Analysis + Analytics / Ecommerce Marketing

Ecommerce Marketing 101: Personas, Traffic Drivers, Advertising Channels & More

Justin Palmer / 19 min read

Ecommerce Marketing 101: Personas, Traffic Drivers, Advertising Channels & More

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Ecommerce marketing is the practice of driving top-of-funnel traffic to convert into sales and customers. And there are hundreds of ways to go about it.

From focusing on organic traffic and SEO to using Facebook or Google ads to drive targeted traffic, you can mix and match paid strategies with non-paid strategies all in an effort to figure out which mix converts the most people.

But not marketing strategy is even static. As marketing tactics and marketplace algorithms evolve, so too must your strategy in order to win the highest return on ad spend – as well as return on operating costs associated with non-paid strategies like SEO.

You may have once heard: “If you build it, they will come.”

It’s a great quote, from a great movie.

Unfortunately, when it comes to ecommerce marketing, this notion is completely false. When you build it, they don’t necessarily come.

In a constantly changing and increasingly competitive environment, you need to make more effort to grow your online sales.

For many businesses, this is the biggest reason why revenue goals aren’t met.

With US ecommerce revenue slated to hit $4.9 trillion in 2023, you don’t want to miss the boat.

On one hand, simply building a modern, feature-rich, and user-friendly website may seem like a daunting task (hint, hint: it doesn’t have to be with the right resources).

But even doing only that, you’re only halfway there.

Unless you’re pounding the pavement to build awareness, your ecommerce website will exist in a vacuum.

And that’s not good for anybody – the business owner, the employees, and the people who want to buy your products.

In order to effectively grow an ecommerce business – whether or not you have a retail presence – you need a well-thought-out ecommerce marketing plan to drive brand awareness and increase sales. And there’s no way around it.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Within this blog, we’re covering the following topics:

  1. Creating and Executing an Ecommerce Marketing Plan.
  2. Marketing Channels, Tactics & Tools to Consider.
  3. Building a Marketing Team: In-House vs Agency.

Based on this article, you’ll have the information you need to confidently build an ecommerce marketing plan that can effectively scale your business and accomplish your goals.

Remember, there’s no “magic bullet” when it comes to building brand awareness and driving ecommerce sales.

The principles we’ve outlined should be defined as “best practices” but your team’s ability to think critically and get creative will be the “special sauce” your brand needs expedite sales growth.

Creating and Executing an Ecommerce Marketing Plan

“A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”

Another valid quote. This time, by Benjamin Franklin.

To be clear, there’s no shortage of literature around “how to develop a marketing plan.”

In fact, that topic keeps many authors, teachers and high-priced public speakers employed. And justifiably so.

Many tried and true principles remain relevant today, but with the continued evolution of ecommerce, this isn’t the time to get complacent.

Without a well-thought-out plan of attack, the chances of accomplishing your marketing goals will be slim to none.

And without an understanding of the ecommerce marketing landscape, you’re at a severe disadvantage.

We’ve applied the foundational elements of crafting a marketing plan, injected some time-savings tips and applied our backlog of ecommerce-specific advice to ultimately create this 12-step plan that is perfect for building your online store.

With the information provided, you can confidently create an ecommerce marketing plan from scratch by yourself, with your team, or alongside a more experienced agency partner. Here are some time-saving tips and advice for before you start.

1. Seek out mentors and advice.

Find companies or individuals who have already built and scaled a successful ecommerce business, ideally within the same industry. Then, ask for their advice.

  • How did they get started?
  • What marketing channels produced the biggest ROI in the short term?
  • Did they use an agency? If so, which agency?
  • What technology did they use to track data?
  • What SaaS products were most helpful and effective?

There are tons of online groups where you can ask these questions. BigCommerce’s own community group is only one.

2. When possible, hire experts.

Quite simply, the breadth of knowledge and experience that a talented marketer can bring to your business can’t be understated.

