Online Marketing Plan

An online marketing plan is the manner in which a firm goes about developing a plan of action to achieve a certain marketing goal. Online marketing plans differ to general marketing plans in that online plans maintain a narrower focus. The marketing goal could be either to maintain the status quo or its contrast, go head strong into achieving phenomenal sales through an organized online marketing campaign. For either goal the company adopts it would need a plan of action, but for a goal such as to increase sales through its marketing efforts, the company would have to formulate a serious online marketing plan. Many managers rarely take the time off their busy schedules to develop a marketing plan.

When developing an online marketing plan, managers generally do not know where they should start. To create and ideal online marketing plan the company needs to be fully informed in all aspects relevant to the company. The information gathered, i.e. market trends, competitors, customers and so forth enable the formation of accurate strategies within the context of the marketing plan. The accuracy of the strategies would result in either the success or failure in achieving the company goals. If a web site needs significant improvement, incorporating these improvements in the online marketing plan would provide results as well.

An online marketing plan would generally consist of an objective, marketing strategy and a marketing tactic. Objectives are the -how in a marketing plan, i.e. the manner in which the company will strive to reach a said goal. A marketing strategy would generally support an objective. These are methods through which an objective would be obtained. Finally a marketing tactic is where an action takes place. These tactics are the actions that would be taken to make each of the mentioned strategies to a reality. Therefore all these components are dependent to each other and are therefore vital in an online marketing plan.

Without the use of online marketing plans, the firms run at a constant risk of unfocused marketing efforts. The end result would be one that would provide the company with great losses in addition to having to foot the bill for the marketing campaigns. For those who are running both online and offline business, both marketing plans need to be integrated in order for each to represent the other similarly and accurately. It also goes along to achieve corporate objectives in a more efficient manner.

Considering the above mentioned aspects of an online marketing plan, its importance cannot be under stressed. Online marketing plans will help managers accurately drive its company in the direction in needs to be going. Revision of the marketing plans are important as well, particularly so with online businesses. Online markets are constantly changing and therefore online businesses need to be dynamic in order to succeed. Managers should learn to pay more heed to their online or otherwise marketing plans as it could prevent losses in sales in the future.

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Question by scott d: What is the best and most cost effective online marketing strategy to build toward a product launch?
I am about to launch a high-end Project Management training course which will cost about $ 1,000.00.

Best answer:

Answer by Kevin Salwen, SBAC Expert
This is a hot topic, Scott, so let’s get started. There are tons of ways to get yourself noticed on the Internet – and lots of companies eager to separate you from your marketing dollars. But I think a few very inexpensive basics can make a huge difference:

First, make your own site as professional as possible. No typos, no goofy images. All your other efforts will bring Web users back here, so make your site informative, visually clean and reflective of the business image you want to portray. Think of it as your storefront; if it doesn’t look attractive and clean, customers will walk out ASAP. I think Brad Fallon does a good job explaining the hows and whys here: http://www.bradfallon.com/articles/whywebsites.html

Second, follow the basics of search-engine optimization just to make sure that your site can be found in any of the major search engines. The words you use, the items you post all matter. There’s a wealth of good information at http://www.seochat.com.

OK, now you’ve laid the groundwork by creating a website with power and one that can be found. Next, there are a few other easy steps you can take that don’t require a massive amount of time (and you might even find them fun). For one, set yourself up on the social networks – LinkedIn and Facebook, in particular – to make sure you are connecting to potential partners and customers.

On LinkedIn, you’ll be able to more blatantly advertise your services, grab recommendations from friends and build your business network. On Facebook, you’ll find more of a personal bent, but as we move increasingly to a world where work and play overlap, there is still plenty of advantage to be had on Facebook. George Kao does a great job showing how to use these social networks in a free training. Learn more at http://georgekao.com/

You’ll notice you’ve spent very little money so far, just the cost of your domain name and hosting. (By the way, don’t add the bells and whistles on hosting; basic service works just fine for most businesses and you can always order more later).

Now comes the real advice: Be generous. Very generous. Create a blog that offers advice for free in your area of expertise. Troll the Web for questions and become a go-to helper. Sign up as an expert on http://www.Squidoo.com. Then go back and write about the problem and your solution on your blog. If one person has that problem, others will too. You can venture out into the physical world as well, teaching people about your area.

I’m sure you get the picture by now: When you give of yourself, becoming the expert in your sphere of influence, you end up with people searching for you. Unselfishness actually is a great marketing strategy online. When they search for you – or stumble across you in the search engines – your marketing is free, credible and honest.

What do you think? Answer below!