Failing to plan is planning to fail, as they say. And your digital marketing is no different.

One of the great benefits of modern marketing is the ability to set clear goals, and measure against them. These numbers are a sanity check in a busy and demanding arena, helping you to ensure your efforts are producing results.

But to back up a bit, before measuring the success of a goal the goal itself has to be qualified. Why is your business posting on Facebook? What is the point of that blog you are writing? Who should be looking at your website, and what should they be doing when they are there?

A popular yet unhelpful assumption today is that everyone should be doing everything. Not true in many areas of life, and certainly not true in marketing. You should be doing what you should be doing. Your marketing should be clearly based around your business goals and objectives, which flow from your company vision, through your products and services, and to your customers. It is amazing how much clarity can be obtained about how to market your offering when there’s clarity on what your offering is.

From first correctly identifying the offering we move on to targeting the customer. Who are they? What do they need? What do they like to do? It can be helpful to create customer stories – e.g. Jane, 37, married and mother of 2, works part-time — or Bob, 63, senior manager approaching retirement, plays golf and drinks real ale. Stories about your customers helps you to correctly define your digital marketing messages. Where do your customers hang out online? What do they like to read, watch, and listen to? How do they use they access the Internet?

Whether your audiences are B2B or B2C, understanding who your customers are and how and where they interact with your messaging is key to setting realistic marketing goals that will serve your business. Yes, you can turn on a paid advertising campaign, or drive people to your website through creative content marketing, and the numbers would look good. But are they the right people from the right places, and are they doing what you want them to do when they get to your website?

There is an art and a science to digital marketing. Finding the correct customers is a bit like fishing. You think there’s fish over there, you think they’re the right fish, so you cast your line. That’s the plan. We find that a one-year plan works well for most businesses: it’s long enough to set and reach good goals, it ties in well with other business planning, and it’s neatly broken into 12 segments – which is great, because things will change.

The monthly reporting element in our digital marketing plans is so important. Looking at what the data is saying, and asking what needs to be tweaked, mid-course, to ensure you keep on target is vital. That could be shifting resource between channels – e.g. moving spend from Google Ads to Facebook Ads, or posting less on your blog and writing more guest blog articles. No two companies are the same, and no two digital marketing strategies are the same. Creating strong goals and allowing for mid-course corrections helps each business we work with to hone their plan and hit their targets.

And towards the end of the year, you can sum it all up, gathering all your monthly reports, and feed it into the next year’s plan. You’ll start Year 2 from a position of strength, backed with data and results, and clarity earned through consistent effort deployed in a strategic manner.

We work with our clients to create clear, precise annual digital marketing plans, report back against them monthly, and help fulfil them through our services. If you’re looking for fresh direction or greater success with your digital marketing, give us a call. We’ll sit down and talk with you and discuss your business marketing goals in a free initial consultation.

Bathcomms Digital Marketing services: Strategic Consultancy. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Content Marketing. Email Marketing. PPC (Pay Per Click e.g. Google Ads). Social Media. Website Design & Development.

Specialists in eCommerce solutions.

This was first published in the Summer 2019 edition of the The Business Exchange.