Online marketing can be very complex. You have numerous avenues to attract and convert users. Are you going with a content strategy that will be spread on social media, or are you going with PPC advertising and email marketing?
There are also several methods that you can use to craft your strategy, but in this article, we’re going to talk about a strategy based on Dave Chaffey’s “Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice” book.
Building The Marketing Strategy
The marketing plan will have four main areas, and they can be organized as columns in a table:
3. Strategies to achieve the objectives
4. KPIs and CSFs
You should start with your objectives, and in order to ensure that your marketing strategy will be successful, the objectives should be SMART. SMART is an acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Setting the right objectives is half the battle.
Next, you want to fill in the substantiation column. Here, you want to provide proof that the objectives you’ve set for yourself are realistic using situation analysis and conversion models. For example, let’s say that you want to acquire 50,000 new online customers by the end of the financial year, and you want the average cost per user acquisition to be $30 at an average profitability of 5%. The substantiation column might point to the growth forecast based on the current sales number of 40,000 sales/year, which will be augmented with new affiliate and SEO programs.
Continuing with our example, in the strategy column, you can describe in as much detail as you like, the affiliate marketing and SEO programs that will be used to achieve the objective. You can also touch on other strategies such as display or offline advertising, if they are relevant.
Finally, you will have to measure your progress. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Critical Success Factors (CSFs) come in. So, on our road to 50,000 new customers, these can be the overall cost per acquisition for online sales, the numbers and percentages gained from affiliate marketing, and the number of keywords for which our website is in the top of the search results page.
Finalizing the strategy
Once the first objective has been thought out and added to our table, it’s time to move on to the next one. This straightforward method can allow you to build complex marketing strategies with multiple objectives. It also has the benefit of integrating all the methods, tactics and tools that will be used in a single table, which makes it easy to tweak various details in a way that is harmonic with the entire strategy.