Achieving this goal requires planning and executing strategic response options utilizing a Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) framework. To become the world-leading standard in this complex environment, the MDO community must develop efficiencies to respond and innovate more rapidly and effectively.
Develop trusted information sources. When you have the opportunity, inquire about your competition's type of campaign, weaknesses and strengths from people in a position to know best; of course, with the advent of the Internet this has never been easier, something no General has had available before. Make the most of your sources of information to learn all that you can about your opponent. The secret of great warriors was in actual fact principally only previous knowledge, noted diligently and then well applied.
Marketers have been somewhat reluctant to incorporate AI in their digital marketing strategies. But now they’ve gained a lot more confidence in using AI since its ambiguity has been reduced with respect to the results it can provide. These intelligent tools keep evolving more and more and are even reaching a point in which they are able to surpass humans in certain aspects like we’re about to see.
Seeking a strong resource to inform your digital marketing? Look to the military.
Military strategy is defined generally as “the art of devising or employing plans toward a goal…to meet the enemy in combat under advantageous conditions.” The purpose of the military is of course very different from that of a digital marketing agency—we do not typically engage in military combat with a competitor. But there are many parallels to be found between military and digital strategies, such as:
Know your end goal. One well-known, anonymous military quote reads, “Having lost sight of our objectives, we need to redouble our efforts.” Those words ring very true for digital marketers: If we lose sight of our objectives, our efforts will lose their effectiveness. We must always be working with the end in goal in mind.
Intelligence is paramount. There is an abundance of data available. Use it. Learn as much as you can before you act. The military never chooses a strategy without first gathering as much intelligence as possible. Neither should someone choosing a digital marketing strategy.
Survey your landscape. Take a cue from the military and know your territory well. Where does your business fit into the digital landscape? What outside factors may affect your goals? You can perfectly execute the tactics of your digital marketing campaign, but the campaign may fail if you overlook an important aspect of your landscape.
Tactics and strategies are not the same. The terms strategy and tactic are often used interchangeably, but both have different meanings. A strategy is an overarching plan that is developed to meet a long-term goal or goals. A tactic is one of various, specific ways you can achieve those goals. In the midst of your digital campaign, tactics may change in response to ongoing actions, such as a major news event or social media post. While your tactics may change, your strategy—and the major long-term goal you are working toward—will remain constant.
Flexibility is key. You cannot expect everything to go smoothly or as planned. One of the advantages of digital marketing is that it offers significant flexibility, particularly compared to more traditional marketing tactics. If you are willing to be flexible, you can adjust your digital marketing tactics in response to changes for a better outcome.
We know that strategy fundamentally depends on acquiring and using information to best control situations around us, and we make strategic decisions based upon what we see, hear and understand. For thoroughbred digital marketers who live in data for decision making, this might hurt initially… we don't really "know" what's going on. We feel that we never have enough information, don't we? We get paralysed by not having enough information, and equally freeze and get lost if we have too much.
Sound familiar? It might feel easier where we can see what we think is under our control, in an analytics dashboard for example, but it's misleading. We only see and control tiny elements out of the vast amounts of information. Control is the infrequent and misleading exception and chaos is the larger reality, and realising this is where advantage lies. Most information is unknown, or totally unknowable.
Our perception of reality is full of blind-spots, it's incomplete, a mix of things that we don't know and things that are also totally unknowable. The chain of information is also getting weaker as new policies come into place.
That aside, in your own organisation and market, how many times do unexpected 'events' occur that throw your data upside down anyway? A lot from my experience; it's business as usual! We never quite "know", do we? In marketing, this problem is made worse as more and more data becomes available, more information isn't necessarily good if there's no model to process it. By recognising that information is gathered on imperfect models from increasingly imperfect sources, and appreciating that we see "our" reality, not "the" reality, we can choose to widen our view, use better decision making models and make decisions those based on more of what is, rather than what we just think is.
Never use “limited resources” as an excuse for bad marketing. Even when facing perceived limitations, creativity can lead to new possibilities that didn’t previously exist. From only five unique hues, the world has an infinite amount of color potentials. Green wasn’t possible until yellow and blue were combined. Orange is created only when red and yellow are combined. You get the idea.
What colors are you working with? What new ones can you create?
