New research explains opportunities and threats

Since social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter launched, social media has offered good organic opportunities for publishers and other brands to share their content and so gain awareness and new subscribers. As social networks have sought to keep more visitors on their sites, tools like Facebook Instant articles and Google's AMP - offers new opportunities for marketers to share their content, but at the same time, a threat since visitors have less opportunities to interact with the publisher website or register. Given this, this new research from Napco Research and Publishing Executive has useful insight for online publishers. This chart shows the publisher's view of the threat, which is substantial and can lead to a need to explore alternatives or avoid new techniques like Instant Articles. Instant Articles is viewed as the biggest threat with LinkedIn not far behind for B2B…

Adapting the Growth/Share Matrix to Marketing

The Growth/Share Matrix is a business strategy tool that's been around for years, but it remains a useful way to think strategically about where you make investments and allocate company budgets. Although it's a general business strategy tool, it can be very useful for thinking about allocating marketing spend and so it is as important for marketers as it is for boards making big strategy decisions. The model is also known as the BCG model, the acronym of the group that created it. The model involves mapping business divisions or products across two key dimensions; Market Share and Market Growth, which then maps them into one of four quadrants. Products/Divisions operating with low market share in a low-growth market are dogs, those operating with a high market share in a low-growth market are cash cows. Divisions or products serving a high growth market but without…

What do you think is the best, i.e. most useful marketing model? Download our two free guides on marketing models to learn how to apply them

You may have noticed we're fans of using practical models as tools to support marketing strategy development? We believe a clear, simple model gives us a framework to assess how we're doing things now compared to our competitors and plan growth strategies for the future. They're also great for communicating the purpose and reason behind a strategy you are pursuing. I think most would agree that models are useful "Mind Tools" to structure thinking and communicate a strategy, but there's a problem. Over the years,  many models have been developed and some are academic rather than of practical application in the "real world". So many marketing models have been developed over the years, that it can be overwhelming to know what to use and when... A…

New research on ad blocking by country and demographic shows why native advertising will increase in importance

As Digital Marketers we may love creating them, but let's face it. People don’t like ads. At the start of this year a study by the IAB found 15% of brits were blocking ads.  Can you really blame them? They can intrusive, distracting and get in the way of the content we want to consume. Often they considerably increase page-loading times, or sometimes force us to watch them when really we just want to get to the content we were searching for (As with pre-roll video ads). We’re all busy and expect to be served the content we searched for in seconds. On average we spend five years of our lives blinking. Really? All those times ads delay us reaching the content we want adds up too, so its little wonder people are increasingly…

How Spotify built a $5 billion business with more than 50 million subscribers

Spotify is a streaming music service originally developed in 2006 in Sweden and launching in 2008. Spotify Ltd. now operates as the parent company in London while Spotify AB manages research and development in Stockholm. This case study about the online music subscription service illustrates how different elements of the mix can be varied online. It also highlights success factors for developing an online marketing strategy. We've included it on Smart Insights for readers of Dave Chaffey's books before the next edition is publishes - it replaces an earlier case study In early 2015, Spotify was valued at more than $5 billion. Investments in the growth of the company have been $1/2 billion in seven rounds of funding from 17 investors. It is currently rumoured to be about to…

Amazon's business strategy and revenue model: A history and 2014 update

I've used Amazon as a case study in my books for over 10 years now since I think all types of businesses can learn from their digital business strategy. From startups and small businesses to large international businesses, their focus on the customer, testing market opportunities made available by digital technology and their focus on testing and analysis to improve results. I aim to keep this case study up-to-date for readers of the books and Smart Insights readers who may be interested. In it we look at Amazon's background, revenue model and sources for the latest business results. We can also learn from their approach to digital marketing since they use digital marketing efficiently across all customer communications touchpoints in our RACE marketing planning framework: Reach: Amazon's initial business growth based on detailed approach to SEO and AdWords targeting millions of keywords. Act: Creating a clear simple experiences through…

5 Franchising Q&As with a look at opportunities in Australia

Becoming a small business owner has grown into one of the hottest topics in the world business news in the past few years. With an over 90% prosperity in the franchise sector, running your own business is a one-way ticket to success. Yet, the unlimited power which franchise enterprises hold is often deeply buried under a messy pile of obscure researches and heavy statistics. Understanding the basics of franchising is the first step towards starting a successful business. This article will give answers to the top most asked franchising questions helping you improve your organisational and personal management skills.

Q1. What is a Franchise?

Franchise is generally an authorisation granted by a company or product owner which gives a person the right to market a specific service or product by using the trade name or trademark of another business. The authorised person is…

Summarising a business model for online startups using  a single sheet of A4 with the Business Model Canvas Diagram

Defining a clear online business model is essential for a new startup online business to help create a sustainable business and communicate the features of their new business to partners and within the company. Reviewing business models is also important for existing businesses thinking about options to refine their business model or add new services to their offerings in the light of new opportunities made possible by the Internet. We're big fans of simple frameworks to help communicate strategy at SmartInsights.com and we love the Business Model Canvas which  is a valuable framework for summarizing strategy for online businesses. It was published as part of a co-creation creative commons project involving 470 practitioners from 45 countries. We feature it as part of our digital toolkit where we give an example in our online startup…

Learning from an example of how one startup failed

Ecomom was a small startup internet retail company selling earth friendly mom and maternity products including food, toys, apparel, and other baby related items. With headquarters in Las Vegas and San Francisco and a third-party fulfillment in Los Angeles, any volume could be shipped within 24 hours. Founded in 2007, by 2011 it had turnover of just over $1 million, but a further round of investment of $12 million required further growth, but at what cost? Business Insider describes the story of the eventual failure of the company in 2013  With hindsight it's difficult to understand investment in the company, but perhaps this was buoyed by the success story of Tony Hsieh building Las Vegas-based Zappos into an online shoe and retail business that Amazon acquired for $1.2 billion. Of course, investors, require growth and Ecomum did achieve revenues of nearly $4 million in…

5 ways of encouraging Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation is no longer the exception, it’s becoming the rule as category incumbents are swept aside by new entrants. Just look at Blackberry, Blockbuster, Borders, Kodak and even Polaroid – all erstwhile “innovative” companies that somehow missed opportunities to leapfrog to the next big thing in subsequent innovation that is often digitally fuelled. Memorex can be added to this infamous listing, once darling of the US stock market, when its innovative pipeline under a new CEO ran dry in a most spectacular way embarrassing its entire board. This is by no way an isolated example. If we’re not proactively driving disruption in a systemic manner, we’ll eventually need to react to it or confront reality. Most Leaders however, aren’t prepared for the challenges of leading through such prolonged periods of uncertainty and the often accompanying…

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