Our Digital Marketing Planning Methodology

We use the SOSTAC® planning model to create digital marketing plans that are logical and easy to follow. SOSTAC stands for:

Situation

Where are we now?

Here, we study your current situation: your customers, your competitors, the market, partners and your competencies, resources and current results. If we do a great analysis up front, decisions about strategy and tactics fall into place much more easily.

Just a few of the questions we’ll answer in this process:

  • Who is your ideal customer? And what do your customer personas look like?
  • Who are your website visitors, and where are they in the buying process?
  • Who are your followers, and influential customers/followers?
  • What’s being said about you or your product type?
  • Why are your visitors not converting?
  • What content do they like?
  • What does your customer’s online buying journey look like?
  • How good are your competitors at online marketing?

Objectives

Where do we want to be?

We’ll examine your high level and long-term goals; your business objectives; and then how this translates to online marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). We classify KPIs by how they fit into your sales funnel – a sample for a B2B company would be:

  • Unique visitors > page views > email enquiries > RFPs > sales

Setting KPIs provides direction and focus on what needs to be done, and can be a powerful motivating force for your marketing or eCommerce team.

Strategy

How do we get there?

The strategy is your top line plan on how you’re going to reach your objectives, within the limitations of your budget, resources and time. We’ll recommend how to tackle problems and make the most of opportunities.

The key components of strategy include:

  • Online value proposition: This must answer clearly your online visitors’ question – “What’s in it for me?”
  • Which target markets will provide the best low-hanging fruit?
  • How to position your offering to appeal to your target markets.
  • Internal processes needed to run the marketing engine (such as introducing marketing automation or creating an analytic culture).
  • Finding partners and creating marketing alliances.
  • Integrating customer data for a complete view.
  • Ensuring a great customer experience.
  • Focusing on customer acquisition vs customer retention.
  • Use of tactical tools to achieve the right outcomes.
  • Budget/spend necessary.

A strategy isn’t set in stone – it’s not a static document – it needs to be dynamic enough to predict challenges and allow for contingencies. So our strategies contain a series of trigger points that if activated, will change your course to adapt. For example, if you’ve budgeted $x on Google AdWords per month, but the cost per acquisition rises sharply, you’ll already have a contingency plan to switch the budget over to an alternative.

In a nutshell, we’ll make sure you’re fully prepared for whatever the year throws at you.

Tactics

How exactly do we get there?

We recommend which tactical tools are best for your business – when to use them, what results to expect, and how much budget you’ll need.

What are some of the tactics we look at? Of course it depends on your industry, business model and objectives, but here are some examples:

  • Advertising: Interactive ads, pay per click, display ads, retargeting.
  • Public Relations: Online editorial, newsletters, ezines, discussion groups, viral marketing, vine.
  • Sponsorship: Sponsoring online events/sites service.
  • Sales Force/ Agents/Telemarketing: Virtual sales staff, affiliate marketing, web rings, links/chat.
  • Exhibitions, Events and Conferences: Virtual exhibitions, virtual events, webinars.
  • Direct Marketing: Opt-in email and eNewsletter.
  • Retail Store or Office HQ: Website (SEO and marketing automation opportunity).
  • Word Of Mouth: Recommendations, criticisms, feedback, social media, platforms, forums.
  • Sales Promotion: Content marketing, incentives, rewards, online loyalty schemes, competitions.
  • Merchandising and Packaging: e-tailing, QR Codes, augmented reality, virtual reality.

Action

What is our plan and who’s responsible?

Here, we do detailed planning to make sure your tactics are executed well. A major part of this is assigning proper roles and responsibilities. Your action plan will include:

  • Systems
  • Processes
  • Guidelines
  • Checklists
  • Internal marketing

Control

Did we get there?

Control systems are all about providing an early warning on whether you’re on track to reach your targets. In short, it’s all about having the right analytics in place. We specify how often KPIs should be measured, who will do this, and what happens if they go off track.

Control is also about mechanisms to keep your website under control, such as checking:

  • Bounce rates
  • Usability testing
  • Satisfaction monitoring
  • Traffic quality

With good control systems, you can ensure your marketing investment is well spent, and that you understand at all times what is and isn’t working well.

Interested?

Talk with a digital marketing expert about your online goals. We talk with companies of all shapes and sizes and our door is always open.

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