Definition: An ecommerce marketing plan outlines a company's strategy to acquire new customers, communicate with existing customers, and promote a brand. Marketing plans ensure that every marketing initiative is done in sync with an overarching strategy, ensuring maximum ROI and efficient use of time and resources.

Start your marketing plan by identifying your business objectives

Every business has unique needs and selling point, but all can be boiled down to three fundamental objectives:

  • Increasing visitors and awareness
  • Converting visitors to customers
  • Effectively communicating with existing customers

To fulfill those objectives, businesses should ask two questions (among others) that will go a long way towards determining the direction and scope of their efforts:

  1. Who is our target customer? Does it include multiple buyer personas?
  2. What is our unique selling proposition, and how can it be communicated effectively?
  3. What does our customer's buyer journey look like? What channels does it include?

Some businesses focus on product-specific campaigns and others have enough traction to promote their brand itself, and these are points to address in the marketing plan.

Strategies to consider for a marketing plan

The comprehensive program provided by a marketing plan represents a toolbox of ways to balance primary challenges and available resources. Potential strategies include:

  • Public relations through news producers, such as newspapers, journals, and magazines (online and offline).
  • Nurturing customer relations through email campaigns and newsletters.
  • Partnering with complementary businesses for cross-promotion;
  • Increasing traffic and capturing contact information through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising;
  • Site optimization through clear design, navigation, and keywords integration, including use of Google’s Keyword Tool.
  • Sharing information through product descriptions, site pages, images, videos, social media and other content marketing.
  • Improving SEO performance and demonstrating industry expertise through with regular blog posts.

Whichever methods are used, they should be identified and evaluated by first principles, related metrics and overall costs and benefits, including analyzing the opportunity cost.

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