A digital marketing strategy plan tactically outlines your marketing objectives, and then how you will execute this through specific channels and an allocated budget. It breaks down actionable steps, timelines, and measurable outcomes over a certain time period.
A successful digital marketing plan ensures that the time and resources you invest into your marketing efforts are purposeful and deliberate. It is also fundamental to track your progress and success.
Marketing strategy seems to be one of the most overused and misunderstood terms in the marketing industry - and this extends to creating a solid and effective marketing plan. We’ve outlined how to structure a digital marketing plan so that you can focus on driving tangible results for your business.
This initial step is crucial - how do you know where to invest if you don’t know where the gaps and opportunities in the market are? This is where diagnosing your problem comes in. Are you trying to engage in B2B marketing in a recession? Has your budget been cut and you need to re-evaluate your strategy?
Now that you have a very clear understanding of the market and the problem that you are trying to solve, you can start to develop an effective digital strategy.
Firstly, set your objectives or marketing goals - clear results that you will aim to achieve over the next 6-18 months that follow the SMART structure (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-effective). Whether this involves demand generation, ecommerce sales or improvement of lead quality, you need to set SMART goals that keep your team accountable and measure success.
Secondly, one of your main considerations should be how much you will invest in short-term performance marketing v long term brand building. Both are heavily crucial in generating leads and sales for your business, but brand building ultimately leads to the longevity and sustainability for your marketing function. We’ve written an article discussing the benefit you’ll experience when using a strategic combination of brand and performance marketing.
What are the individual channels that you will play in? Remember, there are hundreds if not thousands of activities that you can engage in, and plenty of emerging trends in digital marketing, but you need to determine the handful of tactics that are feasible with the resources and most importantly the budget that you have.
You also need to consider what tactics will get you immediate results vs how you can contribute to longer-term marketing and brand success.
For example, Google Search Ads are fantastic at capturing bottom-of-funnel leads in a shorter period of time. However, investing in an effective long-term SEO strategy will ensure that organic leads will still be generated when and if your budget gets cut, or CPLs increase too much.
Similarly, using part of your marketing budget to refine your CRM and implementing an email marketing strategy will help keep your database warm.
Think about how you can keep your brand top of mind for consumers that aren’t yet ready to purchase, and still make sales from consumers that need your product/service today.
One of the biggest challenges any marketer will face is convincing their C-suite to buy into their digital marketing strategy. It is your responsibility to convince a non-marketer why your plan is the right move forward for the business, especially when you’re convincing them to allocate you enough budget to make it actionable.
So how do you present your digital marketing plan?
Your c-suite are only focussed on revenue, and how you are going to generate more revenue and sales for the business. This should be emphasised in your digital marketing plan and backed by clear evidence.
Brand building can become a difficult conversation to have, especially when short-term leads and sales is ideal. You need to hold firm, and explain how a balance of both brand and performance activities leads not only to short-term revenue growth, but also contributes to the longer-term success of the business in months and years to come.
Unless your director or manager have a background in marketing, they might not be interested in understanding the intricacies of Google Ads targeting options, or the technicalities of your email marketing nurture strategy.
You need to lead with how the work you plan to invest in over the next 6-18 months (depending on your type of strategy) is going to generate revenue for the business or increase market share. It should be outcome focussed, using previous data and results to form your argument.
No one, especially your time-poor managing director, is going to want to sit through a 60-minute presentation with 50+ detailed slides on a marketing plan. The marketing plan is for you and your team to have a clear outline of your marketing activities. You don’t need to explore the same amount of detail when presenting it to management.
Mark Ritson argues that all marketing plan presentations should be 20 slides over 60 minutes, and even better if they’re 15 slides across 40 minutes. If it’s anymore than this, you’re probably doing too many things and not very well.
Eshita is Rocket Agency’s Marketing Manager as well as the Email & Content Lead. In 2021, Eshita was nominated as a finalist at the B&T Women In Media awards in the marketing category for her success in scaling Rocket’s own marketing efforts.
Previously, Eshita was the Marketing Manager at Sales ITV where she was responsible for executing the marketing strategy and operations focused on lead generation, lead nurturing and sales conversion for SalesITV, SalesROI and the Dean Mannix brand.
She has had in-depth experience in monetising owned media channels via email, CRM, copywriting, public relations, as well as scaling and running successful online webinars. What’s more, Eshita’s experience working closely with sales teams has enhanced her skillset as a proficient marketer that achieves impressive results.