If you fail to plan, you plan to fail -Digital Marketing Plan-


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How to use the R.A.C.E. model to plan digital marketing activities. Information collected from http://www.smartinsights.com/

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If you fail to plan, you plan to fail -Digital Marketing Plan-

  1. 1. DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN Using digital marketing without a strategic approach is still commonplace. I’m sure many of the companies in this category are using digital media effectively and they could certainly be getting great results from their search, email or social media marketing. But I’m equally sure that many are missing opportunities or are suffering from the other challenges I’ve listed below. Perhaps the problems below are greatest for larger organisations who most urgently need governance. There’s arguably less need for a strategy in a smaller company. Many, a majority of companies in this research do take a strategic approach to digital. From talking to companies, I find the creation of digital plans often occurs in two stages.First a separate digital marketing plan is created. This is useful to get agreement and buy-in by showing the opportunities and problems and map out a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital including how you integrated digital marketing into other business activities. Second, digital becomes integrated into marketing strategy, it’s a core activity, “business-as- usual”, but doesn’t warrant separate planning, except for the tactics. Reasons you need a digital strategy “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” Directionless I find that companies without a digital strategy don’t have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve. And if you don’t have goals you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals. You don't know your online market share Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven't researched this. Perhaps more importantly you won’t understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behaviour, competitors, propositions and options for marketing communications. You don't know your customers well enough It’s often said that digital is the “most measureable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar will only tell you volumes not sentiment. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weakpoints and then address them. You're not integrated (disintegrated) It’s all too common for digital to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, sitting in IT or a separate digital agency. It’s easier that way to package digital marketing into a convenient chunk. But of course it’s less effective. Everyone agrees that digital media work best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. Wasting time and money through duplication Even if you do have sufficient resource it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger
  2. 2. companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks. You're not agile enough to catchup or stay ahead If you look at the top online brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Tesco, Zappos, they’re all dynamic - trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences. You're not optimising Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing. Creating a Digital Strategy (RACE model) We created the RACE Planning system to help give a simple framework to help small and large businesses alike take best advantage of the opportunities available from digital marketing. RACE consists of four steps or online marketing activities designed to help brands engage their customers throughout the customer lifecycle. - Reach Reach means building awareness of a brand, its products and services on other websites and in offline media in order to build traffic by driving visits to different web presences like your main site, microsites or social media sites. - Act Act is short for Interact. It’s about persuading site visitors or prospects take the next step, the next Action on their journey when they initially reach your site or social network presence. It may mean finding out more about a company or it’s products, searching to find a product or reading a blog post. You should define these actions as top-level goals of the funnel in analytics. Goals can include “Viewed product”, “Added to Basket”, “Registered as member” or “Signed up for an enewsletter. Act is also about encouraging participation. This can be sharing of content via social media or customer reviews (strictly, part of Engage). It’s about engaging the audience through relevant, compelling content and clear navigation pathways so that they don’t hit the back button. The bounce rates on many sites is greater than 50%, so getting the audience to act or participate is a major challenge which is why we have identified it separately. - Convert Again the conversion point needs to be defined for each business, but typically its conversion to sale. For a multichannel retailer it will be an online or offline sales outcome. For other businesses, it could be where the visitor commits to form a relationship which will generate commercial value for the business such as a lead. - Engage This is long-term engagement, building customer relationships over time through multiple interactions using different paid, owned and earned media touchpoints such as your site, social presence, email and direct interactions to boost customer lifetime value. It
  3. 3. can be measured by repeat actions such as repeat sale and sharing content through social media.We also need to measure percentage of active customers (or email subscribers) and customer satisfaction and recommendation using other systems.
  4. 4. Create a digital-marketing-strategy in 3 steps: • Opportunity ◦ where are we now? ◦ Where do we want to be? • Strategy ◦ how do we get there? • Action ◦ how exactly do we get there? ◦ What is our plan? ◦ Did we get there? You plan to succeed with digital channels if you have: - Smart RACEobjectives based on marketplace analysis - Strategies aligned with objectives - Integration between online and offline activities – Sufficient allocated resource Opportunity -where are we now? Where do we get there?- It defines the digital marketing capabilities. It can be splitted in: healthcheck, market analysis, SWOT analysis, define a vision, smart RACE objectives, actionable dashboards. Healthcheck: Ask your self questions about your approach to digital-marketing-strategy. You can answer from 1 to 5. - Do we have a defined digital strategy to create growth? By "defined" we mean a separate digital strategy document or integrated into other marketing plans. - We have clear online goals aligned with business goals? - Do we use an online marketing dashboard to track goals and KPIs? The dashboard could be custom reports in Google Analytics or spreadsheets to report on performance monthly, weekly or, for an active Ecommerce site, daily. It should cover key areas of effectiveness across the customer touchpoints of RACE. - Do we know who we're speaking to, our target audience and market? That is, do you have a defined grouping of target prospects and customers i.e. segmentation?
