Thank you Steve Jackson

10 April 2014

Mapping a Digital Marketing Channel Strategy Using a REAN Model

*UPDATE: Check out our new post on mapping digital strategies with the REAN model and learn how to run the perfect REAN workshop*

Just recently I have been reading Steve Jackson’s excellent Cult of Analytics: Driving Online Marketing Strategies using Web Analytics (2009).

In this book, Steve usefully extended the original “REAN” model (see below) to web analytics as a way of defining a relevant and powerful set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for an organisation to track the performance of their web presence.

Well, this got us thinking…

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Using REAN to map digital marketing

Using REAN proved pretty powerful for analytics KPIs, but equally we thought there was mileage in using it for its original purpose: doing a quick and dirty map of digital marketing channel activity for an online service…

And as it happens we are just about to hold a Discovery workshop for one of our key clients to define the elements of a digital marketing channel strategy to support their Sports & Leisure club network in a city not a million miles from here.

We’re also about to rebuild the online service, so now is the right time to start thinking about how to get the maximum performance benefit for the client

So we decided to apply REAN model thinking to their channel strategy and, after an hour or so, this rather neat REAN matrix was the result…






Display Network

Can reach huge number of users who aren’t actively indicating their eligibility.

Can target specific demographics and behaviour with tailored ads.

Very cheap relatively.


Can remarket to users who left conversion funnel early, aiming to resolve common concerns through ad sequencing.



Strong local listings. Early funnel users in the information stage more likely to click on organic results.

Provide relevant information for users during the information gathering stage. Information gatherers more likely to click organic results.



Paid Search

Capture interested users at start of funnel and control their early exposure to your brands by redirecting them to tailored landing pages.

Can control messaging for search results and direct interested users through to conversion path.

Ensure users at the point of conversion stay on your path, and aren’t distracted by a competitor.


Email marketing



User data and marketing automation allows granular approach to hand hold each user along conversion path.

Specifically target customers based on actual behaviour, to better tailor messaging and provide added value.


Promote real endorsements among friends.



Personal way to provide added value to an audience.

Can demonstrate commitment to resolving customer issues in a public place.


 Strong channel

Strong channel

Strong channel


As a way of getting this quickly out in the open this is beautifully simple and very effective.

In short, pretty cool stuff … and a really nice way to starting thinking about what is a complex and interconnected digital marketing channel strategy.

Thank you Steve Jackson ….

Rob Tarling is Digital Performance Director at Storm ID (@RobTarling), and works alongside our Heads of Digital Marketing to improve the digital performance of our clients online.

REAN stands for:

REAN is a marketing acronym. It is a simple yet powerful framework to plan ahead and/or analyse the often complex sequence of inter-related, multichannel, marketing activities that are needed to build and nurture a customer relationship. It stands for:

R – Reach: The set of activities needed to raise prospects’ attention for your brand, product or service.

E – Engage: The gradual, typically multi-channel, often recursive set of activities needed to engage the prospects you just won

A – Activate: The activities needed for your prospects to take, eventually, the actions you wanted them to take

N – Nurture: The activities needed to nurture the customer relationship you just managed to create




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