The time and effort you’ll spend learning about and slapping together digital marketing campaigns can be spent on more meaningful work.

If you’re a startup, consider hiring a freelancer to help with more nuanced parts of your business like branding, paid advertising, or website maintenance.

If you’re an established business, consider hiring an experienced agency.

They’ll bring a new energy, fresh perspective, and skills that complement your in-house capabilities.

3. Be honest with yourself.

Without quality products, the appropriate funding and a capable team, a path to success does NOT exist. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

But don’t bank on one social influencer’s Instagram post to compensate for these shortcomings. It just doesn’t happen that way.

There’s no shame is starting small and DIY-ing your digital marketing in the short term. But it’s important to set realistic expectations and outline a roadmap for growth.

How to Build an Ecommerce Marketing Plan

As you’re laying the groundwork to your ecommerce future, it’s important to go through these exercises while writing your business plan to ensure that your methods and strategy are well thought out and will pass the test of time.

It can’t be overstated: these are the prerequisites to creating an effective marketing plan and building a successful business.

1. Executive summary.

Now that you’ve gathered substantive advice from knowledgeable mentors, the big picture overview will come into focus.

By writing an Executive Summary, you’ll be taking the first steps to crafting your ecommerce marketing plan.

2. Goals & objectives.

Make your goals and objectives VERY clear and specific.

Once you begin to execute, there’s no shame in amending your goals if they turned out to be too low or too high.

Eventually, your primary focus should be creating realistic, attainable goals. And then, layering in “stretch goals” to really excite the team.

That being said, make sure to include specific goals and metrics, such as:

  • Increase sales by X% during the slow season.
  • Increase AOV by X% on Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
  • Increase email marketing conversion rates by X%.

3. Mission statement & value proposition.

  • What’s the purpose of this company?
  • What do you do?
  • What don’t you do?

You (or the company leadership) must be able to answer these basic questions.

Not all companies need a philanthropic element to the business (which would be nice) but there needs to be a clear mission and value proposition.

4. Target customers, personas & markets.

Know your audience.

If you don’t have a clear understanding of who you’re targeting, what characteristics define them and where they’re located — you’re bound to run inefficient campaigns that waste money targeting low-converting, unqualified individuals.

Make sure you know the following:

  • Age ranges.
  • Gender breakdown.
  • Geographic location.
  • Purchasing power.

5. Situation analysis.

“You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.”

Therefore, perform a thorough assessment of the current state of the company, the competition and the overall marketing plan.

Leave no stone unturned. A better understanding of your current situation will lead to better decision-making, and eventually, better results.

6. Pricing & positioning strategy.

Ensure your pricing and positioning provides real value to your target audience.

Forcing products upon your target customers that they deem to be overpriced is a losing proposition, especially when price comparing is SO easy these days.

Therefore, do your research!

Of course, there are opportunities for testing and refinement throughout your product’s lifecycle, but by doing a little more work up front, you’ll be better off in the long run.

7. Distribution & fulfillment plan.

Even if you’re starting small, you should have a clear understanding of the distribution and order fulfillment requirements that will evolve as you grow.

Whether you are packing and shipping yourself, overseeing a small team, or leveraging a third party fulfillment shop, you need to know whether your fulfillment processes can meet the demand of your upcoming marketing push.

After you’ve written your plans, be sure to spend a good chunk of time tweaking, refining, and evolving them over time.

Ecommerce Fulfillment Tools

Find more shipping and fulfillment tools for your store.

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Executing an Ecommerce Marketing Plan

By this point, you should have a very clear understanding of the subtle nuances that define your business.

If you’re a small business, this is when you start laying the groundwork for future growth, and if you’re more established, this is how you expedite your growth trajectory.

1. Determine your sales & lead generation strategy.

This is where you get creative. And unfortunately, this is where the one-size-fits-all answers stop. The number of ways in which you can market your business is seemingly endless, and that’s a good thing!

