Last year, I wrote an article at AdvancedOnlineMedia.com titled "Online Marketing - Where Do I Start?". While we obviously haven't been keeping that site up as we had hoped, I always like referring people back to this article when they ask where to start their online sales efforts.
The ideas for the article came from a few different sources, and quite a bit of experience. The primary external source was from a great article by Avinash Kaushik at Occam's Razor. The article was titled "Digital Marketing and Analytics: Two Ladders for Magnificent Success." It's a must read for any business owner wanting to learn the process of marketing an online product or service.
As you read both of these articles, please take away at least this idea:
Successful marketing is a process. It's not done haphazardly. It's not done without a tremendous amount of planning. The process should be planned, and the plan of action should be executed in a calculated manner. Without planning, you will jump into activies before the foundation for those activies have been set. For instance, if you don't have a quality website, throwing money at AdWords will be a waste, as you'll have no conversions.
The same holds true for your analytics. Begin planning by determining your goals and how they should be measured. Set up the tools to measure those metrics, and employ them in your marketing efforts. If you fail in the early steps, you will fail in the overall process.
As always, we're here to help you with both the planning an implementation of a quality process to promote your great ideas.