Smart Digital Marketing = Making Choices

Figure 4 Focused ACPPA Marketing Plan
Figure 3 Full ACPPA Matrix for XYZ

Figure 3 ACPPA Full Matrix – All Brainstormed tactics

In our last discussion we stepped through the first three digital marketing tools as an example from the list of brainstormed options for our fictitious XYZ community blog startup. Figure 3 shows the completed matrix.

To make sure we are on the same page, let us quickly outline the marketing stage observations for each tool. Starting with Google+, adding teaser content here with backlinks to the various posted articles should drive consideration, and preference over time with those who are clicking on the link to read the posts. Off matrix considerations are also that Google+ provides high quality links to XYZ’s site.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) was felt to drive consideration in one group of searchers, and it should also drive direct purchase behaviour. In XYZ’s case the purchase or conversion is a new member addition.

Blogs, in this case, refers to the XYZ community blog posts. These are the core content, and should drive both preference and inspire purchase behaviour (inspiring a reader to become a member of XYZ).

Having a presence on YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram would both drive greater awareness of XYZ’s mission, and should drive consideration to varying degrees, depending on the content or teasers shared. In the case of YouTube, if the content were compelling and consistent enough, then watchers might drawn to have a preference for XYZ’s community solely based on the videos viewed.


For a startup with limited resources, on the marketing side XYZ must choose whether it will proceed with all the tools from the original brainstorming session, of cut out certain platforms. Having completed the ACPPA matrix – gives us a fair understanding of the overlap and gaps in the marketing stages that different tools will support. When choosing which platforms to use and which to cut, other factors need to be considered in the evaluation, like:

  • mapping the platform to the target market and personas,
  • costs associated with them (financial or time investment),
  • difficulty level of maintaining ongoing content feeds
  • engagement levels of different platforms
  • conversion likelihood from the different platforms, and
  • off matrix considerations like whether it is easy to link back to XYZ’s site.
Figure 4 Focused ACPPA Marketing Plan

Figure 4 ACPPA Focused Marketing Plan

Figure 4 shows the results of XYZ’s analysis. Here the ACPPA matrix identified significant overlap on the Awareness and Consideration phases across SEO, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. These were the platforms needing choices. LinkedIn was eliminated based on the mismatch of persona focus on the platform. LI being very business focused is quite unlike XYZ’s community blogging intent. For the initial phase, the other platforms will probably have a better impact on awareness and consideration, so LI was dropped at this stage.

Pinterest is a highly engaging platform, with exceptional backlinking opportunities. However, it lends itself to highly graphic, rich, and beautiful photography. Although XYZ may evolve in that direction, this was not the focus of XYZ’s site, so Pinterest was dropped.

Although Instagram is very highly engaging, like Pinterest it is focused on photography and short video clips, and at the time of this post it required transmission from a smartphone (additional challenge, and time consuming step). Given that there is no easy backlinking with Instagram, this platform might generate fair awareness and consideration but not result in click through, hence no significant conversion. As a result Instagram was dropped from the initial marketing plan.

YouTube was the final platform that seemed enticing, but also was not taken for the initial marketing plan. As with Pinterest and Instagram, the core of XYZ’s offering is not focused on video creation. As such, for the initial marketing plan – YouTube was also dropped.


All told, the steps we reviewed above show us that the ACPPA Matrix gives us a great structure to help spot gaps, and overlaps. These observations help drive the questions to drive decision making to help focus the marketing strategy on the core needs to drive the business forward.

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