The digital marketing plan outline will differ from business to business and from industry to industry due to the different nature of products and services and the markets that are being targeted.
For example, if you are an online retailer of men’s and women’s clothing, your strategy will differ markedly from a B2B site. You will target consumers instead of business customers and you will use product listing ads, affiliate marketers, display ads and other tools and channels not suitable for a B2B business.
So here is a digital marketing plan outline that you can use to plan yours and launch your online campaigns:
Research the Market
This section of your online marketing plan is for you to research your markets, competitors, industry and all important stakeholders. This is the audit and analysis stage and your findings here will feed into the other sections of your marketing plan.
It’s at this stage also that you identify target segments that you will target with your products or services. You will research competitors’ offers and find a way to differentiate your products and create a competitive advantage.
You will also study the macro forces – technology, legal etc – that are outside of your control but have great impact on your strategy. An example is the recent European cookie policies which require website owners to state that cookies are being used.
From your research, you will create a SWOT Analysis that highlights your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
With the information you’ve gathered in your research, you can now create SMART Objectives – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Related. These are short-term goals that state what you want to achieve online and they should be in line with your long term goals and mission.
Your digital marketing strategy is the bulk of your digital marketing plan and covers such areas as positioning, target markets and tactics like products, price, promotions and place (some of which are listed below).
Having identified the market segments that could benefit from your products or services, now you will consider which ones you will target based on their potential, accessibility and availability. So, it is best not too target all segments unless you have the financial and people resources in place for a multi-segment strategy.
Many businesses opt for a niche strategy – one product to one market group and this has its pros and cons.
Create unique product features and benefits that are relevant to your markets and promote these in your campaigns to differentiate from competitors. It’s at this stage that you will describe the nature of your products and how they meet customer needs and wants.
Your promotional mix includes all the online channels and tools you will use to promote your business including pay per click advertising, email marketing, search engine optimisation, online press releases, social media affiliates and many others.
Your choice of tools and strategy will depend on many factors like whether you are selling to businesses or consumers, where are they based, what budget you have, competitors already present and many others.
Budget and Control
Finally, you will create a budget that will help you to implement your online marketing strategy. Your budget will cover areas such as website design or redesign, promotional tools, research and others.
You will also need to monitor your progress with tools such as Google Analytics and create KPIs for control and to benchmark your progress.
The digital marketing plan outline should be tailored to suit your business, so anything you add should be relevant to what you do and want to achieve in your market. For help creating a plan, download a free digital marketing plan template or learn more about me and how I can help your business.