The 2020 Digital Marketing and Technology Planning Checklist
For B2B marketers, January is the time to begin executing new plans and strategic initiatives for the new year. At Windmill Strategy, we also believe January is the perfect time to review a broad range of items that sometimes go unchecked, or ignored during the preceding year.
It’s in this spirit, we share our 2020 3-Part Digital Marketing and Technology Planning Checklist. Work your way through the checklist however you wish — top to bottom, bottom to top — but be sure to check off each item. If you do, you’ll position your digital marketing strategy and tech stack for success in 2020. Let’s get started:
1. Tactical Credential and Access Review
Confirm that everyone who has access to your platforms and applications has proper access and you’ve protected each with a strong password:
- Password management software — 1Password, Dashlane, LastPass or others.
- Content management system (CMS) — WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, HubSpot, Sitefinity.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software — HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, Insightly or others.
- Project management software — Microsoft Project, Trello, ProWorkflow, Asana, Workfront and others.
- Social networks — Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Digital advertising accounts — Google PPC or other digital ad platforms.
- Web analytics software — Google Analytics, Crazyegg, Clicky, Kissmetrics or others.
- Social media monitoring software — Social Sprout, Critical Mention, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Digimind or others.
- Domain registrar — your domain must be renewed annually or every two or three years, depending on your terms. Top domain registrars include GoDaddy, Domain, Bluehost and HostGator.
- Domain name system (DNS).
- Web hosting or internet service provider (ISP).
- Disparate third-party systems — proposal editing, press release distributors, link shortening and others.
2. Critical Thinking and Objective Review
Carefully review your company’s digital marketing plan and prospect/customer engagement activity to see how you are performing across broad tactics:
- Perform a comprehensive content audit across your major channels — website, digital advertising and social media.
- Review analytics year-over-year — Total website visits, time spent on site, interactions per visit, cost per conversion (CPC), total conversions, click-through rate, lead to close ratio, email open rates and more.
- Analyze your best and worst-performing content: What are the characteristics of the content that attracts the most readers? Consider word count, topics, photos and other factors.
- Update your audience personas and your ideal customer profiles (ICP): Have you accounted for all decision-makers for your products and services?
- Confirm brand messaging as well as voice and tone. Whether your brand voice is professional, informal, fun, whimsical, inspirational, formal or casual, you want to make sure it’s consistent throughout every customer touchpoint.
3. Competition Review
A digital marketing checklist wouldn’t be complete without a thorough review of your company’s top competitors as well as partners, prospects and customers. The goal of this review is to look for opportunities to reinforce your strategy and hone your messaging.
- Review the content quality of your competitors by reading through their web pages, white papers, e-books, data sheets and more. How does your content compare? Moreover, learning more about your competitors’ content will help you more clearly differentiate your products and offerings.
- Review channel-specific audience and messaging to help you better understand how your competition addresses key audiences across its website, white papers, trade shows, sales literature, social networks, emails and PPC/banner advertising.
- Review the competition’s brand voice and messages and ask yourself if your company’s voice is distinctive when compared to others in your industry. You want to create a clear difference when your customers are considering what company to work with.
- Review competitive service or product offerings and sales pitches to understand differences better. Knowing this information will help you fine-tune how you articulate your offering’s features and benefits.
Are You Failing to Plan?
Finally, you can use this checklist as a starting point as you create your plans for 2020. Feel free to add other items! But if you need further encouragement, turn to the oft-repeated words of Alan Lakein:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
In the meantime, Windmill Strategy is here to help you plan and grow your business in 2020. Let’s get to work.