Successful internet marketing should follow a proven process, not the whim of a designer or developer. Processes, plans and blueprints may not be sexy or exciting, but they work when in the hands of a skilled internet marketing team. Below is a high-level success formula that works. Let’s get started.
Assess Your Business, the Market Landscape and Competitors (and More)
The first step in a strong internet marketing plan is a quantitative assessment of where you are, and where your business is headed. Getting a clear, dispassionate view of your current business situation, the market landscape, the competition and your internet marketing successes or failures to date is an important but often overlooked step in the development and implementation of a strong internet marketing plan. If you don’t know where you are today, how will you be able to chart a course to get to your goals?
Plan Your Internet Marketing Activities
Planning your internet marketing activities is the second step of our tried and true internet marketing process. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail, as the old saying goes. A plan provides both the framework and support necessary to help you achieve your internet marketing goals and it should help each member of the team grasp the vision. It creates a roadmap and helps you determine any gaps, such as needed resources, to enact your plan, and provides direction for each member of your internet marketing team.
Using the information gleaned from step one, the assessment, an internet marketing plan is the next step.
Implement the Plan
Many people skip steps one and two and head straight for their internet marketing implementation activities rather than take the time to assess and plan prior to implementation. And that’s unfortunate, because they’re missing such important steps that they’re bound to hit many stumbling blocks and experience many failures along the way.
Without knowing the landscape, the business situation and the starting point, then creating a strong and clear plan, you won’t know where, how, when and to whom you should be sharing your marketing messages. You’ll be throwing virtual spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, to use an old and colorful expression. More importantly, you’ll be wasting money and time, since you won’t be in a good position to know what has the best chance of reaching potential customers at the lowest cost per contact, and you won’t be able to assess the results effectively without knowing your starting point.
Implementation requires a strong team, and that’s another area that risky with a small business. Many business owners ask their current staff to help with internet marketing and website design, and that includes the administrative assistant, the kid who works the stockroom after school but loves Facebook, and others who have expertise in other areas.
This approach is fraught with many problems. First, the current staff members may lack the experience to successfully implement what you’re asking them to do. Next, they may not have the time to add these duties onto their existing responsibilities, resulting in incomplete or inadequate implementation.
By hiring a professional internet marketing agency, you’re assured of the background, experience and commitment of the resources assigned to your project. A smooth, successful implementation adds greatly to your chances of internet marketing success.
Measure the Results, and Use Them to Plan the Next Internet Marketing Cycle
The best way to determine if your internet marketing activities were successful is to measure the results. Examining website statistics and interpreting them correctly, as well as distilling key takeaways from the data, is an important component of the internet marketing cycle. It sets the stage for the next step: to repeat the process. For only by consistently replicating this process can you achieve true internet marketing success.
Want to see this four-step process in action? Dashboard Internet Marketing offers expert insights, strategic plans, and ‘get it done right the first time’ websites and internet marketing services that follow this blueprint for client success. Call us at 800-807-1852 or visit www.dashboardinternetmarketing.com to learn more.