Without marketing plans, it's almost impossible to achieve your marketing goals

Having no marketing plan is like going into a battle without a strategy. To put it simply, without marketing plans, it's almost impossible to achieve your marketing goals. Fortunately, there are many ways you can market your business today. Whatever platforms you decide to promote your business, you need a plan to guide your actions. With this, you can achieve your intended results. [si_guide_block id="N95323" title="Download our Free Resource – Understanding different types of marketing plan" description="We have created this guide to help you understand the different types of plans, when and why those plans should be used, potential drawbacks and how to structure them."/] In this blog post, I'll show you six types of marketing plans you need to create for your business.

Types of marketing plans

Below, we'll talk about the most popular marketing platforms, why your business needs them and how to create…

What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?

Multichannel marketing is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers. As outlined in our Quick Win – Create a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan, the purpose of a multichannel marketing plan is to define a strategy and plan the resources needed to achieve business sales targets. The timeframe is typically annual but potentially longer-term, such as 18 months to three years. Examples of communications channels could include, for example: Websites Physical stores Catalogues E-mail marketing TV Text messaging Blogging Direct mail The goal is to deliver leads and sales targets for defined products and services, which can apply to an organization as a whole, or a single market if there are multiple markets and product or service categories. An effective multichannel marketing plan outlines the marketing communications techniques and channels required in order…

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 Everyone should have one, but they’re often not fit for purpose, out of date and reviewed infrequently...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 digital marketing plan, in this post and in the latest Smart Insights Business Marketing Planning Guide, I will take you through the seven steps to creating a marketing plan – integrating online and offline.

What are the seven steps to create your marketing plan?

It can be daunting to develop…

Five steps to creating an effective process that generates results

It’s difficult to argue with the benefits that good content marketing can deliver for businesses. We have talked regularly here on Smart Insights about the opportunities provided by great content and how it fuels many inbound marketing techniques, including: SEO Paid search marketing Social media marketing Email marketing Conversion rate optimization However, once the overall strategy and approach have been agreed, the next step is execution. Unfortunately, creating and maintaining good quality content is not straightforward. There are often many stakeholders and dependencies across businesses, including marketing, PR, creative and legal/compliance. If you work for an agency you will also need to consider the client’s point of view, too. [si_guide_block id="35568" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Managing content marketing checklist" description="This checklist will help you if you're responsible for content marketing to understand what needs to go in…

Six different options for marketing plans

Planning is a must for any business that wants to succeed, but choosing the right type of plan to define your strategy and structuring it can be difficult. Especially since there are so many different types of plans within marketing and business, all with a different scope. The challenge is compounded if you are new to creating plans, or to the culture of planning within a business. It seems that the difficulty of choosing the right type of plan and how to structure it to deliver results stops many in their tracks. Our research shows that, shockingly, as many as half of businesses don't have a digital marketing plan or, perhaps worse, a marketing plan on which to base it... A single plan would be ideal, but in practice, different types and scales of business will need different types of plans. It can help to define…

Chart of the day: Looking to 2018, marketers were asked which tactics will be used in their digital marketing strategy for 2018

Social Media Marketing (18%) Content Marketing (17%) and use of Marketing Technology (16%) are expected to be included the most in digital marketing strategies in 2018. Least used will be data management as well as paid search and social ads. The research suggests there will be a shift from the previously popular use of paid search and social media advertising, to increased use of marketing technology, content marketing and organic social media. We already know content is king, as in a previous chart of the day we reported that research reports used for content marketing are the most successful for generating a return on investment. SEO is still and I predict, always will be very important. It might never be top of…

Chart of the day: Marketers reveal that data quality, lead generation and user experience are the most critical challenges to the success of a digital marketing plan

When it comes to planning a digital marketing strategy we all know there are factors which affect its implementation and success. Data quality affects things like marketing automation and personalization and marketers said it was the biggest challenge. Lead generation is also related to data quality, marketers will always need leads. User experience (UX) also came near the top at 15%, it's great to see marketers are thinking about how UX improvements can benefit sales, revenue and even data.

Bonus chart: Are digital marketing budgets increasing?

For most marketers, their digital marketing budgets are increasing. For just over 4 in 10 (41%) their marketing budget will increase significantly, and over…

Chart of the day: Poor quality data is the reason for bad digital marketing campaign planning

Over 4 in 10 (43%) respondents to a survey by ExchangeWire Research and Xaxis said lack of quality data was the main reason for not using audience data when campaign planning for digital media. Time was also a major obstacle, whilst small data sets, narrowing campaign audience too much and a lack of there being a central data repository were all big factors. Marketers are finding that too much targeting is narrowing the audience down too much. Privacy concerns were not a major issue when it comes to data use for digital campaigns. Source: ExchangeWire Research/ Xaxis Sample: 616 digital marketing professionals across Europe; data collected from November 2016 to January 2017 Recommended Resource: Marketing Campaign Planning Toolkit …

The emerging trends you need to integrate into your 2018 plan

We are through Q1, and top companies have the habit of starting to plan for the next year right from Q2. If you have initiated planning your marketing strategy and budget for 2018, be prepared to face questions regarding tactics you are opting to use that would go best with most of your customers. And most importantly, which tactics can result in the most efficient conversion. [Editor's note: For an update on the latest trends, see this in-depth article covering 2018 Digital marketing trends by Dr Dave Chaffey, co-founder of Smart Insights or download our free guide to 9 megatrends which are relevant to all businesses.] [si_guide_block id="81859" title="Download free member resource – Digital Marketing Megatrends 2018" description="Learn how to get an edge in 2018 by deploying the latest marketing techniques that businesses of all types need to consider to stay competitive."/] To plan…

3 critical areas you will need to invest in to have a successful 2017

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein  Well there were plenty of difficulties for digital marketers in 2016, so let’s start 2017 by focusing on opportunities; i.e. good things which are available to those who recognise the challenges and tackle them with a positive attitude… So here are my 3 big opportunities of 2017:

 1. Finding and buying great Creative ideas

Some marketers seem to believe (digital) marketing is all about the technology but no…it’s (still) mainly about creative. Brands connecting with people. Entertaining, informing, providing value in return for their time, attention and money. Words, pictures, videos, IDEAS which resonate. Desired reactions would include: “Yeah!” “That’s so true.” “Exactly!” “100%!” “I know what they mean.” “Yes - same!” “Funny!” “Oh, that’s interesting…” “Hello. He’s fit.” “Wow - that’s useful…” (or just quietly watching, listening, engaged…). Check out this case history: The Next Rembrandt by Dutch Bank ING Group and Microsoft (Cannes Cybers Lions…

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