Writing an Effective Internet Marketing Plan – By Sarah Bundy

by Colleen on December 14, 2011

It’s amazing how few business owners that I speak to, that don’t have a marketing plan. In this highly competitive business environment, it is essential that you create your marketing plan, outlining goals, strategies and tactics needed to help your business become successful.

Here are five easy steps to create an effective internet marketing plan that can help your business prosper:

Step 1: Situation Analysis
Define your business, your product/service and your target groups. Describe each in as much detail as possible, focusing on the benefits of your product and what problem you’re trying to solve for your prospective customer.

Focus on narrowing down your target audiences and create personas for them. You should have one primary target audience and possibly one or two secondary markets when you’re done.

Step 2: Competitive Analysis
Once you’ve defined what you do, why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for; research the market to understand who your main competitors are. Don’t consider only online direct competitors but also indirect competitors such as brick and mortar locations, shopping comparison sites and other related websites where the customer can also find the solution to the problem they are trying to solve.

Then describe why your solutions are better, different and more valuable than your competition.

Step 3: Main Messaging and Positioning
Once you’ve defined your situation, identified your target markets, and differentiated yourself from your competition, you’ll be able to identify what your value propositions are and clearly communicate those into your main messaging on your website and across multiple channels.

It’s best to focus on one or two main messages that are short, memorable and targeted specifically to speak to your target audience(s).

Step 4: Online Marketing Channel Strategy
Evaluate different marketing channels to reach your market and your goals. Look at various strategies such as SEO, PPC, social networks, press releases, affiliate marketing, video, email, and more. Think about where your target market is and how they are finding solutions to their problems.

Focus on one channel at a time. Launching too many campaigns at the same time without executing any one of them carefully is a waste of time, money, and brand image for your company. If you’re going to be exceptional, focus and make it count.

Step 5: Financial Analysis
Set sales projections, budgets, and timelines. Focus on the highest converting options that produce the highest ROI. Leave the rest until you’re ready.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in the beginning, focus on the options that produce the fastest and highest returns. Then put those earnings back into growing your business more.

Make sure for each of these steps; realistic, measurable goals are set. Without set goals, a final destination and plan of how to achieve them will keep your business from growing into the success it deserves.

Sarah Bundy is the CEO of AIM, Canada’s leading Full Service OPM (allinclusivemarketing.com).

Download the entire FeedFront issue 16 here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/69193074/FeedFront-Magazine-Issue-16

FeedFront issue 16 articles can be found here as well:

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Krista December 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I recently took a college course on marketing, and the tips you provided aligned well with the lessons I have learned. I work for Xverify where we do real time data verification and I can agree that step 2, you have to take your level of service to the next level and stand out in a crowd where everyone looks the same. That is what we are doing with Xverify … giving our clients more power, customization, impressive customer service, good prices, and so much more to offer.

Sarah Bundy December 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Hi Krista, I’m happy to hear your lessons and my experience go hand in hand. It’s funny that this got posted today because I just posted an article on planning your personal or corporate brand in the affiliate marketing space on my blog yesterday. I’ve updated the link so it leads back to this page. I’m glad so many people found this useful. Thanks for all the comments and shares everyone 🙂

Internet Marketing Los Angeles November 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

If you’re going to be exceptional, focus and make it count.

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