Digital marketing is all about predicting the next big thing. But while different trends come and go and as different channels and platforms grow in popularity then disappear, certain foundational principles of good digital marketing remain. Here are five of them.

A good data strategy

A key advantage to digital marketing is that customer behavior always leaves a trail. You can track how long a website visitor lingers on a landing page before clicking elsewhere. You can see how many mobile coupons sent via text are redeemed. You can track the impact of a particular digital ad on web traffic. All of this is data and all of it is useless if you’re not paying attention to it, making it available to the right people in your company, or making adjustments in response to it. A good digital marketing strategy requires a good data strategy. You need to have a plan for tracking, sharing, and reacting to all the data your digital marketing efforts create.

The right marketing channels

Digital marketing isn’t a channel, it’s a network of many different ones and what works for one won’t work for others. Even within a subcategory like social media, there are dozens of platforms each with their own demographics. A good data strategy will require a good understanding of the channels available to you and knowing which ones to spend your time and money on to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

Segmentation of your audience

You can get better results if you’re not treating your entire audience as one homogenous whole. Instead gather demographic information and segment your audience according to gender, age, and interests. This allows you to offer more relevant and personalized advertising to your customers and you don’t waste money on ads and offers that certain segments of your customer base won’t be interested in.

Propensity modelling

Propensity modelling is all about looking at behavioral data (what do customers end up buying after looking at this particular product) to try and guess what a customer is thinking and what they’re going to do. A targeted ad sent at just the right time can be the difference between success and failure.

A consistent message

Whether it’s banner advertisements, an emailed newsletter, or a text message, there needs to be an underlying message that is consistent across all channels and consistent with your brand’s image that you’ve worked so hard to establish.