By Joe Ghantous

In 1960 Jerome McCarthy had came up with the “4P’s of Marketing” concept that sets up controllable variables to help brands influence their buyers’ response.
After 7 years, Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, had popularized this concept in his book & make it the marketing bible.

After 50 years, I think the time has come to create a new marketing concept that meets the digital age & allows brands to simply manage & implement any digital marketing activity. On January 9, 2017 after 17 years of experience in digital marketing and studying the market requirements and analyzing the active digital marketing campaigns I have come up with “ The 4T’s of Digital Marketing Operations”, a Lebanese Marketing Concept That Can Be Implemented Internationally.

The 4T’s of Digital Marketing Operations is a new marketing concept that combines and derives benefits from its 4 factors of success (Tactics, Tools, Training & Tracking) to cost- effectively accomplish the operations’ desired goals and objectives.

The 4T’s” is a flexible marketing concept that can be customized according to your business size:

  1. If you have a small & medium sized company that is operating without a digital marketing strategy, then "The 4t's of Digital Marketing Operations" is your solution.

  2. If you are an individual with a free profession (Doctors, lawyers, Public Figures....) then “The 4t's of Personal Online Branding” fits you, especially that nowadays the personal branding becomes the company brand.

  3. If you have or a member of a big company with running digital marketing operations then “The 4T's in Reverse” is good for your to benchmark & evaluate these operations.

Think of “Digital Marketing Operations” like flying a plan!

Would a pilot take off without a flight plan, inspecting the plane and ensuring that it has enough fuel to make it to the final destination? (Tactics).

When taking off, would the pilot shut down the instrument panel and silence the radio while flight?(Tools).

Can anyone fly a plane without signing up for thorough training?

When taking off, would the pilot turn off radar? (Tracking).

Of course not, without a flight plan,training, radar & the instruments, especially the radio the pilot wouldn’t be able to detect any threat, know how the plane is functioning; and communicate about the flight plans. He could look out of the window (similar to what most of digital marketers do today) but would not have enough scope of vision to keep the plane safe. Eventually, the pilot would be flying blind.

The same analogy shall be also followed nowadays in creating your effective digital marketing operations, representing the main pillars of “The 4T’s”.

Each “T” answers a different question and denotes a group of actions assuring the success of any digital marketing operation

The components of each T are interconnected and vary by importance & is reflected below by colors.

Most Important 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 Least Important


“How you should pave the road toward your ultimate goal?”

The first pillar of the “4Ts” representing the base part of any effective digital marketing operation.
It is the “how” of everything (who, what, where, when & why), simply it is your digital marketing strategy.

TACTICS is made of the below ingredients:

T: Target Audience: Define your online target audiences’ demographics and challenges to be targeted in all your digital marketing campaigns.

A: Approach: Determine your main digital marketing operations’ goal with its date of accomplishment.

C: Coordination: Synchronize between departments (sales, marketing, HR, etc.) as well as between the online and offline campaigns & activities to unify the efforts in achieving your main objectives.

T: Trajectory: Assign your customers’ buying journey to understand their purchasing behavior.

I: Influence: Search for people who have influence in your industry because when they share your brands’ message it carries more credibility and will amplify the influence on your target audience rather than when you mention it yourself.

C: Communication Strategy: Set up the methods of your online activities including the way to share your brand's message with the public and whom to reach.

S: Situation Analysis: Review your brand's current situation, capabilities & activities to discover its strengths and overcome the weaknesses online.

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"Which tools you should use to reach your assigned objectives?"

The second “T” represents the needed digital marketing tools to achieve the companies’ objectives. You know that there are numerous ways to boost your business online and hundreds upon hundreds of digital marketing tools to choose from, similar to social media , email, mobile, search engine marketing & others.

To effectively use these TOOLS, you should consider its below ingredients:

T: Technologies: Choose the appropriate digital marketing technologies/tools constantly in order to assure the fulfilment of your digital marketing operations’ goals.

O: Order: Set up the working module of your digital marketing operations to assure its synergy and defining the time line for each activity.

O: Onus: Ascribe the responsibilities among the various stakeholders of your business for a better operation and tracking system.

