What is an online marketing strategy?

The online marketing strategy of your company or organization is actually a further elaboration of the global marketing strategy, but focused on the web. So, for example, you look at the value you create for your customer, target groups, relations, only in a digital context.

An overview of issues that appear in an online marketing strategy:

Six types of an online strategy

Except what we mention the basic elements of your strategy (as listed above) there are also a number of strategic directions you can think about.

During the major research Among 2000 established companies and organizations, Bughin and Van Zeebroeck found 6 types of digital (online) strategies that these companies implemented. They describe the first three as offensive, the last three if more defensive.

  • Platform play: almost 1/3 of the companies surveyed say they are doing something in the field of platforms in their online strategy in order to disrupt or change the value chain in their industry.
  • New marginal supply: A small group of respondents (13%) say they are giving themselves access to a market that was previously untraceable through an online strategy. For example, IKEA and H&M offer their customers the opportunity to buy and sell second-hand items.
  • Digitally enabled products and services: Just over half of the companies (55%) indicate that they are implementing an online strategy that represents new products or services for the customer. For example, Oral-B, where a toothbrush can be connected to an app so that you can see exactly where you have not yet brushed properly.
  • Rebundling and customizing: 60% of companies say they use the online strategy to rebundle and customize their products and services. Think of a newspaper paywall behind which you can read personalized news based on your interests.
  • Digital distribution channels: 60% of companies focus their online strategy on using online as a digital distribution channel. A new way to sell products and services.
  • Cost efficiency: almost half of organizations say they are implementing an online strategy with the aim of saving costs. For example, by running support tickets through an online channel instead of the telephone.

The Customer Journey as an important input for your strategy

With the customer journey you view your entire service or delivery process from the eyes of the customer and your own organization and discover where you can optimize things. The customer journey is an important source of input for your online strategy, because you can further optimize the customer's journey with a specific website, webshop, platform or app.

Describing the customer journey consists of a number of elements. You name the phase the customer is in, and for each phase you determine the customer's needs, expectations and emotions. You then look at what you can improve and optimize per phase to exceed customer expectations. Use these insights to see how the online strategy can contribute.

Read more about the elements of the customer journey here and download us free worksheet to map the journey!

online customer journey worksheet

Focus on data management, data analysis and big data

Big data is an important topic in many companies and organizations. Information about customers and users is received through all kinds of channels, which can provide valuable insights into purchasing behavior, interests and conversion.

The online strategy must align with current policy and processes surrounding big data and data analysis. Make an inventory of where there are still gaps in customer data and how the online strategy could fill those gaps. Take a good look at how you currently collect data and make sure that the data you collect through the online strategy matches the existing data and the way it is processed. In this way, your online strategy contributes to gaining valuable insights into customer behavior and the market.

Personalization is mass customization as a starting point

The more relevant an offer, your product or content is, the more value it has for your customer. The internet makes personalization and customization more possible than ever.

Keep this in mind when creating your online strategy. See where in your strategy you can personalize things or where you give customers the opportunity to fully customize products or services. Think of strollers that the customer can put together himself or websites where the texts adapt automatically depending on the role a user has given themselves.

Content as part of your online strategy

“Everyone is a publisher.” With that quote in mind, you need to work on your online strategy. Although content is often a tactical tool, there are also matters at a strategic level that you need to think about.

Two important questions you should ask yourself in the strategic phase regarding content are:

  1. What do I want to tell my audience?
  2. What does my audience want to hear from me?

In your (online) marketing strategy, you think about how you build the relationship, what value proposition you offer and how you position yourself compared to competitors (your distinctive character). Your content and content strategy are ways to get that positioning across the stage. Think about how content will fit in with the online marketing strategy.

How do I come up with an online marketing strategy?

In our view, there are two flavors: 1) you have no idea of ​​the strategy you want to implement and what you want to achieve or 2) you already have an idea of ​​what you want to do online and what goals you have with an online strategy.

You almost always have an idea of ​​what needs to be done, but you still have to put it on paper. By writing down and documenting a number of things, you make your online marketing strategy concrete. Using a number of clear models and formats, create a strategy that is well thought-out, complete and clear and therefore easy to share within your company. Everyone knows what is going to happen and everyone is on the same page.

Van Ons consultants can help you with this. We walk you through all facets, models and frameworks of the online strategy. We think along with you about the implementation of the strategy and document everything. This way you can be sure that everything has been thought of, that critical questions have been asked, that there is a plan to help you move forward and, most importantly, that you let the internet work for you.