The e-Marketing Plan – Brief Overview and Working Scheme

I. Summary of a Marketing Plan

Marketing planning (specified in the marketing plan) is an essential organizational activity given the hostile and complex competitive environment. Our ability and abilities to make profitable sales are influenced by hundreds of internal and external factors that interact in ways that are difficult to assess. A marketing manager needs to understand and build on these variables and their interactions and make rational decisions.

Let’s see what we call a “marketing plan”? It is the result of planning activity, a document containing a review of the organization’s position in the market, an analysis of STEP factors, as well as a SWOT analysis. A complete plan would also make some guesses as to why we think the past marketing strategy was successful or not. In the next phase, the goals we have set are presented along with the strategies to achieve them. In a logical order, we need to further evaluate the results and formulate alternative action plans. A plan would include details of responsibilities, costs, sales projections, and budgeting issues.

At the end we should not forget to specify how the plan (or plans) will be controlled, by what means we will measure its results.

We will see how the marketing plan is created, what its structure looks like: After seeing how the traditional marketing plan is created, we will look at the e-marketing plan and see how the unique features of the Internet require some changes in the approach to writing a marketing plan.

But before proceeding, we must understand and accept that the marketing plan steps are universal. It’s a logical approach to planning no matter where we apply it. The differences you encounter from one plan to another is the level of formality accorded to each phase, depending on the size and type of organization involved. For example, a small and undiversified company would use less formal procedures because in these cases managers have more experience and functional knowledge than subordinates and they are able to control most factors directly. On the other hand, in a company with diversified activities, top managers are less likely to have more functional information than lower-level managers. Therefore, the planning process must be designed in such a way that strict discipline is ensured for all those involved in the decision-making chain.

II. The general marketing plan

The classic marketing plan would follow the following 8-step scheme:

1. Mission statement: This is the planning phase, where we set organizational alignment and intentions, providing direction. In most cases, this is a general statement of the company’s intentions and is almost philosophical in nature.

2. Set Current Goals: It is important that the organization tries to pinpoint the goals to be achieved. These goals must be SMART to be achievable. SMART is an acronym and stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. The goals must also convey the general organizational mission.

3. Collect information: This phase is based on the concept of the marketing audit. After examining the macro environment by analyzing the STEP factors (social, technological, economic and political), we should focus on the immediate external environment (the micro environment) and the competitive environment, costs and the market. Finally we will finish with the SWOT analysis, in this way we will have a general view of the internal environment compared to the external one. The SWOT analysis combines the two perspectives, inside and outside, because the strengths and weaknesses are internal issues of an organization, while the opportunities and issues come from the outside.

4. Redefine goals: After closely examining the data collected in the previous phase, it is sometimes necessary to restate the original objectives to address any issues that may have arisen from the previous phase. The distance between the original goal and the newly formulated goal is bridged by suitable strategies. We have to make sure that the reformulated goal is also SMART.

5. Set strategies: several strategies need to be formulated to bridge the gap between what we want to achieve and what can be achieved with the means at our disposal. Since we usually have several options, we should analyze them and choose the one that has more chances to achieve the marketing goals.

6. Action plan: consists of a very detailed description of the procedures and means to implement the actions we intend to take. For example, if the strategy involves increasing the volume of advertising, the action plan should specify where the advertising will be placed, the dates and frequency of the advertising campaigns, and a set of procedures for evaluating their effectiveness. The actions we plan must be clear and measurable, and the results must be monitored and evaluated.

7. Implementation and control: consist of a series of activities that must be carried out in order to carry out the marketing plan in accordance with the objectives set by the marketing professional. At this stage, it is crucial to enlist the support of all members of the organization, especially if the marketing plan is to affect the organization from its premises.

8. Performance measurement: represents the final but no less important phase of the marketing plan, as we can only achieve what we can measure. In order to measure the performance of the marketing plan, we need to constantly monitor each previous phase of the plan.

The marketing plan that has a feedback cycle, from the 8th to the 4th level. This is because during the planning process we sometimes have to do stages 4 through 8 multiple times before the final plan can be written.

III. The E-Marketing Plan

The e-marketing plan is based on exactly the same principles as the classic plan. There is no other approach, but there may be some formal differences due to the uniqueness of the Internet environment. Many of these differences stem from the need to ensure high customer responsiveness as the e-world moves faster and requires faster response from their businesses compared to the traditional offline marketplace.

While it is perfectly acceptable and common practice to use the classic 8-step model for the e-marketing plan as well, you might want to consider the simplified version suggested by Chaffey, the four main steps to building e-marketing plan identified. Marketing plan:

1. Strategic analysis: consists in the continuous scanning of the macro and micro environment. The focus should be on the rapidly changing needs of consumers in the online market, as well as on surveying competitive behavior and assessing the opportunities of new technologies.

2. Define strategic goals: The organization must have a clear vision and determine whether the media channels will complement or replace the traditional ones. We need to define specific goals (don’t forget to check if they are SMART!) and we also need to specify the contribution of the online activities to the organization’s revenue.

3. Formulate strategies – We do this by addressing the following key issues:

– develop strategies for the target markets;

– Positioning and differentiation strategies;

– set priorities for online activities;

– Focus attention and efforts on CRM and financial control;

– Formulate strategies for product development;

– Develop business models with established strategies for new products or services and pricing policies;

– Need for some organizational restructuring;

– Changes in the structure of communication channels.

4. Implementation strategies: involves the careful execution of all necessary steps to achieve set goals. This can relate to launching a website, promoting a new or rewritten website, monitoring website efficiency, and much more.

note: A common strategy for achieving e-marketing goals is the communication strategy. The steps to building a coherent communication plan will be presented in another article.

IV. The E-Marketing Plan (Sample Title)

1. Summary

a. overview of the current economy;

b. Key aspects of the strategic e-marketing plan.

2. Situation analysis

a. characteristics of the e-market;

b. possible success factors;

c. competitive analysis;

i.e. technological factors;

e. legal factors;

f. social factors;

G. potential problems and opportunities.

3. The e-marketing objectives

a. product profile;

b. target market;

c. sales targets.

4. The e-marketing strategies

a. product strategies;

b. pricing strategies;

c. advertising strategies;

i.e. sales strategies.

5. Technical Issues

a. websites content;

b. “Searchability” of the Website;

c. logging security (for customers and employees);

i.e. customer registration procedures;

e. Multimedia;

f. autoresponders;

G. order forms and feedback forms;

H. levels of access to online resources;

I. credit card transactions;

j. website hosting;

k. publication of websites;

l. Technical staff (size, requirements)

6. Appendix

7. Bibliography

Thanks to Otilia Otlacan | #eMarketing #Plan #Overview #Working #Scheme

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