L: Liquidity: Assign the needed budget for the selected technologies (systems), content (message), Ads (Media spent) and people (internal and external).

S: Simple Message: Prepare the required content for your digital marketing campaigns, which could be written content, images, designs, or videos, to educate, inform, entertain, inspire, reward and help your target audience by keeping the message clear and simple.

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"How to effectively use the available tools to fulfill your goals?"

There are plenty of marketers, but not enough marketers with digital skills and ability to quickly assess changes in the marketing world, adjust and adapt.

We’re going to see more change in our marketing world in the next two years than in the last 20, that’s why “Training” was assigned as the third pillar of digital marketing operations after “Tactics” and “Tools”.

To survive this change, you have to transform your business into a technology-enabled, high-performance, adaptive and agile learning organization. To do so, you must gain the knowledge needed by frequently (recommended each 6 months) attending or organizing in-house digital marketing training sessions alongside capturing the needed indicators stating to which end these training sessions had supported your main goal.

TRAINING is made of the below ingredients:

T: Transfer Learning into Behavior: Moving from learning to results by turning the knowledge and skills participants learned into their behavior at work.

R: ROE (Return on Expectation): Defining the expectation of the various stakeholders of your business before implementing the training program and demonstrate the degree to which their expectations have been satisfied after the training.

A: Analysis: Analyze the training data before, after & along the way so that instead of measuring what happened, you can influence what happens and maximize current and future program results.

I: Implementation: Execution of training program that help participants to learn concepts and practice new skills.

N: New Encouragement Package: Training can’t produce results alone. There are a number of non-training factors that are requested from stakeholders after training that include encouraging, reinforcing and rewarding performance of gained knowledge and skills on the job. The main issue here is getting more managers to support the training and more trainees applying what they learned to get concrete and valuable results.

I : Impact: Monitor the Training final result according to your business stakeholders’ expectations or the impact on the participants’ job performance and the clients’ feedback

N: Non-Stop Development: Training is an ongoing not a hit and run method. It refers to the process of acquiring, applying & constantly updating the participants' knowledge.

G: Goodwill: The intention of the participants to take corrective actions at work after attending the training program.

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"Where to look to keep track on your route of progress to your ultimate goal?"

The last “T” is tracking. It is an essential aspect for the success of any digital marketing operation.
According to a survey of senior marketing executives published in the Harvard Business Review, “more than 80% of respondents were dissatisfied with their ability to measure marketing ROI”.

For that reason, you should focus on the last but not the least “T” – Tracking.

By tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) on Google Analytics, social media and other tools you will stay on the right track during the whole operation.

TRACKING is made of the below ingredients:

T: Target: Determine the numerical values as pre-indicators to define the coming phase success & failure.

R: RODMI (Return on Digital Marketing Investment): Reveal the return on investment that reflects the selected key performance indicators of your digital marketing campaigns.

A: Amendments: Make the needed corrections based on the frequent review of your tracking analytics.

C: Conversion: Set up the primary (Macro-Conversions) intended from your operations.

K: KPI’s: Set up your brand's leading, current & lagging indicators of the well being of your digital marketing operations.

I: Intent Indicators: Keep your eyes on the small steps (Micro-Conversions) of the path toward your primary conversion goal.

N: Noble Tools Select the effective platforms needed to analyze & monitor the success of your operations.

G: Goal Funnel: Set up the conversion process that allows you to begin isolating problems at any point in your leads' path toward their final intended destinations.

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Final Thought:

The 4T’s marketing concept is the success equation for creating and implementing any digital marketing operation. Its components (Tactics, Tools, Training and Tracking) also can be considered as benchmarks in evaluating the effectiveness of your running digital marketing operations by considering the outcomes of each T as a key performance indicator (KPI), simply by grading your performance for each “T” and diagnosing your flaws. By then you’ll be aware about your weak points and in which “T” you should invest more.

For the importance and effectiveness of this concept we at Right Service had decided to re-shape our digital marketing solutions and make them compatible with it.

#The4TsOf Marketing

Note: Every quarter of the year a new updated version will be created.