Run Your Online Marketing Like a Military Campaign

...or Lose the War

A military campaign is a good structure to follow when it comes to online marketing. It can be broken down into 3 levels of increasing detail, forming a top-down pyramid. Each should support the level above. These levels can be categorised as strategic, tactical, and operational.

Spend 1 minute going through the following. By means of examples, it will highlight why you are losing the war.

Every online marketing campaign should have a strategic vision; what you want to achieve. Examples could include more enquiries, greater exposure, more online sales. What is relevant to you? This may vary across time and campaigns.

Simply having a website, making your website mobile-friendly, or doing social media, is not a strategy. If you don't have a strategy, then you don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there, and you don't know if you have.

The first thing you must do is decide upon your strategic objectives. Write them down, and use this as the basis for everything that you do.

Once you have a strategy, you need to decide upon the tactics to use. However, it is only here that many online campaigns begin. You decide to use Facebook because that's what everyone else is doing. Or blog, because that is what you are supposed to do. YouTube. Twitter. Pokémon, and so the list goes on.

These are all tactics, but if they don't help towards your overall strategy, then you will spend time and money, only to fail. An implicit "of course that's what we want to achieve" is not enough. That turns into "I thought it was obvious what we had to achieve".

The second thing to do is decide upon which tactics to use. Write them down. These may change over time as your business, market and available options change. However, this will prevent you from being distracted by irrelevant techniques.

Unfortunately, the operational level is where many other businesses start. No strategy has been set. Tactics haven't been decided. But there is someone available who is very good at...... Or you were approached with an offer that was too good to refuse.

You could have the best video producer, or an excellent blogger, or someone who loves working with websites. Yet if that doesn't fit with your tactics, which must fit with your strategy, then it won't deliver a positive business result. You could have a brilliant video for your radio ad, or a website that no-one visits, or lots of Likes but no sales.

The third thing to do is decide on the time, money and resources that you will devote to implementing the tactics necessary to deliver your business objectives. If you realise that it is insufficient, then you can plan a different approach. Otherwise you have something against which to measure a return on investment.

If you run your online marketing like a military campaign, then congratulations. But what if you have a problem? If you don't care about your online marketing, then it's not really an issue. However, you wouldn't have read this far, would you?

If you are responsible for your business's online marketing, then you must take action. If you have not formulated a strategy, implemented the appropriate tactics, and deployed the correct resources, then you must do so now.

If you have been sold a service that doesn't match with the tactics necessary to achieve your strategic goals, then the tail is wagging the dog. You know what to do.

This probably seems pretty obvious now, but I can understand why you could have been distracted in the past. Now you know how to order things, so you can review and improve what you are doing.

If you would like some help with this, just ask. We are online marketing specialists and can perhaps help you salvage something from what has been done already.

By Kenneth Mackay, 23rd August, 2016

This is one of a series of articles that deal with common issues when promoting your business online. We hope that you found it useful. Go to our online marketing tips to see previous pieces of advice. If there are any topics that you would like covered, please let us know.

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