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The first edition of my book Internet Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation from 2001 included a popular template for creating what we then called an Internet Marketing Plan.
Today, marketers are understandably even more hungry for guidance, given the importance of online audiences and digital media for driving leads and sales. Yet, our research on Managing Digital Marketing shows that as many as 50% of businesses don't have a digital marketing plan - either integrated into their marketing plan, or as a separate roadmap for digital transformation.
We have now updated the the original plan in my book to create a free to download digital marketing planning template based on the Smart Insights RACE planning system. This template is based on fifteen plus years experience of creating and reviewing digital marketing plans for companies and helping students develop them.
Learn how to structure a digital plan when you download our 10 page A4 PDF template. It will show you the essential online marketing activities that you must work on.
If you're already a member you can download this template when signed in:
Individual and Business paid members of Smart Insights can use our dedicated digital marketing strategy toolkit to create and execute their digital marketing plan. It includes a blank Word template workbook for creating a complete plan plus example digital marketing plans.
The Smart Insights Digital Marketing Strategy toolkit includes these resources
The planning template is structured using the Smart Insights RACE planning framework which covers the key areas of the Digital marketing planning across the customer lifecycle as shown in this chart. If you're interested in creating a digital strategy, see this hub page which collects all of our digital marketing strategy recommendations including guides, templates and blog articles.
You can find out more the RACE Planning approach in this post introducing RACE digital marketing planning.
Our planning process and thee template references a simplified version of PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning System developed by PR Smith, Dave's co-author on Digital marketing Excellence. It's a great framework since it's simple, memorable and logical.
The simplified version of SOSTAC® we cover in the template for each of the RACE is:
We use this simplified approach since we have found through experience in creating many digital marketing plans, that setting objectives for digital marketing activities works best when part of a process of reviewing existing digital channel performance using analytics (as part of situation analysis) and sales reporting systems combined with reviewing KPIs used for control. It can also sometimes be difficult to separate tactics and actions.
We have another more in-depth post and Infographic on how to use SOSTAC®.
By Dave Chaffey
Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
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