By: Janelle Jenkins – Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team

If you ever roam the offices here at Bayshore Solutions, you’ll likely hear the saying “plan your work, work your plan,” and it’s especially true for the Bayshore Solutions team, this time of the year. Project management and planning is a fundamental part of any web design and digital marketing firm, but with the new year comes new opportunity for evaluation and growth, especially among our digital marketing clients.

If you’re familiar with the digital marketing industry, you know what worked six months ago, may no longer be effective. In fact, in some cases what worked last month won’t work this month. It’s that rapid evolution of the online medium that makes digital marketers such a great partner. It’s our job to keep up on the latest trends and tactics, and we want nothing more than for every one of our clients to succeed.

It’s in that spirit and with the change of the new year, as our clients reevaluate their business goals, that we reevaluate and align our goals to ensure they reach theirs. With that intention, we encourage annual or bi-annual strategy workshops, to define those goals and modify tactics to meet them.

One of the greatest ingredients of the Bayshore Solutions methodology, is that no one client is the same. So each workshop is approached in a uniquely different way. Despite that fundamental principle, whether you’re a marketer or business creating a strategy, there are basic components to consider, to streamline the workshop process and ensure your marketing resolutions result in a successful year ahead.

Evaluate – Research, Measure and Review

An effective marketing strategy must begin with evaluation. Like any business plan, the more information and data you have, the more educated you can be in creating a strategy that works. Depending on the digital marketing history of the business itself, the type of information may vary, but gathering supporting information will help you fine tune what’s effective in your individual industry space online.

Evaluation is also about reviewing what’s been working well and what hasn’t. Again, what was working a year ago may no longer be an effective tactic, and identifying those tactics is just as important as identifying the ones that are working.

Brainstorm – Discovery, Vision and Tone

In an ideal world, without any budget concerns, what tactics would you implement? This can either be the easiest or the hardest part for digital marketers. For some clients and industries, the tactics for success are very clear and the list is enormous. For others however, it’s not as clear. That’s why at Bayshore Solutions, we work in teams for our brainstorming sessions to ensure we have a variety of expertise contributing to the overall vision and tone. This allows us to think outside the box, push boundaries and develop unique strategies for success.

Redefine Business Goals – Values, Industry and Targets

As a business grows, so does its plan. Client history, culture, values, industry and target audience are always shifting and adjusting, which is why redefining those factors can be a critical part of digital marketing success. If you’re a marketer, this is an opportunity to present new options for growth, and understand where the client finds value in the digital marketplace. If you’re a business, reevaluating those goals in the context of messaging will allow you to continue developing your brand and marketing priorities. Armed with this knowledge, you can adjust accordingly. It’s a critical part of ensuring return on investment and conversions for that business or organization.

Construct a Strategy – Timeline, Quality Control and Management

Once you’re equipped with a wealth of data, new ideas and have identified your client or business goals, it’s finally time to devise a strategy. This is your opportunity to create a layout on how the marketing efforts over the next six months or year, should be implemented. The approach to this phase can vary depending on the timeline, quality assurance and management of those efforts, but your strategy should include specific action items and the agenda for execution. Build your strategy from the top down, so you can prioritize the most important tactics. One of the keys to success at Bayshore Solutions is the team effort and collaboration that goes into this phase of the process. This again, ensures that all areas of expertise are involved. This is a phase where input from others, on areas of success and challenges, can have a critical impact on accomplishing your intended goals.

Refine – Prioritize, Execute and Monitor

Finally, you’ve got your strategy. Now it’s time to present to the client or business partners, and define priorities.  It’s during this phase, that you’ll be able to refine any details or changes. Again, because you built the strategy based on priority, it allows all parties to review options and adjust, based on time management or budget concerns. You want to ensure the strategy is attainable, and there are no questions regarding how it will be executed.

If done right, workshops are exactly that, a lot of work. Their value however, is enormous in defining the appropriate efforts for that business and getting a client the highest return on their investment.

Bottom line, know where you want to go, before you go there. To be truly successful in the digital marketplace, you must commit to investing the time and resources in understanding every facet of your client/business journey. Take charge of your digital marketing efforts and ensure every action item, has thought behind it.

In other words, “plan your work, work your plan.”

Interested in learning more about Bayshore Solutions and how our digital marketers can help create a successful strategy to grow your business? Contact us today.

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