7 questions to ask when reviewing your digital marketing plan

Is your current digital marketing plan not producing the results you expected, or did you fail to set expectations in the first place?

To lay a foundation that establishes a clear direction for your business, you need a marketing plan that includes goals, strategies, tactics, key performance indicators, and proven evaluation techniques. Regardless of your available resources, you should create a marketing plan that empowers you to determine what is and isn’t working — and make adjustments as necessary. If not, you’re bound to repeat the same mistakes with the same results. Worse yet, you won’t know which campaigns are working, so you won’t know how to get the most out of these promising initiatives.

Developing an effective marketing plan requires an in-depth knowledge of various digital marketing strategies and how to execute and optimize them, which is why many businesses turn to digital marketing agencies for help. Skilled and experienced agencies will comb the data and ask the tough questions to conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of your organization to better understand your business goals, what’s working, and where you need to improve. The marketing team will then use this material to develop a digital marketing plan for your business — but the plan is never set in stone. You should review your digital marketing plan regularly to ensure that you have a roadmap to achieve your goals and grow your business.

In this article, we’ll cover seven questions to ask when reviewing your digital marketing plan.

Ask yourself these questions when evaluating a digital marketing plan

1. How do the proposed strategies support our goals?

Ill-defined goals that are either too narrow or too broad are a surprisingly common shortcoming in many organizations’ digital marketing plans. You need to establish specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals, as well as how these objectives fit in with each strategy. If the marketing plan is not structured to achieve and support your company’s goals, it won’t measure up to your expectations.

2. Are the strategies targeted to our ideal client audience?

The strategies outlined in your digital marketing plan must be tailored to target your ideal client audience. Depending on your industry, there will be marketing strategies that are more effective for reaching your unique buyer segments. For instance, social media marketing can be an easy and effective way to reach your clients. So, you might include paid and organic Facebook campaigns in your digital marketing plan because you’ve read that it’s one of the most popular platforms. However, although Facebook remains immensely popular, if the statistics show that most of your potential customers are actually using LinkedIn more often, concentrating the majority of your time and money on Facebook won’t generate the results you’re looking for.

RELATED: How to run timely, effective social media campaigns on a budget

3. Can our digital marketing plan achieve results within our available budget?

Marketing plans should include a specific and detailed budget that also provides a flexible cushion for new opportunities that arise throughout the year. Most companies do not have the experience necessary to understand how much time, money, and effort is required to execute the various strategies in their plan successfully. When you fail to recognize the resources necessary for effective campaigns, you’re destined for failure. And if your budget is compromised before the completion of the plan, your marketing initiatives could grind to a sudden halt.

4. How does the plan utilize our current marketing strategies?

Even new and small companies usually have at least a few digital marketing strategies in place, such as a website or email newsletter. Unless your current strategies require a complete overhaul, your plan will need to address which changes you need to make to your existing campaigns. Will the website need to be redesigned? Are your email call-to-action (CTA) assets not suited for your target audience? If either of these strategies need to be revamped, you can likely repurpose much of your existing content (blogs, eBooks, video, images, graphics, etc.) to conserve resources and capitalize on your strengths. Your digital marketing plan needs to address your current campaigns and assets to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be completely reworked.

RELATED: When digital marketing plans fail, reboot for success

5. Have we addressed all of our digital marketing strategies?

Website optimization, content marketing, social media management, email marketing, and paid advertising are the five main strategies of digital marketing. Your marketing plan needs to address each of these areas and detail your short- and long-term approach for immediate, scalable, and sustainable success. For instance, your website might be in good shape, so you’d rather focus your resources on paid search and social media marketing. In this case, you should detail the strategies and tactics (remarketing, content syndication, boosted posts, etc.) you want to use to improve your outbound demand generation efforts, as well as the proposed budget, goals, and timeline for each.

6. Does the plan include our expected ROI?

The cost of the strategies and tactics included in your marketing plan will vary substantially — from thousands of dollars per year to thousands of dollars per month. Be sure to compare these costs with industry averages and your return on investment from previous digital marketing campaigns to ensure that your strategies and tactics are worth your time and effort. Bear in mind that not every strategy or tactic will yield an immediate result; for example, SEO optimization and social media marketing can take more time to deliver tangible results.

7. Is our marketing plan a reflection of our company’s values?

We aren’t here to preach, but you should consider whether your marketing plan reflects your company, your community, and how you want your business to be positioned within your community. Does the plan express how you handle client relationships and how you participate in the betterment of your community through volunteerism and financial support? For some businesses, more leads might not matter if the tactics that deliver them also undermine your sense of who you are.

LaFleur: custom digital marketing services

If you are unhappy with your current digital marketing plan or are considering enlisting the help of a full-service digital marketing agency to create a new plan, please contact LaFleur today to schedule a free consultation. We will provide objective, unbiased information about the strengths and weaknesses of your current marketing and business plans and offer suggestions for how we might develop strategies that support your business model and drive maximum results.

At LaFleur, we pride ourselves on:

  • Creating original content that our clients retain if we discontinue our business relationship.
  • Employing an expert in each pillar of digital marketing — including website optimization, content marketing, social media management, email marketing, and paid digital advertising.
  • Offering regional exclusivity to clients. We do not accept new clients within a predetermined radius of existing competing clients.

Please call (888) 222-1512 or complete this brief online contact form to get started. We would love to review your existing marketing plan and campaigns to offer feedback or even create an entirely new plan from scratch!