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Essential marketing models for business growth

Discover how to use classic marketing models and planning tools to inform your marketing strategy

How will this guide to essential marketing models help me and my business?

We believe that marketing models are powerful tools to aid thinking. Especially when reviewing strategic options and selecting the best future direction for a company. However, some are not well known or can be misused. That's why we want to share these classic and essential marketing models with you so that businesses of all sizes can apply them to help grow and develop their marketing teams.

With so many marketing models to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is the best for you. This free guide has been created to help today's marketers structure their marketing plan based on established frameworks to aid their decision making.

The guide contains the top classic marketing planning frameworks to inform strategy development and transform your own digital marketing plan, and most importantly, how to use them.

Who is this marketing models guide for?

Our marketing models guide was created to help marketers learn from some of the most classic models in marketing history. These models help shape marketing strategies for businesses across the globe.

With these models in mind, you can identify opportunities, benchmark your marketing and start to plan your strategy to help grow your business. It’s an overview that leads really nicely into our RACE Planning Framework, which you can use to focus on and implement your digital marketing strategy.

This guide takes some of the essential marketing models and demonstrates how company owners, directors, marketing managers and your teams can evaluate current marketing efforts and make improvements that will have a direct impact on business-centric KPIs. We provide a simple explanation and diagrams for each model including examples of why, when, and how to use them, including best practice tips.

It also benefits those that are learning and completing professional courses including IDM, CIM and the American Marketing Association, by including Harvard Referencing notes. Furthermore, it gives you an excellent marketing foundation to move onto our accredited Learning Paths which you get access to as a Business Professional Member.

How is this guide structured?

The guide contains 16 classic marketing models, including:

    • The 7ps
    • The BCG Matrix
    • Porter’s 5 Forces
    • The RACE Framework
    • Segmentation, Targeting, and Position (STP)
    • PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Marketing Planning
    • SWOT (TOWS) Matrix
    • PESTLE Analysis
    • and many more!

Latest updates

This content is evergreen, so our latest updates include updating each model’s examples where relevant and presenting the guide in our updated PDF style to improve readability.

Resource Details

  • Authors: Annmarie Hanlon and Dave Chaffey, with a foreword by Marketing Communications expert Chris Fill.
  • Editor: Amelia Cooper, Smart Insights
  • Format: PDF guide download
  • Recommended premium member resources:
    • Digital marketing models guide – After you’ve read our guide to essential marketing models, you may want to look at other options created specifically for digital aspects of your business. This guide will introduce you to 10 more models that you can use to inform the auditing, strategy, and planning of your digital marketing efforts.
    • Marketing planning guide – If, after reading our essential marketing models guide, you’re ready to start planning, check out our comprehensive marketing planning guide. We’ll help you understand your customers, conduct a thorough marking audit, and set SMART objectives for your future.

About the authors

Annmarie Hanlon

Annmarie Hanlon

Annmarie Hanlon is the Smart Insights expert commentator on online and offline marketing strategies for business. Annmarie is the MD of Evonomie and author of Quick Win Marketing, and co-author of Quick Win Digital Marketing. She runs social media workshops in the UK and Ireland and shares marketing tips and news in her blog, B2B Marketing. You can follow Annmarie on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Dr. Dave Chaffey

Dave ChaffeyDave is co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the Smart Insights RACE Planning Framework. He has consulted and trained for many businesses including large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell,, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses.  For his full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. He has been recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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