Digital Marketing Guide
Digital Marketing Planning Guide
NOTE: This page is under development. Please booklmark and visit as it develops over time.
1. The Company or Organization Goals
Marketing does not operate independently of the overall business and is tied to the larger business goals. In the same way, the Digital Marketing must be tied to the overall Marketing objectives.
Your first question is what are the Overall Goals of the Business?
In attempting to understand the Business Goals, you can look at the following suggested information (includes but is not limited to):
– What is the business? Where is it located? What is the history of the firm? When was it founded? Mission Statement of the company? Who is the management?
– What financial, human and technological resources are available to the firm?
– How does the firm generate revenue? Describe the revenue sources. Provide an overview of their products or services and customers.
– What is the business model? (pure-play/online only or is it bricks-and- mortar and online)? – How does the Internet affect the firm’s business model?
– What are its current Business Goals and what does it want to achieve with its Marketing efforts to support these Goals?
However, the “Realistic” Marketing Objectives to support the Business Goals have to be based upon the actual marketing environment which will be determined via Marketing Research and Analysis.
2. Marketing Research & Analysis
NOTE: It is essential that you approach the Analysis phase with an open mind. Do not predetermine what you expect from the Analysis. Your subjective assumption can be dangerous in bringing about a skewed Analysis.
In your Research and Analysis consider the principles of the Scientific Method. A core aspect of the Scientific Method is the notion of impartiality. While you will have assumptions, make sure your subjective thoughts do not distort your reading of the actual internal and external reality.
Market Research and Analysis is an attempt to understand:
2.1 Understanding of the Company and the Industry.
2.2 The place of the Company’s Products & Services in the Market.
2.3. The Target Markets for the Company’s Products and Services.
2.4. Selling of the Company’s Products to Customers.
You are linking:
Products/Services -> Product Features/Benefits -> Your Promotion/Message Meeting the Customer -> Customer Wants/Needs -> Customer Target Markets
2.1 The Company and Industry
2.1.1 ENVIRONMENT SCAN ANALYSIS
What is going on in the the Industry?
What is going on Economically that could influence the business?
What Trends and Technology is influencing the Company or Organization?
What is going on Competitively?
What is the going on with the Target Market (aspects such as demographics, social-cultural)?
2.1.2 Undertake a SWOT.
Business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are identified.
2.2 The Products & Services
2.2.1 MARKETING MIX.
What is the Product Pricing?
What is the Product Place?
What is the Product Promotion?
What is the Product(s)?
What are the Product Features? What are the Product Benefits?
2.2.2 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
What is the Competitive Advantage of the Products/Services?
How can the Products/Services Be Improved?
2.3 The Target Market
2.3.1. TARGET MARKET
What are all the Target Market Segments (Target Audiences).
Quantify and Rank the Target Audiences. How can they be reached?
2.3.2. CUSTOMER PERSONA
VERY IMPORTANT: If you cannot quantify and reach your Target Audience, the Target Audience has no purpose.
2.4 Selling The Products & Services
What are the current promotion messages to each Target Audience Wants/Needs (matches Product Benefits)?
What Should They Be?
What Keywords match these Wants/Needs?
2.4.2 DIGITAL LANDSCAPE
What is the overall selling Digital Marketing Space? Website, Social Media, Competition.
What industry Digital Tactics are being used to sell?
3. Realistic Digital Marketing Objectives
Your Marketing Objectives are the link between The Business Goals and the Marketing Strategy. Your success in achieving your “Realistic” Marketing Objectives is dependent upon your ability to successfully perform an accurate and thorough Marketing Research and Analysis.
Define the following:
– What are the Marketing Objectives to be accomplished in the Marketing Plan? With general timing and measured targets.
4A. Digital Marketing Strategy - Strategic Planning
How will you achieve the Marketing Objectives? A clear Marketing Strategy is dependent upon realistic Marketing Objectives based upon a well done Marketing Analysis.
For some more ideas about Digital Marketing Planning look to this LINK.
Figure out the puzzle. What is your thought process? It is fundamental that you do not establish any Action Items/Tactics until you have a clear Marketing Strategy determining why you are selecting specific Tactics. Your Marketing Research and Analysis should feed directly into this Section.
You build your Strategy around what you know about the customers/target markets -> their wants and needs -> your promotion/message to where they are -> your product/services features/benefits –> your products/services.
What are your Product/Services? What should they possibly change to?
What are their features/benefits? What features/benefits appeal to your Target Markets?
What are the Needs/Wants of your Target Markets? How can you adjust the Product/Service message to match them?
Who are Your Customer Target Markets? And how do you quantify them? How do you find them? What new Customer Target Markets could be considered?
How are the Products/Services currently being Marketed? How should they be Marketed? Which Tactics and why/when? (This is what you use for Section 4B)
Here are some Strategy Considerations:
Remember, Internet Marketing is “Time Based”:
4B. Digital Marketing Strategy - Setting Up For Action
REMEMBER: Marketing Tactics only serve the Strategic purpose. Here are some Digital Marketing TACTICS to consider. But IMPORTANT – pick them for a Strategic Reason:
Social Media should be considered Strategically. Here is a good overview of Social Media by SPROUTSOCIAL.
