Any online business needs to specify in detail how to achieve its broad e-business objectives through a set of online marketing activities. These detailed specs are what make up the business's E-Marketing Plan. To create and develop a working E-Marketing Plan for your e-commerce site, here is a simple but practical framework you can follow.
You need to be able to draw a baseline that answers the question, "Where are we now?" This baseline serves as the starting point for your business as it grows to the next level. It is what you will measure your e-marketing progress against as you roll out your e-marketing activities.
Some of the markers to help you assess your baseline include:
Goals and goal performance
Marketplace strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis
Internal capabilities and resources
To set your objectives, just ask yourself, "Where do we want to be?" You can even build on what you've discovered in the Situation part of this process to define what objectives you want to achieve.
Here are 5 areas you can look at improving, and thereby set as your objectives.
How many customers do I want to acquire?
How can I satisfy my customers? How can I improve customer satisfaction?
How can I get people to stay longer on my site?
How can I improve my site's level of engagement with customers?
How can I make my processes more efficient? How can I make my business more profitable?
"How do we get there?" is the question you ask when setting up your strategy.
Segmentation, targeting and positioning
What is your online value proposition?
How do you establish your credibility?
What tools do you have at your disposal?
"How EXACTLY do we get there?" requires a more detailed discussion of the tools and approaches you intend to use to achieve your objectives.
What is your e-marketing mix? What happens when?
What are the details in carrying out your contact strategy?
What is your e-campaign schedule?
Now that you have formed your strategy and tactics, the next step is to lay out who does what, and when. "What's the plan?"
Specify the responsibilities of each person in your team and identify the structures that will support them in executing their tasks.
Identify the internal resources and corresponding skillsets at your disposal.
Identify any external agencies or providers you may need to tap to get things done.
This stage seeks to determine, "Are we there yet?" This stage is crucial to success, as it helps you assess if you have achieved the objectives or what the gap is between where you are and where you want to be.
The tools you can use to define your Control stage include:
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Customer satisfaction surveys
Site visitor profiling
By throwing focus on these six areas, you can craft a clear and actionable e-marketing plan for your online business or e-commerce website. A common problem, especially for small and medium enterprises, is that there may not be a specific person responsible for e-marketing, and consequently no single person accountable for the care and feeding of the e-marketing plan.