Planning and strategising are essential to ensuring the success of a startup. Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that planning operations is the easiest part of running a business. If anything, it is the most difficult aspect of being a business owner. The reason for that is because plans without purpose or deliberation are nothing but an absolute waste of time.
Business strategies are not supposed to remain confined on paper and presentation slides. They need to be executed within a particular timeframe in order to further the progress of the business.
Therefore, when a startup is preparing a digital marketing plan, the first thing that it needs to do is create ideas that can actually be implemented as opposed to those that become forever redundant.
6 Steps to Creating a Fail Proof Digital Marketing Plan
Inexperienced, young marketers like to play around with buzzwords and jargons. This is the reason why they often get defining terms like goals, objectives and strategies mixed up. Coming up with fancy names for your plans is not going to improve the effectiveness of your ideas. However, it is important to develop a basic understanding of key terms that shape up successful digital marketing campaigns for new businesses. Here are six important steps that a marketer needs to deal with when preparing a digital marketing plan for a startup:
On the surface, all of these defining terms may seem like interchangeable words that do not possess distinct individual characteristics. However, as your marketing knowledge grows, you will realize that each of these aforementioned steps plays a unique and crucial role in solidifying the efficacy of startup digital marketing campaign.
A great digital marketing plan is one that narrows in on each and every single important detail. In other words, the marketer needs to have a clear idea about the specific goals that the business is trying to achieve through a particular marketing campaign. Examples of specific goals include delivering leads that support sales targets, developing tools that boost sales, building infrastructure to support a healthy growth rate and shaping the business culture to reinforce or redefine brand values.
Once you have identified your goals, you can translate them into certain objectives. This allows marketers to adopt a more target oriented approach. Think of objectives as instructions for creating strategies to achieve the goals that you have already put to paper. There are blurred lines between goals and objectives, but recognizing the differences will only enhance your competence in marketing.
One of the biggest mistakes that inexperienced marketers make is that they aim for complexity when devising marketing strategies. The complex nature of a strategy does not guarantee its success. Sometimes, simplicity is what works best. Strategies are built on a wide range of high and lower level ideas. At the end of the day, the purpose of developing strategies is to create a blueprint for meeting the objectives that you have penned down thus far.
Here is a simple example to further explain the notions of goals, objectives and strategies in the field of marketing.
Goal: Acquire a better understanding of consumer behaviour.
Objective: Use the power of social media to engage with the audience.
Strategy: Observe the “reactions” on Facebook posts to learn how the potential clients are responding to products, services and promotional offers.
Tactics represent a set of required elements that you need to implement your strategies. For the above example, your tactic is to hire a social media manager and a social media marketer. The manager is tasked with the responsibility of posting valuable content regularly on Facebook. The social media marketer is given the job of using Facebook’s marketing tools to provide a detailed analysis of the response that you are receiving from your audience.
Tactics are often grouped together in clusters called programs. Programs are usually in need of a coordinated execution. Once again, you can use the example above to better understand the usefulness of having programs in a digital marketing campaign. A program to achieve a better understanding of consumer behaviour should take into account all the resources that are being exhausted on outlining the objectives, implementing the strategies and stringing together the tactics.
Think of the program as the backbone for a specific marketing campaign. Digital marketing officers and managers need not be concerned about the direction in which a program is heading. That responsibility lies on the shoulders of the chief marketing executive.
It is also worth noting that an ideal digital marketing program should be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected changes in objectives, tactics and strategies.
The Ultimate Plan
Now you can deal with the defining term that most marketers are guilty of misusing. The general idea behind creating a definitive plan is to assign resources to the abovementioned key elements of digital marketing. A plan is also set to gel the workforce together and keep everyone in the team on the same page and wavelength. In simple words, plans are made to ensure that the digital marketing campaign of your new business is in seamless operation.
Eimear is the marketing manager at Powerpoint Engineering. She has created digital marketing plans for website like Lockout Tagout & Pat Testers, two of the ten electrical safety websites they she is responsible for.