Posts Tagged ‘Ceri James’

Structuring a complete Digital Marketing Strategy

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013


Having recently completed the Digital Marketing Institute’s (DMI),  Digital Marketing Diploma, I thought I would summarise and share the contents of the course, and at the same time provide a holistic overview of the DMI’s view on Digital Marketing.

Marketing Trends

What are the top marketing trends you’ve come across?

The program consists of a 5 Day intensive bootcamp covering all the various disciplines of Digital Marketing.

First off, it’s imperative to understand, that there are many channels that make up an entire Digital Marketing Plan, and by selecting only a few of them, you could be leaving out many other crucial aspects.

Secondly, by utilising all channels, you are in effect harnessing the full power of a complete strategy, but need to do so in a fully integrated way.

The different components that make up a Digital Marketing Strategy are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Marketing – The DMI covers Pay per click (paid advertising) under this section
  • Email marketing
  • Digital Display advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Analytics (being able to report on results)

The entire marketing framework, then needs to be underpinned by strategy, and thorough planning.

Aside from just understanding the various channels, the DMI continually refers to the 3i Principals, being initiate, iterate, and integrate. The basic concept is that each strategy must start off with the customer as the focus of the campaign, alter over time, as one gathers more accurate info about this customer, and finally integrate all other marketing messages in a coherent manner.

Your objective

First off, and more importantly than the channel you are ultimately going to use, is the over arching objective(s). Why you are doing it

Be Specific

What results are you looking for?

You need to set yourself, and your organisation, very clear, specific and measurable goals that you are looking to achieve from your online marketing strategy.

By starting with the customer in mind, you could begin to ask such things as; ‘who is my customer?’ ‘Where do they work?’ ‘How do they browse the web?’ and ‘what leads them to make a buying decision?’

Why do we need to ask ourselves these questions? Well, in order for success, your message needs to be highly targeted. The better you know your audience, the more they we feel as though you are talking directly to them.

Tell your customer, what you want them to do, by making your ‘Call to Action’ clear.


Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to invest a considerable amount of time doing focused and quality in depth research.

  • Interrogate the keywords that people use when looking for your product or service
  • Check trending data of search volume at different times of the year for your product or service
  • Explore which channels potentially stand to provide you with the best success and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Be aware of what your competitors are already doing in this space, and how you can differentiate


Once you have worked out the purpose for your campaign, and have done your research, you now need to develop a detailed action plan.

Decide how long in advance you wish to plan (3, 6 or 12 months), and then set up a calendar, with dates to take various action steps.

Marketing Strategy

How will you unlock your brand’s potential?

Make sure that all your dates coincide correctly, and don’t overlook anything. An example of this would be to make sure you have designed and populated your emailer, before the date it’s due to be sent.


The greatest marketing plan in the world is absolutely meaningless, if not acted upon. So in order to get results, take action.

If your planning stage was done correctly, there is no need to second guess yourself, so trust your plan and work it accordingly. Stick to the plan and don’t deviate at the outset. You need to allow for a certain amount of action, and results before you decide to change anything.



If you can’t measure it, how can you improve on it?

In order to run any marketing campaign effectively, you will need to decide upfront what will determine its overall success.

Analyse and report

Have you got the results you expect?

This is important, so that you can ultimately tweak the campaign in the direction that will further increase your ROI.

Decide in advance what you plan to measure in your Digital Marketing Plan, as well as how you plan to measure it. This can easily be done with a number of free or paid for reporting tools which can be found online, and taken advantage of.

Before deciding on the tools to use, first decide on the type of information you wish to measure, and what you would like to do with it, once you have it.


So, while there are many opportunities and channels for Digital Marketing online, and whilst it is important to pick the rights ones for your business, its even more important to do in depth research, strategise your campaign, have an executable action plan, and then, through real-time and effective monitoring, deviate your strategy and actions, to make the most of everything that online has to offer you.





