Day 1 - Answer the key content marketing strategy questions

In this practical, 5 day series, I'll help define a 'quick-and-dirty' 5-day plan to help towards improving your content marketing strategy, without spending a fortune on paid media content distribution. I've said this series is 'quick and dirty' since we believe that The perfect is often enemy of the good. When it comes to content strategy, it’s easy to spend a vast amount of time thinking about what you’re going to do and worrying about how to get it just right… without actually getting any content created or distributed. But there comes a time when the Why needs to turn into the How. If you wait for all your strategic ducks to line up in a perfectly formed row, there’s a good chance the opportunity that content offers your business will…

Practices agencies should avoid when reporting digital marketing performance to clients, and tips for how to get it right

As marketers, and humans for that matter, we’ve all been guilty of committing (at least) one of the seven deadly sins in one way or another. You won’t have Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman hunting you down, but when it comes to marketing agencies, committing these reporting sins can be deadly to the agency/client relationship.

Deadly reporting Sin 1: Avarice

Otherwise known as greed, Avarice is a sin of excess. Clients want and need to know what their agency is doing to move the needle, but consistently sending them an overly-comprehensive reports can be a lose-lose for the client and the agency. Massive reports take agencies a lot of time to prepare, billable hours that could be better…

What are the main challenges and opportunities of mobile commerce that need to be overcome for mobile sales growth?

Worldwide, B2C ecommerce sales are growing steadily and set to top the $1.5 trillion mark this year, and increasingly significant contributors to this enormous sum are mobile devices. In Europe, mobile shoppers are set to spend £19.8 billion in 2014, almost twice as much as last year’s spend of £10.7 billion, according to research by RetailMeNot. In the US, the figures are even higher – with eMarketer predicting that US retail mcommerce sales will total $56.72 billion in 2014, up 36.1% from 2013. Even these figures omit revenues from travel bookings on mobile devices, a sector that is seeing a 50% increase in mobile activity and which it is estimated is worth a further $25 billion. There’s no escaping the fact that mobile commerce…

Dispelling some email marketing 'best practices'

In our email marketing campaigns, we are always looking to boost our open and clickthrough rates and the business outcomes we're looking to achieve. Following best practices can help here to avoid dumb mistakes like not having compelling headlines or clear calls-to-action. However, this contrarian infographic from Alchemyworx suggests many rules-of-thumb for email marketing are really just myths have developed and could be damaging our campaigns. For example, it questions whether we should we send our emails every Thursday, Should we stop contacting inactive subscribers after six months or if we send too many emails then they are ignored? 'Actually, sending 4 emails per month rather than one doubles the likelihood of one email being opened" 'Though we know, it has to be targeted and personalised etc. We like this classic infographic since…

What Makes Great Ecommerce Website Design? Part 3: The Product Page

The product page is one of the most important page templates for retail sites, if you look at the footfall across a site (for example, from the Content Drilldown in Google Analytics for well architected sites). So, Part 3 of my series of recommendations on ecommerce website design dedicated to best practice I look at product pages. Previously we looked at retail home page and category page best practices. The product page is the page that most customers who are engaged in buying mode will spend some time on: reading descriptions, comparing specs and flicking through product images.. Although some websites feature a 'quick buy function' which may enable customers to 'skip' this page. However this behaviour depends on the stage in the buying cycle the customer is at (and whether or not in-depth information is required). For example those customers who already know exactly what product they…

How to ensure you track performance against target

KPIs, we all have them, sometimes we set them for ourselves, often they are set for us! The question is, are the KPIs you are reviewing supporting your efforts into making the boat go faster? Are they translated from business goals or just a bunch of metrics someone thought they may as well stick on a weekly powerpoint dashboard because Google Analytics spits out a sexy graph? This posts explores how you can ensure you are using the KPIs that are helping you track performance in line with your business goals? KPIs give an integral pulse on the business that help keep you be aware of what's really going on and they allow you to exert control to pull the right levers to keep on track according to what actually matters. For me, the key  when setting KPIs for marketing and digital marketing is to start…

5 Steps to empower your team to set relevant digital marketing goals

Budget planning. It comes around every year like clockwork. Most CMOs or Marketing directors are pivotal to business planning in the first place, but even after the business plan is formed business goals need to be translated into useful information for the marketing team to formulate their own plans and marketing objectives. If done well, this is a really empowering exercise for marketing teams and gets people out of their day-to-day job and into thinking about the bigger picture, even excited about the year ahead (good for staff retention). The post below outlines the 5 steps I go through to ensure that the marketing department are aligned and facing the same way as the business leaders, it assumes business goals are set and that you are including your team in creating marketing specific goals…

Are consumers looking for a simple ad free social network?

Ello is a new social media platform designed by a small group of artists and designers. It started as a private network which is now available publicly, but with an 'invite only' membership. Is it an anti-social media platform to fight back against Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn who are now set on squeezing money out of us as they monetise using advertising and fees for premium add-ons. They're certainly positioning it that way. Or is it a network which is more social and simple to use - in line with their strapline 'Simple, Beautiful and Ad-Free'? Ello is currently available in beta form only and is only accepting new members by invite only, which some have suggested is restricting growth and goes against the ethos of a social network.  However, Google Trends suggests a…

How to review your digital brand differentiation using 3  complementary frameworks

Differentiating should be considered a key element to your brand strategy and help to provide an opportunity and vision to define a niche within your market sector, helping to gain the attention of your existing customers and extend your proposition to encourage new markets and audiences.

Framework Models of Brand Differentiation

After completing an organisational digital strategy health check, you will have a wider picture of the landscape your organisation is positioned, its strengths and weaknesses, the competitor landscape and the potential opportunity to create a model of differentiation from the competition in order to meet your organisations objectives. To help understand whether a model of differentiation could exist, it is important to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative research completed. There are 3 models you could consider to apply to your organisation when considering a Brand differentiation strategy:

Three frameworks/models for brand differentiation

Framework 1:…

3 actions to kickstart Digital Transformation

Take a deep breath, you’ve managed to get the senior team to commit to a digital project and your digital transformation journey has started. The next stage requires a sprint! A big leap forward to catch up with or leapfrog the competitors. Here are three actions you can take now: 1. Benchmark against the competitors 2. Listen to your customers 3. Build a team

1. Benchmark your business against the competitors

Benchmarking will identify the biggest gaps and generate a priority action list. There are many tools available to enable you to benchmark your digital marketing capabilities as part of strategy development.

Strategic Benchmarking Tool

One of my favourites is this strategic benchmarking tool. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, so it’s painless, although the questions are thought-provoking. You could ask several team members to complete and then compare results. Simply select your answer from a drop down box…
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