Digital Marketing Planning for Small Businesses

Digital Marketing Planning for Small Business

Now that we have identified the importance of Digital Marketing and some of the various channels available to you as a business, it is important to look at your approach to digital marketing planning and management to ensure you achieve your objectives and goals. Most businesses have had the approach of having digital marketing as a add on to their core marketing strategy and is often doomed to failure.  As the Digital marketing revolution takes hold it is important that you have a Digital marketing strategy that is appropriate to your company objectives.

You need to know how to implement your strategy

Strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal

It may seem strange to have a separate plan for digital and offline as a customer does not perceive your business this way, but they have very different attributes.  Before deciding on your strategy, it requires time and money to execute.  The time aspect includes SEO research, and building your website and money is required to execute advertising and invest in software and resources if required.  By understanding your business and your overall objectives, you will be able to find a way to meet your goals through the use of the multitude of digital channels available and the ones that are most effective for your audience.  Ultimately, your digital strategy has to make business sense and shouldn’t be undertaken just because its the new buzz word or your competitors are doing it.  Like any business decision it has to serve a purpose for your business and add value to the customer.

As most small businesses are new to the world of digital, by devising a digital strategy, it will help shape, guide and even transition a business from traditional to digital marketing.  The great thing about digital is that the possibilities are endless and your have a much wider audience due to the broad reach of it on a global basis.

Be Integrated

It is important that digital marketing is fully integrated to your business and not just an add on that is given little thought or investment.  It should be the one area of your business that you are dedicating more time and resources to due to the returns it can deliver.

digital activity

Know what your customers are doing online

Spending time online

Be aware of new trends

Digital marketing is changing at such a fast pace, not only in terms of growth of channels but software capabilities within them and how they can be used effectively to communicate with your audience.  The internet and digital marketing channels heavily influences peoples perceptions of brands and products and both their online and offline purchase behavior.  The biggest change has been the move from passive advertising to active engagement

paid to earned

Changing nature of Digital Planning and Strategy

As we move more towards digital marketing, it is challenging the overall marketing mix as it vies to get more exposure and it is a change in mindset.  The biggest aspect being that digital marketing puts the consumer more in control and allows them to engage and interact more openly with you as a business, giving a more integrated approach, but with the customer in control.

The following diagram highlights what the digital planning and management process entails:

planning process

1)      Identify current situation

Similar to how tackling a strategy process, you need to identify what the current situation is whether that be through a SWOT analysis, consumer insights, what competitors are doing, and how you are currently performing against your objectives

2)      Research

What are you business objectives ?
  • Sell
  • Serve
  • Sizzle
  • Speak
  • Save
What are you website objectives?
  • Brand awareness
  • Site visits
  • Increase sales
  • Increase conversions
  • Drive instore
  • Data Capture
  • Site Stickiness
Who are you customers?
Where are your customers  What social media channels are they using?

3) Create & Execute

Upon identifying who your customers are they will enable you to develop a clear strategy based against objectives and goals.  The most important thing is to set clear key performance indicators so that you have a benchmark to measure your strategy against and optimise it should you need to.  These can range from simply generating awareness to sales conversion and setting a percentage target against that.

Once you start fleshing out your strategy having segmented your market, you will need to have a clear channel strategy, deciding which digital channels to focus your attention on and that will ultimately gain the most exposure for you and help achieve your goals and objectives.

4) Measure and Test

By having SMART objectives set, you will be able to measure these at the end of your campaign or during certain time periods to ensure you are achieving your goals. Ensure you have clear measurement framework for each of the channel.  Digital Marketing is a constantly evolving process so will often involve you having to tweak either your content/message or else your channel.

I hope this gives you an insight into the considerations and aspects around Digital marketing planning, although there are many other elements to consider.

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Posted on April 4, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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