by: Christian Smagg
Got your marketing plan ready for 2008?
Let me first ask you this simple question since you would be surprised (or not) to discover that a startling 40% of marketing professionals don't even have a formal marketing plan. Surprisingly, not everyone develops a plan - even though most will agree that it is the foundation to successful and effective marketing.
If, on the other hand, you are not among that 40%, you and your team likely have a 2008 digital marketing plan devised by now. But are you confident that this plan can boost your sales and exceed your goals? Did you organize your marketing efforts to deliver maximum results quickly and efficiently? Have you actually developed the roadmap enabling you to leverage online marketing techniques in order to supercharge your sales and marketing efforts in 2008?
In many instances, your product and services will lend themselves to a variety of online marketing tactics, many of which are extremely well suited to reach your intended audience and highlight the value of your offer. One of the key advantages of online marketing is indeed the ability to utilise effective low-cost techniques that are typically easy to implement and are highly effective at producing, capturing, and capitalising on inbound traffic in a very cost-effective manner.
Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategist, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research and leading social media blogger has recently released an excellent article: "A Complete List of the Many Forms of Web Marketing for 2008" which catalogs no less than 36 tools and tactics available for corporate web strategy CMOs, VPs and Directors of Web and Marketing. I would highly recommend that anyone looking to come to grips with the multiple ways by which the Web can deliver effective and impactful ways of addressing the market, spend a few minutes working through this exhaustive list. You are very likely to come up with a few new ideas and identify the relevant opportunities that would be worth exploring and testing as part of your 2008 digital marketing plan.
I do agree with Jeremiah that being aware of the drastic changes that occurred in our digital landscape is critical and require organisations to adapt and evolve. As stated by the author, this list is not prioritised and should simply be considered as an index of tools that is not a substitute for a strategy or a plan.
Once your marketing objectives are identified and your plan developed, only should you then choose the most appropriate tools in order to use the Internet to its maximum effect. From my perspective, the secret is usually residing in how you will be handling the customer experience, using various appropriate communication channels and online tactics in order to engage with the prospect, generate interest, develop the relationship and finally generate (repeated) sales. Experience as shown that efficiency and "creativity" (ie. creative ways of using these communication channels) is mainly coming from the intelligent way you will be combining and using strategically various marketing tactics; cost-effectively mixing traditional ways of addressing your target audience with more innovative ways of engaging with your customers.
As online techniques take on a larger role in marketing strategies, I will be publishing shortly key findings from a survey conducted on marketers from around the world, showing how online tools are being used, which ones are the most effective and on which ones companies plan to spend more. So subscribe to my feed and stay tuned ...