As the majority of markets move on to
the internet and become ever more dependent on technology, digital marketing is
becoming ever more integrated with the traditional, and is becoming a way of
life for marketers. Therefore knowing how to plan for this medium is a vital
part of the marketing job role. Planning for digital has many of the same
concepts as traditional marketing planning does, and the goals are almost
identical, but the way we achieve and measure these through the digital medium
is a whole different ball game.
Who is your target
To identify who your target audience is, a popular technique
to use is the creation of multiple specific groups. To identify these groups we
can create fictitious customers and stating their gender, age, location, wants
and needs, preferences, etc. The multiple groups help us demonstrate the
spectrum of your target audience.
You may find that during this step you find that nothing
really changes in terms of what you already knew about your target audience
from your previous traditional marketing plans, but what you will find more
than likely is that there is a wider audience to be accessed through the
internet, an audience that you never considered or had access to through
traditional methods, opening up possibilities for new prospective customers.
What’s your offer?
And who else is offering it?
Use a spreadsheet or similar to collect data on all your top
competitors, noting names, company size, location, unique selling point, etc.
and look into how they are using their digital marketing channels in order to
reach your target audience.
Now imagine you are one of your specific groups from your
target audience and try to find one or more of your products or services online.
Try to consider how each group would go about this search, as it may differ for
each one. Now who do you find first, is it your company or one of your
competitors? Make a note of the result, where your search led you, and how long
it took. Repeat the group search process for each separate group, each time
documenting the results, as this analysis will come into play when you move
onto prioritising your channels.
What’s your unique
difference? And why should customers choose you?
If you found one of your competitors first, then try to
determine how they are making the connection with your audience online, and
what are they offering that you don’t? You also need to determine what you
offer that your competitors don’t, and how you can use this to leverage the
connection with each specific group. The reason for choosing you may be
different for each group, so use the information gathered when defining your
groups to determine what you can offer to each group that your competitors can’t.
Can’t find that reason? Make a reason!
How will potential
customers hear about you? And what will make them talk to you?
Below is a list of the commonly used channels on the
internet today that can be used for digital marketing. Depending on your budget
you will need to cut some if not many out of the picture, at least at first,
and determine which ones hold the greatest value: effort ratio. Before you
begin, consider how you will measure value. This could be in how many new
visitors or leads it will bring, how much the cost of sale will be lowered, how
much profits could be increased, etc. Engagement is also a big part of digital
marketing, so take into account the level of engagement you could achieve with
your customers when considering each channel.
SEO (Search engine optimization)
Pay per click
Social Media Platforms
Digital PR (public relations)
Company website and mobile website
Free content (eBooks, etc)
Identify the criteria
At this stage you need to determine what your objectives
are, i.e. the quantifiable and measurable aims that when reached qualify the
marketing strategy as a successful venture. This will be based on what the
values of the channels were to your business. E.g. if you chose to go with
social media, and you considered the value of this to be that it could increase
website visitors by 20%, then when this value is achieved, your social media
strategy can be considered a success.
Implement and monitor
The best way to test your plan is to put it into practice,
and closely monitor the results using analytics and tests to track the
identified success criteria. The beauty of digital is that if something isn’t
performing well, you can identify the issues almost immediately through
tracking, and can make necessary changes instantly as well as keep previous
records of successful and failed areas of your digital plans for consideration
in future planning.
information on planning digital marketing, visit the Evonomie website or post us your questions and thoughts below in the comments