7 Easy Steps to Design a Digital Marketing Plan

People brainstorming on a digital marketing plan
Credits: Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

Why is digital marketing important in the business nowadays?

If you have never tried utilising digital marketing before, you might be wondering why is digital marketing important in the business nowadays?

The answer is simple: digital marketing is an easy and effective method in helping your business to connect with your customers from around the world, regardless of time and space! This is why it’s important to design a digital marketing plan that is both effective, both performance- and cost-wise.

Did you know?

62% of Malaysia’s mobile users population or equivalent to 20 million Malaysians are adopting mobile shopping activities.

(Source: Sage Journals, 2022)

With the growing interest in online shopping, there are opportunities for businesses to market themselves in a much larger and more digital way. You can now easily reach your audiences with digital marketing via social media, paid ads, email, and many more!

But how do you get started on digitising your marketing strategy? How do you stand to benefit, even if you may have to make a larger-than-usual investment at first?

7 Easy Steps to Design a Digital Marketing Plan:

1. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas

Determining your target audience is the first (and most crucial) step in planning your digital marketing strategy. To create a digital marketing strategy that works for your target customers, you can grasp their perspectives and pain points by generating buyer personas that reflect the majority of your target audiences.

Start by compartmentalising your potential audience into various segments. When creating your personas, you can consider a range of qualities and segment them accordingly, such as:

Audience Targeting SharpSpring Asia

There are marketing automation tools out there that aid this process! Tools such as Constant Contact Lead Gen and CRM allow businesses to segment audiences according to specified qualities of their choosing to ensure more targeted and personalised messaging.

SharpSpring persona illustration

2. Define your digital business goals

Once you have decided the type of audience to target, you should establish a list of clear goals that you wish to accomplish from implementing the digital marketing plan.

Your goals should follow the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely goals

Here’s an example:

SMART Framework SharpSpring Asia

3. Decide on your budget

​​Your budget plan needs to be precise and detailed. The budget will outline your financial constraints for digital marketing efforts and direct you towards particular platforms and tactics. 

However, your budget plan should not be a hard and fast rule. Allow yourself the flexibility to adjust accordingly when needed. You might think about cutting off that spend if you see that a certain campaign is not producing a positive return on investment (ROI). In contrast, if a certain campaign appears to be moving in a positive direction, you may choose to allocate more of your budget on that campaign to increase your ROI!

4. Data collection and storage using CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems assist businesses in maintaining contact with clients, streamlining procedures, and enhancing profitability. But, how does the CRM system do this?

With the use of a CRM system, you can:

  • Keep track of customers’ and prospects’ contact information,
  • Record customer purchases,
  • Discover sales opportunities,
  • And even manage marketing campaigns all in one place.


Having a centralised place for data collection and management will allow your data to be accessible by required parties within your company. However, it is important to ensure restricted access to your database to avoid leaks!

SharpSpring CRM illustration

5. Choose your marketing channels

Before creating digital marketing strategies, you need to select the digital marketing channels you will employ. Ask yourself, which channel will best serve your desired objectives? Here are a few digital marketing channels you may consider:

Digital Marketing Channels SharpSpring Asia

The digital channel you choose should depend on your targeted audience as well. Most adults might be more active on Facebook compared to Instagram, whilst it’s vice versa for younger audiences. Hence, remember to understand your audience before creating your digital marketing plan.

6. Measure the performance to nurture your leads

Assessing your performance after executing your digital marketing strategy will assist you ensure you’re running the most effective campaign possible. Check to see if you are successfully accomplishing the objectives you set in step 2.

It will be simpler for you to determine which plan is the most effective if you use key performance indicators (KPIs). Fret not, marketing automation tools such as SharpSpring come with analytics tools to help you monitor the success of your campaigns so you can say goodbye to manual reporting! Sit back, relax, and grab a cup of coffee while watching the system complete the task automatically for you.

SharpSpring analytics illustration

7. Leverage on marketing automation

Still doubting the success of your digital marketing plan? Are you sick of manually carrying out your digital strategy and still not seeing the desired results? There’s a way to ease your problems!

Marketing automation is the use of software platforms to assist businesses of all sizes in automating a variety of marketing and sales interaction activities and procedures.

Marketing automation is the most effective approach for you to manage your whole digital marketing strategy. It can help you increase efficiency whilst cutting operational costs to ensure that you can focus more money (and time!) on strategizing rather than on manual work.

What's next for you?

The perfect digital marketing campaign cannot be built in one night. It takes work, patience, and consistency to track and enhance your efforts! Spend some time learning about your audience and the best ways to engage with them. 

You may save a lot of time and money by using marketing automation solutions to accomplish the objectives of your digital marketing plan. Interested to find out how we can help you grow?

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