This week's memorable mention is also what inspired this week's post. Some have asked me why I put so much emphasis on internet marketing plans. The NH resident with the brand new black Escalade said it perfectly with his/her plate "PLNAHD". Didn't catch that? Oh, let me explain- the person in the 65k car (in the middle of a recession and by the way more than I paid for my first house) says PLAN AHEAD.
Yes even in the new age of marketing on the internet, putting pen to paper and planning ahead is a vital first step to achieving success with any internet marketing efforts.
When developed and used in collaboration with your business plan (again-you do have a business plan right?)- your marketing plan provides you with the road map to direct your business towards success.
Thinking about your marketing strategy is the easy part, putting it into an actionable plan is going to require some documentation.
Consider history- if it can teach us one thing it should be this: remarkable things happen when there is a plan, incredible things are remembered when they are documented.
Effective (internet) marketing plans should identify and account for the following aspects of your business:
- Business Model & Objectives (the what, why, and how you do what you do- what is your goal here!)
- Market & Audience (who will benefit from what you do, and why they should care)
- Competitors (who else does what you do!)
- Customer Profiling (more than just who they are, but why and how they will approach your business)
- Marketing Strategy (how will you let people know about the wonderful thing you do? )
- Measure, Align, Report (what will you measure according to your objectives and what decisions will you make based on those measurements?)
An internet marketing plan should also have a hidden agenda- take the ego out of your marketing. When you have a plan that identifies your key performance indicators (KPIs), aligns those with your business objectives, and determines your reporting, there is not a lot of room for whomever to say "well, I think, I like, I want to see, what about..". Your marketing is not tossed about at sea with the latest storms of the latest and greatest.
You can develop a strategic and tactical plan that can be analyzed, optimized, and lead to innovation. You will be less stressed chasing down a half thought out idea, you will waste less money on ineffective campaigns, and you will have the road map you need to drive your dream car to your desired destination.