It should come as no surprise to any business executive that marketing dollars are shifting to the web at breakneck speed. To give you an idea of just how significant this shift is, Forrester forecasts that interactive marketing spending will reach $61.3 billion in 2012, from $18.4 billion in 2007.
Every organization needs to address interactive marketing. There are no exceptions, not anymore. It doesn’t matter whether you’re small or large. Or whether you’re selling products or services. Or whether you’re growing rapidly or flat lining. You cannot ignore interactive marketing.
That’s the easy part. Most organizations know that interactive marketing needs to play a role in strategic planning.
Here’s the unknown part, at least for businesspeople that aren’t involved in marketing on a regular basis. The average organization fails in their first attempts to execute an effective interactive marketing strategy. There are many reasons for this failure, but the most common one we see is a lack of interactive marketing expertise. In particular, this lack of interactive marketing expertise manifests itself in the planning stages, which then trickles down and impacts individual tactics.
In order to help organizations build a comprehensive interactive marketing audit and interactive marketing plan, today we launched Interactive Shift, a program designed to identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in your organization’s internet marketing strategy.
I don’t want to regurgitate all the information you can find on the Interactive Shift page, but I do want to touch on the concept of timing your interactive marketing audit and planning. I could make an argument that a marketing audit should be conducted every month, quarter and year. And you should absolutely revisit your interactive marketing plan annually, if not more frequently. That being said, there are some situations that lend themselves to conducting your audit and planning process:
- You are considering overhauling your web presence.
- Current interactive marketing programs are underperforming.
- You’re trying to determine budget allocations for interactive marketing.
- Your competition appears to be ahead of you in the interactive marketing category.
- You’re in the midst of developing a strategic marketing plan.
Regardless of when or how you handle this process, make sure you embrace the interactive audit and planning process. If done right, it will expose significant opportunities for improvement, and in some cases spur a significant shift in thinking about how you’ll market your organization overall.