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Introducing the digital world to your marketing mix?

Introducing the digital world to your marketing mix? Time to consider (and appoint) the resources that will make it all happen!


In my previous article on a similar topic I shared some considerations to think through before you embarked upon a social marketing campaign.  Now my thinking turns to who will make it happen. You have a passionate vision about your product. But you cannot do everything yourself. You know what you want to do! Who can help you make it happen?
There are potentially three classes of people you might think of doing the job;
·       Yourself personally, your secretary or a family friend. The digital tools for building a website are easier to use than ever before and do not always require specialist skills.
·       Freelancers are usually highly skilled in one component of the job, they will often make themselves available without distraction and are usually cost effective and
·       Fully fledged social marketing agencies who will integrate all your communications executions under one strategy.

Definitely one way to do this is to “do it yourself” and that will certainly be the cheapest. But the long-term results may not be?

First review the experts available. You know what you want. You are comfortable with what you need to ask. You know what you want to achieve. But, before you call them in, fully review the digital consultants and agencies. Talk to friends and colleagues. Many people are happy to share their learnings.

Then talk to the experts.

Select a few and call them in. Give them a detailed brief, making sure they understand the questions you want answers for. Those are detailed in the previous post in this series. And await their proposal;
·       Explore the work they are currently doing. Ask for and study their references.
·       Ensure their strategic understanding is similar to yours. They are going to act as partners in your business success and it is important that you feel comfortable with their strategic discussion.
·       Their views on design and setup is important as well. Remember they are doing work for you. So, you must be comfortable with the creative work, aesthetic and technical aspects and execution.
·        During this you will discuss strategy and add to the information you collated in the first place. Remember an important part of strategy is measurement, evaluation and review. Or analytics. Strategy without analytics is simply a wish list. Whomever you talk to must make evaluation and review as important a part as budget & billings, creative, design or content. There are tools such as Hootsuite and Mailchimp that must be built into the very start of the campaign to ensure that the analytics is happening and is as easy to understand and use as possible.
·       Discuss practically how the content is generated. Specifically, who will do what, how and when?

Remember social marketing is not about product. It is about people, networking and the community.
·       Content Management is important.
·       But managing the community is too. How are you going to grow your network? Organically? Paid for posts? And nothing translates into a poor image like a comment being answered too slowly or not at all or in a bad manner. So, community management is an important agency selection factor.

All communication requires campaign thinking. Campaigns build upon their own success.
·       Any Social Communication is never an event, it is always a campaign. And any campaign must evolve and must learn from the work completed at that point in time. The product might evolve but will not change. The target market will also evolve, usually slowly. But you must immediately change the tone or style of voice as you learn what the target market prefers and favours. It is critical to remember that what you want to say is not important but what the readers/viewer wants to see is.

Which does he or she prefer?
·       Long detailed articles,
·       Short and concise precis,
·       A short statement or message
·       A video,
·       An image or a photo.

And from a timing perspective
·       Does your audience prefer midweek evening posts or
·       Weekend early morning posts.

Analytics will tell you what success that has been achieved and such learning must be brought to the content production and campaign style of voice and timing immediately.

When finalising agency selection
·       Any proposal you are given must give equal weight to strategy & review mechanisms, content and community management.
·       The proposal must answer the questions YOU asked, not simply deliver the answers the agency cares to supply.
·       The tools for review and learning must be included. When that is included you can reliably assume that the cost given is more accurate and that those will not climb as unplanned for components are necessarily added after the Social Marketing campaign is commenced.
·       Do not choose the cheapest, lowest quote but the choose the team that wins the greatest confidence. Budget figures can always be negotiated but confidence in a team is invaluable to achieving success.

Once you know what you want to say and you have decided the fashion in which you will say it, you must decide who is going to do the work for you. Talk to the resources available, choose the best and appoint them to get the job done. Charge them to make it happen!
About Garth Sutherland

Garth Sutherland has extensive multicultural understanding, developed in South Africa and proven across the GCC. He has worked with local brands (creating independent strategic positions) and international brands (integrating the international brand vision with the local demand to optimize the “on the ground” brand presence). His strengths include bringing a strong strategic focus into all aspects of marketing delivery, working with multi-agency perspectives, independent thinking & implementing with a consistent and practical teamwork focused delivery.  
Garth is currently working for Six Degrees, a communication and events management consultancy that combines strategy with functional management, always ensuring that every event and every component of every event adds to the strategic value of the brand represented. If you are participating in an event and want to maximize the strategic value of that participation, Garth (and Six degrees) is the ideal resource to task.
Contact him at or or +971 50 459 2536. Other posts of his can be read at

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