Why Everyone Needs A Digital Marketing Plan
All business owners have digital marketing in the back of their minds. They know this is an approach they have to adopt in order to be relevant today. However, they struggle to integrate this into their current marketing strategy.
Having a clear understanding of what you are currently doing and where you want to be is the first step of the digital marketing planning. In order for you to outline your plan, you should be able to figure out where you stand and how much you have to do to achieve digital marketing excellence.
According to a survey, nearly 50% of businesses don’t have a clearly defined digital strategy. Often, we create this perfect plan but then the person or team in charge doesn’t follow it on a day-to-day basis, and so the goal is hard to reach.
It is crucial to define and monitor the right KPIs for your business and work hard toward achieving them. Measuring them in real time helps make any adjustments to avoid failure, especially when these KPIs are not even close to being reached. Having a dashboard that provides you these metrics can help make adjustments in a timely matter.
Relying On Offline
Creating a digital marketing strategy is no different than creating any other marketing strategy. The challenge here is in knowing how to convince top management that you need one. It’s easy for those of us who have been around this digital environment for a long time to realize this is something indispensable. We believe in it and have been a witness to its success. However, not everyone has this mentality, and our lack of empathy for these people and our sense of obviousness doesn’t help us sell very well.
You would think the digital revolution would change the state of mind of owners, CEOs, managers, etc. Unfortunately, people still rely on offline and traditional efforts and think this will always work. It’s hard to make people who have relied on that approach for a while to reallocate budget for digital, especially if they don’t know why.
Why Start Now?
From a commercial standpoint, the question CEOs or managers often ask is: Does this deliver results immediately? Or does this become something significant to provide ROI? We need to be able to communicate in this language in order for us to sell a digital marketing plan to top management.
We should be talking about media attribution models, customer lifetime value models and multi-channel funnels. What C-level executives want to see are metrics revolving around revenue like:
• Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), also known as Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): This metric provides visibility into the dollars you are spending to acquire a new customer and ultimately leads you to obtain the total ROI.
• Marketing and sales percentage of CAC: The CAC is normally calculated with the total sales and marketing expenses. It is important to monitor the percentage allocated to each. This way, we can improve and reduce costs to reduce the final CAC.
• Ratio of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to CAC (LTV:CAC): With your CAC and CLV metrics, you will obtain the ultimate ROI lens for your business. It will help you make sure you are signing on good customers that will be with you for the long term to drive sustainable revenue and growth.
The fact that marketing has shifted to a results-driven approach is hard to digest for some traditional marketers. They will now be accountable for every dollar they spend. We should be embracing it as we become a more relevant piece of the puzzle by actually measuring what we do.
Here are seven reasons why everyone should adopt a digital marketing strategy:
1. You obtain direction and focus. You need a clear strategy to achieve goals. You need to measure if you are going in the right direction and if you’re able to execute them in a timely matter.
2. You gain a powerful online value proposition. This will help to differentiate yourself to encourage interaction with your existing and potential customers. In this populated digital world we live in, it has become difficult to win a click over. Differentiating your brand helps you boost this click-through rate, not only for new visitors to be aware that you exist and that you are worth it but especially for your returning visitors. If you have already won them over, differentiating your brand with a powerful value proposition will be key to keeping them interested.
3. You get to know your customers better. Measure qualitative and quantitative data. Numbers are not enough — you should be able to obtain sentiment to address your customer’s pain points and get to know them better. It is important to track your customers’ behavior with the right marketing technologies. This way, you can deliver insights and make decisions quickly.
4. You avoid silos. An integrated digital marketing strategy ensures a vision that’s aligned with every department. Clarity provides focus. With your digital marketing plan in place, you can build the governance needed to pilot new technology, share data across the organization and manage capabilities and processes.
5. You can plan your budget better. Having enough resources is not enough. You should be able to plan in advance what your digital program needs in order to succeed. What are the skills needed to deliver results? Your employees may not be using their time as effectively as they should.
6. You are constantly optimizing. Measured by KPIs, a digital strategy will give you direction to constantly optimize and create a continuous environment for improvement. It is important to continually track and manage the efforts you have in place.
7. You obtain ROI. Being able to measure every marketing action ensures a cost-effective strategy. This way, you can create the capabilities to support digital marketing operations.
Digital marketing is no longer adding the online factor to your marketing mix — it’s about putting the correct plan in place to transform your business.