So, when building and executing an effective marketing strategy for your business, you need to start by identifying the resources you do have and the ones you don’t. Do you have an abundance of time, but no money to invest? Do you have a limited amount of marketing knowledge but a sizable budget? The idea here is that even with a scarce amount of resources, you can find combinations that produce good results.
Additionally, this lesson is applicable on a micro level. To produce successful marketing campaigns, your business (or an agency that you employ) should continually run A/B tests. It needs to be a foundational part of your marketing tactics.
Test ad copy for click rates, landing page design for conversions and email subject lines for open rates. This is the only way your marketing campaigns will experience consistent performance improvement. Even when starting with only two different groups, an infinite number of iterations are possible.
When designing a new landing page, typically start with an A/B test of the headline. After enough traffic, review the data to see which headline produced the highest conversion rate. Promote this winning headline as your “A” test and then introduce a new “B” headline to test.
Eventually, you can start testing other elements of the page (sub-headlines, body copy, form, buttons, etc.) until satisfied with its performance.
This process will take months, but after starting with only a couple variations, you have introduced dozens of new possibilities that would have been impossible when you began. To create a new color you have to start by mixing two of the colors you already have.
Successful marketing takes both discipline and execution.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Everyone knows a smart strategy is the key to success, right? Well, why do so many businesses fail? Probably because there was a strategy in place at one point.
A marketing strategy is a high-altitude plan – it’s a long-term vision of your business’s marketing goals. A marketing strategy is similar to the rudder of a ship. Yes, it will steer you in the right direction, but it doesn’t power the boat too. Eventually, the strategy will get you where you want to go, but you’ll probably be at sea a long, long time.
This is why you need tactics too. Tactics are your low-altitude day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. They are the engine of your marketing ship. Tactics power your business towards its marketing goal.
Successful marketing takes both discipline/strategy and execution/tactics.
It’s clear that many great warriors have placed more importance on developing a sound strategy, and there’s not necessarily something wrong with that. Without a well-devised strategy, all of your marketing efforts will be frivolous. You can work as hard as you want, but you’ll never achieve success unless you know what you’re working towards. Without a strategy, you can’t measure progress and performance.
A handful of those warriors probably work tirelessly on execution day in and day out. Some combinations probably could have been successful if given more time. But when you press the restart button on your organization’s strategy every time you face a little adversity, you will never make any progress. Frequently changing strategies suggests that your last one wasn’t very good to begin with.
Successful marketing requires an agile methodology.
“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.”
If your first attempt is a big score, an undisciplined solider will likely try to repeat the outcome even though circumstances have changed. In the next end run the location, velocity and rotation are different. The wind has shifted and the temperature has changed. The same uppercut swing used before will likely lead to a weaker one in the next one. The same principle holds true in marketing. Often, early success can thwart the development of a business’s marketing strategy because the positive outcome causes changes in behavior.
Operant conditioning, is a form of learning that causes an individual to change his or her behavior based on perceived rewards or punishments. When certain marketing tactics are successful, the reward of positive reinforcement will increase the frequency at which the original behavior occurs in hopes to achieve the desired outcome again.
However, circumstances have changed and that’s the problem. If you repeat the same marketing tactics over and over again, you will eventually fail. The only constant is change. If you want to sustain a successful marketing strategy, you need to adopt an agile methodology.
There are popular development method used by engineering teams that encourages rapid and flexible response to change. What the agile methodology assumes is that changing circumstances are a certainty and regular adaptation is a necessity. By embracing the chaos, you can be better equipped to respond to it.
How do you make your marketing strategy agile? You start by taking notice of the external factors. What’s developing in your market place or industry? What new marketing platforms or applications are available to you? How are your competitors marketing their businesses? What feedback are you receiving from customers and prospects?
You also need to become a master of your marketing analytics or agency to head this responsibility. Successful decisions are data-driven. You must have the ability to look at the numbers and discern their meaning. What is working and what isn’t? What tactical changes need to be made to continue moving the needle?
For example, ad platforms already use machine learning and artificial intelligence to find people more prone to making the advertiser’s desired action. To achieve this, they analyze the user’s information, like their interests, demographics, and other aspects to learn and detect the best audience for their brand.
