What is an online marketing plan?
An online marketing plan is what you create to help you achieve your business mission and goals and it includes all online tactics like setting objectives, creating a competitive edge, building brand awareness and advertising and promotion.
Like all plans, it’s best to document it as an outline that sets forth what you will do and when. The most straightforward way to think about planning is to see it as a series of sequential questions, as below:
Where are we now?
To answer this question, you need to carry out a health and wealth of your business’s online environment. That means you need to find out how you are performing against competitors and what position you have – are you a market leader, challenger or follower?
This is an audit and analysis and you will need to answer questions like:
– Who are our customers?
– What do they need and want from us?
– How will we target them? – which devices and online channels?
– What messages do they respond to? Offers, quality service, delivery etc?
– Who are our competitors and how well equipped are they?
Where do we want to be?
Your answer to the question “where are we now?” will help you create online marketing objectives and these will set out what you want to achieve online.
Now that you know who your customers are, you will then need to assess who are your most profitable customers and how you should target them. So you will segment them and you can do this for all visitors to your site based on how engaged they are and what actions they take on your site (pageviews, transactions, spend, time on site etc.).
Your findings will help you to create objectives that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Related and you will formulate your digital marketing strategy at this stage too.
How might we get there?
What decisions do you need to make about your products, prices, distribution, promotion and people to help you achieve your objectives? These are the marketing tactics that help you to promote your products or services effectively and the resources that you will need to do this.
How can we ensure arrival?
Now you will need to create a budget for all your tactics to ensure that you have the money to achieve your objectives. You also need to regularly check your progress and benchmark it against your competitors to assess how you are performing.
Don’t miss the opportunity to plan your campaigns for online success. There are many tools to help you do this including a free online marketing plan template that you can download and start planning your campaigns.
Contact me if you have any questions or need help planning your online marketing plans.
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