I have often been asked to look at digital marketing strategies by managers/clients alike and it always interests me to see where these managers/clients have themselves started before asking me to get involved.

For example if you run a website that sells flooring do you:

A) Go straight to Google Keywords External Tool to see what keywords are the most popular then edit your website content accordingly hoping you will hit number 1 on page 1 and become a zillionaire.
B) Go to your existing customers and ask them what they searched for to find you in the hope that they can even remember that far back (one of my favourite customers has been using one of my companies for almost 10 years – whilst I can remember exactly how he found me, I doubt he can)
C) Examine your competitors websites for the keywords the are using then copy. (Cheat)
the list goes on…

Most marketing strategies need to start somewhere with some sort of intel that can help guide the decisions we live by.

Sometimes, I like to start at the end – pick my top 20 clients, clients who have for one reason or another already chosen to work with us, perhaps you will list yours by revenue or profit, brand name or general niceness – eitherway – choose your top 20 then send them to a company like Experian or MarketSafe and ask this company to profile them for you – it costs a few hundred pounds.

The resulting profile report nearly always reveals something to me about my customers that I did not previously know. The more information the better and with the information revolution well under way we will soon be able to generate client profile reports that we could only ever dream about before the likes of Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn came along.

For example, imagine knowing that 16 of the primary contacts within your top 20 client list have a passion for motor racing, live in London and have 2 kids under the ages of 12 and 18. Would your next event still be a beer swilling late night bash at Club Dizzy or would it be a family track day at Silverstone?

Food for thought isn’t it?