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This content is taken from the RMIT University's online course, Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hi. My name is Felicity Burns, and I lecture in Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications at RMIT University in Melbourne. I’m here to speak to you about the evolution of digital marketing and why it is important for any business.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds A digital marketing plan is vitally important for small online businesses, as it is a detailed guide to successfully reaching your business and communication objectives. Preparing and following a guide or plan not only keeps your business on track, but it helps create engaging communication channels with current and potential customers. Surprisingly, an entrepreneur doesn’t need many resources at all to create a digital marketing plan. A reliable computer and a good search engine to start, and a great set of ideas that you wish to pursue. Once you have the ideas covered, it’s all about managing your time wisely and conducting some valuable research offline and online.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds This could be around the competition of your idea and any other specific information that you might need for your plan. A digital marketing plan does not need to be very large at all, as long as all of the relevant information is there. The plan itself will be similar template to that of a general business or marketing plan, so ideally around 10 to 15 pages long. If it is any longer, you may need to streamline your plan by only including information that is really necessary. The most significant part of your plan should be your action plan, as you will use this as a guide to prioritize all of your key activities.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds This will help you stick to the schedule and achieve your goals.

Plan your approach

When developing your digital marketing approach, it is similar to traditional marketing. However, the digital marketing plan is often shorter and easier to construct.

Just like your business plan, or marketing plan, your digital plan starts with the vision and values of your company. From there, you are able to consider objectives, the competitor, the target audience, your strategy and implementation plan, as well as the metrics you intend to use to measure the success of your activities.

A simple structure for your digital marketing plan may include:

  • Vision and Mission: a digital marketing plan should start with identifying the vision and mission of your organisation. This will act as a guide in your online activities.
  • Objectives and Goals: the best digital marketing plans will clearly link to the overarching business objectives and be translated into digital goals.
  • Competitor: know your competitor by undertaking some market research and a competitor analysis.
  • Target Audience: Starting with the development of a persona and clear value proposition, clearly identify who you want to talk to and articulate their media habits, their perceptions and purchase motivations.
  • Strategy and Implementation Plan: set your channel strategy and go into detail as to what digital marketing tools you intend to use, when, where and how often.
  • Budget: how much you intend to spend on each activity (this includes financial and cost associated with time).
  • Measurement: ensure that for every channel (digital marketing tool) you have selected, you have a clear measurement framework to review the effectiveness of the activity.
  • At this point, it is important to direct you to the digital marketing action plan template in the Downloads area.

    Download it and fill it in as we go over the next several weeks. As part of planning your approach and completing your digital marketing plan, you will need to choose the types of Paid, Owned and Earned media that you will use and that are most suitable for your business needs.


    Watch the video of Steve Jobs discussing Apple’s marketing campaign from 1997*, Think Different

    Like Apple, consider the core values and vision for your online business and how it can be best represented through digital initiatives in your Digital Marketing Action Plan.

    Using Twitter, post an image and short description that represents your business values and its vision. Use the hashtag #RMITBusinessVision

    * Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this film contains voices and images of deceased persons.

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    This video is from the free online course:

    Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success

    RMIT University