky's writing (check out his business book best-seller, Here Comes Everybody) - it is jam-packed with gems like this:
"Access to cheap, flexible tools removes many of the barriers to trying new things. You don't need fancy computers to harness cognitive surplus; simple phones are enough. But one of the most important lessons is this: once you've figured out how to tap the surplus in a way that people care about, others can replicate your technique, over and over, around the world."
It may read as obvious to some, but the implications are truly staggering.
Most brands still face the whole analysis/paralysis syndrome when it comes to Digital Marketing and Social Media. There is so much choice and opportunity that they wind up doing nothing, little or struggle with whatever it is they're currently engaged in. We need to be trying more things and we need to stop getting hung up on the technology. Most of the tools to publish, market and advertise exist. They're cheap, easy and friendly to do. Brands no longer have to grapple with a complex content management system while trying to balance that with a sound search engine optimization strategy. In most instance, a WordPress and a strong theme can take you the distance. If you're looking to connect with a community, there are a multitude of places online to connect and share in whichever way you are most comfortable. It's an important thought that must always be at the front and the center.
Always remember: you are free to roam about the cabin.