Imagine the scenario: stuck on a desert island, with nothing but a freshwater spring and a Wi-Fi connection. How could we use our marketing skills to share our plight and get us out of there?

This is a great way for any business to look at their marketing strategy: what are the areas you should really be focusing on, and, above all else, how can you really achieve your goals?

From email marketing to content strategy, there are many parts of the marketing mix that your business needs to embrace. My six desert island marketing tips will give you practical insights and inspirational ideas to implement today.

1. Email marketing – use the right tools

The benefits of email marketing are well known – it’s a tried & tested method with plenty of evidence. It’s free, it’s scalable, and it’s focused on human-to-human contact.

In order to maximize the potential of email marketing we need tools that are lightweight and agile….

So what’s our one desert island email marketing tool?

Build your brand with mail chimp, email marketing software.

The popularity of email marketing platform Mailchimp is recognized across the world.

Marketers love using it because:

  • It’s free
  • It’s easy to use
  • It has great features
  • They understand the market.

We’d definitely use MailChimp on our desert island to help build a mailing list of subscribers and tell our story via great-looking, easy-to-build email marketing campaigns.

2. Social media – take it seriously

Everybody knows the value of social media, especially when it comes to reaching out to real people and engaging with brand advocates. Using tools such as Hootsuite and SproutSocial, you can easily reach your own targeted audience as part of your social media strategy. But the real challenge comes once you’ve made initial contact — what next?

My desert island tip when it comes to social media? Make sure you have a crisis communications strategy set up for your business which includes social media.  If your business had to survive a desert island crisis, would you know how to use social media to get the right message out there and support your customers?

Bonus tip:

Depending on your business, one platform may be more beneficial for you to spend time on as a business. Identify ways to maximize potential across not only on the platform you prefer to use, but across all social channels that are relevant to your business.

3. Content strategy – what’s the story?

Email marketing and social media strategies can’t stand by themselves. They, along with all others, should be seen as integrated elements, rather than isolated marketing tactics.

This is well-illustrated by your brand’s content strategy. It can’t stand alone.

If email and social media are the medium, then content is the message. A well devised content strategy will build a strong story with brand authenticity and human emotion. This is the story your email & social channels can then talk about, encouraging engagement from your target audience.

Your story is your passion. Your content strategy will break this story down into consumable content that will appeal to your readers. This is what supports all of your other marketing elements and tactics — making your story the sandy beach of your strategy.  

4. Analytics – measure your marketing ROI

Marketing has no value if you can’t tell how effective it is. Unlike these copywriters, we can’t test the success of our work by whether or not our SOS message gets us rescued from our desert island.

Use an analytics tool to track your metrics and turn them into reliable KPIs. Without this data, it’s hard to know whether your strategy – including time, resources and investment – is working.

Google Analytics is a great place to start, and can be integrated with many other platforms. If you’ve built your site using a closed-source CMS, such as Shopify, then you’ll have another raft of analytics options available to you — cling onto these for dear life.

Make sure you’re tracking metrics across all of your platforms and niches – including search, content, social, email, video, etc.

Investigate the advanced features available through tracking platforms. Use methods such as segmentation, event tracking, goal conversions, and attributions to help you gauge the value of campaigns and sales channels.

5. DSLR camera? we’ll take a smartphone, thanks

So what kind of vessel are we going to want to create to tell our story? Stuck on a desert island… yep, we’d take our smartphone, with its own camera plus many more features.

The ‘end of the DSLR era’ has been heralded by some already. We’re buying fewer DSLRs in favor of our excellent smartphone cameras. There’s no need to carry them around sight-seeing or planning which lens to use. Instead, our smartphones do all the hard work for us.

So, yes, it has become an essential. Digital content producers know this. Workshops are being held in digital media cities around the world offering small business owners tips to create awesome content on limited budgets. We all have access to these tools right in our pockets — making marketing increasingly democratic.

6. Buy a boat – turn your passion into profit

Finally, our sixth desert island tip is, without a doubt, to buy a boat. But not for the obvious reasons.

In addition to writing, I run a digital start-up in the marine industry. I also own a boat. These two things are no coincidence. I have been passionate about boats for the past ten years, owning and living aboard three different vessels, achieving professional sailing certification, working on a range of traditional sailing vessels etc.

I’ve also been passionate about the digital world, and entrepreneurial life, for even longer. So, I found a way to combine the two. My business is not just work. It’s a lifestyle; one that has made me resilient as well.

I have totally immersed myself in my business community and am still around boats all the time. This gives me a natural story to tell, and real content to feed into our business marketing strategy.

While boats are definitely going to be useful on desert islands, we don’t all need one in our lives. Think about what your metaphorical boat could be. How can you turn a passion into a business? Or how can you put some more passion into your business?


By making sure we create strong strategies which integrate with each other, we can use our marketing skills to tell our story naturally.

Content needs to take the lead – supported by strong social media and email strategies. The tools we need to make the most of these opportunities already exist, and are well documented.

If you’re still stuck on that desert island, or want to start from scratch and turn a passion into a business, don’t forget about the boat.

Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other writers improve their writing and branding skills.