One of the areas that I consistently encounter where marketers require training and mentoring is that the process of developing a digital marketing plan.

The goal of this post is to offer those of you who are tasked with producing a coherent plan a tried and tested working structure for doing so.

What you regularly find when handling companies, both large and little , is that they don't even have a written plan that they will put their hand to and say ‘this is our digital marketing plan’.

The purpose of a digital marketing plan for any organisation is to force you through the method of researching and clearly articulating the aims and goals of your digital initiatives, alongside clearly targeting digital personas, and methodically choosing which channels to travel after them and the way .

The Most Important Aspects of a Digital Marketing Plan

So what are the foremost important aspects of a digital marketing plan? I even have read 100s of those and to my mind, the subsequent structure works best.

Initial Marketplace Analysis for your product or service (overview of your market, realistic assessment of your performance during this space and competitive analysis)

Articulation of clear Business Objectives of your digital marketing programm – like increase brand awareness, increase sales, increase customer retention, reduce cost per lead, reduce cost per acquisition of consumers – these are all standard business objectives but on their own they are doing not offer you a pathway to implement them digitally – that’s why you've got to dig down and transcend these during a digital sense.

Next step is to deconstruct these business objectives down into digital goals. So for instance let's choose ‘increase sales’ – if you would like to translate that into a coherent digital goal – it might look something like increase the conversion rate on my website, reduce cart abandonment on my checkout process, increase average order size on etc. – digital goals give your plan a transparent direction – you'll then start to adopt tactics which will deliver these ‘Digital Goals’.

Once you recognize what your digital goals are, then you'll define what your main Key Performance Indicators are which map on to those Digital Goals – e.g. for reducing cart abandonment rates – the Digital KPI should be the abandonment rate goal tracked in your analytics software that tracks what percentage users enter the funnel (proceed to checkout) and ultimately get to the top of it (complete checkout and payment).

At this stage, you'll then start projecting some nominal KPI targets – as an example , increase conversion rate from 1 to 1.5% – increase average order size from €45 to €55 – the digital plan then becomes how you're ACTUALLY getting to deliver these goals and projections through digital channels.

Once you've got the objectives, digital goals, KPIs, and targets set – then you'll start fleshing out your strategy and therefore the main part of this may be clearly defined audience segmentation: i.e. you develop rich personas (target audience). By rich I mean that they're fully full-clad – you ought to articulate the issues that you simply as a business solve for specific sorts of persona, their needs (emotional, lifestyle, informational) where they digitally coalesce, media preferences, perceptions they need of you as a business/brand etc. When defining your audience give them the maximum amount of detail as possible – it'll be worth its weight in gold once you start trying to speak with them.

For each of those Personas then develop a transparent Value Proposition for your business and the way it relates to them – and by that I mean, clearly articulate and answer the question, “If i'm your ideal customer, why should i buy from you over one among your competitors?”

Once you’ve identified your personas, then you'll research, supported their informational and geographical needs also as their digital behaviours, the right and most appropriate digital channels to focus on them on

This is where you then enter great detail on your digital channel strategy – be that SEO, PPC, Display, Email, Social, Affiliate, Mobile etc. I like to recommend strongly during this section that you simply hack your tactical solutions into Customer Reach, Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention or some variation of this – essentially map the Digital channels on to the Sales/Buyer Cycle.

And finally, define how you'll measure all of this – for every of the channels you ought to have a transparent measurement framework in situations where you'll measure the effectiveness of every of the channels and produce a matrix of core metrics that indicate whether you're on target to satisfy targets or not (and have an idea to require remedial action when not meeting targets)

Structure Of Your Marketing Plan
There’s tons more detail to hide on this subject , but this could be enough for anyone to start on their digital marketing strategy and plan. the essential structure is:

Market Research and Competitor Analysis
Objectives and Goals
Audience Setting and Value Propositions
Channel Strategy