A round-up of our time at TFM 2017

This week the Smart Insights team were in London for Technology for Marketing 2017. A two-day conference dedicated to martech.  If you didn’t make it to TFM, here is a recap of Dave's talk and panel discussion, as well answers to the most common questions we were asked at our stand. Download the 10 reasons you need a digital marketing strategy booklet All visitors to the stand were given a new 10 reasons why you need a digital strategy mini-booklet which gives recommendations on what a strategy should include - you can download it here [pdf] if you want to take a look.

How to measure and improve your return on MarTech, Dave Chaffey

Dave spoke…

The focus is on the product

In the digital age, the role of a marketing manager is blurred and often comes down to online promotion. What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say ‘digital marketing’? I bet it’s SEO, paid ads or social media campaigns. However, user acquisition is only the top of the conventional marketing iceberg. Developing a lovable product in the SaaS world remains the task of the highest priority. The reason? Great products trigger word-of-mouth effect which is the most reliable and also the cheapest marketing channel. Therefore, keep in mind that the 4Ps of marketing are still alive and well.   What about SaaS pre-launch stage when you don’t have a product ready yet? I’m here to share our experience and best practices.   

Make use of the market research

SaaS marketing starts long before…

Our goals are the same as they’ve always been: attract customers’ attention, stick in their memories, and provide a great service (or product) they keep coming back to.

That’s never going to change. So what’s the difference? Consumer choice. Gone are the days when we could spray-and-pray radio ads and advertorials in high-circulation outlets. Consumers are absolutely glutted with options. There’s more out there than anyone person could ever experience and it’s just as difficult – if not more so – to stand out in the all-too-familiar “crowded marketplace” as it ever was, fancy tools or not.

1. Turn off your phone and call a meeting

Meetings aren’t anybody’s favourite pastime. But you’re going be glad you arranged this one because you’re going to get your entire team together to figure out the most important step in implementing any marketing plan for a startup: “what do we want to achieve?” Your business' success depends…

Chart of the day: Closing more deals remain the top priority for sales teams worldwide, whilst getting a response from prospects remains a challenge - part 3 of 10.

Last week, my chart showed the priorities and challenges of a marketing team. This week we will delve deeper into the sales team within businesses to uncover their priorities and challenges.

What are your company's top sales priorities for the next year?

For the majority of sales professionals, closing more deals remains a top priority (71%). However, improving the sales funnel is in second place (44%) and social selling and other sales strategies are third (29%). Investing in sales technology (16%) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) (14%) are the lowest scoring priorities.

What is the most difficult to do in sales compared to 2 to 3 years ago?

Even though…

Chart of the Day: Digital Marketing statistics - Converting leads to customers remains a top marketing priority over the next 12 months - part 1 of 10

It is important to know how sales and marketing are evolving, and how/ when this will affect your business. There are various marketing and sales priorities to think about when outlining your business strategy and initial planning but it is also important to know its challenges and how to face these. Marketers are making the leap into visual content creation while salespeople are slowly shifting from the hard-seller stereotype to a more trusted advisor. - Brian Halligan CEO HubSpot In this chart series, I will breakdown the HubSpot 'State of Inbound 2017' report for all your sales and marketing needs - taking you through section by section and breaking down its results. The 10 areas that will be covered are: Top business priorities Inbound marketing priorities and challenges Sales priorities and challenges …

Chart of the Day: we question whether flash sales and daily deal marketing services are still giving customers what they want?

Daily deal sites have taken a few blows over the years, Groupon cut staff and fired it's CEO, Living Social was eventually bought by Wowcher which was sold by the Daily Mail. Amazon have also closed their daily deals service. But one great insight into daily deal sites is search history, which has slowly declined for 5 years. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("TIMESERIES", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"daily deals","geo":"","time":"today 5-y"}],"category":0,"property":""}, {"exploreQuery":"q=daily%20deals","guestPath":"https://www.google.co.uk:443/trends/embed/"}); The UK is one of the most prominent countries searching for daily deals, Australia, Ireland, Canada and the US also have a pretty strong taste for daily deals too. trends.embed.renderExploreWidget("GEO_MAP", {"comparisonItem":[{"keyword":"daily deals","geo":"","time":"today 5-y"}],"category":0,"property":""}, {"exploreQuery":"q=daily%20deals","guestPath":"https://www.google.co.uk:443/trends/embed/"}); Google Trends also reveal that one of the most searched for keyphrase was www.ebay.co.uk daily deals. Searches for daily deals might be declining, and…

Lessons to learn from Start-up failure

This week we are releasing our new growth hacking guide and have a bit of a growth hacking and start-up theme across the blog. Although we focus on the marketing side of start-ups pretty exclusively, it interesting to look at why start-ups fail, and see how this fits in with marketing issues. A study by Quartz looked at 87 bootstrapped (that's Californian for growing without venture capital funding) start-ups which failed, to find out what caused their eventual downfall. Only 2 explicitly blamed poor marketing, which isn't a huge amount, although is above pricing issues, legal challenges or burn out, which are no small matter. If you're running a start-up or work for one it's a great chart to spur thinking and maybe even do a bit of soul-searching to think about where your weaknesses are and how you can avoid the most common traps. …

3 essential requirements for a more strategic marketing planning approach

To compete today, a company needs a unique brand story if it’s going to really have success at capturing and maintaining a clear competitive edge over other organizations in its niche. This brand story has to resonate with your customers and play to their desires, passions and needs. But how can this be created? I believe that the best way to achieve this is by creating and implementing a systematic process of research with the framework of something called strategic planning. In this article I will cover the 3 techniques which can help support a more strategic approach.

1. Make time for Marketing Research and Planning

The most important quality that an organization needs if it wants to make understanding its customers a key part of its long term strategic planning is the development of a deep understanding of those customers real needs. You will have to get to…

 5 problems that block strategic marketing planning and strategic thinking

Michael Porter sums up the focus of strategic planning best for me: “The essence of strategy is choosing what NOT to do. Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different". I love this Porter quote - in marketing planning (any planning) we have to make decisions - there is not endless time and resource available to any of us, there is always too much to do. This lack of time to focus on strategic planning and thinking was shown in our research on Managing Digital Marketing. Many organisations we asked did not have a marketing strategy to align their digital strategy against... So the question is, how do achieve focus? How can we avoid the common problems that limit strategic planning?


The central premise of Porter's advice is to develop…