Our recommended process and tools to help you grow your marketing career with strategic skill development
As marketers, we understand how challenging it can be to keep all your plates spinning. You’re trying to manage your day job, while staying up to date with all the latest industry and platform changes, while making sure you are fed and watered and clean and getting enough sleep to keep your brain in gear. Not to mention remembering Auntie Wendy’s birthday and making sure the dog has had enough exercise. With all this going on, setting time to learn marketing skills is often pushed to the back of your priority list. Over time, you drop the plate.
There are a few reasons for this. From speaking to marketers over the years, Continuous Professional Development (CPD), feels like something you should be doing, but often gets ‘saved for later’, while we try to keep…
7 steps to creating an effective marketing plan for businesses of all sizes
A marketing plan is a bit like a job description for your company. Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date, and reviewed infrequently...
Research has shown that businesses with plans succeed, outperform competitors, and retain staff, more than those with no plan.
Without a plan there’s no direction for the company or its employees, decisions can be uninformed, opportunities can be missed and threats can damage or destroy the business.
Whether you are looking at creating a traditional marketing plan or a multichannel digital marketing plan, we've got resources to help you.
Free marketing plan template aimed at small businesses
In this article, Annmarie Hanlon recommends 7 simple steps for structuring a classic marketing plan. But for an SME or SMB, you need a little more detail about prioritizing your investment of time and…
Dr. Dave Chaffey, author of Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice explains a process to achieve success by focusing on the 18 most important digital marketing techniques
Simply put, our definition of digital marketing, or online marketing, is:
"Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital media, data and technology."
Within this broad digital marketing definition, there are many vital channels and platforms that we will introduce and share strategies and tactics for in this article, as well as the key digital marketing KPIs and metrics for success.
In this overview of digital marketing I will explain cover:
What is digital marketing?
18 key types of digital marketing techniques across 6 media channel
How to achieve the business benefits of digital marketing using the 5Ss
Key marketing communications concepts for digital marketing
A strategic approach to digital marketing
For businesses to compete effectively today, they must use digital marketing to support their…
Digital marketing is more important now than ever. My recommendations on the challenges and opportunities for growth
Digital marketing is deceptively easy if you take the deliberately simple definition from my book Digital Marketing:Strategy, Implementation and Practice where I define Digital Marketing as:
"Achieving marketing objectives through applying digital media, data and technology".
But in reality, digital marketing is a tough challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet the research shared below shows that many businesses don't have an integrated plan to support digital transformation and business growth based on engaging their audiences effectively online.
In this article, I will explain why a digital marketing strategy is essential for all businesses. If you're looking for an introduction to the scope of digital marketing and what should be included in a plan, see my post explaining What is Digital Marketing.
Regardless of the type…
To make sure your social media campaign is as successful as possible, follow our 7 steps to plan and structure your campaign strategy
If you have an upcoming marketing campaign for a new product feature, or a holiday promotion that you want to capitalize on, or maybe you’re releasing a brand-new product, you will want to plan a social media marketing campaign to help spread the word.
But in order to make sure your social media campaign strategy is as successful as possible, you need to plan in advance and consider how it integrates with other strategies.
How to structure an integrated social media campaign plan
Ideally, the social elements of the campaign will be part of a broader marketing campaign plan - our companion post and members' marketing campaign plan template recommend you structure your campaign using these key campaign elements:
Campaign goals and tracking.
Campaign insight and targeting.
How to strategically manage your marketing spend with 8 integrated simple marketing budget templates
Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs, and monitoring your success is great. But if you're not tracking your ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. That's why you need a practical, accessible marketing budget.
How much budget is allocated to marketing?
Did you know, as of Fall 2023, marketing accounts for 10.6% of overall budgets, and 9.2% of company revenues? In small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, this rises to 18.1% of the budget, but 19.5% of the revenue. Whereas those with over 10,000 employees allocate just 8.1% to marketing, to achieve 4.8% of revenue.
The latest CMO survey found that yearly growth in marketing spending is predicted to rise 7.2% in 2024. Within this growing budget, digital marketing spending…
Introducing a new tool to help marketers review and improve the best options for promoting content
If you’re a regular reader of Smart Insights, it’s likely you’ve seen, or even better, used our Content Marketing Matrix developed with First10.
It has proved to be a popular infographic since it’s not just a nice visual of some interesting ‘facts and figures’ about marketing, rather it can actually be applied to get better results since it helps businesses brainstorm the best types of content to create as part of their content marketing strategy.
What is the Content Distribution Matrix?
This infographic is aimed at helping marketers to review the effectiveness of different types of Paid, Owned, and Earned media to promote or distribute their content in generating site visits, leads or sales compared to the level of investment in applying the media measured as paid media costs or the costs of marketing team…
Mastering the art of the product launch: 3 product launch examples plus our recommended process and templates for a successful product launch
You are working during one of the most entrepreneurial eras in history. Thanks to digital media, launching a product to a global audience has never been so manageable.
Equally, competition has never been as fierce. To successfully launch your product online, you need a winning product launch marketing plan. For a successful launch, product marketers need to work with marketing communications experts so that the benefits of the new product are carefully positioned and then, the best online reach channels are selected to reach your audience. We'll show how you can use the RACE framework to review the different media options and build a funnel to maximize interest and sales in your new product.
By using this type of strategic planning and following best practices for using…
A content marketing planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences
We created our Content Marketing Matrix to help our members audit their content marketing assets as part of creating a content marketing strategy. It can also be used for content ideation, i.e. to brainstorm future content ideas to generate leads, nurture prospects, encourage sharing and generate backlinks for SEO.
Since we created it eight years ago it's been shared many times and has inspired many 'mashups' in different formats as this Google search shows; great to see it's been useful!
I think our Content Marketing Matrix is a powerful mindtool for marketers since it's a content mapping tool, structured to help you think through two key dimensions of which types of content will best support the path to purchase for your target audience. The two dimensions…
An integrated marketing strategy means every element of your marketing plan must contribute towards your vision for the business, or be cut out of the day-to-day workload
Lack of integration between strategic vision and the tactics needed to get there is a problem I often find when reviewing marketing strategies. That's why I created the RACE Growth System as a simple structure to unify your marketing strategy through goals, objectives, and KPIs.
This is true whether I'm reviewing student assignments or mentoring marketers creating real-world marketing strategies. More often than not, I find myself reading about different aspects of marketing objectives and tactics that just don't line up with each other - and leave you questioning why.
These issues can be magnified by marketing strategy structure - the way the document is split up into separate sections. Without a unifying framework, it's not clear how each strategy is supporting a goal or the…