Online interactions, transparency, and access to information dictate modern consumer habits. Competitors are already investing thousands of dollars in their marketing campaigns. Their commitment is giving them an edge if you aren’t.
A business without a digital marketing plan? Doomed to fail.
Luckily, implementing a strategy isn’t hard if you commit to the best practices. This article will share 8 of the most important reasons why you need a digital marketing plan. Plus, share the starting points of how to explore them.
The Basics: Digital Marketing Planning 101
The marketing plan is the overarching idea behind your promotional actions.
A plan can include items detailing:
- Business goals
- Daily objectives
- Competitive analysis
…and any metric you deem viable for tracking and growth.
The process of building a digital strategy involves:
- Identifying what makes you unique
- Discovering and learning the audience
- Gauging the competition and where they stand
- Creating templates for consistent performance
- Interacting with the audience, creating engagement
- Auditing workflows and campaigns
Notice how 5 of the 6 involved work you do on the backend? This may seem tedious but it creates a structure to an otherwise chaotic operation. Digital marketing is agile, changing daily, and is quick to burn budgets if unprepared.
Find out more about the planning if you’re at this stage. Then, let the following guide your decision when pitching the marketing plan to the team.
8 Undeniable Reasons You Need a Plan in 2019
Have you burned through marketing budgets without positive ROI? If so, you’re not alone. Many businesses attempt digital marketing, many more fail at it.
The anxiety of failing digital marketing makes many owners standoffish. Yet, by forgoing digital marketing is a blow to your business’s growth potential. Let these benefits outweigh doubts you have with implementing a plan:
1. Align the Operation’s Goals
A digital marketing plan dictates decisions and guides the workforce. Without one, you’re prone to attempt tactics without realizing their completion. Projects launch but never finish because there’s always something new and exciting.
Digital marketing includes anything from blogging to podcasting. There’s video, social media, forums, and more. The amount of what you can explore can splinter your efforts and show little result due to a lack of commitment.
A well-thought plan:
- Sets the primary tactics
- Pools the appropriate talent
…and lays the foundation for all efforts moving forward.
2. End Wasteful Actions and Resources
The marketing plan eliminates distractions resulting in money saved from fewer wasteful activities. You and the workforce spend resources on proven strategies versus undocumented ideas. The plan quantizes actions, applying an ROI, letting you measure the strategy’s effectiveness.
3. It’s Where It’s Going
There are more than 4.1-billion people on the Web. This continues growing every year. Users reflect the medium, their buying habits are predominantly done through online platforms.
What does this mean?
- Fewer people engaging with traditional platforms
- Less effective performance from old-school campaigns
- Greater access and impressions through online communities
The Web, social, and apps are where our society is going. This adoption should provide all the convincing needed to shift to digital marketing.
4. Closing the Competitive Gap
Your competition closes in from both sides:
- Large organizations spending big bucks on campaigns
- Small but agile startups riding the hype and viral growth
The marketing plan closes this competitive gap. Your decision to explore one gives some semblance of control in the market. The community doesn’t go unengaged nor do their inquiries go left unanswered.
5. Define the Brand
Any business can claim a brand given they define it. Unfortunately, many businesses jump brand-to-brand, never settling for one. The business/brand attempts to be everything to everyone and by doing so… isn’t anything special.
Digital marketing planning aids the branding by way of:
- Defining its “voice”
- Conveying its value
- Aligning its message
Each marketing campaign leverages the prior when planned. This builds a recurring experience people use when defining the brand. In short, the plan helps the business pick and stick to a brand image.
6. Trim the Senseless Duplication
A large operation has several departments handling sales and marketing. This creates a wealth of miscommunication if it’s not handled right. The result of this miscommunication is wasted resources through duplication.
Duplication stems from:
- Overlapping tasks
- Disjointed tools
…and forms of bureaucracy stopping teams from launching campaigns.
A plan prevents duplication, letting the workforce roll-out campaigns during cycles of interest. The campaign doesn’t launch flat because consumers have moved onto the next topic. This saves time, money, and valuable resources.
7. Stay Ahead of the Curve
Web technologies, communities, and interest change almost daily. A disjointed organization never truly latches onto what’s working. They’re always playing catch-up, which gets lost to those riding the trends.
- Reveals where the industry may shift
- Aligns the business to industry changes
- Helps define where everything is going
The plan helps your business adapt to the adoption cycles. Predicting and adhering to changes keeps your brand relevant. The agile operation establishes a foothold on emerging strategies, giving you an edge.
8. A Chance to Optimize (Everything)
The plan’s core stems from:
Every step of the marketing strategy is broken down for easy replication. This lets you scale the marketing strategies in the workforce. The plan isn’t restricted because one or two core members aren’t present or may have left.
The beneficial side effect of this documentation and structure is optimization!
Measurements in your business performance are easier when there’s structure. It defines a baseline, letting you test an alternate and measuring the difference. This is the basis of A/B testing and what will help your plan show high ROI.
Your Digital Marketing Plan: It Starts Today
Your challenge goes as follows:
- Research and learn digital marketing basics
- Request feedback and set the digital marketing plan
- Pour resources and talent into proven strategies
Do these and you’ll have implemented a plan primed for growth. Continue building upon the strategies and refine the plan as you show ROI.
What’s next? Get active!
Join and take part in our small business forums. Browse our blog but don’t just read… practice the strategies you learn. Make 2019 your breakout year!