A learning AI tool, was created to get much more relevant search results. It interprets the user’s voice searches and, using the power of AI, provides the user with the best results according to what it interpreted from the user’s language and context.
Voice searches require marketers to adapt their content so that it’s closer to the way a user would verbally express themselves. So, in this sense, those famous long-tail keywords will be replaced with more conversational keywords, based on the way the user would say something or do a voice search. A brand that truly knows how to benefit from voice searches will be able to considerably increase their organic traffic.
If you thought a good website couldn’t exist without the help of a programmer and designer… well, that’s a thing of the past.
Today, there are already applications using artificial intelligence to design a website based on user-provided information (like images, text, calls-to-action, etc.. They can make the website look professional in much less time and at an unbeatable price.
Through intelligent algorithms, it’s possible to personalize an experience on a website. After analyzing thousands of data on a single user (including location, demographics, devices, interaction with the site, etc., AI can display offers and content that are more appropriate for each user type.
A good user experience is what keeps an audience browsing a site and, the more time they spend on it, the higher the probability of a conversion.
In this sense, one of the many possibilities that AI offers to make the user experience more user-friendly are chatbots, which we’ll talk about now.
Many brands have started to communicate with their prospects through messenger applications They’re fast since consumers are already using these tools to chat with friends and colleagues and, let’s get real, no one likes to wait for a response on the phone.
Chatbots are making the process of automating responses to potential buyers’ frequently asked questions even easier by providing them with a way to search for the product or service they’re looking for.
A good indicator of a chatbot powered by AI is its ability to answer open questions. These bots use natural learning processing and machine learning to find the correct response.
Chatbots also have many other advantages. They can serve clients 24/7 and retain their data. They’re friendly and never lose their patience. Customers may get angry, but the bot always treats them well. Chatbots can respond to several requests from different customers at the same time, so waiting times will no longer be a problem.
Predictive models can be applied in several areas, and marketing is no exception. These models make it possible to predict the probability of a specific prospect becoming a client. They can also predict other aspects, like the quoted price necessary to make a conversion, or which clients are more prone to making more than one purchase.
The key here is to remember that predictive models will only be as good as the data you provide while creating them. So, if there are mistakes in your data, or there’s a high level of randomness, it won’t be able to make correct or accurate predictions.
This AI application will transform marketers from reactive to proactive planners, thanks to the data that serves as a forward-thinking element or guide to make the correct decisions.
An example of how this discipline is applied in digital marketing is the ranking of prospects or lead scoring. Models generated by machine learning can be trained to rank prospects or leads based on certain criteria that the sales team defines as “qualified purchasers.” This way, the sales team won’t lose any more time on leads that will never convert and can focus on those that will. This, in addition to contributing to increasing sales, means saving considerable time and resources.
As you can see, having artificial intelligence on your side will give you several benefits in your digital marketing strategy. AI is the new face of productivity, efficiency, and profitability since better decisions mean a higher ROI..
The decision to embark on a new era driven by AI, or get stuck in the past, will be everyone’s personal choice.
At the most fundamental level, AI is every innovator’s greatest ally. It can help companies turn market challenges into market opportunities, innovate and explore new channels and initiatives, without sacrificing current successful strategy.
AI reduces the risk of making leaps to new market paradigms by reducing the need to reassign expensive business talent to large initiatives, or simply test new business or product ideas and grow them if they show promise.
It allows for continual and speedy data inputs about customers on how they interact with a brand and what expectations they have. Analysis of, and adjustments to, initiatives can be performed quickly and at scale. That means you can capitalize on success more quickly.
For most businesses, that is a very exciting prospect: flexibility, scale, and control of your budget, so you can effectively manage
1. Laying Plans
Consider mission, climate, ground, command and methods so the commander or marketer can calculate his or her chances of victory before setting out. Consider the factors for achieving strategic marketing over tactical…. In warfare, as in business, there are three key factors that can determine who will be more likely to win. These three factors are: The moral law; the commander or leadership, as well as the method and management. Much is about respect and gaining the trust of your army organisation and of course your customers. Strong virtues and the discipline of each team member's roles and responsibilities, including your own provided leadership and clarity, matters enormously.
