How to optimize your marketing and media priorities for the year ahead

Smart Insights have launched their first 'playbook' in response to our members' feedback.

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What is a playbook?

Complex sports, such as rugby, cricket, and American football, often involve a huge amount of strategy and so it’s not unusual to find that the coaches in charge have a set of tried and trusted guides comprising the plans, strategies, and tactics to counter different scenarios that arise within a game. In American football they call these guides ‘playbooks’ and they include detailed notes, diagrams, and methods…

Chart of the day: Reporting the ROI of Social and Content Marketing proving difficult for marketers

As marketers we are constantly juggling more projects than seems possible at times -  planning the next campaign, delivering the current one as well as all the BAU activity of Email, Automation, Social, linking with the sales team and meeting...oh the meetings. It can feel like your in a whirlwind even with the most well thought out plans but one of the most turbulent times can be when you need to report on the ROI of particular activities. How do you find the right data? Is it accurate? How should your present it? It's hard. In a recent survey, TrackMaven asked marketers from 19 different industries what they were finding the most challenging when attempting to prove the ROI of their marketing. Of the many options, they could choose from attributing social and content to revenue leading the…

A review of different methods and models for developing a marketing communications plan

Commercial as well as non-profit organizations, routinely confront these typical questions: Do we need social media? How do we introduce our new website? What can we do to publicize our eCommerce Store? How do we introduce our new product? How will our market share rise? These are five commonly asked questions that require marketing and communications expertise. [si_guide_block id="5750" title="Download our recently updated Premium Member Resource – Successful SEO Guide " description="This guide is one of our most popular and rightly so. If you get it right, SEO can be a fantastic, relatively low-cost way to drive quality visitors who want to do business with you to your site."/] Whether it be a strategic plan, a business plan, a marketing plan or a communications strategy, their design requires systematic, step-by-step development that takes into account elements of all the other types…

Developing your startup pitch

The perfect startup pitch helps entrepreneurs separate their companies from a growing amount of competition. Startup activity in the United States increased in 2016, continuing an upward trend that began in 2015, according to the Kauffman Foundation. All of this comes after startup activity reached its lowest point in the last 20 years in 2014. A more competitive market reinforces the notion that startups need more than a good business idea to become successful — entrepreneurs must convince others to invest in their business. Making that case persuasively is as much science as it is art. The following sections offer some guidelines and examples for developing the perfect startup pitch.

How to Make a Startup Pitch

Research

Make sure you research and double-check every detail of your presentation. You should have an understanding of your product or service, the market and how these two areas interact. “What is your competitive advantage?”…

Marketers should plan for every scenario, rather than only the most likely one

2016 is behind us. Marketers have their eyes set firmly on the year ahead, and will be currently drawing up their marketing plans and strategy documents for 2017. However, the vast majority of these plans will actually only plan for 1 scenario: business as usual. It makes sense to plan for business as usual, after all, it’s impossible to predict the future so it wouldn’t make sense to base ones marketing plan around an event which may or may not happen. Consider the following: - The future is not pre-determined or predictable - If it were, there would be no point taking action today, because it would have no effect on the future. - Full information about the future is never available But precisely because the future cannot be predicted, you shouldn’t only plan for one scenario (businesses as usual), but rather should have…

Agencies can use data to plan for the coming year, and to improve digital marketing services

You don’t have to search far to find information about the marketing budgets of the mammoth corporations, like Proctor and Gamble and Verizon. However, the typical US marketing agency has small business clients with small budgets—details about the marketing budgets of these smaller businesses is hard to come by. For the past two years, HubShout has surveyed small to mid-size marketing agencies and the data from the surveys shows where their small business clients are investing their dollars, and how much they’re investing in each service. The survey of 200 professionals who deliver online marketing services to small businesses provides plenty of data that is useful for small to mid-size digital marketing agencies. In addition, this article provides helpful tips on selling and improving digital marketing services.

First, Get a Piece of the 28 Million

The…

Chart of the Day: How does your advertising budget break down compare to the average?

As we start the new year many marketers will have already been negotiating their advertising budgets for the coming year. Once approved the next major hurdle is to decide how to split that budget across the multitude of channels that are available. Search, Display, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest the is seemingly never ending, So how do you decide? Today's chart of the day highlights that marketers like to hedge their bets when it comes to their marketing budgets, which is a good strategy, as it's risky to have "all your eggs in one basket". As shown in the chart below the highest proportion of the budget is reserved for traditional advertising which makes sense when you consider the costs associated with Radio, Print & TV advertising. Now if we combine Social and Display you get a substantial 27% of the…

What are Ecommerce brands like yours spending on search engine marketing?

It is a question which all marketers have probably wondered at some point; How much marketing budget should be spent on SEO and PPC? It’s quite the balancing act, either risk spending too little and see no results, or spend too much and watch ROI tumble? We take a look at some industry benchmark data specifically for ecommerce brands and see how marketing practitioners are spending their budgets.

What are your goals?

Marketing budgeting should be designed specifically to meet your ecommerce goals. Different types of goal are more suited to different channels, for example if you want to get a better ROI on marketing spend you might want to shift some budget from PPC to SEO. Conversely, if you’re looking to increase sales in the next quarter, you might want to turn on some paid media advertising in order to…

Bending The Budget: Adapting Your Marketing Budget To The Season

As marketing professionals, we’re beholden to the seasons – some times of year are simply better for sales than others. For this reason alone, it doesn’t make sense to evenly distribute your marketing budget across the year, but there are other relevant reasons you should be budgeting seasonally as well. When we pay attention to our target audience and the needs our products fulfill, we can make smarter decisions about marketing budget allocations.

Identifying Your Strategies

One thing you’ll need to take into consideration when breaking down your digital marketing budget each season will be the question of format. There are many different ways to build your digital presence, but they come with varied expenses. Search ads – the ads that appear on search engines when someone enters relevant terms – often take up about the same portion of the average digital marketing…

Digital trumps offline when it comes to return on investment

A survey of 200 US retail marketing executives with the power to make budget allocation decisions shows their views of whether digital or offline channels give greater ROI. Over three quarters reported that digital channels gave them better ROI in 2016 than offline channels. This is good news for digital marketers who can show their strategies and tactics are paying off, at least in the context of US retail. It's also good for those pushing their company to engage in a meaningful digital transformation program. This can be a useful top-level piece of evidence to build the case for greater spending on digital. Source: Retailmenot Sample: 200 US retail marketers Date: July 2016 …

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