A sample Internet marketing plan should contain specific sections in order to ensure that your planning and analysis is thorough. In this article I’ll show you what these key sections are and how they relate to Internet-based businesses.

Your starting point is to make some strategic planning decisions around goals you want to achieve. These might be quite specific goals relating to traffic volumes or sales (in the case of an Internet home business) are relatively broad in the case of larger companies (e.g. promoting customer brand). Establishing the goals also establishes what competencies you need to have in house or be able to buy in, so your plan needs to factor this in.

Next you need to focus on analysis (this provides inputs to your positioning at the end of the document). First do an initial SWOT analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses (in your company), opportunities and threats (in the marketplace). Additional analysis of your competitors is advised to identify what areas they are focusing on, product features, pricing structures and even the volume of competition (which may make entering the market undesirable).

The next step is to focus on establishing a customer profile. This can become very in depth and including demographics you specifically want to target. You should end up having a good picture of what types of customers you’re going to be targeting with benefits in your products.

With all of this information gathered you can now start focusing on the market and product focus in your sample Internet marketing plan. This involves segmenting your Internet customer base into different groups which can potentially be targeted separately through different channels or even different product choices.

Finally, it is worth revisiting the 4P’s of marketing to establish how you are going to be positioned in the market based on product (e.g. features, accessories), place (e.g. direct selling, affiliate marketing), promotion (e.g. online ads) and price (e.g. level pricing).