Online marketing planning ensures allocated budgets maximize ROI through optimal mix of digital tools and mediums. Banner campaigns, affiliate campaigns, social media, SEO, SEM and email marketing all reach online audiences but come at different costs. Some are above the line whilst others are below the line, so the choice of these approaches will also have an important bearing on the overall plan. Analytics and reporting plays a significant role in formulating optimal online marketing strategies. Online marketing, or inbound marketing as well call it at HubSpot, has many moving pieces. But as a CEO, you don't need to get caught up in the details of your company's online marketing efforts. Instead, it is your job to understand how the costs, results and data surrounding online marketing impact the overall health and performance of your business. As a busy CEO, you likely don't have much time. Because of this, we have condensed the important elements of online marketing into a brief executive summary. If you are reading this and are not an executive, I encourage you to share it with the executive team in your organization. Why Online Marketing Is Important Marketing in any organization serves many functions, but as a CEO, you should be concerned with a few key performance indicators (KPIs) from your marketing team including lead generation, lead quality and cost of customer acquisition. Online marketing helps to reduce these costs and improve efficiencies for these KPIs as well as others. To put it as clear and simply as possible, a CEO should care about online marketing because: "Online marketing reduces marketing costs while improving lead quality and volume, and provides detailed metrics for measurement and further improvement." Take a look at this short presentation and video for data that supports the success and growth of online marketing. Online Marketing Data: Over 50 Marketing Charts and Graphs : Major Components of Online Marketing Leave the details of keyword selection, content creation and social media engagement to your marketing team. As a CEO, it is important that you understand the broader components of online marketing and how they work together to drive lead and customer growth. 1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - SEO refers to the process of improving your website to drive more and better quality traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. SEO has two main parts. One is on-page optimization, which is about making it easier for search engines to find and index your business website. The second part involves building authority online by working with other sites to increase the number of links that point back to your own business website, which influences how you are ranked by search engines. 2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) - When you search for keywords in a search engine, the links you see on the right hand side and at the top-most part of the page are paid, or sponsored results. Search engines charge businesses every time a person clicks a paid link to visit a business website. Because of this pricing, it is important to have a marketing team that is skilled at lead conversion from PPC. This will help reduce lead and customer acquisition costs. 3. Email Marketing - On the web, an email address is an incredible piece of information. Email connects people with social networks, friends and businesses in which they are interested. Email marketing, like most forms of online marketing, comes down to the issue of relevancy. Does your prospect want the information you are sending them? Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective lead generation methods online, so investing in the right email service provider and email marketer can facilitate big business gains. 4. Business Blogging - Blogging is a multi-purpose tool for businesses. It is a simple way to post interesting information about your industry and your business and collect comments from customers and prospects. When thinking about a business blog, you should make sure it reads like a great trade magazine, not an advertisement. Business blogs help businesses develop thought leadership, drive leads, improve search engine rankings and generate inbound links.