The Best Digital Marketing Strategy Starts with The User

I am not talking about market research here. Marketers have been doing that for years, and it is a critical component in even the most traditional approach to marketing

However, the premise of market research is to understand the customer to persuade them better to buy an existing product. By contrast, user-centric digital marketing aims to understand the customer better so it can provide more value to them and meet their needs. A value that comes not just from the product, but also from the marketing itself.

Take, for example, this post, which is a form of advertising for my services and in particular my training around digital marketing.

I believe that my services provide value, but that is not enough. This article needs to provide you with value too. My marketing has to provide value to attract attention and encourage people to share it with others.

Of course, what I am describing is a lot like content marketing, and indeed, when we do content marketing well, it is user-centric. However, all too often, content marketing fails because it is not user-centric

Too many content marketing efforts fail to provide value because they are ultimately product and company-centric, rather than focused on user needs. They are so concerned with trumpeting the benefits of the companies products and services to help people. Ultimately, nobody cares about your company news!

In short, traditional marketing focuses on the product, but the best digital marketing strategy focuses on the customer and providing them with value.

Why Start with The User?

The reason that the best digital marketing strategy starts with the user is that the consumer has all of the power. Where once it was the company with their massive marketing budgets who had the power, today, digital has shifted that power into the hands of the consumer.

Digital gives the consumer instant access to near unlimited choice, and that amount of choice makes them extremely demanding and selective. On top of that, digital has also given users a voice to complain if they are unhappy and most now realise they have real power to damage a brand.


In this brave new world, it is about more than who shouts the loudest. It is about who provides the most value and best experience to the consumer and to do that we need to understand what the user values.

How to Start with The User

Traditional market research focuses on the consumer’s demographic information and their tastes, to understand how we might influence them. However, the best digital marketing strategies focus on the user’s needs.

What questions do they have?

What pain points do they struggle with?

What are they trying to achieve?

That has led to more progressive digital marketers adopting many of the tools from user experience design — tools like empathy mapping and customer journey mapping.