Define Your Program Goals
by Mike Freud
As any company, new or established, ventures into the world of E-commerce and digital branding, the same fundamental guidelines should apply to the overall campaign management as in traditional marketing. The first step in a successful campaign strategy is to define your Internet marketing campaign’s Program Goals.
Creating a highly valuable, dominating Internet power house comes with experience, resources, and the value of time. Any company entering the World of interactive commerce should be prepared to have thought out the necessary plans and stages to see their brand blow up on the Internet.
An achieving Internet Brand Manager has a thirst for online domination. To stay competitive and remain in the game you should clear your mind and think through the vast scenarios that your current web site is likely to achieve and what value opportunities you can foresee in the future. These opportunities are available by igniting the most visible branding utility you have – yourself.
Let’s work through a sample set of scenarios consisting of changing variables such as vertical industry, changing business atmospheres, and the hardest to crack of them all – the SALE!
Sally is the owner and chief chef of her business in Las Vegas, Nevada. She runs a fast paced kitchen and has to prepare all of the menu specials and specialty desserts. She works every morning starting at 5 AM with a coffee and a trip to the nearby fresh grocer to chose the best tasting and freshest vegetables and preparations for her small staff of three to use in their daily meals.
WAIT A SECOND – BACKUP HERE – I thought we were talking about a web site?
Are we talking about marketing? Well, the answer is a little yes and a little no. Sally, now has a web site. This is the reality. Her web site is user friendly and provides a lot of information about her menu. It is up and running and it looks sharp.
She has spent money on major ads throughout the Las Vegas strip and offers coupon cards for repeat clientele with a plug to her web site on it.
So as she runs her company, deals with the clients, and promotes her business, she is also the Interactive Brand Manager for her company. Taking this into consideration she has little to no time for misdirecting her business resources and her time.
On her web site she introduced a new program. The program is a corporate catering business aligned with some of the hotels on the strip that offer quick room occupancy hotels a program to bring new clients to her restaurant.
To her and her business partners amazement the company experienced tremendous revenue growth. Not to mention her restaurant is one of the most established, long standing steak houses off of the busy strip.
Sally had a problem, and it was based partly based upon resource planning. As she continued to use her web site for booking dinner reservations, the system quickly reported a jam.
She was overbooked almost every night and is now an established restaurateur offering consulting services to the Las Vegas hospitality industry while using her interactive and top line web site as an information source to up and coming students of the business.
With the World of online training and document publishing she is now entering the realm of e-books and zines. Who would of guessed all of this success from the restaurant that was slow to book up on the weekend is now disseminating information to top hotels and restaurants throughout Las Vegas? Is it a matter of luck or is it marketing? Sally was able to strategically plan for the future by incorporating a trial and error methodology and she expected to experience the cycles that the new Internet venture and partnership would bring her.
Todd is a car detailing expert. He has spent his time perfecting all of the cars in his garage and adding performance intakes, mufflers, and stereo systems to each of them. He wants to one day run an auto gallery. With the Internet, he has created a virtual trade show enabling the hottest and coolest innovations in car detailing on his free hosted web site. Not to say that the web site is the busiest trafficked site on the net, but Todd’s site has a unique angle that not only provides information to the automotive enthusiast but also allows a free signup program now backed by the largest in auto-detailing product manufactures a way to send out free samples to his active users and actually seek some valid market feedback from new buyers around the Globe. Most of the companies in this field are test marketing on a local basis, and Todd’s automotive service enables the marketing research engine to be quickly and manageably increased.
How are these and other stories of Internet success trial and error so wide spread so different from each person’s personal experiences?
You must be able to jump over hurdles. Don’t let the technology jargon confuse you? Dot What? X This or X That? Don’t worry about it. To be on your toes, make a note of each of the terms that don’t add up and shred them – Enron Style. Actually, I dare you to take out a note pad and call your wired cousin from across the country and drill him or her with your terms. Do you know what .NET is, Do you what the Extendable Markup Language means?
The answer is plain and simple and in English its called Project Planning. 2 Words.
Project Planning on the Internet can be divided into many sub-categories. To not plan for your site’s expansion WILL SIGNIFICICANTLY slow down your site’s tremendous branding opportunities. Just like Sally grew the company with grass roots marketing, using her web site as leverage she aligned with some promising hotels throughout Las Vegas to help her get started. Take the Internet for all its worth and hire a project manager to help build your Internet success strategy.
But back to here and now, here are some tips from the big Time:
ORGANIZE: Put all of your ideas into a folder called “Concepts” and then attach them to a timeline in your favorite editor of choice, Dreamweaver, Notepad, Microsoft Office, etc.
CONTENT IS KING: Deliver your Interactive Brand Manager with *everything you can find about your company… Come on now, this is the time you can dig deep into the crates and uncover some of the juicy old –time trade secrets and photos of your early careers and start up phases.
While, you need a lot of well crafted written documents presented neatly on your web site all the spark you create between your brand manager and your company should be translated in your campaigns.
SHOP: Don’t settle for one person’s *advice or expert status, shop the market until you see what goals of yours will be achieved and within the timeframe you are looking to implement the strategy.
EXPERIMENT: Project planning is not a science, no matter who claims it be. You can create a methodology all your own and constantly improve. Get out of the box here people!
LISTEN: Seek advice from trusted partners and get their feedback on a regular basis.
SET GOALS: Without the goal you don’t know when you hit the mark… if cash is the only driver involved then your bankers should call you screaming because you crashed their systems again!