Even though the enormous list of digital marketing buzzwords can make your head spin, we’ll highlight the strategies and tools that have proven track records of results, along with some newer strategies to consider.

For us visual learners, imagine a sales funnel graphic that shows your customers path from Awareness to Interest to Desire to Action.

Now imagine each stage in that process includes notes about the specific marketing strategies you’ll employ to usher potential customers through that funnel.

At the top of funnel, you’ll see the brand awareness building strategies that don’t often produce immediate conversions — like posting organic social content or programmatic display ads.

And at the bottom, you’ll see Google search network advertisements, Instagram retargeting ads, and direct email communication.

As a marketer, you’ll want to consider the primary purpose of every campaign strategy you employ and where it fits in your funnel.

But don’t worry, the strategies and tactics the next section are bound to produce positive results.

2. Get technology & reporting software.

Before you make a serious marketing push, you absolutely must ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the technology I’m currently using to track the effectiveness of my marketing efforts adequate?
  • Can it be used to determine whether or not the KPIs I’m seeking to improve are ACTUALLY improving?
  • Will it help our team accurately determine the ROI of our actions?

If your answer is “no” then you must consider a change before rolling out a new ecommerce marketing strategy. And if your answer is “yes” that’s great! But I would also encourage you to double check.

Here are a few great tools to consider:

As we mentioned in our earlier point, the sheer number of marketing channels continues to rise, and the tools you’re using to track that information needs to be sufficient.

But don’t worry. The tools are out there. And even if you’re on a shoestring budget – there are several free resources that can help.

3. Start with conversions.

Within your lead generation and sales funnel strategy, there were certain bottom-of-the-funnel strategies designed to get customers over the finish line.

We strongly recommend rolling out those campaigns first to generate sales and positive momentum.

Then, once your team feels comfortable with the initial results, continue to roll out your entire ecommerce marketing strategy (more on these types of strategies below).

4. Test the waters.

Allocate part of your ecommerce marketing budget to test new strategies.

After all, you’ll never know what works well and what doesn’t until you try it.

Don’t spend money haphazardly, but depending on the size of your budget, running some simple test cases in smaller markets can provide you with the ammunition you need to justify a budget increase, validate your prior recommendations and/or open the door to an entirely new market opportunity.

5. Refine & expand your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Now it gets really fun! You’ve seen some positive momentum and you’re ready to fan the flames.

By this point, you have a good understanding of what’s working, what needs improvement, and what opportunities still exist. And I promise, at no point have you exhausted all your options.

Therefore, refine and ramp up your initial strategies. Having proven a positive ROI, it’s time to increase your budget and scale up!

Beyond that, you can get even more creative.

Some strategies to consider are:

  • Joint Ventures & PartnershipsComplementary brands have found success through partnerships. You can co-create content that exposes both brands to each other’s email list. Or bundle a curated holiday gift package across several brands. The opportunities are endless, and when the brands align, both brands benefit.
  • Increase AOV – You’ve been on a quest to drive sales. Now, try to increase the average order value. Tier your discount codes to incentive larger purchases or offered expedited shipping for orders 50% higher than your current AOV.
  • Referrals Offer current customers the opportunity to refer a friend and reap the rewards. It’s a win-win. They become an army of brand advocates, while at the same time, searching through your product catalog for ways to use their new discount code.

Ecommerce Marketing Channels, Tactics & Tools to Consider

New marketing channels are opening every day.

Huge networks, like Google and Facebook, will continue to offer new ways to reach customers and attract more advertising dollars.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the best channels, tactics, and tools to consider when crafting your ecommerce marketing plan.

1. Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC).

Pay-per-Click advertising or PPC can be one of the foundational elements in your ecommerce marketing strategy.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with PPC, your brand would pay an ad network, like Google, every time someone clicks on your advertisement.

Of course, there are several types of PPC advertisements that I’d like call attention to – paid search, display, and shopping campaigns – since they’re most relevant to ecommerce marketing success.

