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What Do Board Members Want to See in A Digital Marketing Plan?

So, you’ve put your marketing plan together, including your digital strategy we hope, and now it’s time to present to the board or your MD. If you’ve done your job well and are prepared then getting your marketing plan past the board and securing your marketing budget should be a breeze, right?

Having worked as a Marketing Manager, I know that’s easier said than done! If you’ve done your research and put together a well-considered plan, you’ll be feeling confident that your marketing efforts make sense, but you then must convince everyone else that’s the case.

In this post, I’ll run through what to include in your digital marketing plan, including the things your board or MD will want to see, as well as give you some advice on presenting your plan to the board.

Putting a Digital Marketing Plan Together

Let’s start with the basics; digital marketing encompasses any digital, usually internet-based, activities carried out by a business to promote their services or products.

Now, back in the day, a digital marketing plan was likely an entirely separate entity to your other marketing and business strategies but in 2019 your digital marketing plan should form part of your overall marketing plan. Don’t think of digital marketing as something to be tacked on to your marketing plan – your digital strategy should be firmly integrated with your plan and your overall organisational goals. Doing this emphasizes the importance of digital marketing.

That said, your digital marketing plan should be set up exactly like any other type of marketing plan – you need to think carefully about goals, how you intend to achieve them and how you’ll measure them.

Your plan should therefore include;

An analysis of your current situation – what you are already doing? Do you have the right tools to measure success? What type of audience are you reaching? What are your competitors doing in the digital realm?

Where you want to be – include growth forecast based on your digital activities, and how you intend to support the business plan by breaking down leads or sales and the channel by which you intend to acquire them.

How you’re going to get there – this isn’t the tools you’re going to use, more the information which guides your usage of chosen channels. For example; what proposition will you use for what segment of your audience? Or, cleaning up your positioning.

What activities you’re planning – plan out what channels you’ll use, when you’ll use them and which audience each channel will reach.

Getting going – this is where you would include very specific details on channels and activity. For example, this would be a good place to put your content calendar and other detailed plans for campaigns.

Measuring what you’ve done – finally, you need to demonstrate that you have a system in place to accurately chart the performance of your plan.

Phew! All of the above is a very brief rundown of what you should include in your digital marketing plan but hopefully, it’s given you an idea of the level of planning you should be undertaking and also what your board will expect to see you have done.

The board and your senior team perhaps won’t investigate each aspect of your plan in detail, especially areas such as your action plan. But they will be expecting to see you have covered each area listed above.

Presenting Your Marketing Strategy and Plan to the Board

if you have all the above in place, it might be that you are then asked to present your plan to your board or a senior team of managers, including the MD. The key to presenting your work successfully is knowing your audience and why you have been asked to give a presentation.

I’ve worked for businesses where marketing was a regular part of the board agenda, in detail. I’ve also worked for a business where marketing barely made the agenda and I only ever had to make a ‘guest appearance’. In either situation, do your research on who’ll be present and what they’re likely to be interested in seeing.

Digital is such a huge realm and is now incredibly important to most businesses so it’s highly likely that board-level members of your organisation will be interested in what you’re planning. Gone are the days when it was considered a struggle to convince senior business leaders of the importance of digital marketing – especially social media. Back in the early days of my marketing career, I remember having to try and convince several older members of the senior team and the MD to let our business have any sort of presence on social media!

What I’m trying to say, is that in the age where your brand and digital reputation is everything, you can now expect that the board are interested – they can’t afford not to be. Companies that have ignored the importance of their online brand and how they interact with customers have suffered.

Now I’ve convinced you that interest will likely be high, here are some tips on presenting your digital marketing to the board…

It’s highly unlikely you’ll be asked to present the entire plan so decide which parts are likely to be of most interest. Either pull out key areas to discuss or give a condensed explanation of each step of your plan. The most obvious key areas to touch on include, where you want to be, how you’ll get there and how you intend to measure success.

The board are not going to want to see a content calendar or the minute details of a campaign – they will be looking at and judging your analytical and strategical skills. Essentially, have you got a well thought out plan that aligns with the organisational goals?

However…I do recommend pulling out some creative work to give the team a taste of what you’re producing. Marketing is an exciting area of your business where creative thinking is especially valued so don’t be afraid to display some campaign graphics or show mock-ups of a planned new section of your website. I think this is especially important if you work for a business to consumer organisation – your board may want to get a ‘feel’ for the voice and visuals you’re using to connect with your buyers.

In summary, my overall thoughts on presenting to the board are to go in with numbers and your business head-on but add some of the flairs that us marketing people are generally known for! See this as your opportunity to shine and showcase the great work you or you and your team have been working on.

Good luck!

How Can GrowTraffic Help with Your Digital Marketing Plan?

I couldn’t write this post without mentioning how a digital marketing agency like GrowTraffic can help you out with your marketing plan…

Marketing is a multi-disciplined area and not all marketing managers have experience or specialise in each and every discipline. If digital marketing isn’t your speciality then perhaps outsource your digital work? It makes no sense to struggle with areas you don’t have expertise. Or perhaps you do have the expertise but not the time?

GrowTraffic can help in several ways; we can help you build your digital strategy or we can just help out with the leg work and produce fresh engaging content for you. How much you want to outsource is up to you.

Believe it or not, it’s also quite easy to justify using an agency for your digital marketing needs. Your board and seniors want to know you will get your job done – not how you will do it. Outsourcing saves you time and frees you up to concentrate on other areas of your marketing plan.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your digital marketing strategy.

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