Starting an internet marketing plan

When an internet marketing strategy is being developed, the company's objectives should be clearly stated in the Internet marketing plan. To make it possible to review progress toward these goals, it is advisable to attach numerical values to company goals.

Examples of such objectives would include to grow sales, to add value to the company's product/service offering, to build relationships with customers by increasing the number of subscribers, or to save some administration costs.

Strategic marketing on the internet is a process, of which the starting point is Strategic Analysis. Strategic analysis (situation review) consists out of an internal audit, an external audit and the assessment of opportunities and threats.

Internal audit

The internal audit is an assessment of the company's resources necessary to maintain an Internet Marketing Plan. These resources would typically be:


  • Financial resources – the cost of a company to have a web presence. This includes site construction, site maintenance and site marketing/promotion.
  • Technological resources – accessibility and performance of the company's web site. Also important are the service level agreements with the Internet Service Provider.
  • Human resources – for adhering to inquiries and handling the distribution of goods purchased. Also for updating the company site with the latest information.
  • Business Structure – the system used to coordinate internet marketing across different departments and business units
  • Strengths and weaknesses – it is important to be mindful of these in order to select the correct strategic option.

External audit

The external audit assesses the business and economic environment in which the company operates. The factors to consider for developing an internet Marketing Plan are:


  • Legal restrictions – The entrepreneur has to take into account all legal limitations to online promotion and trade, in order to determine the kind of information published on the site.
  • Ethical constraints – The entrepreneur will have to consider the ethical constraints that will affect his company's online commerce.
  • Technological constraints – The entrepreneur will have to consider the type of technology currently available, and how it will affect the future of his online business.

Assessing opportunities and threats

With proper planning, the Internet marketing plan can be developed to enhance a company's opportunities and eliminate/reduce a company's threats. The company who pro-actively anticipate changes in the external environment, and apply these changes on the Internet marketing plan, will be able to benefit from opportunities and minimise the effects of potential threats.