Each type of PPC advertising can play an important, yet different role in your overall marketing strategy.

And for the ease of understanding, I’ll use Google at the primary source of all PPC advertisements, since it’s the most popular and easiest to use.

That being said, there are different PPC ad networks, such as Bing Ads and Amazon Advertising, that are definitely worth including in your overall PPC strategy.

Here’s a little more information about each:

Paid Search Ads – A Paid Search ad will appear at the top of your search engine results and will not include any type of imagery.

Quite simply, Google serves the user a text-only advertisement based on the user’s search terms.

Therefore, it’s a great strategy, especially for “in market” sales leads. Just think about it… if you’re searching for “non-iron button-down shirts” you’re most likely in the market to purchase that item.

You’ve identified a personal need, and you’re searching for the best option.

Therefore, Paid Search advertisements can produce a high conversion rate and should definitely be included in your overall strategy.

Display AdsDisplay advertisements, sometimes referred to as banner ads, can be seen all over popular websites, apps, and mobile games.

Unlike Search ads, Display ads tend to follow you around based on your past browsing history, which is referred to as “retargeting,” which I’ll touch on later.

Display ads can also be served to the user based on the subject matter of the article or website the user is viewing.

So, if the user is reading an article about popular yoga studios in their area, there’s a good chance that a Display ad for a nearby yoga studio will appear.

Display ads can be great for building brand awareness and generating conversions when used to retarget a customer, but in general, click through rates will be much lower than Search ads.

And, more importantly, the average conversion rate across all industries is .77% with Display ads, compared to 3.75% for Search ads. (stats via Wordstream)

Product Listing Ads (Shopping Campaigns) – With Google Shopping Campaigns and Bing Product Ads your products can appear directly within the search engine results.

So, if the user is searching for “women’s red boots,” they’ll see a bunch of images of red boots at the top of their search results.

Then, depending on the products that suit their taste, the user will click on the advertisement and be redirected to your online store.

All things considered, this can be a great tool.

In fact, advertisers have been flocking to Google Shopping, since it generated 60% of clicks on Google in Q1 2018.

Of course, if you’re a reseller of other brands, make sure your prices are competitive before diving in.

As you can imagine, when viewing the same pair of red boots across multiple ads, the user will simply click on the lowest advertised price.

So, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Tools to Consider:

2. Search engine optimization (SEO).

Over the past 20 years, Search Engine Optimization has evolved for the better.

In the past, SEO experts were akin to snake oil salesman – using dishonest tactics and exploits to boost website rankings.

Now, on the other hand, SEO is more about adhering to on-site best practices and earning your ranking, rather than “working the system.”

That being said, SEO should NOT be overlooked.

In fact, 70-80% of Google users are only focusing on the organic search results.

But don’t worry, there are tons of useful resources to test your site’s SEO health and track your improvement over time, like SEMrush and MOZ.

Plus, through the BigCommerce apps like FavSEO, you can easily perform a website audit, monitor rankings, and make improvements over time.

Tools to Consider:

3. Content marketing.

Content marketing is a bit of a unicorn in the ecommerce space.

When you have a highly-tested and comprehensive content marketing plan, just about every other marketing channel you use becomes more successful in parallel.

That’s because content marketing is the best means to distribute your product to an audience.

Through blog posts, infographics, and videos, you reach more customers on their own turf: the internet.

It’s called inbound marketing — where shoppers come to you — and it costs significantly less than outbound efforts, where you go out and find the shoppers for yourself.

If your product has an environmental cause, advanced technology, or is just plain innovative, consider launching some written blog posts outlining the specifics of the products.

Aside from being educational for anyone who visits your website, these blog posts will help you get organic traffic from relevant keywords.

4. Influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is simple.

As consumers are exposed to more and more advertisements, brands are incorporating different strategies to reach and appeal to customers.