2. Planning for the Challenge of attack
Economy of warfare/marketing recognises that success requires winning small decisive engagements quickly. Successful military campaigns require limiting the cost of competition and conflict. "In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns." Defeat your opponent fast, so that you won't become fatigued and you won't lose strength in resources. This means putting forth all your best efforts to defeat your opponents at the right time and on the right areas, so that competitors lose the desire to win. Key source of strength is unity, not size, Five factors that are needed to succeed: Attack, Strategy, Alliances, Army, and Cities. Ensure good preparation and apply the correct strategy, such as working out when indirect approaches will be more effective and less energy-draining than direct approaches. This means knowing your market and marketing thoroughly, learning about the tactics, competition and allies/influencers that have been around for years, before your time in the game. Look for the strategies that prove most beneficial by using your intelligence and competitive advantage.
"Know your enemy and know yourself. If you do so, then you will win a hundred out of a hundred battles. Detailed knowledge of your opponent means that you know their brand behaviours, their strengths and their limitations. But in order to not have this same tactic applied to you effectively, you must defend existing positions until a commander/marketer is capable of advancing from those existing positions in safety. Recognise and pursue opportunities without creating opportunities for the enemy. This also means being able to change tactics when it's clear that your usual approach is failing –Commander who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning is extremely vauable.
Use of creativity and timing in building an army's/organisation momentum. In war, this concerns directing the momentum of the army to focus its energies in the most creative and timely manner without burning all of those precious resources. Having the focus and organising resources around the goals. The best organisations are the ones with talent and where those people commit to their strengths throughout the course of the campaign, they are recognised, organised and encouraged by the leaders. An army's opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of the enemy in a given area. "Strike the weak and avoid the strong” Again, you need to know your enemy well in order to spot their weak points, and then attack them. Being first to attack puts you in the stronger position because you lead the way according to how you have chosen, imposing your intent, and for your opponent, playing catch-up is much harder.
5. Engaging The Force
Dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon the commander. Manoeuvre with intelligence. You can lead an army of 1000 soldiers as easily as 10 – it is only a matter of signs and communication. Establish a common language between you and your organisation, a strong sense of 'brand purpose' is powerful. Implement good communication and trust in your team. Remember that the base for a cohesive and cooperative team is clear, constant communication and mutual support.
6. Variation in Tactics
Focus on the need for flexibility in an army's responses. Respond to shifting circumstances successfully. Vary your tactics, and you win. There are two attack methods: the direct and the indirect. The direct method may be used openly, they're expected, but indirect methods to secure victory are the unforeseen, the unexpected, they throw the confidence of your competition. Be sure to disguise your intentions as best as possible, to avoid detection when you're about to vary your approach.
7. Moving The Force - the different situations in which an army or organisation finds itself as it moves through new territories, how to respond to these situations, understand the intentions of other organisations. As your army/organisation progresses, remember to sustain all your aims on winning throughout the campaign. Try to understand your opponent's strategy and destroy it, and bear in mind at all times that: "The clever fighter imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him". Watch for the competitors changes in tactics and situation.
8. Situational Positioning
Three general areas of resistance- distance, dangers, and barriers and the six types of ground positions that arise from them. These are the six ways of ground. They are the general's responsibility, and must be examined. In warfare, they are flight, insubordination, deterioration, collapse, chaos, and setback. These six situations are not caused by something from another planet or Ground, but by the general and the situation. Success and Failure in any organisation starts from the top. The leader is responsible for any and all events that occurs in the organisation.
9. Common situations in a campaign, and the specific focus that a commander/marketer will need in order to successfully navigate them. Use the best position and tactics in relation to the environment and to your competition. Threaten your competition's remaining valuable strategies and positioning to prevent them from connecting their weakness with their strengths. Know how to drive your competition into a position where their weaker self is all they have left to rely upon. Where it is clear that your opponent has failed to adequately prepare for the situation, strike fast if they let a door open.
10. Fiery Attack - the use of weapons tactics and techniques and the specific use of the environment as a weapon. Be "fast as the wind" and as "unmovable" as the forest. That means that your attack must be very quick, but your campaign and positioning should remain very consistent. Remember that the army who wins is the one that shares the same spirit throughout all its ranks, keeping true and remaining consistent. You must examine targets for attack, types of environmental attack and the responses to attacks.