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Why Plan?

Why do we plan when we could just get out there and start doing?

I love to plan, yet sometimes it feels right to just get out there and start doing things. So what is the benefit in taking time to assess the options and decide on a course of action when it comes to digital marketing and measurement? What is to stop us getting on with that idea for a marketing campaign we thought of last week or the update to the website that was suggested could bring a step change improvement to the user experience and site conversions? Why don't we jump right on with that paid advertising campaign that will put us in front of more prospects? What about the re-targeting campaign that will keep us front of mind with visitors that have been to our site? Why is it that we don't just go out and do these things, without planning?

Well frankly, we can just get out there and start doing. Yet sometimes we find that this approach does not yield the results we expected. Taking digital marketing as our example, there are so many options out there to improve campaigns that it isn't always clear as to where to start. We help decision makers to frame their options more clearly so they can choose the strategy that is right for their business objectives. Without properly considering the options and their effectiveness in the context of their merit to achieving your business goal it is hard to make an informed decision.

Instead by planning and having awareness of the likely benefit of a given activity, a better judgement can be made as to the suitability of an approach or course of action to business goals or website success.

By planning, with an understanding of the tools and techniques available and at our disposal we can form an objective view of the options. We can give a value to these activities, we can assess the input required and the reward from undertaking these activities. We can demonstrate this information to others in the decision making process so they too can form a judgement on the options presented, clearly and concisely.

Planning with an understanding of the variables at hand does not only help build consensus among a team, it helps provide impartial information for debate in decision making and enables prioritisation. Being able to assess the business priorities and how an activity can work towards those priorities is of huge value to an organisation. Instead of blindly following an initiative to improve SEO or undertake a paid search campaign, you may be better placed to run an email reactivation campaign to bring back old customers on board. However without being able to assess the options objectively or without a clear view of the choices available it is easy to go for a solution that appears on the surface to provide a plausible answer, and often it will have some positive effect. However at what cost? Missing a more effective strategy, one that could have had a lower cost; could have had an impact in a shorter time-frame. Perhaps your website is not in the best condition to appeal to your audience and needs adjusting before any spend on marketing. Have you adjusted your campaigns to adapt to the needs and motivations of your prospects at different stages in their buying cycle? You know your industry. We know digital marketing. Our clients find it enlightening to challenge the planning process using a proven framework and best practice, coupled with their industry knowledge to structure the digital marketing planning. You can save money on wasted activities by focusing efforts where the greatest value can be delivered towards business goals

A plan should focus on who you intend to target. Without first considering who your audience is and what they are ready for your strategy or communications can only be destined for mediocrity at best, in comparison to what you could achieve given your knowledge and the benefit of a structured framework at your disposal.

  • Who are you targeting
  • Where they exist
  • What stage are they in - could be customer to very interested, want to buy now.
  • Why are they interested
  • Are they ready to buy?
  • How are you best to communicate with them?

These are some of the considerations that will help you build a more informed picture of your client base when designing your digital marketing campaigns. We tailor requirements to different stages in their cycles.

If you would like to learn more about our planning support services and the frameworks that we use to guide decision makers in formulating their strategy then please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can also learn more about performance optimisation in our Performance tips email series.

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