Internet Marketing Planning in 3 Easy Steps

internet marketing planningMarketers, small business owners and individuals are looking for ways to bring their message to the masses via the Internet more and more these days.  In fact, eMarketer recently published a report in which Forrester Research predicted a 17% compound annual growth rate in Internet marketing in the next five years.  But for many, planning your Internet marketing strategy can be difficult.  It can be all too tempting to skip planning and jump right into design.  But doing so will almost always lead to disaster.  Today, Big Picture Web brings you a post about the three things you need to develop a successful Internet marketing plan.

Internet Marketing Planning:  Easy as 1, 2, 3

With so many options today, it can be completely overwhelming to plan your online marketing strategy.  Do you need a Web site?  Should you be using Facebook and/or Twitter in your Internet marketing mix?  Should you be working to get more visitors from search engines?  Surprisingly, these tactics will line up at your feet if you start with a solid Internet marketing plan.  Start your plan today in three easy steps:
  1. Define your Internet marketing goals. Successful Internet marketing plans start with the end in mind.  What is it you want to accomplish for your organization through your online marketing efforts?  Do you want to increase sales?  Are you trying to gain new customers or prospects?  Are you trying to better serve the customers you already have?  By clearly defining your objectives, you're one-third of the way to a successful Internet marketing plan.
  2. Identify your ideal customer and their online goals.  To appeal to your potential customers, you must be able to think like them.  What are they trying to accomplish?  What's the best possible way to organize information about your company so that it is easy and intuitive to find for your Web site visitors?  In a world where we are overwhelmed by information and the competitor is just a click away, it's absolutely critical that you make your Web presence as straightforward, clear and appealing as possible to your customers.
  3. Select only the Internet marketing tactics that meet the goals of you or your customer (or both!).  This final concept is very intuitive yet practiced less than one might think.  Why would you do something if it doesn't accomplish anything?  But you'd be surprised how often folks spend too much precious time and resources haggling over the smallest details or adding features that are "shiny" yet do nothing to help their bottom dollar.  Strongly consider this when putting together your Internet marketing plan.
Think about these three steps the next time you or someone your organization comes up with a new idea for the Internet marketing plan.  Just ask yourself, "How will this help us meet our own goals?  What about our customers' goals?"  If you can't come up with an answer to either of those questions, chances you probably shouldn't be including it in your Internet marketing planning activities.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?  We'd love to hear them.  Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.