Should an organisation have a separate e-marketing plan defining its strategic approach to the Internet, either for the organisation as a whole or for specific markets or brands? Consider Figure 4.2. You will be familiar with the hierarchy of plans for an organisation, from a corporate or business plan which informs a marketing plan which in turn informs a communications plan and campaign briefs for different markets or brands. But where does the e-marketing plan fit? Does the organisation need one? Figure 4.2 suggests that an e-marketing plan may be useful to manage the 'e-campaign components' which refers to online communications tools such as online advertising or e-mail marketing or continuous e-marketing activities which may be conducted throughout the year to drive traffic, for example search engine marketing, affiliate marketing or online sponsorship.
You may be thinking that the marketer already has enough plans to deal with. Surely the practical approach for companies that are embracing e-marketing is to integrate e-marketing activities within their existing planning frameworks? But we believe that in many organisations, a distinct e-marketing plan is initially essential if the organisation is to effectively harness digital marketing. Since online channels are new, it is even more imperative to have clarity within the organisation. An e-marketing specialist can create an e-marketing plan to help inform and influence not only senior managers or directors and other non-marketing functions, but also to achieve buy-in from fellow marketers.
Step 1. Annual business plan
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