Online Marketing Game Plan

Hi Gang, it’s Troy here on the Grassroots Internet Strategy Blog. This is the first video in a series called “How to Design and Implement an Online Marketing Strategy From Scratch.”

In this module, this is all about your game plan, making sure that you have got a very clear game plan in place for you to follow so that you don’t get distracted, you don’t waste time and you don’t waste money.

So writing a game plan for an online marketing strategy really comes down to two things.

First of all, knowing exactly who it is that you’re communicating with and who it is that you’re wanting to attract to your online business, whether it be a shop, a blog, your Facebook page, whatever it is.

Secondly, setting yourself some very clear goals. I know that sounds really boring, and it sounds a bit like work. But believe me if you get these two ducks in a row, it helps inform every other decision you make in your online marketing.

More importantly, it helps you avoid distractions, because every time there is an opportunity that pops up, some new tool or some new software or some joint venture partnership or some new thing that you want to try, you just ask yourself, “Is this helping me get closer to my goal, and is it helping me communicate with my ideal customer?”

If not, then avoid distraction, avoid temptation and just stay focused.

How to write your online marketing Game Plan

Here’s how we do this. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself if you can only market to one person for the rest of your online business life, who would that one person be? The reason that we ask this question is because it’s impossible to market to everyone all the time.

If you try and keep everyone happy and you try and market to a broad range of people, you end up diluting your message down to try and keep everyone happy. Then your message becomes bland, boring, a little bit like vanilla ice cream. It doesn’t cut through. It just gets lost in the noise. In fact, it just becomes more of an annoyance and more of a distraction to your target audience because you’re not talking to them specifically.

You’re not really pushing their buttons. So the idea is that the more you understand who it is that you’re wanting to communicate with, the more chance you’ve got of getting their attention and having a meaningful conversation with them.

How do we do this? Well, look at your existing online business and look at the customers that you have in your database. Ask yourself if you could clone one of those customers into 10 or 20 or 50 or 100 new ones, who would that one be that you want to clone? What is it about them?

Obviously, they’re going to be profitable, they’re going to refer their friends, they’re going to speak favourably about you online, share your content. They’re going to respect you work, be good brand champions for you, and you genuinely enjoy doing business with this person.

So what is it about them? Are they male, female? What’s their age group? What’s their demographic? Where do they live? What do they do on the weekends? Married, children? What are their drivers? What are they afraid of? What are their desires? What are their dreams? What newspapers do they read? What TV shows do they watch? What problems are they trying to solve in their day-to-day life? How can you help them?

I’ll give you an example.

One example might be an accountant. Say you’ve got a particular service that you offer accountants. It might be bookkeeping, might be auditing work, whatever it is.

Let’s say that you know that the accountant that you want more of is male, age 35 to 50, works in a medium size firm of about 15 to 20 accountants in the CBD, and their clients are mainly in the manufacturing space. He is married with two kids. He loves sport and reads the Australian newspaper and spends a bit of time on sports blogs online.

The more you can bring that customer to life, the more you can understand them, the more you’ll be able to serve them, the more you will be able to produce content that is appealing to them. I’m not going to labour this point too much. This now the homework for you to do is to actually bring that customer to life.

Write down as much as you possibly can about them. Get inside their head. Call them up, ask them questions. Ask them why they do business with you. Your existing customers, ask them why they do business with you. What specific benefits have they got from doing business with you? What problems do you help them solve? Understand as much as you can about this customer.

Online Marketing SMART Goals

Second of all, once you understand exactly who it is that you communicating with, the next thing you need to do is set yourself some very clear goals. I like to use SMART goals. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the acronym, SMART is an acronym that means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. There are a couple of variations on the theme there, but that is the acronym that I like to use.

So I’ll give you an example of a SMART goal. I want to attract 30 email addresses of accountants, who work in medium sized firms in the CBD of Melbourne, by the end of June 2013 to my email marketing database. That’s a very specific goal. We know exactly what we’re trying to achieve.

It’s measurable. With 30 email addresses in our database, we can see the email addresses. That’s measurable.

It’s achievable. We’re not trying to put a man on the moon or reinvent the wheel.

It’s relevant because I have a service that I can offer accountants. I’m not just collecting any email addresses. I’m collecting accountants’ email addresses.

It’s time bound, so about June 30th, I look at my email database and say, “Right, have I got 30 new email addresses?” Awesome, we kicked the goal. Otherwise, we didn’t. Why not? What have we learned?

So an example of a goal that’s not so SMART is I want more Facebook likes.Now Facebook likes are good because they help social spread and they help you get your brand out there, but it’s not specific. How many would you like? It’s not measurable. We don’t know how many. It’s not relevant really because you can buy Facebook likes really cheaply. Is that going to make a difference to your business? Probably not. It’s not time bound. When do you want them by?

A more SMART goal would be, say for example you book entertainment for events. A SMART goal would be I want to attract 50 Facebook likes from event and marketing coordinators in Melbourne by the end of April 2013. That’s a SMART goal. It’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

Next Steps

Your homework is to work out who your perfect customer is, who you want to attract, and set yourself some SMART goals.

In the next video, we’re going to talk about how you can start creating some content to attract your perfect customer to you and the type of content that they will respond to.

Leave me comments under the video. Tell me what you found most valuable in this first module, and I look forward to seeing you in Module Two.