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In software development, there is this notion of design patterns. It is a template, a reusable solution to common problems that occur in developing software. A software engineer studies, collects, and uses these design frameworks to build new software and craft more complex applications quickly.
Digital marketing lends itself well to using design patterns.
These are a couple of digital marketing patterns that I use over and over again to build larger brand awareness and revenue grow campaign strategies.
Most businesses, unless you are a 129-year-old brand like Coca-Cola, need a larger audience. This is why advertising is often purchased for impressions (CPM – cost per thousand impressions) basis.
On the web, the process of developing a larger audience is the process of getting impressions in front of someone else’s audience in hopes that you can convince them to pay attention to your interests.
This is a typical pattern for audience development:
- Community – Identify one or more communities that are likely to have people that want or need your content, product, or service. Determine an appropriate way to access those communities for impressions. This access can be organic or paid, which can impact the way you apply your marketing strategy.
- Audience – Carefully study communities that you’re targeting. Look for characteristics and behaviors that indicate the audience you want to acquire.
- Content or Offer – Craft content and calls to actions that specifically talk to your desired audience.
- Value Proposition – Your content or offer must have some immediate and long-term benefit to the audience. You’re asking them to follow you. That’s going to take some convincing and leadership.
- Capture – Getting an audience’s attention is only the first step. You need to have a mechanism to capture them into a relationship-building strategy.
- Nurturing and Retention Strategy – Capture should funnel directly into a strategy for nurturing and retaining your new audience.
A logical extension of the audience development pattern is user acquisition. In this design pattern, you leverage the elements of the community, audience, content and offers to bring people in for a slightly different purpose. In this case, you’re intending to encourage people to become actual users or consumers of a product or service.
This is a typical pattern for a user acquisition campaign:
- Audience Development Pattern – The Audience Development pattern is a common precursor to most marketing campaigns, regardless of the objective(s).
- Tour, Trial, or Demo – Short of the actual capture the user acquisition pattern often needs a specialized form of value proposition and credibility building. This is where an interactive tour, free trial, or personal demonstration can help your audience to take the next step to becoming a user of your product or service.
- Account Signup – The desired outcome of the user acquisition pattern is an account registration or sign up.
Most businesses rely on a sales process that is relatively complex in order to sell their products or services. On the web, this necessitates a business development process that efficiently turns curious visitors into eager inquirers of your business.
Lead generation is the marketing pattern that can create a sufficient lead path from your website to your sales force.
The following is a standard pattern for a lead generation campaign:
- Audience Development Pattern – Again, we begin with research into communities and actual audiences that we can leverage for impressions. In the lead generation design pattern, we are looking to turn those impressions into curiosity about how our product or service might solve specific pain points in their lives or businesses.
- Tour, Demo, Portfolio, or other Proofing – In the case of lead generation the products and services are typically of a high price point. This requires a little more proofing and trust-building around your product or service offering, like a demo of the product or a portfolio of past work.
- Capture – Like most marketing patterns, there is a point of capture that brings interested individuals into your fold, in this case as a lead.
- Lead Management Strategy – Capturing the lead is just the beginning of the lead generation process. This particular pattern is unique in its treatment of the new lead and the sales process to manage it into a revenue, as a new purchase and customer.
Design patterns are great ways to template your marketing strategies. Using models, like the ones above, will help you to pull proven frameworks off the shelf to deliver predictable and consistent marketing outcomes.