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THE 5 STEP WEBSITE MARKETING PLAN
by Bobette Kyle

Do you have a marketing plan for your site? If not, it is time to think about developing one. A marketing plan helps you make the right day-to-day and long term decisions. Without a marketing plan, it is more likely your Website will be a drain on finances rather than a business builder.

Creating a marketing plan need not be scary or difficult. It does not require a marketing degree or a lot of experience. You do, however, need to put some quality time into your plan. Building your plan is a five step process.

Step 1: Gather and analyze information. You will need information about your company, competitors, customers, and other industry players. This includes all you can find about how the Internet is currently being integrated in your industry with respect to products, promotions, pricing structures, and distribution channels. From this information, you can complete industry and SWOT analyses as well as identify your target customers.

Step 2: Verbalize your main challenge(s). Write down the main Internet-related challenges you want to overcome. Referring to these main challenges will help keep you focused while developing your plan. You may even want to write your challenges down in question form - "How do we _____________?". When completed, your Website marketing plan will answer the question "How do I address these challenges?"

Step 3: Develop your Web site objective(s). The objective addresses the "big picture". Your objective answers the question "How will I overcome my main marketing challenge(s)?" in broad, general terms. If your company’s main site-related challenge is figuring out how to use your Website to help build client business, for example, an objective for your Website marketing plan could be "To enhance online client service as well as build site awareness and interest with clients."

Step 4: Create strategies. Strategies support your objective. Your strategies define the general approaches you will take to meet your objective. For example, strategies to support the above objective could include 1) improve online communication, information, and education, 2) build awareness of and interest in your company on the Internet, and 3) communicate the Web site’s existence and advantages to existing clients.

Step 5: Choose tactics. Tactics are where the action takes place - these are the things you will do to bring your strategies to life. Tactics for strategy 2 in the above example (improve online communication, information, and education) could include 1) sharing experience and observations in your industry through participation in discussion boards, 2) offering an email newsletter, and 3) listing/submitting your site to targeted search engines and directories.

The Write-Up Once you have your plan developed, there are numerous ways to do the write-up. If you are a company employee, there may be standards you must follow. If you are an entrepreneur, go with a style you find usable. For some ideas on what to include, read one of my previous articles, "What to Include in Your Marketing Plan Write-Up", here.

After your initial plan is developed, you should treat it as a work in progress. Tweak and adjust as needed in response to changing conditions. Many companies update their marketing plans annually when developing budgets for the coming year and reviewing the company’s business plan.

Whether you are a one-person shop or part of a good-sized company, having a Website marketing plan can help your business prosper on the Web.


About the Author
Bobette Kyle draws upon 10+ years of Marketing/Executive experience, Marketing MBA, and online marketing research in her writing.
Bobette offers a range of marketing plan tools to fit your business and budget. Find out more at https://www.HowMuchForSpider.com or visit the Web Site Marketing Plan Network, https://WebSiteMarketingPlan.com.



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