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Steps to Develop a Successful Digital Marketing Plan

            The experts strongly believe that current time in business world asks for a good digital marketing plan so that business firms can compete well in their respective industries. So, it is need of the hour to come up with digital marketing strategy, which is planned with all relevant aspects and it is documented with all steps to follow. Adidas can do that by following certain steps so that a digital marketing plan is developed, which not only covers all aspects of their business, but also helps them to boost their sales on e-commerce platform. The way consumers are showing their interest in online shopping, it is a great opportunity for Adidas to grab and enhance growth and progress of their business across the globe. The companies have to realize the fact that just posting something on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube would not get them anything substantial in the competition, because marketing plan should come with a purpose and idea, which is reflected through well thought content for the social media platforms. Adidas must answer few questions before developing their marketing plan like what would be the purpose of showing presence on social media, what type of audience will be targeted, what kind of content will be shared, what platforms will be suitable, and what would be the timing of social media campaigns. If a company can simply answer these questions, then it means they have a roadmap to continue with their digital marketing plan (Lua, 2019)

Here are few steps for Adidas to follow with regards to developing a concrete digital marketing plan:

Step 1:

It is a fact that Adidas do have existing presence on social media platforms, so first important step for them is to analyze their current state on these social media platforms. Before heading towards a new destination, they must know where they are in current situation, and how far they can reach from here. The current state of their social media existence shows that they are present on all major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. So, it is good to know that Adidas do have their presence across all major social media platforms, which means that they don’t have to develop a strategy from scratch for any social media platform; rather they have to polish and regenerate their social media plan for these platforms. They have different business divisions, and social media pages are developed to deal with these different business divisions. So, it is a first step for them to continue with their new digital marketing plan, and if they are able to get it done in a proper manner, then all other steps can be easy to follow. It is important to know that it is not always about products, but sometimes it is how those products are being promoted and marketed to target audience. Adidas is a style icon company, and consumers love to have a unique lifestyle with Adidas, so marketing strategy needs to consider this important element during every step (Whitfield, 2019)

Step 2:

Once the platforms have been analyzed and it is decided that which social media platforms will be covered by the new digital marketing plan, then next step is to answer some important questions regarding target audience. It is important to mention here that a digital marketing plan should not consider having presence on all social media platforms, rather those should be selected, which are most relevant, and if all major platforms look relevant, then plan should be to continue with all of them. But then Adidas will have to decide that which platform will be used for what kind of audience. But still, they will have to determine with proper research and analysis that which social networking platform has the most potential to reach target audience. The company has to figure out that which social media platform is popular amongst segments of customers like Facebook may be a popular amongst customers in one region, whereas Twitter maybe popular in another region of the world. So, they need to determine demographics of their target audience. The other thing to consider is time that how much time will be given to which social media platforms with number of posts and content. Once these steps are finalized, the other important thing to consider is the resources and skills to complete these tasks. The company has to review its human resources and skills capabilities, whether they have social media marketing experts to develop this plan and implement it accordingly. If answer is “yes”, then it is good to go, otherwise first they need to acquire skills as well as resources to perform these complex tasks (Lee, 2019)

Step 3:

The third important step in deriving a sustainable and successful digital marketing plan is to have a look at digital strategy of your competitors. Adidas has to look at the strategy of its competitors like Nike, Reebok, Fila, and Puma etc. It is important to analyze your competitive organizations that what steps are taken by them to boost their digital marketing efforts, and what kind of activities has proven beneficial for them. It will not only provide a comparative context of the competitive landscape, but it will also provide a clear picture of the market that what trends are in and what trends are out. Moreover, analysis of the competitor allows coming up with a broader perspective of things that how a company can manipulate with their strategy and what areas of digital strategy are untouched by the competitors, and they can continue with those areas to gain considerable competitive advantage. But one thing is to keep in mind that analyzing your competitors does not mean copying them by any means. Similar kind of strategy adopted by Adidas may look ugly, and it may not capture the attention as consumers are well aware in this era more than ever before. They will not respond to strategies, which are being imitated from other platforms. So, Adidas just have to get an idea of the situation, and then derive their own digital marketing plan, which is differentiated and comes with more exciting elements as compared to competitors in the market. The monitoring of digital marketing plan of your competitors will always come up with great insights on market dynamics, and it will allow you to have more space in designing a new digital marketing strategy (Svyrydenko, 2019)

Step 4:

Once all of above three steps are properly followed with their all relevant elements, then fourth step is the continuation of them, and it is to determine that what kind of content will be created, and what content will be posted on different platforms. The content is not the only thing to consider in this step; the other relevant aspect is what would be the frequency of positing this content across different social media platforms. It means that Adidas will have to decide that what social media platform will be on top of their priority list, and what type of content will be posted. In addition to that they will have to determine a frequency of posting content on each platform. So, this is a time, where they will have to deal with each platform separately, because universal strategy cannot be developed for all social media platforms, because they all are different in dynamics. So, they will have to decide number of images, links, texts as well as videos to be uploaded on all platforms. Then next step is to determine that videos will be posted on which platform like Facebook and YouTube can be ideal platforms in this regard. For images and info-graphics, Instagram would be a perfect choice. Moreover, the company will have to make a choice that how much posts will be uploaded on daily, weekly and monthly basis. For instance, they can post 8 to 20 posts on weekly basis at platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The frequency of posts can be increased or decreased as per requirements. Timing of these posts will also be an important factor to keep in mind (Lee, 2019)

Step 5:

The fifth and one of the most important steps in a digital marketing strategy is to come up with analytics so that success or failure can be measured accordingly. So, Adidas will have to develop a success and analytical metrics so that they can see that how much success was gathered by new digital marketing plan, and what loopholes were there in its implementation. There are various metrics to measure success like conversion rate. It is a success metric, which shows that after launching a dedicated social media campaign to sell a product, so whether customers responding to social media posts also purchased the product or not. If conversion rate is high, then it means that social media plan worked well in favor of the company. The company can also analyze time spent by the users on website or any social media platform. The other important metric of measurement is number of mentions made by users. It means that how many users mentioned the brand or its product on social media platform asking others to purchase it, and how many users shared the social media posts from different platforms. It is said by the Lord Kelvin that “If you cannot measure it you cannot improve it.” So, measurement and evaluation of digital marketing plan is crucial, otherwise mistakes cannot be identified and improvements cannot be made (Kerley, 2017)

Step 6:

The last step of a successful digital marketing plan is to reviewing all previous steps with their relevant outcomes, and make changes accordingly. It is important to understand that digital marketing strategy should never be a rigid one, as companies may have to bring changes and variety in their strategy. So, Adidas need to develop a flexible social media marketing plan, which can adopt any kind of changes at any stage. For instance, there can be a situation, where competitor may come up with aggressive social media strategy, and Adidas will have to counter that strategy with more aggressive one, otherwise competitor may go ahead in this race. So, digital marketing plan should always be flexible, and it should always embrace variety with the passage of time so that social media marketing experts can come up with considerable changes in the strategy. A comprehensive review of digital marketing plan will always allow exploring new areas of the market, and finding new opportunities to grab the attention of target audience on social media.

References of Steps to Develop a Successful Digital Marketing Plan

Barnhart, B., 2019. How to build your social media marketing strategy. [Online]
Available at: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-marketing-strategy/
[Accessed 16 August 2019].

Erkilic, G., 2018. 6 Things You Should Know About Adidas’ Digital Marketing Strategy. [Online]
Available at: https://digitalagencynetwork.com/digital-marketing-strategy-of-adidas/
[Accessed 16 August 2019].


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