5S goals of digital marketing

The 5S of digital marketing are a simple framework to review and define the top-level goals of digital marketing in an organisation. They were defined by PR Smith in Chaffey, D. and Smith, P.R. (2017) Digital Marketing Excellence, Planning, Optimising and integrating digital marketing, 5th edn, Taylor & Francis. They were included in the first edition in 2001.

This is the meaning of the 5S:

  • SellGrow sales. Includes direct online sales where products can be sold online and sales from offline channels influenced online. Achieved through wider distribution to customers you cannot readily service offline or perhaps through a wider product range than in-store, or lower prices compared to other channels.
  • ServeAdd value. Achieved through giving customers extra benefits online or inform product development through online dialogue and feedback.
  • SpeakGet closer to customers. Creating a two-way dialogue through conversation marketing, i.e. web interactions like forums and livechat and conducting online market research through formal surveys and informally monitoring conversations to learn about them.
  • SaveSave costs. Achieved through online email communications, sales and service transactions to reduce staff, print and postage costs. Savings also accrue through ‘web self-service’ where customers answer queries through online content
  • SizzleExtend the brand online. Achieved through providing new propositions, new offers and new experiences online including building communities

This article explains the 5S of digital marketing across commercial, charity and membership organizations. More example of the 5S are available in this article on goal setting for digital marketing.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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