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Contingency Planning for Digital Marketing

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  • 0:03 Avoiding Chaos in…
  • 0:34 Common Issues
  • 2:49 Building an Effective Plan
  • 4:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

It's not a question of if you'll run into a snag with your digital marketing, it's a question of when. In this lesson, we examine contingency plans for digital marketing and how you can best protect your business from an error.

Avoiding Chaos in Digital Marketing

Contingency planning is about responding to unpredictable events. It's about being to able to react in an effective manner when a setback happens. Envision a backup parachute, ready to deploy if the primary chute fails. You want to reduce the negative consequences and get back on a normal footing as soon as possible. Your digital marketing covers a wide range of platforms: the Internet, mobile, and display advertising; there's a lot to monitor and protect.

Common Issues

What kinds of issues could arise with your digital marketing? Let's look at some common ones and steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

An email fumble is one possible issue that could arise. Here's an example: You sent out 20,000 customer emails offering a 50% discount if they purchase online before midnight. You meant to say a 15% discount. Your solution: If you can't afford the discount, admit your mistake and apologize promptly. Put a plan in place to have more than one set of eyes check all outgoing email offers.

A social media miscue might be another issue you might encounter. Let's say your social media manager approves a post on Twitter that is politically insensitive and divergent from your company's values. What's the solution? Take it down quickly to minimize how many people see it. Promptly put up a new message apologizing and saying the prior tweet was a mistake and did not reflect the views of your business.

Perhaps your company was asleep at the wheel. Here's an example: Somehow you miss your competitor targeting your online business through an email campaign offering a massive price cut. The solution? Monitor sales numbers to measure the real impact and respond with a price change if necessary. In the future, have someone assigned to monitor competitive activity.

Another issue could involve no backup within the company. Your digital marketing manager tells you they're leaving at the end of week. They haven't trained anybody in the department as a backup to their job. What could be a solution? Well, in the short term, you might have to hire some outside help until you can fill the opening. In the future, make sure everyone shows somebody else the basics of their job so there's a backup in place. Try to have a bullpen of resumes ready to go to fill a position as quickly as possible.

Finally, your company might experience a technical glitch. Let's say your office Internet connection went down, and no one can respond to customer emails. What's the solution? Have a backup Internet circuit in place that can be switched over to in case of a primary outage. Try to build as much fault tolerance as you can into your network to eliminate single points of failure (like the Internet circuit).

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