“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
A famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that perfectly captures the importance of planning; this quote applies to digital marketing as well.
Like other business operations, having a plan in mind is important before you start working on anything.
Let’s say you want to tour Europe in 15 days. What would you do first?
You will decide on your itinerary, pick a hotel or resort where you will stay for the night, plan on how much you will spend on food and other things. This way, you can avoid many UNCERTAINTIES, like getting to the place and finding out that all the hotels are booked.
This could cause a lot of issues.
If simple things in life can’t be done without planning, how could you possibly start a digital marketing campaign WITHOUT planning and expect GOOD RESULTS?
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According to Philip Kotler, who is considered as the father of modern marketing, a marketing plan documents how the organization’s strategic objectives will be achieved through specific marketing strategies and tactics.
Therefore, a digital marketing plan is a document of action items that will help you achieve your marketing objectives.
It reflects your approach to achieving your goals through online marketing strategies and tactics.
It includes everything from research to measuring the results of your efforts and analyzing how successful your strategies were in achieving the goals.
You must have a digital marketing plan to achieve your strategic marketing goals as well as for your specific digital marketing campaigns or activities.
For example, you might have a digital marketing plan for achieving 25% month on month growth that might include using paid ads.
You should also have a plan on how you will be using the PPC campaign to achieve the required growth.
At this point, you might be wondering why your company needs a digital marketing plan?
Digital marketing is a growing field, and the competition is fierce.
If your competitors are better prepared to adapt to the changing market conditions, then your company will be left behind.
Here are a few reasons why your company needs a digital marketing plan in 2019.
Let’s get started.
If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how can you possibly achieve anything?
A company without any proper GOALS and OBJECTIVES for marketing is doomed to be directionless.
Such companies cannot achieve the return on investment (ROI) they expect from digital marketing channels.
A digital marketing plan includes setting goals and objectives for your digital marketing efforts so you can measure ROI and analyze how your strategy aligns with organizational aims.
You may be well aware of your target market.
But are you sure you know where you can find them online?
Digital marketing is not like traditional marketing where you have to target a broad market and hope your target audience will get the message. On the internet, there is a lot of clutter.
Unless you are targeting your audience specifically, your MESSAGE WILL BE LOST in the sea of information.
With a digital marketing plan in place, you would know where your target audience is and what strategies you need to target the right market.
The big question: Have you put your money where you should? Not all digital marketing channels work effectively for all companies.
You need to analyze which channel is working better for your company and invest more in that particular channel.
However, for that, you would need to measure the effectiveness of each channel.
With a proper digital marketing plan, you will be able to set adequate criteria for measurement of the effectiveness of each channel.
It is entirely possible that your online competitors might be different from your traditional competitors.
On the internet, you might be up against a completely unknown competitor, if you haven’t tested the waters yet.
Without knowing your competitors, you won’t be able to analyze and compare your strengths and weaknesses with them.
This means you will have a hard time competing against and increasing your market share.
You could avoid this if you plan ahead. With a digital marketing plan that involves analyzing the industry, you can come up with an effective plan of competing with your competitors.
Without financial and human resource, you cannot even think of running a digital marketing campaign. However, even when they are available, you might still have to face some obstacles.
If you don’t have a digital marketing plan, you might have inefficient budget spending or lack of the right talent.
If you haven’t decided how much to spend on which channel and what talents you would need to run digital marketing campaigns, you will be able unable to run a successful campaign.
When you have a digital marketing plan set in place and your team is rigorously following it, but you still fail to achieve your goals, you can at least analyze where you went wrong what things didn’t work out for your company.
Learning from mistakes is vital if you don’t want to end up failing again. Without a proper plan, you might be making the same mistakes over and over again, wondering why you cannot hit the target.
Even if you’re reading this article after 2019, the above advice still applies.
We have to adapt to changing marketing trends, and nothing makes it possible the way planning does.
It is still not too late to plan your digital marketing strategy for the entire year and achieve your annual growth target. Above are only a few general reasons why you need a digital marketing plan.
If you have been running digital marketing campaigns without any plan, you should be able to realize its importance now.
If you are just starting out with digital marketing, then this is the right time for you to start planning out your digital marketing strategies!