Vinny Lingham’s Secret’s for securing funding

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The important things to consider when you are looking to raise funding for your new business, or business idea, you need to concentrate on the following:

  • Have a great team
  • You need a good plan
  • Be a good networker
  • Build a ‘Great pitch’ (if you can’t deliver your message in 1-2 sentences, then it’s not simple enough for a funder)
  • Have a good demo
  • Be persistent (don’t give up)
  • Remain passionate about your business
  • Show potential
  • Build products, not services (service  businesses don’t scale)

Oh, to be treated like a millionaire everyday

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Ready to depart from the station

Ready to depart from the station

How you ask? Well, either you have the bank balance, or you have the connections.

For the moment, it’s the latter for me.

Thanks to Red Pepper Books being a member of the esteemed ABSA Rewards loyalty program, we were invited to be part of a, for many, once in a lifetime experience and total treat.

This exclusive occasion was only open to a select 72 people for the day (we were two of those).

It all begins…

08h30, we met at the Capital Park Station in Pretoria, the home of Rovos Rail and it’s departure point. Here we enjoyed champagne, canapés, great company and the opportunity to take some spectacular pictures. Next thing we knew, we were boarding this illustrious transportation device.

The train itself is beautiful and furnished with only the best. After about 30 minutes of exploring the train, we stumbled upon the bar, which was the last carriage, and also where the real party seemed to be under way. We found ourselves two seats at the bar, joined in the festivities and met some amazing characters. The drinks flowed, the conversation progressed and the laughter

Standing proud at the window

Standing proud at the window


Next thing we knew, we were being ushered though for lunch. We were seated in the dining hall where everything was in it’s place and immaculate. The waiters came and took our orders and the wine began to flow. This was not just any wine, but rather some of this country’s finest, and the selection was endless.

Lunch was enjoy over a slow 2 hour stretch of five courses that exploded into a variety of tastes and the whole experience was enjoyed in the company of Rani from ABSA and her husband Ruben, who is about as passionate about photography as I am.

2 hours later, just as we were halfway though our 2nd black coffee and cognac, the train came to a holt, and we were informed the we were now at our next destination. This being Makgopong Station in Naboomspruit. We then boarded two coaches and made our way to Legend Golf and Safari Estate. The ride took about 45 minutes, and as we drove into the estate, we were all in total awe of our surroundings. If the entrance was anything to go by, we could all guess that we were in for even more of a treat. Lined up in a row, were 7 game-viewing vehicles waiting for us to climb onto and ride off into the bush.

White rhino

White rhino

As we entered the game viewing area, we were surrounded by a huge selection of game species. We saw Wildebeest, Springbok, Blesbok, Warthog, Zebra, and Rhino. We were then taken to Entabeni (place of the mountain), where a series of lions were being reared and rehabilitated to be put back into the wild.  This was a truly humbling experience. On our departure out of the park, we were fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of some Cheetahs, just before they ran for cover.

Thinking the day was coming to an end, we were then taken deeper into the bush to a Pedi cultural village, for a further experience, where we were greeted by the sound of drums, clapping and singing. Not to mention another assortment of food platters and deserts, and a series of wines and malts to round off the day. We sat and socialized to the sounds of traditional music as we relaxed and unwound, even further.

At around Six o’ clock, we climbed back onto the game vehicles and headed back to where the coaches waited for our return to Capital Park Station in Pretoria. Sadly, this was the least enjoyable part of the trip, with a 2-hour bus ride to allow each of us to

Pedi drummers & singers

Pedi drummers & singers

recover from all the overindulgence of the day.  After what seemed like a trip that would never come to an end, we finally reached the station, where we disembarked, said our farewells to each other, and climbed into the comfort of our own vehicles, as we headed for the highway and made our way home.

I would really recommend, that should you get the chance to experience the Rovos Rail, then take to opportunity to do so.

In closing, I would like to say a really special thank you to Red Pepper Books, ABSA Rewards and Rovos Rail.

(Additional photos available here)