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.

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