Digital marketing is also known as internet marketing or online marketing and it’s about identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements in the digital sphere while achieving your business goals.
It encompasses a wide range of online channels including pay per click advertising, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing and many more.
It also involves tracking, measuring, monitoring and managing online campaigns to meet business goals, while satisfying target markets needs and wants. So, all activities start with goals and objectives and customers are at the heart of all operations.
For true success with digital marketing, it’s important to create a marketing plan or strategy that helps guide your activities and this is what you should include in it:
An analysis is a health and wealth check of your business to assess how well you are performing on digital channels. It helps you to review your business to see what you lack and what you need to do to achieve your mission.
An analysis also involves researching your competitors to find out who they are and how well resourced they are. Competitors come from all directions and include international businesses that are selling to your local target market and you can’t ignore them.
Your analysis will also look at your target customers to find out who they are and what they need or want. You will identify their demographics and assess if you are able to meet their requirements whether they are consumers or business customers.
From your marketing analysis, you will have a wealth of information that will help you to craft your marketing objectives. Remember, your objectives are short-term and they should be in line with your mission and goals.
They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related and you should take into consideration your business resources as you create them.
Your objectives will guide your strategy so it’s important that you take some time creating them and ensure that they are important to your business.
In your marketing analysis, you will have identified customer segments that you want to target with your products or services. Now you will need to identify which segments to target based on your objectives and the resources that your business has.
This is one of the most difficult parts of your digital marketing plan and it’s important that you pick only the segments that will be profitable. So you should avoid targeting all segments because that will likely dilute your efforts and exhaust your budget for little in return.
The marketing strategy is the bulk of your digital marketing plan and covers your marketing mix elements such as product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence. So these are all the marketing tactics that you have to implement to achieve your objectives
Much of what you include here will have come from the research that you carried out in your audit and analysis.
Budgets and Controls
Lastly, you should set a budget that is sufficient enough to implement your marketing tactics. If you have a small budget, you should only include those tasks that are most important to your success.
Control is about identifying contingencies and deciding what to do when things go wrong, as they usually do. So you need to regularly check and review progress and ensure that you are on the path to achieving your objectives.
Mike Ncube is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Marketing Author and his latest book is “The DIY Guide to Online Marketing Success”. He blogs regularly about the latest digital marketing trends and he has published books, case studies & whitepapers that will help you with your campaigns.