Actionable steps to prepare for the future of marketing
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 recent rapid adoption and interest in Instagram Threads and 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.
This visualization of the B2B customer lifecycle shows the great opportunities for harnessing different digital marketing channels to encourage lead generation, nurture, and purchase. It also highlights the challenge of managing the always-on marketing activities that need continuous focus to maximize conversion in the face of fierce competition.
Our latest research on digital marketing trends for 2023 to 2024
Each year, at Smart Insights we…
Digital marketing is more important now than ever. My recommendations on the challenges and opportunities for growth
Where do you start if you want to develop a digital marketing strategy? It's still a common challenge since many businesses know how vital digital and mobile channels are today for acquiring and retaining customers. Yet they don't have an integrated plan to support digital transformation and business growth based on engaging their audiences effectively online.
The importance of digital channels in influencing brand discovery is highlighted by this research from Global Web Insight published in the Datareportal April 2023 Global Snapshot report.
This research shows that if you don't compete by maintaining quality online content to gain visibility within search engines and social networks, then you're missing out on opportunities to reach new customers.
Regardless of the type of business, if your…
Examples of essential questions to ask when structuring a digital marketing audit
Auditing your digital marketing activities is an essential technique to start a digital marketing strategy. But they’re also useful for finding opportunities to improve your digital marketing by identifying priorities you need to act on to get better results.
Knowing where to start and what to include can be difficult since although you may have your own area of expertise such as search, social media or business, you may not know about other topics. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive checklist you can use for your business based on the Smart Insights RACE Digital marketing framework. Each of the five parts of RACE is broken down into five to give a comprehensive evaluation of digital marketing for which I outline questions in this post.
I developed this framework…
What's needed to build a strong marketing strategy?
Creating a winning marketing strategy that takes advantage of the key marketing opportunities available today is challenging because of the pace of change and continuous hype.
Smart Insights offers marketing leaders and business owners practical, strategic advice designed to help them achieve their goals. Our free blog format has a weakness in that although the posts are engaging, it's difficult to see the big picture of how they relate. That's why we offer annual and monthly memberships, for marketers looking to get ahead.
To help get you on track with planning, managing and optimizing your marketing strategy, we've picked out our top recommendations, so you can start driving results through marketing.
Our 10 marketing strategy success factors
Dan Bosomworth and I went "back to basics" to work through what is needed for marketing strategy success. We've set out this in this manifesto. This is what drives us,…
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…
Don't get left behind with your digital marketing strategy, follow these 7 steps to brilliant B2B marketing!
Many Business-to-business (B2B) companies are already successfully getting great results using digital marketing tactics like SEO, PPC, landing page creation, social media and email marketing linked to a CRM marketing automation system or a simple email autoresponse system.
But often, B2B organizations are not getting the most from today's marketing since they don't have a planned approach based on an integrated inbound marketing plan. To create an infographic showing the latest research on how companies are using inbound marketing, we've researched how B2B companies are using digital marketing. The results across different studies show that while many companies are delivering brilliant results, many could do more.
Our updated infographic shows a planned approach based on our B2B digital marketing planning workbook.
We originally published this infographic back in 2012 when a longer guide was available, but we hope…
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.
Who in the agency should work on discovery and how can you convince clients it should be paid for?
In the Smart Insights Agency Guide to Discovery, I suggest a checklist of the areas you might explore as part of a discovery process for clients. But is a guide needed, we all know what ‘discovery’ entails, don’t we?
If you search Google on the agency discovery process, you’ll get between 35M to 75M results, depending on the phrase you use. In any case, that's seemingly a huge number of agencies or training providers talking about discovery. So you may think it’s a well-understood topic.
But from my direct experience and conversations over the past few years with industry contacts, there’s still some uncertainty within agencies around three areas:
What should be examined, which stones turned in the process?
Who is best to carry out this activity?
Can an agency charge for what can be…
Attribution, publisher transparency, behaviour, and segmentation are all key features
Retargeting is often seen as a quick win when it comes to digital marketing; simply re-engage with people who didn’t convert and optimise accordingly. With the 5 tips below, you’ll be able to drive more efficiency and growth from your retargeting activity.
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1. Use Attribution to measure the ROI of your campaigns
To gain a true view of the performance of your retargeting activity, you must measure it within an analytics or attribution tool. This will allow you to see the…
What can an ancient text do to help your digital marketing?
Sun Tzu's The Art of War is a widely studied piece of literature, so communicating its principles from reading it feels a little like learning to drive a car by watching a movie with a car chase in it.
What I'd immediately remembered (from reading it 9-10 years ago) was that the book itself is short and powerful. Each chapter layers onto what was taught in an earlier chapter.
Despite the title indicating otherwise, it's part science and part philosophy; it centres around the idea of winning without conflict, by competing based on position, not through 'warfare'. This is immediately powerful and relevant to marketers with experience in brand or marketing strategy.
I think that you can summarise the whole book (very crudely) with two questions:
How do I use information that is available to…