Therefore, a brand will align with an “influencer” – aka, somebody who has a large following and credibility within a certain niche.

Through this partnership, both parties will co-create content that’s intended to build awareness and drive sales.

And since the influencer already has the attention and trust of their following, these paid product endorsements feel less intrusive than standard advertisements.

Thus, they’re a valuable tool in a marketers toolkit.

Influencer marketing is most commonly seen across social media, YouTube, and well known blogs. Fashionistas who share their style guides on Instagram and competitive gamers who stream game reviews on YouTube or Twitch are generating measurable results when asked to subtly promote a brand.

5. Social media marketing.

Social media is (and will remain) a rapidly evolving landscape of networks and platforms that continually change the way people interact with brands online.

As marketers, we are tasked with understanding best practices and implementing strategic campaigns that engage potential customers, create brand advocates and eventually, fuel the bottom line.

Luckily, popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been continually rolling out new features and tools to help brands effectively reach their target audience.

For example, with Facebook’s new Dynamic Ads feature, a brand can upload its entire product catalog to Facebook.

Then, each product will be automatically shown to interested customers with up-to-date pricing and availability, which is a great tool for Ecommerce marketers.

According to Pinterest, their users spend 50% more on purchases than the average social media user, and 20% more than people who purchased after clicking on a Search ad.

Like I explained with PPC advertising, social media marketing has its own set of nuances and jargon that can sometimes get intertwined.

For the purposes of this blog post, and in the name of crafting a sound ecommerce marketing plan, we’ll focus on what can have the biggest impact on your brand.

Here’s what is important to consider when crafting your social media marketing campaign:

Social Media Advertising – Every popular social media network has useful tools for brands (and marketers) to serve targeted advertisements to potential customers.

Most of them operate in a similar manner to Google’s PPC ads; you create an advertisement, set your budget, and pay for every click (or number of impressions) the ad receives.

Of course, there’s more to it.

Each social network offers a wide variety of ad types, tailored to suit your advertising strategy and offer digital marketers the opportunity to get creative.

To save you some time, the following social networks have proven to be the most widely-adopted and practical for ecommerce marketing:

Social Commerce – As mentioned, social networks are constantly searching for new ways to entice brands, and more importantly, advertisers to their networks.

Therefore, networks like Facebook and Instagram (in particular) have created (fairly) seamless ecosystems that allow customers to discover your products, and more importantly, purchase your products without navigating away from the network.

This simplifies the path to purchase, and subsequently, increases conversion rates.

Therefore, ensuring your ecommerce product catalog is synced with Facebook and Instagram will allow more customers to find your products and increase the effectiveness of your social advertising campaigns.

The Facebook Ad app by Sales & Orders takes the existing product data in your BigCommerce store, configures it, and publishes it out as a compatible Catalog for Facebook Product Ads to get paid Facebook ads up and running quickly.

Organic Social Content – Before social networks were money-making behemoths, they were forums to engage with customers and foster brand advocacy.

Of course, that hasn’t disappeared entirely.

But to a certain extent, brands have been nudged towards the paid advertising route to produce the best results.

That being said, don’t forget about organic social content.

It plays an important role when building brand awareness, and at a minimum, is essential to maintain strong SEO.

Make sure to couple your organic social content with new social commerce features, like tagging your products in Facebook and Instagram posts and creating “buyable” Pinterest posts.

That way, you’ll be continuing to build the brand, while making it easy for potential customers to find and purchase your products.

6. Email marketing.

When crafting a comprehensive ecommerce marketing plan, email can play a very important role.

On one hand, it may not receive the attention of newer, trendier avenues for marketing your ecommerce business, but when done right, email can produce a consistently high return on investment.

That being said, don’t expect to “batch and blast” your way to high conversion rates and increased order values.

Taking a more strategic, thoughtful approach to email will eventually yield very positive results.

At the end of the day, customers are willing to read emails that pique their personal interests.

