The Right Online Marketing Plan for You

There’s a simple formula to create the right online marketing plan for your business. I have used it for dozens of clients and the results prove it works!

There are four steps you need to take to create the right plan. The time it takes to work through them is worth it. Taking time to develop the right plan prevents you from wasting time doing the wrong things.

If you are focused on doing more on Facebook or starting an enewsletter, stop. Diving into tactics without a plan sets you up for failure. Take time to develop a plan, but following these steps:

Discovery

Gather the information needed to develop a marketing plan for your business. Define your goal and how you will know if you get there. Talk to key stakeholders, including internal staff, partners, and customers. Take a look at what you are doing now and decide what’s working and what’s not.

Strategy

Now it is time to take the insights gained during the discovery phase into an actionable plan that targets your goals. Write down your strategy. In your head is not good enough.

Your strategy must state the goals and the specific strategies and tactics that will move you toward them. Set a timeline for each activity and define the resources needed. Who will write those blog posts and how often?

Every action item also needs a measure of success. How will you know if each effort is successful?

Implementation

Now you  have a plan! But, you are not done. It is time to  implement the specific activities in your plan.

Break down all the things you want to do to specific activities. Know what you need to do today, next week and next month. Focus on getting each step done and you will stay on course to achieving your overall plan.

Evaluation

As you implement your plan, you also need to evaluate. Take note of the impact of each activity. Also make periodic (quarterly?) assessments of the strategy as a whole.

Evaluation should be easy because you defined what success looks like when you created your plan. If you want people to click the link on a post, then look at click-through data. If you want comments, then look at that.

Evaluation can include informal assessments and formal evaluations such as surveys and focus groups. The important thing is that you take time to assess the value of each effort.

Use the results of your evaluations to adjust your plan. There is no sense continuing to do things that don’t work or put off adding a great idea discovered as you evaluate.