by Bobette Kyle
For many of us, finding the time and commitment to complete
a marketing plan for our Web sites is difficult. There are
so many other obligations vying for our attention it is
tempting to push planning to the back burner. Giving into
that temptation, however, means putting your business at a
disadvantage. Your marketing plan is the compass by which
you navigate. As opportunities arise or your business
environment changes, the objective and strategies in your
marketing plan will point you toward the best action.
Without a marketing plan, you risk becoming unfocused in
your marketing and are only guessing what might be best for
In this article, you will learn the parts to a marketing
plan. I will also point you to some marketing plan
resources. In parts two through four of the series, I will
discuss objectives, strategies, and tactics for your Web
site marketing plan.
To be most effective, your Web site marketing plan should be
a part of your business marketing plan. By aligning online
marketing with your offline efforts, you can better achieve
overall company objectives. Additionally, you will present a
consistent style and message across all points of contact
with your target audience.
Your Web site marketing plan's focus will be partially
determined by your site's status. If you already have a site
in place, your plan can focus strictly on marketing issues -
how to most effectively market using your existing site. If
you have a site that needs improvement, your plan should
incorporate enhancements into the site's design in
conjunction with marketing activities (While you may not
think of these enhancements as "marketing", in this case,
they are instrumental to an effective plan.). If you do not
yet have a site, you can create one while developing your
Web site marketing plan, with your plan focused on launching
the site. In any case, remember that your objective,
strategies, and tactics will change over time as your
situation and focus change.
Parts of a Marketing Plan
The Web site marketing plan is similar to a business
marketing plan, but with a narrower focus. Completing a
marketing plan includes developing strategies and tactics
(also called action plans) that, when implemented, will help
you reach your marketing objectives. Objectives, strategies,
and tactics are each progressively narrower in scope.
The objective addresses the "big picture". In general terms,
your objective answers the question "How will I overcome my
main marketing challenge(s)?" If your company's main site-
related challenge is figuring out how to use your Web site
to help build client business, for example, an objective for
your Web site marketing plan could be "To enhance online
client service as well as build site awareness and interest
Strategies support your objective. Your strategies define
the general approaches you will take to meet your objective.
For example, strategies to support the above objective could
1) Improve online communication, information, and education
2) Build awareness of and interest in your company on the Internet, and
3) Communicate the Web site's existence and advantages to existing clients.
Tactics are where the action takes place - these are the
things you will do to bring your strategies to life. Tactics
for strategy 2 in the above example (improve online
communication, information, and education) could include:
1)sharing experience and observations in your industry through
participation in discussion boards
2) offering an email newsletter, and
3) listing/submitting your site to targeted search engines and directories.
Marketing Planning Tools
The specifics of developing a marketing plan vary according
to the source. All can be effective when used correctly.
Some sites and software that can help you in developing your
marketing plan are below.
eSOLO's Marketing Action Plans,
http://www.esolo.com/mapslist.php3 , can help you to come up
with strategies and action plans (tactics) to support common
The Web Site Marketing Plan's Marketing Plan Resources page,
http://www.websitemarketingplan.com/sr3.htm , includes
several links and descriptions of sites with marketing plan
Each of these software titles takes a slightly different
approach to developing a marketing plan.
- Plan Writer for Marketing,
- WebQuest Pro, http://www.webquestpro.com/
- Marketing Plan Pro, http://www.bplans.com/marketingplans
How to create your web site marketing plan
Creating a web site without developing a web site marketing plan
is the same as planning for failure. A web site marketing plan
is essential not only just to survive but to continue to thrive
and expand your business. You should spend 80% of your time
marketing your web site. It's the life blood of your online
Simple Daily Marketing Plan
Are you looking for some simple ways to market your eBook, eZine or Website? Sometimes we are so focused on searching the Internet for the latest marketing schemes that we omit those simple ones that are in our face. Here's a list of common ones you can incorporate into your daily marketing plan.
Business Plan Outline
outline of a typical business plan is given that can serve as a guide. You can adapt it to your specific business. Breaking down the plan into several components helps make drafting it a more manageable task.
Ten Tips To Jump Start Your Business Plan
The process of putting together a coherent business plan will probably take longer
than you estimate. Along the way you will probably stop and say, "you know, we haven't really thought our strategies out very well, have we?" or "we don't really know our competition as well as we thought we
Your Web Site's Objective
Think of a Web site objective as the "big picture". In
general terms, the objective answers the question "How can I
use the site to overcome my business's main Internet related
challenge?" or "What is the purpose of my site?".
Strategies for Your Web Site Marketing Plan
How strong are your Web site strategies? Do they move your
business toward achieving your objectives or overall goals?
Think of your strategies as a framework that clarifies the
approaches you will take in meeting your Web site's
objectives. They are more specific than the objective, but
do not include exact details. After developing the strategic
framework, you will fill in the details with tactics.
Choosing Tactics for Your Web Site Marketing Plan
Objectives, strategies, and tactics - these are the parts of
a solid strategic marketing plan. Your site objective
defines the big picture, strategies provide the framework,
and tactics fill in the details. Tactics are where the
action takes place - these are the things you will do to
bring your plans to life.