In three steps - you can make a fairly comprehensive plan

Create an Awesome Digital Marketing Strategy: Part 1

Learn how to craft a digital marketing strategy by pretending you are a dentist opening a dental clinic and come with me on a journey through the planning process.

We specialize in creating and executing successful marketing strategies that work. Our track record speaks for itself. We decided to share the process with you to demonstrate how we think through the planning process when creating a strategy. Please feel free to use anything you learn here, and don't hesitate to leave us feedback.

Note, not all industries or regions are alike. We're making many assumptions here, but intuitively you should be able to adjust for your local market.

Are you ready to create a digital marketing strategy for your small business? You have likely thought about Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or Facebook as potential platforms to begin your journey. Our primary concern, as with most things in business, is money. Experienced companies have an evolved understanding of money and are concerned with return on investment, or ROI.

We want to get the budget right — and that's for a good reason. A poorly planned or loosely tracked campaign can burn through thousands of dollars and yield no benefit.

So let's get down to it and plan the objectives in our digital marketing strategy.

Set Objectives and Goals

We're spending money. We need to make sure that when we spend money, we make money. Let's break it down.  Where we can get the most return for our investment, or ROI? We need to define goals we can measure and tie to the "Return" part to know what our investment gets us.

For example, let's say we are a dental clinic, and we are going to set the following goals:

  • Online Booking Forms
  • Phone Call Bookings
  • Phone Call Inquiries
  • 90% Impression Share
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 1.5

Goal Set 1: Directly Attributable Value

What is an online booking worth to us? On average, one out of three online bookings do not show up for the appointment, and the average service revenue is $250. From that service, the gross margin is $75. We need 20 booked appointments to cover overhead costs before the gross margin becomes incremental profit.  Let's assume we will hit 20.

Each booking is worth $75 to us. We get two bookings for every three submissions. We are willing to spend $150 for three booking forms (or $50 each).

We do our best guess math for all the goals so we can assign values to them. If you think this is probably easier for ecommerce, then you are right. With ecommerce, you can track the revenue dollar accurately back to the ad spend, which is how product marketing works, but in our case, we need to do a little more math.

  • $50 Online Booking Forms
  • $20 Phone Call Bookings

At this point, we need to make some decisions about our other goals. Do we need to set up conversion values for them, or should we do something else?  Let's come back to this.

An online booking is a single transaction with variable yet measurable data tied to a return. The same applies to phone call bookings.

When someone calls to book an appointment, we identify the call as a phone call booking.

Collecting at least two data points will allow us to drill down and compare goal types. We can also get a quick birds-eye view of performance by comparing the total cost to the full value of goals. These goals will become our CONVERSIONS.

Goal Set 2: Indirectly Attributable Value

  • Phone Call Inquiries
  • 90% Impression Share
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 1.5

In our dental practice, we know we want the above three goals. These goals could be given value after the fact, but any value we assign at the start would be a guess. There is a case to be made for doing this, but there is a better way.

We are going to use these goals to qualify and segment our audiences. We will segment our visitors into three audiences immediately based on which goal type they completed. Then we will also create a segment for each possible combination when visitors meet more than one goal.

We will not turn these goals into conversions with value, but we will monitor each audience distinctly for patterns. We can use the machine learning tools built into Google Ads and the platforms to do this work for us.

Why did we select impression share and ROAS?

To understand the why first we need to know the what and then the why will make sense.

90% Impression Share

To measure impression share, you need to narrow down the target audience and create their "persona." First, identify common areas of interest, websites they browse, and keywords they search.

All of these channels that you can advertise on become the impression space. If you show up all the time across all channels, you have 100% impression share.

Impression Space: It is the total scope of all the places your ads can appear. A clearly defined channel and target audience let you bid automatically. Essentially, you leave your budget wide open, being in the money, as we like to say.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 1.5 – The Quick Metric to Assess Overall Digital Marketing Strategy

ROAS of 1.5 means that we get 150 dollars worth of return for every 100 we invest. As long as we have valued our conversions properly, then we can measure ROAS. If the return is revenue (not profit or gross margin), your profitable ROAS will be higher, for example, 20 instead of 1.5.

If you like this article, let me know, and I will write more.