What are the essential parts of a business plan template?

Understanding and creating different types of marketing plans and knowing when they are needed is essential to creating a thriving business. But it can be difficult to know which type of plan to use when and how best to structure them. In this article, we look at the essential parts of a business plan and show how to lay it out. Our new, free PDF download detailing the different types of marketing plans will help you structure different types of plan and gives recommendations on how to make them effective.

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What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal…

In new research by GetSocial, we look at new methods of sharing, the rise of Dark Social as a traffic source, the decay of the Facebook Feed and a surprising comparison of both (spoiler: dark social wins)

There are now 1.2 billion pages indexed on Google mentioning Dark Social. Definitions vary but they don’t escape much of what Alexis Madrigal wrote in 2012: “it shows up variously in programs as "direct" or typed/bookmarked" traffic (...) but that's not actually what's happening a lot of the time. Most of the time, someone g-chatted someone a link, or it came in on a big email distribution list, or your dad sent it to you.“ I call mainstream on the topic. Now, more than ever, marketers and audience developers must look at Dark Social. Not as a myth, something that may be happening,…

What do new chatbots look like? What role will they play in online commerce?

When do you think the first chatbot was invented? Most people would guess that it hit the market sometime around the turn-of-the-century. They would be wrong. Chatbots have actually been around for over 50 years, which is far older than the World Wide Web. Of course, the chatbots of today barely resemble their older counterparts. Newer chatbots are making a huge splash online. A new generation of these tools are going to have a profound effect on the future of UX in ecommerce and other online applications. In his post Chatbots — One of the hottest UX trend in 2017, Guobin Ng, a user experience researcher for UXarmy, states that chatbots are being used for many industries and purposes. They have been around for a while, but have really started to become popular in 2017, largely due…

Make sure you avoid these costly e-commere mistakes at all costs

There are many ways to grow your e-commerce business. Similarly, there is a multitude of ways to kill it. If you have a well-designed site, good products, a smooth checkout process, and still aren't getting good conversions, you might be committing any of these below-mentioned mistakes that are fatal for all e-commerce businesses. [si_guide_block id="38757" title="E-commerce design pattern guide" description="Ensure that no sale is lost by optimizing your site with our e-commerce design bible. It covers every aspect of your store, from product listings and search to basket and checkout."]

1. Not having a clear site navigational structure

Yes, it happens. Sadly, most of the e-commerce sites don’t pay much attention to their navigational structure. If your navigational structure is not clear, it will confuse your visitors, and they will feel lost. A good navigational structure will not provide a good user experience but will also help…

Standing out from the crowd is a challenge and therefore conceiving, creating and maintaining a personal ‘brand’ gives us the opportunity to get noticed and remembered by our managers, peers and customers

For some people, the concept of ‘personal branding’ does not sit well. The idea that we are all walking, talking commodities to be packaged up and sold contradicts the notion of being independent, free and unique individuals. I believe the reality is somewhere in between. Whilst we are absolutely independent, free and unique, within the working world we are operating in a very noisy, competitive environment. Standing out from the crowd is a challenge and therefore conceiving, creating and maintaining a personal ‘brand’ gives us the opportunity to get noticed and remembered by our managers, peers and customers.

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Urgency messaging is a great way to raise conversions but is getting an increasingly bad rep

Getting visitors on your site and converting seems to be more difficult than ever. Consumers are indecisive, and, with more choice online than ever before, your website visitors are less likely to hang around. Creating urgency is one of the best ways to raise ecommerce conversions. In my 16 years in ecommerce, there are few techniques I’ve seen that so reliably raise sales. Urgency works by overcoming your visitors’ mental hurdles to purchasing from you. Perhaps they’re indecisive, prone to overthinking, or they just want to shop around a bit more. There are so many psychological factors at play that influence whether someone will buy from you. It is, however, a technique to be used with caution. The problem with urgency messaging is that it can come off as disingenuous or just all round scammy. At best this…

A Customer Data Platform looks to fulfil that age-old promise of centralizing all the customer data, and it is looking good

Marketers know that data management is the key to data-driven marketing. Traditional methods for trying to bring customer data together into a “360 customer view”, failed to solve the complete problem. But there is a new player in town, and its called Customer Data Platform (CDP). Now it is knocking on your door. Should you let it in? [si_guide_block id="5508" title="Email marketing strategy guide" description="Use our email marketing guide to review your email marketing strategy using the best communications strategy, targeting and marketing automation."]

Bringing together customer data in a CDP

An un-siloed and full view of the customer is not a new concept. Yet the 360 customer view has always turned out to be the just out of reach for the marketer. Custom MarTech integration projects are known to be an especially…

What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?

Multichannel marketing is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers. As outlined in our Quick Win – Create a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan, the purpose of a multichannel marketing plan is to define a strategy and plan the resources needed to achieve business sales targets. The timeframe is typically annual but potentially longer-term, such as 18 months to three years. Examples of communications channels could include, for example: Websites Physical stores Catalogues E-mail marketing TV Text messaging Blogging Direct mail The goal is to deliver leads and sales targets for defined products and services, which can apply to an organization as a whole, or a single market if there are multiple markets and product or service categories. An effective multichannel marketing plan outlines the marketing communications techniques and channels required in order to…

Don't make your customers wait for your site to load

As desirable of a quality patience is, it is the last thing you should expect from clients visiting your website. Just making them wait one second extra can drastically reduce customer satisfaction and cause conversions to nosedive. If that’s not enough, since 2010, Google has taken site speed into consideration in its ranking algorithm. Nothing reeks of unprofessionalism more than trying to find a company and their website is too slow or does not load properly. Research shows that for every extra second of loading time you lose 10-15% of web visitors. For most SMEs that equates to millions in lost revenue. This is something any business focused on CRO needs to keep in mind. This comprehensive guide with eight steps you can take to decrease your load time may help you speed things up. …

Marketing automation is a godsend for digital marketers, but needs to be closely monitored, otherwise your investment may be for naught. The following metrics will help you keep tabs and get the most of your automation software.

If you’re a digital marketer, you’re probably using marketing automation software, and for good reason. You may be looking to avoid human error, to be more responsive or to reduce overhead. When creating and managing automations, you most likely use many features, to try and give your users the best possible customer journey.  Whatever be the case, you need to be able to measure how well your automations are panning out. It turns out, however, that for most, this is no simple task. In fact, studies show that 50-60% of those who use marketing automation, find measuring automation performance to be the most challenging part of engaging in automations.

Measuring automation performance,…

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