Five Critical Steps to making your online efforts a success.
Online advertising is one of the most important elements of today’s marketing strategy. Making sure that your organization’s website and online advertising reach prospective customers at the right time, with relevant messaging, and strong calls to action are a key determinants of online success or failure.
Succeeding in these efforts takes a combination of strategic planning, rigorous ongoing research and excellent execution. Following these five key steps will assist any organization in achieving online success.
1. Team Planning and Direction – Internet marketing reaches across an organization and requires a cross-functional team to create an effective, strategic plan. The team should be comprised of organizational leaders in advertising, sales, customer service, product delivery and technology. This diversity guarantees you have the necessary input to create long-term directions and goals. It is imperative that the resources required to accomplish these goals are allocated, the organization incorporates a strong technology infrastructure and the procedures and manpower systems are put in place to initiate and manage the program.
2. Strong Internet Marketing Director – Online marketing success is a moving target that takes a strong online manager, who is technologically savvy and enjoys staying abreast of marketing trends, systems and constant changes affecting online media. This individual will need to evaluate the long-term plan, break it down to a manageable mission and develop a yearly budget, with measurable goals and expected outcomes.
3. Research and Education – Online marketing and communications are changing faster than ever before. Experts in the field estimate that Google changes their algorithms 500 to 600 times each year. New marketing channels are continually emerging and product lifecycles are drastically shortening. Technology growth is exploding and it takes a team of experts constantly doing research, attaining certifications and staying abreast of changes to maintain a strong, effective, online marketing program.
4. Prioritize –Beware of shiny objects! With the fantastic growth in technology we are experiencing, there are new Internet marketing opportunities appearing daily. It is imperative that priorities are set and the department’s main focus remains on channels that can produce the best, most cost-effective results. This requires discipline. Significant time can be lost trying out every new idea that gets publicized and proclaimed to be “the next big thing.”
5. Test, Test and Re-Test. Some things never change. Advertising 101 taught us to always test ideas and make informed, results-based decisions. Online advertising is evolving at a revolutionary pace, but a great marketing strategy is only as good as its results. Every aspect of your marketing, every channel, every creative, and every offer must continually be tested—always striving to improve results.