The Tactic of “Content Marketing” is the cornerstone of your Strategy:
Your Strategy is based upon your understanding of what is outlined in Section 4A above. Your Strategy will determine which Tactics and most importantly, why the choice of Tactics. Your Action Plan/Use of Tactics in the Next Section (5) is based upon your Strategy. You do not want to consider Tactics independent of Strategy.
4B.1 - SETTING THINGS UP
IMPORTANT - Make sure you have COMPLETED Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4A.
4B.1.1 – Create an IT and Social Media GMAIL.
4B.1.2 – Have a WordPress website setup (if you do not already).
Look HERE for more information:
4B.1.3 – Setup Up Yoast on your WordPress Website
Here is a guide to Building an eCommerce Site:
4B.1.4 – Setup Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. Also consider Instagram, LinkedIN company page and Twitter.
4B.1.5A – Setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console for your website.
4B.1.5B – Consider setting up some other analysis measurement tools. SEM Rush, MOZ, etc
4B.1.6 – Have Monthly Baseline measures for your Website and each Social Media document in a SPREADSHEET.
4B.2 - Map Out Your Website Menu & URLs (or improved a current site)
4B.2.1 – Map out your Website Menu Pages (if it already exists – consider how it can be improved)
Think of what pages should be on your Website.
4B.3 - START YOUR SEO
4B.3.1 – Determine 30 DIVERSE topic long-tail keyword Phrases that each Target Market will be searching to find your Products/Services. Here is a link for one of many KEYWORD tools.
4B.4 - CONSIDER YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
VERY IMPORTANT – This comes from your strategy. Also from your analysis (Google Analytics) of your 30 blogs.
IMPORTANT 2 – Consider Using Hootsuite
4B.4.1 – Determine Which Social Media you are Going to Use and Why.
Google Business / Google Plus
4B.5 - BACKLINKS, INFLUENCERS AND PR
VERY IMPORTANT – This comes from your strategy.
4B.5.1 – Consider your source of Backlinks.
4B.5.2 – Consider your source of outside Influencers.
4B.5.3 – Consider how to build yourself as an Influencer.
4B.5.4 – Consider PR ideas and sources to promote.
4B.6 - TRADITIONAL MARKETING
4B.6.1 – Determine which Traditional Marketing should be Utilized. Never limit your MARKETING TOOLS.
4B.7 - DATA AND EMAIL
VERY IMPORTANT – This comes from your strategy.
4B.7.1 – Set up Data collection (Website form and other means).
4B.7.2 – Set up your Email service (best are Mailchimp and Constant Contact).
4B.7.3 – Consider what Emails will be sent.
5. Produce a Digital Marketing Tactical Action Plan
One way to determine the difference between Tactics and Strategy is if the item can be acted upon or not. A Tactical element can be Time-Based while a Strategic Element is the why. With the Action Plan, you determine the Time Sequence of Actions to support the Marketing Strategy.
Here is an Action Plan Sample:
5.1. 1 – From Section 4B. Plan out the timing of your 30 DIVERSE topic Landing Pages/Content Pages for your Website. Each page built around a Keyword Phrase.
5.1.2 – Optimize the Landing Page/Content Pages for the Keyword Phrase.
Here is a guide to creating the actual SEO web pages, which is part of your tactics. The Guide also covers off the important measurements:
Here is another overview of Creating Landing Pages:
5.1.3 – WAIT…Read the Google Analytics in a week and see what is going on with your Content and Search.
Look at the measures in this following link (at bottom of document):
5.2 Optimize Your Site
5.2.1 – Using the Link Below and Yoast Optimize your Entire Website.
Here is some information from WORDTRACKER.
Another info Source from SEARCH ENGINE WATCH.
5.3 Map Out Your Social Media
5.3.1 – Using your “30 Content Pages”, adjust them for Social Media. Work out your Social Media content schedule.
Google Business / Google Plus
Step 3 – WAIT…Read the Google Analytics and Social Media Measures and adjust and plan out roll-out.
5.4 Backlinks, Influencers and PR
5.4.1 – Schedule your Backlinks plan.
5.4.2 – Schedule your outside Influencers plan.
5.4.3 – Schedule yourself as an Influencer plan.
5.4.4 – Schedule your PR plan.
5.5.1 – Schedule your email plan.
Every Tactic has a Measurement or Remove it…it is useless.
It is very important that the Tactics are selected for a reason. They come out of your Strategic thinking in 4A & 4B.
All your Tactics should have some type of measurement to evaluate their effectiveness. This is necessary to ensure the soundness of your Strategy and effectiveness of the Tactics. As your launch your Tactics, read them and adapt them quickly.
Measure, Evaluate and Adjust Objectives, Strategy and Tactics.
You should expect possible incorrect pieces in your Marketing Planning and Execution. This is natural and expected. Throughout the Marketing Execution, you want to evaluate and adjust any aspect of the Marketing Planning. Do not allow your Subjective expectations to blind you to reading the Evaluation correctly. Accept what is occurring and change as necessary.