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Creating a B2B Digital Marketing Plan

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This chapter explains what a digital marketing plan is and why you need one. It then explains how to build your own plan and put it into place.

Why You Need a Digital Marketing Plan

I’m going to assume that, as a B2B marketing professional, you know all about marketing plans—why they’re important, how to create one, and how to make best use of the plan in your day-to-day activities. Well, a digital marketing plan is much like a traditional marketing plan, just tweaked for digital media; the focus is on those online activities that contribute to your overall business goals.

An effective digital marketing plan is a roadmap to success. It forces marketing personnel (and your company’s senior management) to embrace a set of common goals, strategies, and tactics; it keeps staff from going rogue, or from undertaking irrelevant or unwanted activities. It also encourages staff to think in terms of both internal and external goals, and to utilize the appropriate marketing vehicles to accomplish those goals.

A digital marketing plan is also necessary to achieve internal support for your online marketing activities. You know as well as anyone how difficult it can be to get some management comfortable with shifting from traditional media to digital media; some of the old guard is naturally adverse to change. To that end, a digital marketing plan is something you can put in front of senior management to let them know what you hope to accomplish, and to negotiate for the resources to accomplish those goals.

Finally, a digital marketing plan is a tool you can use to measure your accomplishments. A good marketing plan includes quantifiable goals, whether financial (revenues or profits) or market-oriented (market share, website traffic, and so on). How close you come to meeting or exceeding those goals determines how successful your marketing activities have been.

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