A marketing strategy… that much needed blueprint to marketing success. It’s a necessity for any business wanting to scale or grow, but it’s also one of those documents where most people will ask: ‘Where do I even start with this?”.
There are 100s of templates online, multiple frameworks to use and then your own MD telling you how it should be done.
It can be a confusing and laborious process…
Well not to worry, by following these six steps, you can create a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy that will help you reach your goals and drive success for your business.
1. Asses the situation
Taking a step back is always a worthwhile tactic when it comes to planning any type of significant work or strategy. A good digital marketing strategy will always have a situational analysis of the business and the internal and external factors that could affect it.
You really want to get under the skin of the business here. You want to understand everything about the current state of the business, where are the gaps? Who are the competitors? Who are the target customers and audience you want to engage? What KPIs does your business currently have in place?
Once you understand where the business is, you can move forward with where you want it to be.
2. Objectives... (probably) the most important consideration
There has to be an end goal of any marketing strategy. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? Remember these goals should be achievable and you should be using the SMART goal framework to set these out.
For example, your objectives might include increasing website traffic by 20% over the next 3 months, or increasing customer engagement on social media by 10% over the next 6 months.
You want to make sure that your objectives have a significant impact on the business as a whole, so try and take in the whole funnel rather than just the top of the funnel where marketing will normally sit. If you can prove an ROI at the end of your strategy timeline, then it’s going to stand you in good stead.
3. Outlining the strategy
A plan within a plan? Yes it can be confusing, but the plan is essentially the direction the ship is heading in… without it you risk going round in circles.
In this section you want to set the overall messaging and positioning your marketing will take going forward. What are the channels you will utilise? Is it all online or will you be using offline methods too? How will you target the audience you have outlined in the situational analysis. Your strategy should be tailored to your specific business and target audience, and should be flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions.
4. What are the tactics?
Ok so you have the plan in place, the next step is to outline how you are going to achieve it and what you are going to use to do it. This may include anything from the digital marketing mix, things like social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, SEO and paid advertising. Your tactics should be designed to support your overall strategy and help you achieve your objectives. You should be able to tie back each tactic to one of your objectives.
5. Defining who does what, when and how
This is all about implementing the tactics and strategies that were developed in the previous steps of the planning process. This is where the rubber meets the road and the plan is put into action.
Building out a RACI chart which can define who is responsible for each tactic and outcome is a good start here. You should include specific tasks and deadlines for each tactic and strategy, as well as who is responsible for completing each task. It is also important to allocate appropriate resources, such as time, money, and personnel, to ensure that the tactics and strategies can be implemented successfully.
6. How will you control and measure the deliverables
The 6th and final step. This is all about ensuring that the marketing plan is on track to achieve its desired objectives. This involves regularly monitoring and evaluating the progress of the plan, and making any necessary adjustments to keep it on track.
To monitor and evaluate the progress of the marketing plan, it is necessary to collect data and metrics that provide insight into how the plan is performing. This may involve analysing sales data, customer feedback, website traffic, and other relevant metrics. It is also important to regularly check in with the implementation team to ensure that they are on track to meet their goals and deadlines.
Here you can also define how you are going to present and visualise your metric and results.
There you have it. By following these 6 steps you can start to create a framework for digital marketing success. However it’s important not to neglect a strategy once you have created it.
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