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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…

White labeling can help SMEs/SMBs compete with the bigger players - here's how

The concept behind white label marketing is not entirely new.  There are many white label services that marketing companies use to make their lives easier.  The big benefit of white labeling is that it allows businesses an easy way to expand their service offerings to their clients without having to develop the product or service themselves. Many businesses don’t want to waste time and internal resources in areas that can take years to become proficient in.  By offering white label services to your customers it can allow your company to specialize in your area of expertise and provide excellent customer service to your customer base in real time. [si_guide_block id="123671" title="Template white labelling briefing for agencies and consultants" description="See a full guide to all of our editable templates that can be white labelled. They have been created to help members…

Amazon's business strategy, revenue model and culture of metrics: a history

I've used Amazon as a case study in my books for nearly 20 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, we can all learn from 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:…

Selecting the best ad revenue options for digital startups

Back in the 'dot-com' days, I was often contacted by site owners with an idea for a new site who were trying to work out how much revenue they'll be able to raise depending on the number of visitors to their site and the different advertising options they select. These days, startups and innovation continue, so this post is aimed at explaining the ad revenue model options available. The main difference today is that you may have a mobile app-only revenue model and that has options for in-app purchases. These can be modelled through tweaking the affiliate model field in our spreadsheet. There's no simple answer to this, but to help, several years ago I created this spreadsheet model which also features in my books as an activity to help students working on this topic. It shows the main parameters you need to…

Summarising a business model for online startups using  a single sheet of A4 with the lean 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 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…

Chart of the Day: How do Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon make their money?

In this article, I defined Eight online revenue models along with how they are calculated, so they could be applied to new revenue models of startups. In this chart of the day, we can see a comparison of the four / five dominant digital brands sometimes known as GAFA of FAMGA or even the frightful five. Of these five digital businesses, it's no surprise to see that Alphabet (Google companies including their research and development) and Facebook are dominated by ad sales. Apple sales are dominated by product sales with iPhone much more important that Mac laptops and iPad. Data services like iTunes and storage are still relatively small (11%). Amazon is different to the other four in that it focuses on online retail, yet this is less…

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…

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…

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