Why You Need An Integrated Digital Marketing Plan:
An integrated digital marketing plan is an all-inclusive approach to being consistent with your digital marketing message and creating a unified and seamless experience for customers to interact with your brand online. As discussed in What is Digital Marketing Anyways there are many owned and paid channels in which you can advertise your brand. When building an integrated digital marketing plan, we assess these different opportunities and weigh the pros and cons of each channel relative to the business goal. Through strategic consideration and several frameworks, we determine the best mix of owned and paid tactics that will drive the results your business is looking to achieve.
We start every integrated digital marketing plan with establishing the objective. There could be one overall business goal with mini objectives to reach that goal or there could just be one overall goal. The important thing to remember in this phase is that each goal should be a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely).
SWOT Analysis Framework:
The next phase we embark on with an integrated digital marketing plan is a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. This framework is used to analyze the organization's current strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats in the market. The goal of this framework is to focus on your strengths and capitalize on the opportunities while minimizing the threats.
Strengths: The 3-4 key aspects where your business excels and does better than competitors.
Weaknesses: Areas your business needs to improve to be competitive.
Opportunities: Factors external to the organization that could be used as an advantage.
Threats: Factors external to the organization that could hurts it's competitive advantage.
4 P’s Framework:
This is a long-standing framework of marketing, it's an important step to effectively foster and promote a businesses unique value and how it stands out from competitors.
Product: What is the actual product you are selling? Is it physical or digital? Is it a service?
Price: What is the price for your product or the donation amount you are requesting? Is it subscription-based? Or are you paying one time?
Place: Where can your customers buy your product? Is it digital? Are you trying to visit a store?
Promotion: What is the actual message you want to send to the customers and what channels will be used to reach your customers? Most importantly, how do product, price, and place influence your promotional decisions?
This framework is used to align your promotional message with the audience you are trying to reach. This model is one of the most important processes of strategic marketing because it is how we align your product with the right customers. Through this framework, we determine what your brand wants to say and who they want to say it to.
Segmentation: There are two ways to segmentation your audience, by the needs of the customer, or the observable characteristics (i.e.geography, gender, age, behavior). The way you segment depends on the norm of your industry and the available data. Here, we build buyer personas.
Targeting: The basic idea here is thinking about given the group you want to segment; how can your organization uniquely satisfy their needs? What differentiates you from your competitors?
Positioning: Based on segmentation and targeting, we develop a positioning statement. A position statement should answer the questions: who are my customers and what are their needs? And how does my product uniquely solve their needs? This statement identifies the message that best communicates that your product or service is better than competitors and clarifies your value proposition to your customers.
Customer Funnel and Customer Journey:
The customer funnel varies based on the industry but a simple customer funnel includes awareness, consideration, and purchase/donate. Typically, you will have a lot of potential customers at the top of your funnel and the number will decrease as they move through the different stages on the way to purchase, which is why it’s a funnel. A customer funnel is an important tool for getting into the mindset of your customers.
Understanding your customer's mindset gives you a solid foundation to deploy your digital marketing strategies and determine the digital channels that will best align with reaching your customer.
Awareness: At this stage potential customers/donors may or may not be aware of your product or service. The goal in this stage is to introduce yourself and your services to potential customers.
Consideration: At this stage, customers know about your brand and they are considering you among your competitors. The goal in this stage is to make your brand stand out amongst the competition. We look to message how your brand or product satisfies your customers’ needs better than competitors.
Purchase/Donate: At this stage, you’ve convinced your customer of your value proposition and they are ready to purchase/donate. At this stage, the goal is to eliminate any barriers that would prevent your customers from purchasing your product. For example, is your website secure and user-friendly? Can they easily find your business hours and location? Is online purchase or donate experience seamless?
The Customer Journey takes understanding the customer mindset to the next level. Through the customer journey, we can understand your brand from the customer perspective. The customer journey allows us to map out the different touchpoints your customers have with your brand starting from the moment of awareness to the time of purchase or donate.
Content and Messaging:
Once we complete the frameworks above, we move on to creating the brand message and potential content that will be created. We ensure to build consistency with this message to ensure potential customers have seamless experiences with our brand.
Marketing Campaigns for Paid Media Channels:
As shown in What is Digital Marketing Anyways there are many paid media channels you can utilize to share your message. At this stage in the integrated digital marketing plan, we determine what paid channels will be used to run digital ads, the length the ad will run, the sequencing of different campaigns, the KPI for each campaign, and the amount budgeted for.
Marketing Campaigns for Owned Media Channels:
Also shown in What is Digital Marketing Anyways there are many owned channels you can utilize to share your message. You will likely need a mix of both paid and owned tactics for your integrated digital marketing plan. Similarly to paid channels, we determine what owned channels will be used for digital marketing, the length the campaigns will run, the sequencing of different campaigns, the KPI for each campaign, and the amount budgeted for.
Metrics can be overwhelming because there are so many things you can measure and track.
The most important thing to remember when establishing metrics is that what you track as indicators of success should be directly tied to your goal and should tell you whether or not you are on track to achieve your goal.
For example, if your objective is focused on building awareness, your indicator of success should be the number of views and not your click-through-rate. It is important to be clear about your objectives, to launch digital campaigns that help achieve those objectives, and align the right key performance indicator with what will tell you if you are making progress toward reaching your objective.
The last piece to an integrated digital marketing plan is the implementation plan, this breaks out who will do what and by when to ensure the successful launch of your digital campaigns.