How to use the 7s Framework for digital marketing

the internetThe Marketer’s Dilemma

Since the dawn of the Internet, marketers have regarded it as a vast laboratory, launching experiment after experiment to crack the code that generates sales and customer loyalty. Not surprising, most have failed. Consumers adopted digital technology as they themselves saw fit, in the process fundamentally altering the way they make purchasing decisions.  Companies that understand this evolution are now carefully moving digital interactivity toward the center of their marketing strategies, rethinking their priorities and budgets, and substantially reshaping their processes and skills.

The emergence of digital technology has led to a revolutionary change in marketing and by the end of this decade every facet of the marketing mix will be radically challenged. People spend less time watching TV and reading  newspapers each day and instead communicate through the use of mobile phones, watch videos on YouTube, look at photos in Flickr and exchange information through social networks.

Digital tools help companies increase their exposure to consumers who are actively seeking a product or service, making it much more effective than other forms of advertising. It is without a doubt the future of efficient  commercialization. How then can companies align their strategic thinking to keep pace with this marketing revolution.

McKinsey’s 7s Framework is one such tool that organisations can use to align their strategies and operations for the digital age. Consider this:

Strategy: The significance of digital marketing in influencing and supporting your organisations’ strategy

•Can you get  appropriate budgets and demonstrate / deliver value and Return On Investment from digital marketing  budgets?

•Do you have the techniques for using digital marketing to impact organisation strategy?

• Do you have  the techniques for aligning digital strategy with organisational and marketing strategy?

Structure: The modification of organizational structure to support digital marketing

•Can you Integrate your team with other management, marketing (corporate communications, brand marketing, direct marketing) and IT staff?

•Do you use  cross-functional teams and steering groups to get the digital marketing projects done?

• Are you going to insource or outsource your expertise?

interlocking wheelsSystems: The development of specific processes, procedures or information systems to support digital marketing

•Do you have a campaign plan approach to integrate and manage  content quality?

•Are you managing/sharing customer information through a unified reporting of digital marketing effectiveness?

•Are you using in-house vs. external best-of-breed vs. external integrated technology solutions?

Staff: A combination staff with varied domain experience such as IT, Marketing and use of external consultants.

•Do you have a plan to insource or outsource expertise in order to become effective in your digital marketing campaigns?

•Do you have  senior management buy-in/involvement with digital marketing?

•Do you have a plan for staff recruitment and retention, virtual teams, staff development and training for digital marketing?

Style: Includes how key managers behave to achieve goals

•How are you getting your team to be the ambassadors for digital marketing in your company?

•How have you integrated digital marketing into all your operations and processes?

gymnasticsSkills: Distinctive capabilities of key staff, but can be interpreted as specific skill-sets of team members

•Do you have capable staff skills in specific areas like project management, content management, specific e-marketing approaches?

  • Do you have staff that are trained to create and maintain your digital marketing channels?


  • Does your Senior management understand  and support the digital marketing strategy?

Super-Ordinate goals: The guiding concepts to build the digital marketing organization’s culture.

•Do you have the capacity to improve the perception of the importance/effectiveness of digital marketing among senior managers and staff?

For digital marketing training and consultancy, contact Chipo at






About chipomaps

A brand reputation, marketing and new media trainer and consultant. Constantly curious, constantly learning.
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