So, make sure your emails are contextual and engaging. Don’t send a concert ticket promotion for a show in Los Angeles to your entire email list.

That would be annoying for everybody outside of Southern California.

As a rule of thumb, try to segment your email list based on past purchase history.

That way, you can send emails that resonate with their personal tastes.

Plus, with the latest email automation features, you don’t even need to press “send.”

As you get your start with email marketing, newsletter campaigns are an easy and effective campaign to start with.

Nestled between promotions of your products, newsletter campaigns contain genuinely interesting content.

A newsletter format makes your emails stand out from the normal sales campaigns, and is a great way to build goodwill with new customers.

Aside from newsletter campaigns, at a bare minimum you should incorporate the following strategies:

  • Abandoned Carts.
  • Up-Sells and Cross-Sells.
  • Promotional Offers.
  • Customer Loyalty and Re-Engagement.
Tools to Consider

7. Affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the process of an ecommerce merchant paying a commission to an external website for any sales generated from their referral traffic.

The sales are tracked via affiliate links, which can be implemented by using various affiliate programs.

One great thing about affiliate marketing for ecommerce merchants is that you only pay after a sale occurs.

Merchants also get to choose their own commission rates, with is a percentage of the sale price usually ranging from 5 to 30%. It’s also very ROI positive.

Once you factor in the affiliate commission and gross margin, you can enjoy a return on ad spend (ROAS) of 10:1.

Tools to Consider

8. Local Marketing

Local marketing – also known as “location-based marketing” and “neighborhood marketing” – is the process of optimizing your website and online advertising to help drive foot traffic and awareness in local regions.

If you’re a brick and mortar store or brand that is looking to make a move online, it’s important to not lose the existing in-person customers that you already have.

In addition, if you have a storefront or local presence, there are a number of strategies you can use to continue growing that footprint.

Optimize your site with local keywords

Make sure you put relevant keywords about the town you’re in, as well as any bordering towns or regions.

Develop specialized landing pages about your town, create product collections that champion local businesses or trends, or even make local event campaigns with neighboring businesses.

Even as businesses are continually moving more and more online, local marketing still has an impact on plenty of decisions that shoppers make.

If a user is hunting for a product online, relevant local shops will show up in search results.

4 Ecommerce Marketing Tips From Experts

Leverage your list for more than promotions.

Kaleigh Moore

“Leverage that email list for more than just discounts and sales. Show life behind the scenes, tell stories, and make customers feel like part of your family. It may not have immediate ROI, but it’s a long-haul play that always converts.”

Kaleigh Moore, Freelance Writer, Researcher and Analyst

You aren’t experimenting enough.

Nick Raushenbush

“Avoid complacency. Be tireless with optimizing your online store and marketing channels for increasing conversion rate. If you haven’t tried 50+ changes to your approach to see how it impacts your metrics, you haven’t experimented enough.”

– Nick Raushenbush, Co-founder, Shogun Landing Page Builder

Research. Seriously, RESEARCH.

Lianna Patch

“Do. Customer. Research. There is absolutely no replacement for following up with customers at every stage of the purchase journey (and I don’t mean just by sending a single “Please leave us a review!” email). Install Hotjar polls on your site. Do user testing on new products. Mine your reviews for patterns and sticky phrases. This should be a constant process, and will yield soooo many useful insights.”

– Lianna Patch, Head Puncher, Punchline Copy

Talk to your customers.

Alex Birkett

‘This is commonly spouted advice but it’s rarely followed: get to know your customers better. Talk to them, or at least survey them. Invest in strategic measurement and analysis work. Find the gaps in your user experience and run experiments to try to fix them. More generally, become customer centric (and not just by saying you’re customer centric, but by making this the cornerstone of any tactic you implement). I don’t know how you could possibly go wrong with this approach.”

– Alex Birkett, Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot

Hiring an Ecommerce Marketing Agency vs. In-House Team

As a company outlines its potential growth strategy, the inevitable question arises, “should we hire an agency or build an in-house team?

