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This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

The 11 step launch marketing plan

The success of a startup will often depend on its approach to marketing. Unfortunately the vast majority of startup founders have little to no experience or marketing or managing a marketing budget. How do you deal with this dangerous contradiction? Well it's in the planning! Make sure that you’ve got your marketing strategy in line by applying the blur Group brand or product launch framework. There are a million articles out there on brand development, launch marketing, PR, viral videos and more. Reading them all would be a start – or you can check our tried and tested approach below! The framework described below is typically rolled out step by step over 18 months. We hope it helps. 'In this world of intangibles and endless competition branding is everything.'

Phase 1 - Strategic Positioning, Brand and Web Presence

1. Strategic positioning (ad Early Adopter target market definition) The first step in a successful brand/product launch…

An example of separating the Wheat from the Chaff and Why BANT isn't dead

Lead qualification criteria are characteristics that help to classify a lead by the degree of its willingness and readiness to buy. As a result of this qualification, one can distinguish, in terms of making a purchase, the leads with the most and least potential: hot, warm, and cold. In lead generation there are usually two stages of qualification: marketing and sales qualification. The first one is done by a team responsible for a marketing activity. The sales qualification is done to confirm the information from a sales perspective. Ideally, a number of marketing and sales qualified leads must coincide. If a sales department rejects lots of leads, you most likely need to correct your marketing qualification criteria or to add a new criterion. Of course, sometimes it happens that the criteria are correct, but a sales department determines, through reasons…

These tools will help you deliver better market research

Nowadays there is a great variety of different useful tools for market researchers that are free to use. Today you can use such instruments to enhance your business and significantly improve effectiveness of your work. But the wide selection means it is possible to waste your precious time for searching the best instrument among the abundance of useful online tools. To save you time, we have already made a list of the top 10 market research tools. These tools were chosen because of their free access, ease of use and comprehensive capabilities.

1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is the most popular monitoring tool, and its interface is quite intuitive and easy. All you need is to enter the keywords for monitoring and indicate the sources (News, Blogs, Videos, and Discussions),…

Preventing churn is key to improving revenue

For subscription-based businesses like SaaS companies, churn rate is a crucial metric that determines overall performance. Simply put, churn rate is the rate at which customers cut ties with your service during a given period. This percentage gives you a clear idea about your customer retention, which is an important factor defining a company’s success. Looking at the below chart you'll see that the lower the churn rate, the better your business is performing.

Importance of Churn Rate in SAAS

Churn rate is easily one of the most essential metrics when measuring the performance of SaaS businesses. Totango reports that the fastest-growing companies will reduce churn rate less than 5%. For SaaS companies, a lot of time and money is spent on acquiring customers. Since this investment pays off over time, the…

Selling to your existing customers is much easier than attracting new ones. So keep them coming back.

Do you want more returning customers? The kind of customers who spend more and visit more often? Then a loyalty program could be the perfect tool to add to your customer retention arsenal. Why? You may ask. Let’s start with the most reasonable fact: because it makes you more money. That is, of course, if you do it the right way. Here’s a quick stat that’s worth remembering: Keeping a current customer costs you 3-10 times less than acquiring a new one, depending on the industry you are in. According to WordStream, small businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 trying to attract new customers on Google paid search campaigns in just each month on average. Just image how much more efficient you could be if you could switch that re-activating existing customers and getting repeat…

How to avoid letting these PPC Myths Corrupt Your Marketing

Have you heard about some of these PPC (Pay Per Click) myths before? As so many businesses use PPC, it’s not surprising there are lots of myths about them. Over the years, PPC has changed and been updated. Some of the old strategies that were successful ‘back in the day’ are now outdated. Common misconceptions have allowed many myths to spread and have negatively influenced how people understand PPC advertising. There are many PPC myths out there so we’ve picked some of the most dangerous. The myths we’ve chosen are so believable, they have the potential to corrupt marketing strategies or stump success.

1. PPC guarantees instant and fast results

Some marketers quickly jump on the PPC train because they believe it will win instant results. In truth, sometimes you can see a rapid rise in traffic but it definitely does not guarantee positive results. …

There are major obstacles to using brand awareness as a marketing objective

Over the past decade marketers have relied on quantity based measurements as a proxy for campaign performance. The volume of impressions, clicks and likes indicates that people see the ads and find them relevant and compelling. But with the increase of ad blocking and bot frauds, as well as demand for more data transparency, evidence suggest that traditional metrics do a poor job is measuring sales, engagement and, ultimately, ROI. A study from the IAB and Ernst & Young confirmed this trend, estimating that $8.2 Billion are lost as a result of traffic frauds, bots frauds, ad block and other threats. Specifically, the IAB found the following major reasons (the full report is in PDF form here): $4.2 billion is lost due to “non-human traffic” $1.1 billion is lost due to “malvertising-related activities” $2.4 billion is lost due to…

An honest and frank look at the often flawed digital procurement process from the [supplier] dark side

The software procurement process is fundamentally flawed. It's a waste of time and I'd go as far to say that neither the buyer nor the supplier ever really get the result they are looking for. I hold this view as a digital director who has dealt with a fair number of tender processes over the years and, while I appreciate where this process comes from and why it is used, I just feel it's time to urge businesses to start shaking off this hugely out of date way of buying when it comes to digital. After all, it's a legacy of the advertising industry that operates in a totally different way than it does now.

So what's the problem?

Overall I think it's that…

The connected customer

On average, the British household owns over 7 internet devices and unsurprisingly, smartphones are the most common followed by laptops and tablets. More than 60% of all email opens are with a smartphone (Communicator Benchmarking Report 2016), with 50% of all mobile searches conducted in the hope of finding local results and 61% of those searches result in a purchase being made according to Search Engine Watch. The customer is more connected than ever and this is changing buyer behaviour.

A change in behaviour means a change in strategy

A change in behaviour means an impact on the customer journey. Journeys are no longer linear –now we must focus on the multiple touch points to create the ultimate customer experience. The change in customer journey has developed a change in consumer behaviour and expectations, meaning brands need to evolve their products to be one step ahead to stay competitive;…

If you're open and click rates are dropping, you'll need to re-think your strategy

You had the best intentions; you worked diligently to get those conversions and build your email marketing list; you vowed to run a quality campaign and build relationships with your prospects, turning them into happy customers. Somehow it all went wrong. Your analytics are telling you that only a small percentage of your emails are opened, that you have been marked as spam by many of those subscribers you worked so hard to get.

Crossing the Line

Somewhere along the way, you crossed the line and became a harassment rather than a value. And you didn’t even recognize that you had done it. Is it fatal? No. But as you recover from this, you will need to understand how it happened so you never make the same mistake again.

How to Recognize You Have Become a Spammer

There are two things…

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