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Digital marketing planning is a term used in marketing management. It describes the first stage of forming a digital marketing strategy for the wider digital marketing system. The difference between digital and traditional marketing planning is that it uses digitally based communication tools and technology such as Social, Web, Mobile, Scannable Surface. Nevertheless, both are aligned with the vision, the mission of the company and the overarching business strategy.
Stages of planning
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy, and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.
To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives. They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customized to the type, objectives, mission, and vision of the company.
Companies can scan for marketing and sales opportunities by reviewing their own outreach as well as influencer outreach. This means they have competitive advantage because they are able to analyse their co-marketers influence and brand associations.
To seize the opportunity, the firm should summarize its current customers' personas and purchase journey from this they are able to deduce their digital marketing capability. This means they need to form a clear picture of where they are currently and how many resources they can allocate for their digital marketing strategy i.e. labor, time, etc. By summarizing the purchase journey, they can also recognize gaps and growth for future marketing opportunities that will either meet objectives or propose new objectives and increase profit.
To create a planned digital strategy, the company must review their digital proposition (what you are offering to consumers) and communicate it using digital customer targeting techniques. So, they must define online value proposition (OVP), this means the company must express clearly what they are offering customers online e.g. brand positioning.
The company should also (re)select target market segments and personas and define digital targeting approaches.
After doing this effectively, it is important to review the marketing mix for online options. The marketing mix comprises the 4Ps – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Some academics have added three additional elements to the traditional 4Ps of marketing Process, Place, and Physical appearance making it 7Ps of marketing.
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as the audience reached across all digital platforms. Furthermore, marketers must ensure the budget and management systems are integrating the paid, owned, and earned media of the company.The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.
After confirming the digital marketing plan, a scheduled format of digital communications (e.g. Gantt Chart) should be encoded throughout the internal operations of the company. This ensures that all platforms used fall in line and complement each other for the succeeding stages of digital marketing strategy.
Understanding the market
One way marketers can reach out to consumers, and understand their thought process is through what is called an empathy map. An empathy map is a four-step process.
The first step is through asking questions that the consumer would be thinking in their demographic.
The second step is to describe the feelings that the consumer may be having. The third step is to think about what the consumer would say in their situation.
The final step is to imagine what the consumer will try to do based on the other three steps. This map is so marketing teams can put themselves in their target demographics shoes.
Web Analytics are also a very important way to understand consumers. They show the habits that people have online for each website.
One particular form of these analytics is predictive analytics which helps marketers figure out what route consumers are on. This uses the information gathered from other analytics and then creates different predictions of what people will do so that companies can strategize on what to do next, according to the people's trends.
Consumer behavior- the habits or attitudes of a consumer that influences the buying process of a product or service. Consumer behavior impacts virtually every stage of the buying process specifically in relation to digital environments and devices.
Predictive analytics- a form of data mining that involves utilizing existing data to predict potential future trends or behaviors. Can assist companies in predicting future behavior of customers.
Buyer persona- employing research of consumer behavior regarding habits like brand awareness and buying behavior to profile prospective customers. Establishing a buyer persona helps a company better understand their audience and their specific wants/needs.
Marketing Strategy- strategic planning employed by a brand to determine potential positioning within a market as well as the prospective target audience; involves two key elements: segmentation and positioning. By developing a marketing strategy, a company is able to better anticipate and plan for each step in the marketing and buying process.
The "sharing economy" refers to an economic pattern that aims to obtain a resource that is not fully utilized. Nowadays, the sharing economy has had an unimagined effect on many traditional elements including labor, industry, and distribution system. This effect is not negligible that some industries are obviously under threat. The sharing economy is influencing the traditional marketing channels by changing the nature of some specific concept including ownership, assets, and recruitment.
Digital marketing channels and traditional marketing channels are similar in function that the value of the product or service is passed from the original producer to the end user by a kind of supply chain. Digital Marketing channels, however, consist of internet systems that create, promote, and deliver products or services from producer to consumer through digital networks.
Increasing changes to marketing channels has been a significant contributor to the expansion and growth of the sharing economy. Such changes to marketing channels has prompted unprecedented and historic growth. In addition to this typical approach, the built-in control, efficiency and low cost of digital marketing channels is an essential features in the application of sharing economy.
Digital marketing channels within the sharing economy are typically divided into three domains including, e-mail, social media, and search engine marketing or SEM.
E-mail- a form of direct marketing characterized as being informative, promotional, and often a means of customer relationship management.Organization can update the activity or promotion information to the user by subscribing the newsletter mail that happened in consuming. Success is reliant upon a company’s ability to access contact information from its past, present, and future clientele.
Social Media- Social media has the capability to reach a larger audience in a shorter time frame than traditional marketing channels.This makes social media a powerful tool for consumer engagement and the dissemination of information.
Search Engine Marketing or SEM- Requires more specialized knowledge of the technology embedded in online platforms. This marketing strategy requires long-term commitment and dedication to the ongoing improvement of a company’s digital presence.
Other emerging digital marketing channels, particularly branded mobile apps, have excelled in the sharing economy. Branded mobile apps are created specifically to initiate engagement between customers and the company. This engagement is typically facilitated through entertainment, information, or market transaction.
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feedback to the firm on a community-based site or straight directly to the firm via email. Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of-mouth marketing.
Benefits of social media marketing
- Allows companies to promote themselves to large, diverse audiences that could not be reached through traditional marketing such as phone and email based advertising.
- Marketing on most social media platforms comes at little to no cost- making it accessible to virtually any size business.
- Accommodates personalized and direct marketing that targets specific demographics and markets.
- Companies can engage with customers directly, allowing them to obtain feedback and resolve issues almost immediately.
- Ideal environment for a company to conduct market research.
- Can be used as a means of obtaining information about competitors and boost competitive advantage.
- Social platforms can be used to promote brand events, deals, and news.
- Platforms can also be used to offer incentives in the form of loyalty points and discounts.
Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_marketing Image: Pexels
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.