And as you can imagine, there isn’t one correct answer. But rather, it’s a question of need, circumstances, and fit.

Can an agency accelerate your growth trajectory, while keeping costs down? Yes!

Can an in-house team produce similar results AND pick up donuts on occasion? Yes, please!

Depending on where you fall, either option could work well, but there are several factors to consider before making this decision.

Questions to consider that can guide your thinking:

  1. What are my primary marketing needs? Are they focused enough for an in-house employee to manage and execute on?
  2. How much money can we allocate towards either route?
  3. Can we (and should we) hire enough full-time employees to match what an agency can offer in skills and expertise?

Agency Pros & Cons

Hiring an experienced agency can be an excellent choice for any company.

Often times, digital marketing agencies can offer a wide set of services performed by highly specialized, experienced professionals.

Not to mention, they can be much less expensive than full-time employees.

But buyer beware, not all agencies are created equal. So, do your homework.

Pros

  • Highly skilled professionals.
  • Offer the wider set of services often needed to produce results.
  • Process and proven track record of delivering results.
  • Much less expensive than building an in-house team with a comparable level of expertise.
  • Contractually required to meet deadlines and provide a predetermined level of service.
  • Quick and simple to scale up efforts as the company grows.

Cons

  • Not as accessible as full-time employees.
  • Not as deeply entrenched in the brand.
  • Not able to assist with tasks outside the predetermined scope of work.

In-House Pros & Cons

There’s something energizing about hiring an in-house team, rolling up your sleeves, and getting to work.

You’re all in this together, and you all possess a deep understanding of the company’s current pain points and ultimate vision.

That being said, hiring an in-house team with comparable skills to an agency would cost much, MUCH more when you consider salaries, benefits, and onboarding costs.

Not to mention, the time it takes to hire and train employees can lead to missed opportunities, depending on the situation.

Pros

  • Deeply familiar with the brand and industry.
  • Very accessible for impromptu meetings, tasks, etc.
  • Can contribute to a healthy team mentality (if they’re a good fit).

Cons

  • Typically, more expensive than an agency.
  • Employees can offer 1 or 2 primary marketing skills, and typically can’t match an agency’s level of expertise.
  • In-house hires don’t typically dedicate resources for ongoing training, education, and process improvement – like a good agency would.
  • Difficult and time consuming to fire or employee if they fall short of expectations.

Using an Agency Managed by Your In-House Team

By most accounts, this is a very common arrangement – unless you’re in the very early stages of marketing your business.

In theory, this option can be the best of both worlds, and in practice that CAN be the case when all parties are aligned.

As you can imagine, when your company grows, your marketing needs grow.

The level of expertise and technical sophistication needed by all parties grows as well.

Therefore, when an in-house team that inherently understands the brand can work with an agency that brings a wealth of experience AND the ability to execute, you have the makings of a very strong team.

Pros

  • Can be the best of both worlds.

Cons

  • Potentially expensive.
  • Can cause friction if teams aren’t aligned.

Executive Summary

Crafting a well-thought-out ecommerce marketing plan may seem daunting.

But then again, the wealth of strategies and channels that can help drive online sales is enormous (and continuing to grow).

While you may be tempted to go off to the races, intentionality is key when you first begin developing an ecommerce marketing strategy.

Make sure you have a deep understanding of your product and the demand for your product, and don’t be afraid to make assumptions, so long as you test them.

In a sense, ecommerce marketers feel like kids in a candy store, trying to decide which new flavors to try today.

So, as long as you’re organized and detail-oriented, it’s hard to go wrong.

After reading this comprehensive list of strategies, tools, and resources, you’ll be well on your way to creating a real impact and getting real revenue.

Want more insights like this?

We’re on a mission to provide businesses like yours marketing and sales tips, tricks and industry leading knowledge to build the next house-hold name brand. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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