To successfully promote your business in today’s economic environment, you must have a SMART digital marketing plan; effectively leveraging the right digital marketing tools, techniques and best practices to reach your goals.
It takes a lot of time, energy, and money to develop, implement and manage a digital marketing plan. A SMART plan is the most effective, in that it will help reach your goals and do it in a way that will get you the best return on investment for both time and money. If you are strategic, measure success, create achievable goals, ensure all tactics are relevant, and be timely in your execution of your plan, you will have a SMART digital marketing plan; otherwise knows as a digital marketing strategy.
A digital marketing plan must support your business goals, and be agile enough that it can be updated, as needed, to stay current with the constantly changing digital landscape.
What is a SMART digital marketing plan?
The plan must support business goals; short-term and long-term. At critical milestone dates, time must be set aside to review how well the plan is doing; then adjust it as needed. Consider any regulations and best practices; to stay current, competitive, and within the law. A digital marketing strategy must be integrated into the whole marketing plan. Leveraging digital marketing tools and techniques to improve communications excellence across the organization should also be considered; such as employee communications, customer service, operations, and public relations.
Key performance metrics are used to indicate if you are on the right track with the work that you are doing. The metrics, and methods by which you will gather this information need to be in place before the plan begins. An example of this is to track activity to your website, and you decide to use Google Analytics, you need to put a piece of code onto your website before you can see any metrics. Remember to monitor and evaluate the reports regularly to see how you are doing to get the best return on investment.
Dedicated resources, both time and money, must be made available to create the digital marketing plan and manage it. Taking the time to evaluate the ongoing status of the plan will help to refine the goals and tactics to know what can or cannot be achieved – do, learn, and re-do.
A focused plan is an effective plan. Understanding the behaviours and needs of the intended target audience (e.g. clients) will help provide the right message, to the right people, at the right time. Understand what you would like your audience to do, will help you create clear calls-to-action; successfully reaching your goals (e.g. online leads, sales).
It must be agile; able to respond and adapt to the changing needs of the business and digital environment as needed, to maintain the effectiveness of the plan.