An example of how to structure a digital marketing strategy plus examples from other sectors

We launched Smart Insights in 2010, to help marketers develop digital marketing strategies, since we saw that many businesses faced the challenge of where to start when creating a digital marketing strategy. The most popular downloads were templates for structuring a digital marketing strategy. We quickly found from member feedback that examples were important, and we now have examples of digital marketing strategies in many sectors, which we cover at the end of this post. Although digital marketing platforms and technology has changed immensely in this time, particularly with the recent growth in use of Generative AI, the fundamentals of creating a digital strategy are the same. Some of the AI recommendations on digital marketing strategy and many of the human ones fail to get these essentials right, they go straight to recommending different digital marketing channels…

Prompt AI-generated campaign insights on marketing strategy, optimization, audience analysis, and performance metrics

We all know that feeling of staring at a blank screen. Maybe you have an idea but you don't know how to articulate it. Or maybe you're clear on the objectives, but you're you can't align them with any new creative ideas. It's in these moments where the best marketers can stand out by choosing to adapt and improve.

AI marketing opportunities

If you've found yourself reading this blog, you're likely already considering using AI to optimize your campaign planning process. It's an exciting time, with AI regularly producing clear, trackable improvements on human-written content (such as a study where AI-generated email headlines demonstrated a 68% increase in engagement). And, with increasing demands on budget and time for so many marketers, the opportunities are game-changing for the early adopters.

AI marketing risks

But, with so much to consider, it can be…

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…

Do you, or does your organization, use SOPs for digital marketing activities?

You may not have heard of SOPs, since the technique seems to be more widely used in the US and in markets where the sales process is more technical (think E-commerce or B2B rather than consumer brands and smaller businesses). But I believe they are a powerful technique that any business in any market can benefit from. They are particularly useful for agencies and consultants to use when working on client activities. In a larger team, in particular, they can help achieve consistency of approach and results by everyone following best practices and can support training of less experienced team members.

What is a Marketing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

So, what is an SOP? In short, an SOP defines a repeatable procedure for how a business process task should best be completed by defining a series of steps or sub-tasks. In marketing,…

Why use a framework to create an integrated marketing strategy?

I believe that implementing a digital marketing strategy framework to follow is essential to ensure the success of your integrated marketing strategy. Importantly by agreeing on a marketing plan structure during the planning phase, you can ensure the buy-in from your team and business to support your integrated marketing strategy. Applying a strategic framework creates a system to make your plans easier to understand and gives a way to assign specific metrics to monitor, manage and measure the performance of your integrated marketing strategy.

The RACE Framework

We've created the RACE Framework and subsequent RACE marketing training to empower marketing leaders to take a data-driven, customer-centric approach to planning, managing, and optimizing their marketing strategies. By using this structure for your planning, you can integrate all your marketing activities across your key omnichannel customer touchpoints, to strengthen your reach, interaction, conversion, and engagement. …

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…

Audit your digital media effectiveness to build stronger campaigns and an efficient marketing funnel

Reviewing your use of digital media is a crucial starting point for creating or optimizing your digital marketing strategy. But how do you tune in and prioritize what's working, and what isn't, without getting lost in vanity metrics? At Smart Insights we recommend using VQVC to consolidate and streamline how you measure your digital media. This mnemonic shows how volume, quality, value, and cost help you pull out different elements of your marketing activities. Read on to find out more about VQVC and other important digital media planning techniques Moreover, do you really understand how and when each of your key marketing communications is being received by your target audience? Our RACE Framework helps hundreds of thousands of marketers around the globe track and optimize their key digital media, to get the best results possible, without breaking the bank.…

From the obvious tools like ChatGPT and Google Gemini to the less obvious like Perplexity, Pi, Poe and more!

As you'll know, 'GenAI' rose to prominence with the launch of ChatGPT from OpenAI in late 2022. Since then, many other less well-known tools have been released that have some advantages over ChatGPT, so should be considered by any 'AI-assisted marketer'. In this article, I will recommend 10 plus tools to consider, looking in particular at how marketers can use them for writing marketing plans, such as annual marketing plans or campaign plans. We will also look at how many marketers are using generative AI for writing plans and caution against being overly dependant on AI for planning. To be the 'devil's advocate', I will ask should we be using these tools at all?! How widely is generative AI and ChatGPT used in marketing?

ChatGPT has been widely adopted…

Actionable steps across the pillars of digital marketing from our recent report

Digital marketing today is complex and it’s inevitable it will get more complex in the future as new technologies and platforms emerge. Take the huge adoption and interest in Open AI ChatGPT, as an example. Marketers also have to contend with the complexity of the many channels we need to track in our analytics such as organic and paid search, social media, display, and email marketing.

March 2024 update

Here we'll update readers on the latest developments in digital marketing relevant to marketers.

The best AI tools for marketers?

At the end of the article, I recommend different Generative AI tools beyond ChatGPT and show how widely they have been adopted. I have recently written a new update asking Which are the best Generative AI tools for writing marketing plans and strategies? It's shocking how widely Gen AI is being used for…

Guidance on the latest digital media legal compliance legislations for social media and online marketing

As marketers, we create social and digital content which are published across a diverse range of media. From mobile apps, AMPS, and websites, to emails, social posts, videos, texts, and display ads - we strive to meet our customers in the most appropriate ways in their online/social media spaces. Right now, in digital marketing - change is constant. So, whilst we grapple with the latest social media channels and content prompts, sometimes the due diligence processes which were so prominent in traditional publishing, can be hurried/missed. However, your digital and social media content, whatever format you're using, must still meet the national and international legislations for both the channel type and the countries you trade in. Otherwise, you could risk penalties, restrictions, or legal action in more severe cases.

Digital media laws for businesses

Businesses who regularly check in and…