shutterstock_246027535So far this year we’ve looked at various trends and predictions for the year – and even decade – ahead. It’s easy to race ahead and look at the exciting developments making an impact on the digital marketing industry, but what about the marketing strategies you need to really pull off some of those more ambitious ideas? (Admit it: you’re already daydreaming of ways to implement Oculus Rift.)

There are three main strategies that should underpin everything you do as a marketer. They may be basic, but going back to basics is a strategy that, in itself, pays dividends.

You can scale up or down with ease when you’ve got these three core elements in place:

1. Establish your true North
You’ve heard the old adage: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You need a rock-solid marketing plan with specific, measurable goals. You’ll also have heard of the SMART framework (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and timed) – and it’s as simple as that.

This way, the digital marketing fashions will become just that. Do you remember, a few years ago, when every other business rushed to set up pages across social media sites? A good deal of them decided that, for example, an accountancy firm maybe didn’t need to be on Instagram.

Firm goals will shape your strategy, and are easy to revisit and adjust as business objectives shift. Whether you decide that a social media presence is right for your brand or not, you won’t get swayed by a crazy rush to do the next big thing. You’ll take one look at your goals and see whether that thing is right for you and your customers. The same goes for if management suddenly want things done a certain way, but have wishy-washy, fear-based reasons for it – neither fear nor fashion can get in the way of solid goals.

2. Measure, measure measure
The ‘M’ in SMART is non-negotiable. It’s not enough to state your goal, but you have to articulate what that goal means, and understand how you measure it. What are your criteria?

Do you want more users to engage with your content? Great, but what kind of engagement are you looking for? Are ‘likes’ more valuable than downloads and comments to you? Are you looking to generate a buzz, or do you need your content to really resonate with users?

That’s probably a subject for a different article, but it underlines the point. You need to decide what results you’re going to measure, how you measure them, and assess what the numbers mean for your business.

3. #Sharingiscaring
It’s easy to create marketing plans in a silo, even with the best intentions. Make sure you have the relevant teams (particularly the ones who’ll be executing your grand visions) on board. Share your plans with stakeholders and management. Yes, that’s right: meetings.

Set those meetings often and share your news with one and all on a regular basis – you’ll create buy-in across the business, and you and the team will be accountable. Sharing your progress helps you stay on top of your goals and initiatives.