Online Marketing Planning

November 5, 2009

I recently organised and attended our Interactive Minds internet marketing seminar on the topic of Planning Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2010. We had some great speakers along: Rob Hudson of GPYR, Matt Varley of Wotif Group and Yvette Adams of The Creative Collective. You can take a look at the presentations from the day on the Interactive Minds website.

I also wanted to contribute to this topic by sharing my overarching approach to planning a digital strategy.  I would summarise my approach in the following steps:

  1. Identify & define your objectives, target audience and competitors.
  2. Define your budget.
  3. Identify the tactics which are most suitable to the organisation/brand/budget/audience and map out which months they will be undertaken in.
  4. Calculate a reasonable budget for each tactic per month.
  5. Using industry standards and previous experience refine the ROI for each tactic for each month based on the allocated budget. This may involve calculating the numbers of unique website visitors,  revenue forecast or subscribers. (Relate it back to your marketing and website objectives and make sure it is tangible and meaningful).
  6. As I plug in the budgets, timing and ROI it is often valuable to do a bit of juggling at this point to make sure it fits within the budget and that the overall ROI is where it needs to be.
  7. Keep the plan fluid. Things change and you may need to redirect funds quickly based on response rates, market changes or technology innovation.

I often implement steps 4, 5 & 6 using an excel spreadsheet which has a few worksheets sharing relevant numbers. If you are interested in a starting template for this, please have a look at my sample online marketing spreadsheet, available as a PDF download. It shows a few sample tactics together with some assumptions and calculations. Please note some of the data has been removed however some sample data is still shown.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Estimating ROI on Online Marketing Campaigns

July 4, 2008

Putting together an online marketing plan involves a lot of components and one to consider is your estimated return on investment. Whether you are agency-side writing a plan for another company, or company-side writing or receiving that plan, ROI will often be the factor that influences whether the plan gets implemented.

So Why is ROI Important?
ROI will provide an indication of what the estimated return will be on your online marketing spend. An ROI calculation will often be based on the expected response rates for activity which then depending on your organisation, can often be extrapolated to predict some type of financial return.
Without some indication of the potential success of your campaign many organisations will hesitate to commit budget to it. In addition to this, calculating ROI will also let you predict your response rates and therefore can influence the amount you need to spend in order to get the required results.

What ROI Figures are Important?
ROI will often mean different things to different organisations and the key measures will depend on what stage your organisation is at (eg. Start up, established) as well as what the objectives of your online marketing are (eg. Traffic driving, sales, sign ups etc). Some typical figures that will be in ROI calculations include:
• Amount of traffic to the website
• Reach or visibility of a campaign
• Competition/survey entries
• New database registrations
• Product sales
• Offline numbers such as visitors to a store, attendance at an event etc.
Some of these numbers are easier to estimate than others and the further down the sales process you are trying to go, the more information you will require about existing customer processes.

How is ROI Calculated?
The measurability of the online medium gives us the opportunity to estimate response rates based on industry standards and past campaign experience. This data needs to be compiled together with your businesses current online statistics in order to make some assumptions – such as, “if we drive 10,000 people to the website, how many of them can we expect to register”. By tracking and documenting your current conversion rates for these types of activities, you will have a knowledge base to assist your ROI calculations.

Calculating ROI Per Tactic
Each online marketing tactic such as search, email campaigns, banner advertising etc will have their own industry standards and benchmarks which you can use in your ROI calculations. Over the next few weeks I’ll go through these tactics one by one to provide some guidance with these numbers as well as sources for relevant industry standards that you might find helpful.

A Few Good Advertisers…

October 29, 2007

If you work in the advertising industry, you might find this video amusing…

Yahoo Takeovers

August 21, 2007

Yahoo!7 HomeReal estate on Yahoo!7’s homepage seems to be in hot demand this week with two homepage takeover ads in two days.

Yesterday there was a big homepage takeover by Virgin ad and today Ford is dominating. It is good to see that websites are starting to be more flexible with their advertising styles, but there is still quite a way to go for ads to become more contextually relevant.

Personally I’d also like to see an online ad campaign like Fords link through to more established content for follow through…

Mentos Breaking New Ground

August 9, 2007

A new Mentos campaign has hit the internet and follows on from their previous viral campaigns (one of which is discussed here).

This one is a campaign with a difference and is targeting generation Y-ers. Rather than me tell you all about it, check out this write up from iMedia Connection and see the Mentos website here.

By the way, I checked it out and so far Trevor has 639 Facebook friends & 46 Facebook friends. I did try to allocate Trevor a task (to write a blog update in fact) however the site seems to be having a few problems at the moment and the task submission didn’t work… a fairly integral part of the campaign, hopefully it will work next time!

Brisbane Viral Game Goes Live

June 7, 2007

Briz QuizBrisbane’s premier site, today launched their Briz Quiz game to the public. The game is looking for Brisbane’s Trivia King and has heaps of great prizes to give away in support the campaign. Of course there are scoreboards and referral elements too – if you’re up for a challenge and a fun viral game, take a look.

Last Chance to Vote – 2006 Video Awards on YouTube

March 21, 2007

It’s down to the last few days of voting on YouTube’s 2006 Video Awards. Visitors can vote on the top 10 videos across 7 categories to help determine the winning video in each catgory. But hurry, voting closes on the 23 of this month.

How Much?

March 19, 2007

Working agency side, part of my job is to identify solutions, define requirements and price a range of jobs for clients and there are times when there is a gap between client expectations and reality of pricing (especially for the smaller clients).

I came across a good Clickz article today which breaks down some of the costs involved in creating a campaign landing page which I think shows a good break down of what might be involved in a project of this nature.

Whilst I wouldn’t price a job entirely in the way shown, it does bring a certain amount of reality to the work that can go into something as simple as a landing page and is a good reference for those who aren’t as up to speed on what’s involved in web page development.

When reading the article, please keep in mind that this is priced in US$ and that the costs for some things may be a little low (Do you know any agencies that charge the equivalent of AUD $80 per hour – I don’t!)

View the article here.

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