Practical ideas for you to use from across the 6 pillars of effective digital marketing

Each year, for the last 10 years, or so, I have identified the latest trends in digital marketing and forecast what the major trends will be in the year ahead. The aim is to help marketers and business owners find new marketing ideas, review their budget investments and put together their plans. There’s always a lot of interest as businesses consider tactics they can deploy to gain an edge by using some of the latest techniques. This review covers the latest developments in digital marketing across the many digital marketing channels tools that businesses can use shown in the visual below based on our RACE digital marketing framework. We developed this to help businesses develop a robust approach to developing integrated digital marketing strategies across 25 key activities which we define as part of our RACE Growth…

Evaluating technology options for innovation in marketing - do you know your Hype Cycles?

If you're involved in marketing strategy development, you will be constantly making judgments and reviewing with colleagues which digital technology innovations are most relevant to your organization. The Gartner Hype Cycle, which is published each year is a good tool to use to find out about both newly emerging innovations and more established marketing technology that could be relevant. In this article, we compare different examples of the well-established Gartner Hype Cycle tools which serve to highlight the adoption of new technology services within marketing technology. Gartner publishes many different hype cycles reviewing the adoption curves for different types of technologies, but as a digital strategist, I am most interested in those focusing on digital marketing technologies. A summary of the report with the infographic is published annually and I have been monitoring them and sharing them for over…

How to strategically manage your marketing spend in 2023 with 8 integrated marketing budget templates

Setting strategic and channel direction, working toward commercial objectives and KPIs and monitoring 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?

The 2022 CMO survey found that yearly growth in marketing spending is predicted to rise from 11.7% to 13.6%. Within this growing budget, digital marketing spending, which currently accounts for 57.1% of marketing budgets, is expected to grow by 16.2% over the next year. Heading into 2023 in a competitive environment for marketers means…

7 strategies, tactics and tips to stand out. Plan your first 100 days on the job, as a new starter, to make an impact in your marketing career

Starting a new job can be tough. In the first 100 days on the job, not only do you have to contend with the technical side of your role but also your new employer’s culture, politics, processes, and people. The Trading Economics United States Job Openings report in March 2022 stated that US job openings hit a record high: The number of job openings in the US rose by 205,000 from a month earlier to a series high of 11.549 million in March of 2022, above market expectations of 11 million, as work shortages persisted. Meanwhile, in the UK, Job vacancies rose to a new record of 1,318,000…

Review how to integrate digital marketing into your marketing team's structure through Digital Transformation

The latest Smart Insights research study shows how common Digital Transformation projects or programme are today with 30% already having a programme up & running and 31% planning to within the next year. Yet, digital transformation doesn’t occur overnight. There are a series of steps to go through to get there and the critical factor is the staff. Imagine a world where your Digital Working Party, Digital Group, or Digital Collective is in place, they’ve had several meetings and agreed on an action plan! What’s next? Let's take look at options and examples of how you structure your digital team. Also, crucially, what does this mean in terms of your marketing funnel? We've got marketing tools and templates to support you in building a strong digital strategy, and structuring your marketing team to get the most…

Using capability maturity models to review digital readiness and set targets for digital transformation

We've been adding to our visual tools to help all members assess how well their businesses are adapting to using digital media and technology as part of Digital Transformation. We have collected these visuals together in a single download so that you can easily review them and print the most relevant for you. You can see one example, digital marketing excellence, below. [si_guide_block id="55897" title="Free member download – Digital Marketing Benchmarking Template" description="Score your business on this simple five-point scale to identify techniques you can use to improve your digital marketing overall and for the core channels and techniques including SEO, social media, email marketing and conversion rate optimization."/] You can also use our Capability graders, which are free, interactive versions enabling you to compare your score to other members…

The RACE Framework and PASTA model are complementary models for your marketing communications plan, one is strategic and one is operational, get started today to win more customers

Commercial as well as non-profit organizations, routinely confront these typical questions about a marketing communications plan: 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. In this article, we will address 2 complementary models for your marketing communications plan - the RACE Framework and PASTA model. Whether it be a strategic plan, a business plan, a marketing plan, or a communications strategy, marketing communication planning requires systematic, step-by-step development that takes into account elements of all the other types of plans. This article describes the PASTA method, a new…

5 Reasons to consider a life as a T-Shaped Marketer

There has been much talk within digital marketing of the necessity for marketers to broaden their skill-sets and to embrace and learn the wide range of digital channels (40 in this count) to reach and engage with your audience. The approach of developing a range of marketing skills is known as T-Shaped Marketing. T-Shaped Marketing refers to: a Marketer that has broad knowledge covering a wide range of digital tactics with in-depth knowledge in 1 or maybe 2 specific areas. This diagram from Moz shows the principle with a focus on SEO within digital marketing tactics.

This diagram from Search Engine Watch also explains the principle, here with the focus on Content Marketing and also including a focus…

A flow chart to create a marketing technology stack tailored to your business needs

We talk about the importance of using the right digital marketing tools a lot here at Smart Insights. When used correctly, a marketing technology stack can save you time, boost productivity and lead to better marketing outcomes. But with so many martech tools available, it can be tricky to know which tools to use and why. Smart Insights offers a wealth of practical, actionable tools, templates and training designed to create or develop your marketing strategy using data, customer insights, and best-practice. Marketing technology is a huge topic in digital marketing right now, and it's no secret that the age of digital disruption has increased the number of opportunities and challenges for digital marketers in the field. That's where the RACE Framework can come in, helping you make sure all your martech and marketing activities are…

Mapping the most effective AI technologies for marketing across the customer lifecycle in the coming year

AI technology is a hot topic in marketing at the moment, but AI is a broad term covering a wide range of different technologies. Artificial intelligence means any technology that seeks to mimic human intelligence, which covers a huge range of capabilities such as voice and image recognition, machine learning techniques and semantic search. AI will continue to grow in 2022 and beyond. In fact, the global AI revenue forecast for static image recognition, classification, and tagging by 2025 is currently US $8,097. This figure is followed closely by the forecast for algorithmic trading strategy performance management, coming in at US $7,540. Marketers like to wax lyrical about the latest exciting technologies and bang on about AI for image recognition, speech recognition, preventing data leaks, or even …