Even if you’re flushed with success at the moment, you could still benefit from refining your current processes using one of many tools and software available to you

Is your business at risk of being left behind in this increasingly competitive digital age? Are you failing to meet the heightened expectations of the modern consumer? Even if you’re flushed with success at the moment, you could still benefit from refining your current processes using one of many tools and software available to you. In this blog post, I’ve compiled summaries of some of the best upgrades you can make this year. Used correctly, they’ll equip you to better deal with the day-to-day running of a business, help you satisfy existing customers, secure new leads and cut costs. This post isn’t solely aimed at anachronistic businesses who need to make wholesale changes to enter the 21st century. With the speed of technological evolution more…

How to strategically manage your marketing budget 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 budget or ROI per channel it's hard to understand how much money you've had to spend to see a return. This is a quick way to burn through budget you may have had to negotiate from management. If you can't prove a tactic has been successful without wasting money, it will be even more difficult to prove it's been successful, or more budget is needed to try again. Here are 8 pre-made templates for annual planning and monthly monitoring:

Budget summary and monthly budget tracker

Understanding the share of your budget is important in knowing where your money is being spent against what channel is providing better results. Seeing a visual of this in one place will then allow you…

Chart of the Day: UK adspend is at a record £22.2 billion for 2017, the eighth year of consecutive growth

Adspend for 2017 was a record high following 8 years of continued growth in advertising spend. This according to the latest advertising spend figures for the full year 2017 which are analyzed by The Advertising Association and Warc. It paints a fantastic picture for marketing and advertising, showing increases which have continued for many years and shows that despite any political situation, slumps or increases in consumer demand, advertising is still producing returns, as marketers are still spending and still depend heavily on their advertising campaigns. Internet advertising saw positive increases but it was mobile advertising that produced the biggest by far - a massive increase in mobile ad spending of over 37%. Regional newspapers saw decreases, as did magazines and a small decrease for TV. This could explain why recently UK TV network …

If art is beauty, is science the beast?


Many corporations think so, judging from the way they silo their marketing and technology teams. Rarely do CMOs and CDOs bring the brains of both teams to bear on the company's marketing.


In an era when 38% of marketing professionals admit to underutilizing data for content strategy, companies that don't marry art and science struggle to snag smarter audiences with shorter attention spans.

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How to optimize your marketing and media priorities for the year ahead

Smart Insights have launched their first 'playbook' in response to our members' feedback.

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What is a playbook?

Complex sports, such as rugby, cricket, and American football, often involve a huge amount of strategy and so it’s not unusual to find that the coaches in charge have a set of tried and trusted guides comprising the plans, strategies, and tactics to counter different scenarios that arise within a game. In American football they call these guides ‘playbooks’ and they include detailed notes, diagrams, and methods…

Chart of the day: Reporting the ROI of Social and Content Marketing proving difficult for marketers

As marketers we are constantly juggling more projects than seems possible at times -  planning the next campaign, delivering the current one as well as all the BAU activity of Email, Automation, Social, linking with the sales team and meeting...oh the meetings. It can feel like your in a whirlwind even with the most well thought out plans but one of the most turbulent times can be when you need to report on the ROI of particular activities. How do you find the right data? Is it accurate? How should your present it? It's hard. In a recent survey, TrackMaven asked marketers from 19 different industries what they were finding the most challenging when attempting to prove the ROI of their marketing. Of the many options, they could choose from attributing social and content to revenue leading the…

A review of different methods and models for developing a marketing communications plan

Commercial as well as non-profit organizations, routinely confront these typical questions: 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. [si_guide_block id="5750" title="Download our recently updated Premium Member Resource – Successful SEO Guide " description="This guide is one of our most popular and rightly so. If you get it right, SEO can be a fantastic, relatively low-cost way to drive quality visitors who want to do business with you to your site."/] Whether it be a strategic plan, a business plan, a marketing plan or a communications strategy, their design requires systematic, step-by-step development that takes into account elements of all the other types…

Developing your startup pitch

The perfect startup pitch helps entrepreneurs separate their companies from a growing amount of competition. Startup activity in the United States increased in 2016, continuing an upward trend that began in 2015, according to the Kauffman Foundation. All of this comes after startup activity reached its lowest point in the last 20 years in 2014. A more competitive market reinforces the notion that startups need more than a good business idea to become successful — entrepreneurs must convince others to invest in their business. Making that case persuasively is as much science as it is art. The following sections offer some guidelines and examples for developing the perfect startup pitch.

How to Make a Startup Pitch


Make sure you research and double-check every detail of your presentation. You should have an understanding of your product or service, the market and how these two areas interact. “What is your competitive advantage?”…

Marketers should plan for every scenario, rather than only the most likely one

2016 is behind us. Marketers have their eyes set firmly on the year ahead, and will be currently drawing up their marketing plans and strategy documents for 2017. However, the vast majority of these plans will actually only plan for 1 scenario: business as usual. It makes sense to plan for business as usual, after all, it’s impossible to predict the future so it wouldn’t make sense to base ones marketing plan around an event which may or may not happen. Consider the following: - The future is not pre-determined or predictable - If it were, there would be no point taking action today, because it would have no effect on the future. - Full information about the future is never available But precisely because the future cannot be predicted, you shouldn’t only plan for one scenario (businesses as usual), but rather should have…

Agencies can use data to plan for the coming year, and to improve digital marketing services

You don’t have to search far to find information about the marketing budgets of the mammoth corporations, like Proctor and Gamble and Verizon. However, the typical US marketing agency has small business clients with small budgets—details about the marketing budgets of these smaller businesses is hard to come by. For the past two years, HubShout has surveyed small to mid-size marketing agencies and the data from the surveys shows where their small business clients are investing their dollars, and how much they’re investing in each service. The survey of 200 professionals who deliver online marketing services to small businesses provides plenty of data that is useful for small to mid-size digital marketing agencies. In addition, this article provides helpful tips on selling and improving digital marketing services.

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