Digital strategy overview
The main purpose of digital marketing is to help your company achieve its marketing objectives through the use of the internet and all digital technologies.
For this reason, your company’s marketing department must be able to define and implement an effective and relevant digital strategy to achieve the marketing objectives.
The success of your digital strategy depends largely on a good understanding of the digital ecosystem and the good use of different digital marketing tools.
This publication aims to give you a clear idea of the components and process of your digital marketing plan through a real-life and free example.
Digital marketing plan definition
The digital marketing plan is a marketing document, usually elaborated once a year, detailing the digital marketing actions to be implemented in the short term by a company in a specific market.
In this marketing framework, are mentioned the annual digital marketing goals, the forecasted budget of each planned digital marketing activity, and the components of your company’s product or service communication mix.
The digital marketing plan allows for planning the online strategy of the organization. It must define the online marketing objectives and explain how they will be achieved (targets, marketing mix, resources allocated, action schedule).
Even if it can be derived from the standard marketing plan, it is often independent, as the digital strategy is based on a specific approach to the Internet channel.
Therefore, the digital marketing plan has its rules, design, and implementation, often with a dedicated team.
In short, the digital marketing plan is a marketing framework that describes your company’s short-term digital strategy (often one year) in a specific market.
The online marketing plan must perfectly align with your company’s strategic goals. In addition, it must lead to achieving the marketing goals mentioned in your traditional marketing plan.
Thus, achieving the marketing goals mentioned in your digital marketing plan is mainly conditioned by coordinating the digital marketing levers used and the excellent comprehension of your company’s digital ecosystem.
How to make a digital marketing plan?
Developing a digital marketing plan does not change the process of developing a traditional one. The main difference is only in the actions and marketing tools implemented for each marketing plan.
We have summarized the steps for designing and writing a digital marketing plan in the table below:
|Step 1||Conduct an in-depth analysis of our company’s internal and external environment using the strategic analysis tools most commonly used by strategy and marketing consultants. As a reminder, we can mention the SWOT framework, the PESTEL model, the five competitive forces model, the results of panels and market studies, etc.
A good comprehension of the current situation of your market will allow you to make relevant conclusions as well as good forecasts based on numbers and not on intuition.
|Step 2||Convert your strategic goals, often expressed in the medium or long term, into short-term (annual) goals.Example: our company’s strategic target is to increase our market share by 20% in the next five years. So, this year’s goal will be to grow our market share by 4% (20%/5 years).|
|Step 3||Setting annual marketing objectives. A good goal must be “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. In this step, we clearly define the customers our company targeted and the positioning chosen for each segment.
Example: The analysis performed in step 2 revealed the upcoming arrival of a giant competitor in our market. As a result, we decided to decrease our annual marketing objective (2% instead of 4%).
|Step 4||Choose the appropriate marketing strategies: conquest, defense, penetration, and retention.
Example: let’s assume that your company has limited resources compared to the new giant competitor that has arrived on your market. In this case, it is recommended to adopt defense and retention strategies to protect your territories better.
|Step 5||Determine the actions and digital marketing levers to implement: search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, search engine advertisement (SEA), social media marketing, influence marketing, etc.
Make sure all your marketing levers are coherent!
|Step 6||Write your digital marketing plan.|
|Step 7||Communicate the plan. Ensure a wide diffusion of your document to all entities and managers involved.|
|Step 8||Regularly monitor and control the achievements by comparing them to the goals already set. In addition, we can adjust the marketing plan due to unexpected events that occur during the year, such as the Covid-19 health crisis or the emergence of a new social network.|
Digital Marketing Plan Example Overview
Do you want to make your first digital marketing plan and need help figuring out where to start? Here is an example of a digital marketing plan explaining everything you need in detail!
Below are the extracts of the digital marketing plan of an American company specializing in manufacturing and promoting interior decoration accessories.
In agreement with its managers, we are obliged not to go into details of the activity and products manufactured by this company to keep anonymity and avoid any possible spying of the competition.
This challenging company mainly sells its products to retailers of decoration accessories in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Based on the market studies and strategic analysis carried out at the end of 2021, the marketing department of this company has designed and written the company’s online marketing plan for the year 2022.
For privacy reasons, please note that the very detailed components of this digital marketing plan will not be mentioned, such as the estimated budgets, the names of the managers involved, and the execution schedule.
Also, we will only disclose the digital marketing strategy implemented in Canada.
The overall context of the digital marketing plan
Following the results of the strategic analysis conducted by the company’s managers during the last quarter of 2021, here are some of the company’s primary strategic goals from the 2021-2024 strategic plan:
- Increase the company’s market share in Canada by 20% by 2024;
- Improve brand awareness among the retailers of decoration items. The company’s ambition is to be ranked among the top 3 suppliers of luxury accessories in the Canadian market by 2024.
And many others etc.
The objectives of the traditional marketing plan
Based on the main strategic guidelines of the company, the marketing department has set the following annual marketing goals for the year 2022:
- Increase the company’s market share by 5%, which means an increase of annual sales by 12% ;
- Launch 12 new products on the Canadian market;
- Improve the awareness and presence of the brand among customers and retailers;
The goals of the digital marketing plan
Based on the objectives mentioned in the traditional marketing plan, the digital marketing department has defined the goals related to the digital marketing plan for the year 2022:
- Constantly improve the brand’s ranking on search engines (Google and Bing) for the 280 keywords targeted by the company to reinforce the company’s visibility on the web;
- Enhance the brand’s position on the main social media platforms targeted by the company’s marketing department. According to recent studies, the targeted Canadian customers are very present on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
- Increase the company’s e-commerce store traffic by 35% compared to the previous year;
- The online store’s conversion rate must increase from 8% to 15% in 2022.
The core of the 2022 marketing strategy
In targeting, there will be no change in the marketing strategy. The company targets two very heterogeneous customer segments:
- Retailers of home decoration accessories (B to B );
- Individual wealthy customers (B to C).
For positioning, the company has opted for a differentiation strategy for both segments. The company’s unique selling proposition (USP) focuses on constant product innovation, a broad assortment, and excellent service quality.
Digital marketing levers
This step is the most sensitive stage of your company’s digital marketing plan. It involves conceiving and executing digital marketing actions and levers that are efficient and coherent with offline marketing campaigns (television, radio, press, magazines) to contribute together to the achievement of the objectives set by your company.
Following the market studies carried out by the company, the marketing department has decided to implement the following digital marketing levers:
Social media marketing
The company expects to launch the following actions:
- Increase the budget dedicated to social media advertising by 15%. The social media platforms targeted by this company are Pinterest Ads, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads) ;
- Hire a team of two community managers, a traffic manager, a designer, and two professional photographers to reinforce the brand’s presence on social networks.
The company plans to target reliable micro-influencers with high-quality audiences (Pinterest accounts, Instagram accounts, and Youtube channels) dedicated to creating content exclusively for home decoration.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
The company has negotiated a freelance contract with a Toronto SEO digital marketing agency. The excellent Canadian market knowledge and cultural background led the company to delegate this mission to an external provider.
The experts of this agency will help the brand to improve the ranking of its website on Google, the leading search engine used by Canadian consumers and retailers.
Search engine advertising(SEA)
Increase the annual budget dedicated to sponsored links campaigns (search, display ads, youtube ads) on Google and Bing by 15%;
This digital marketing plan example will help you understand how to make a digital marketing plan for your business.
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