More companies realise the need to go digital and to start marketing themselves on the Internet every year. Even niche industries are getting in on the action these days. With billions of web users and the opportunity to reach people 24 hours a day, it’s an arena ripe for active marketing efforts. What if your boss asked you about how to start a digital marketing campaign tomorrow? Could you fill him or her in on the details? Here are some of the things your boss most likely wants to know.

  1. Where can digital marketing fit into the company’s overall strategy?

Understand how online marketing opportunities can offer specific benefits not available through other avenues. This might be how you could reach a wider audience, or supplement existing marketing efforts by expanding into online brand-building.

  1. How much capital investment might be required for success?

Digital marketing requires a firm grasp of the fundamentals of your budget. Your boss wants to know the potential costs of getting the project rolling and maintaining success into the future. Many tools exist to help you estimate the possible cost.

  1. What impact will digital marketing have on the company’s brand?

Whether rebranding, entering a new market or merely improving on an existing reputation, your company can achieve many different results with the right marketing strategy. Develop an understanding of how other businesses have used digital marketing to build and expand their brands to be able to relate it to your own company’s.

  1. What kind of timeline will we need to start seeing results?

It can be tricky to tell exactly how long before efforts begin to pay off. It takes time to put down roots and create a base from which to grow your efforts. This should be a long-haul option, so be prepared to temper expectations for fast results if the business’s online efforts are just starting.

  1. Isn’t this a lot of effort for something with potentially unclear outcomes?

At the outset, it isn’t easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The successes of others can provide compelling case studies to showcase how to make worthwhile investments into marketing. The results speak for themselves.

  1. How do we gather the data on campaign effectiveness?

From Google Analytics and AdWords stats to multiple groups of programs for managing marketing efforts, there’s no shortage of ways to capture useful information on your efforts. Gather, analyse, refine: this is the cycle most successful programs follow.

  1. Is social media enough, or do we need to diversify our efforts?

Some people think only of Facebook and Twitter when they hear “digital marketing” because it is where the most users reside. However, be prepared to explain how a different strategy can generate more solid leads than focusing only on one area.

  1. Can we replace other marketing with strictly digital efforts?

The answer: “unlikely.” The digital age hasn’t meant the death of all traditional marketing and advertising efforts. An online presence should complement your offline efforts, not replace or work against them.

  1. How do we get started?

The most important question of all. Blogs, videos, tweets, Facebook posts — which ones will give you the best footing to make a start?

With the answers in hand, it can be much simpler to start a fruitful conversation with your boss about leveraging digital marketing for the company’s benefit. This is a big field, and there’s lots to know, so don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have a complete grasp on strategy yet. That’s what team meetings and brainstorming sessions are for later. For now, focus on robust fundamentals to help start things off right.