From SMART to SMARTER marketing objectives: Discover how to define marketing objectives, measure your digital marketing channels and campaigns, and use data to inform strategy

When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used SMART mnemonic. You will know that SMART is used to assess the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes. One of the main reasons we called our site and service SMART Insights is because we help marketers succeed through using a more structured approach to their marketing strategy and planning. We've got marketing tools and techniques to support you in defining and measuring your marketing objectives, such as our step-by-step module, defining Google Analytics goals, part of the Google Analytics Learning Path. Find out more about our Google Analytics training and other marketing essentials to help you create…

Use our digital marketing strategy template integrated across the RACE Framework to plan and get ahead in your digital marketing

We all know the old saying “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, but when it comes to digital marketing, this really is the case. It has never been more important than it is now to create a digital marketing strategy template so you can plan, manage and optimize your online activities. Today, digital media is vital when it comes to driving leads and sales, meaning marketers need to understand how best to engage and convert online audiences. Despite this, our research shows that many businesses still don’t have a digital marketing plan. As a result, companies are missing out on the benefits of having a digital marketing plan integrated into their overall marketing plan or as a separate roadmap for digital transformation. At a time when marketers are increasingly…

As digital transformation continues to shape the new relationship between healthcare providers and their customers, upskill your pharma marketing team with the key digital skills and tools to improve performance

The question of the key digital skills and tools in the pharma industry is an ongoing challenge. Pharma marketing generalists plan and optimize marketing strategies, campaigns and product launches, requiring a T-shaped digital skillset and continuous professional development to oversee all marketing activity. Pharma digital specialists manage day-to-day optimization of key digital channels, the new front-line of customer engagement. Investment in tools and training for these staff is crucial for your company's growth. Of course, the breakdown of these channels will depend on your pharma company's positioning and target markets, which we will visit further on in the article.

Why invest in digital marketing for pharma?

Improved distribution of, and accessibility to, pharmaceutical data and information is accelerating customer-centric disruption…

With the launch of our brand new Learning Paths - offering practical, strategic marketing courses online - discover which marketing training solutions have been the most popular

Deciding on a marketing course to optimize your strategy in 2021 is tough. With so many marketing training options, you need a solution that's practical, data-driven, and proven to generate results, quickly. Read on to discover our Smart Insights members' top Learning Paths and resources in each membership tier.

Top Business Professional marketing course: Manage change for digital transformation

Module from Digital Transformation Learning Path for Business Professional Members Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems. However, a Boston Consulting Group report found that only 33% of significant IT projects have been fully successful since the year 2000. The danger is that the benefits of digital transformation are not being fully achieved as organizational barriers can hold…

7 steps to creating an effective marketing plan

A marketing plan is a bit like a job description for your company. Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date and reviewed infrequently... Research has shown that businesses with plans succeed, outperform competitors, and retain staff, more than those with no plan. Without a plan there’s no direction for the company or its employees, decisions can be uninformed, opportunities can be missed and threats can damage or destroy the business. Whether you are looking at creating a traditional marketing plan or a multichannel digital marketing plan, here are the seven steps to creating a marketing plan.[si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id=156432]

What is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is your place to document the process of managing and optimizing your digital marketing strategy and creating a roadmap for future growth and business development. This includes setting SMART objectives, vision for digital channels,…

Do you know your 4Cs from your 4Cs? Read more about these two marketing models, plus find practical examples to apply to your marketing strategy

What is the 4Cs marketing model? Two groups of marketers have created the 4Cs marketing model. This often leads to confusion about what’s being discussed and where! Let’s clarify the two models:  The 4Cs to replace the 4Ps of the marketing mix: Consumer wants and needs; Cost to satisfy; Convenience to buy and Communication (Lauterborn, 1990).  The 4Cs for marketing communications: Clarity; Credibility; Consistency and Competitiveness (Jobber and Fahy, 2009).

Lauterborn’s 4Cs: Consumer wants and needs; Cost to satisfy; Convenience to buy and Communication

What is it? In 1990 Bob Lauterborn wrote an article in Advertising Age saying how the 4Ps (he didn’t address the 7Ps) were dead and today’s marketer needed to address the real…

How to strategically manage your marketing spend in 2021 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?

According to the February CMO survey, marketing budgets were expected to grow 6.7% in 2020. However, the July edition found the real-term figures had shrunk in the wake of the pandemic and global recession, equating to a rise of 1.6% in marketing budgets overall over this year. In a competitive environment for marketers, reporting and forecasting marketing spend is more important than ever. Meaning if you can't prove a tactic has been successful, it will be even more difficult…

Set the right goals for digital marketing using the 5Ss

Do your set of goals for online marketing cover all the bases? A good set of digital marketing goals covers a range of different measures to help set, review and control performance across all digital marketing activities.

Digital marketing goals through the 5 Ss

PR Smith, my co-author on Emarketing Excellence developed the 5Ss of digital marketing around 2000, and although basic, it's still used by many planning their digital marketing strategy. So I thought I'd share it here by showing how it applies today to ASOS.com, a dynamic online business. To measure the goals suggested, see my post on goal setup in Google Analytics.

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1. Sell - Grow sales

Start with your most important transactions…

What are the essential parts of a digital transformation plan?

A digital transformation plan is a strategic, long-term plan focusing on integrated digital media channels, implementation of new technologies, and smart, digital ways of working. The purpose of a digital transformation plan is to define how to compete more effectively with digital marketing. The scope of a digital marketing plan is typically annual, but a digital transformation plan will typically be longer since this involves creating long-term digital roadmaps. Digital or online marketing is any form of marketing that involves using online channels for goals of acquisition and retention. It also includes digital technology and the use of data to target audiences more precisely with personalized messages. Since creating awareness and achieving conversion still commonly involve offline channels such as a call-centre or in-store, digital marketing plans need to define integration between channels using techniques like customer journey mapping.

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This means that…

Tool for structuring thinking about one of the crucial 4Ps of marketing: The Promotion Pyramid

The Promotion Pyramid is a strategic marketing model digital marketers use to plan marketing activity in relation to the breadth of audience targeted and the resource required (financial and staff time). McCarthy's 4Ps of the Marketing Mix famously highlights 4 of the most crucial elements of marketing strategy: Price, Product, Place and Promotion. There is much discussion of the relevance of the 4Ps today which we cover here, but suffice to say we think these are still key strategy considerations for businesses of all scales - that's where the Promotion Pyramid comes in.

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When thinking about promotion online, digital marketers all too often try to rush into starting campaigns without properly analyzing the merits of different tactics and channels. The resulting approach wastes resources in the long run because the lack of a proper…