  5. 5. - Do we have a content strategy including a defined network of online partners and influencers? - Do we learn from competitors in a structured way? You should regularly benchmark to compare performance and marketing techniques. Market Review: This is a situation analysis reviewing how your customers use digital channels integrated with traditional channels. Output a: A marketplace map summarises customer types, customer search behaviour, key influencer types and intermediaries.
  6. 6. Output b: Create a digital channel SWOT in TOWS format to summarise the key issues you need to manage for digital channels. Define a vision: Every company is on a journey to improve their digital competence – it will take more than a year and will be ongoing. Your vision should highlight the benefits digital transformation will deliver to the customer and the company summarised using top-level goals with the 5Ss. Smart RACE objectives: Specific commercial objectives from digital channels should be set based on quantitative modelling of direct online sales (online revenue or profit contribution) and indirect (offline revenue contribution). Output: A key part of summarising strategy – a table aligning SMART RACE objectives with strategies and KPIs to be tracked. A conversion-based channel model is recommended to make them quantitative. Actionable dashboards: Your analytics system should be customised so that you can track KPIs through goals with values attached to them. Output: A summary table of RACE KPIs to include on dashboard, covered in the strategy qualification and Delivering Results guides. Will form custom reports in Google Analytics as described in our GA guide.
  7. 7. Strategy -how do we get there?- Define Segmentation and Targeting Digital channels give new opportunities to target niche audiences with existing or new propositions. Priorities for targeting markets and audiences should be defined. Output: Table summarising targeting options with different online media channels – Paid- Owned-Earned. Set Positioning – Online Value Proposition The Online Value Proposition reinforces key brand messages from 7Ps and highlights the reasons why audiences should engage with a brand and be influenced to buy and share. OVP=Online Value Proposition=Brand Adding Value to Audience • help me to do my job / to live my life • help me develop / learn • entertain / inspire me • help me select and use products
  8. 8. Action – how exactly do we get there? What is our plan? Did we get there?- Reach, Act, conver, engage Ensure you have appropriate controlled spend of online media through budgeting for Paid- Owned-Earned media investment with a conversion-based budget model.
  9. 9. Media Investment: Each media needs to be tracked according to the objectives and KPIs defined in the Opportunity section. It’s essential to compare channels by conversion and effectiveness with proper metrics. Dashboard to calculate KPIs per each media investment category. Breakdown of KPIs of each activity. • Search Marketing ◦ SEO ◦ Paid Search, PPC ◦ Paid for inclusion feeds • Online PR -Take advantage of online network connections by identifying key influencers and complimentary partners and then developing proactive management of these- ◦ Publisher outreach ◦ Influencers ◦ Media alerting ◦ Brand protection • Online partnership ◦ affiliate marketing ◦ sponsorship ◦ co-branding
  10. 10. ◦ link-building ◦ widget marketing • Social media marketing ◦ audience participation ◦ managing social presence ◦ viral campaigns ◦ customer feedback • Opt-in-e-mail ◦ house list e-mails ◦ co-branded email ◦ ads in third party newsletter • Interactive ads ◦ site specific media buys ◦ ad networks ◦ sponsorship ◦ behavioural targeting • offline communication ◦ advertising ◦ personal selling ◦ sales promotion ◦ PR ◦ sponsorship ◦ direct mail ◦ exhibitions ◦ merchandising ◦ packaging ◦ word-of-mouth
  11. 11. Prioritise and define customer journeys (CXM): Define conversion funnels and pathways within site design based on Top Customer Tasks and the value of content. Digital marketing often encourages the creation of silos, especially in large organisations. Integration planning will help develop: • Seamless customer journeys from online to offline • Co-ordination and collaboration between internal and external teams Content is the a online asset which plays a role across RACE, so it needs to be proactively managed through a content marketing strategy or plan which sets out: • Priories for content investment, for example using the Content Marketing Matrix. • Scheduling content through editorial calendar
  12. 12. • Search Engine Optimisation of content • Analysing and optimising content effectiveness
  13. 13. Conversion Rate Optimisation: CRO is Conversion Rate Optimisation. Your CRO plan sets out a schedule for tests to improve to increase conversion rate and value generated via your digital marketing during customer acquisition. Output: CRO plan and schedule of Experiments. Merchandising approach: Merchandising is traditionally an Ecommerce activity, although best practices aren’t described much. Output: Merchandising plan defining updates to Products, Promotions and Content to support campaigns.
  14. 14. Loyalty Improvement: Understanding loyalty drivers through determining Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score is crucial to encouraging repeat sales and recommendations. It often has insufficient attention with the focus on Acquisition and Conversion. Output: Customer Loyalty plan Social media strategy: Social media underpins many of these other activities, so it needs an overall plan and integration with most digital marketing activities. Output: Social Media Plan Customer email contact strategy: • Review email engagement • Implement customer contact strategy