Marketing planning

How to create a digital marketing plan using PR Smith's SOSTAC® Planning model

SOSTAC® is a widely used tool for marketing and business planning which is rated in the top three most popular marketing models in the Smart Insights review of Marketing Models that have stood the test of time. In this post, I give an example of how I have applied PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Model - which is my interpretation of SOSTAC®. Further guidance and examples are available in the Smart Insights Guide for Expert members by PR Smith and this post by Dave Chaffey giving an overview of the SOSTAC® model. [si_guide_block id="42511" title="Download resource – Creating a Digital Marketing plan with SOSTAC®" description="A guide for Expert members to creating a digital marketing plan using SOSTAC® by PR Smith, the creator of the method."/] Created in the 1990s by writer and speaker …

To give your business the best chance of success, you need to invest in marketing. For a simple reason: marketing provides visibility for your products and converts customers.

Having said that, investing in marketing goes beyond just buying marketing tools and hoping for the best. Those tools will only be effective when your marketers have the skills to utilize them effectively. That’s why you also need to invest in marketing skills. By the time your marketers interact with your prospect, you want them to have the right skills to convince them. In this blog post, you’ll find 10 vital marketing skills that your business should start investing in today. [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id="150538"]

1. Interpersonal relationship skills

Even though a lot of marketing is done online today, marketers still end up interacting with their co-workers and prospects. Of course, the medium has changed but the concept is still the same. Therefore, you need to train your marketers on how…

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="43709" title="Managing digital marketing in 2020 research report" description="How does your use of digital marketing compare to other companies? Are you ahead of the curve or a lagging behind? Which channels offer the best ROI for you? Get a benchmark of how companies are making use of digital marketing and its various elements in the fifth instalment of our annual report."/] In this blog post, I'll show you six types of marketing plans you need to create for your business.

Types…

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…

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="8807" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Editorial calendar spreadsheet" description="Use our Excel editorial calendar to effectively plan your campaigns and content schedule for your entire brand."/] One of the trickiest elements of the…

What guides, templates, examples and Quick Wins have our members found helpful in 2019? We've taken a look at this year's most popular Smart Insights resources

Over the last year, we’ve updated and created new guides, templates, presentations and Quick Wins in order to help you better develop your marketing skills. We always aim to provide the most up-to-date information and advice to enable you to grow your knowledge, while our practical approach means you can easily put this knowledge to use. No matter what your membership level, business or personal goals, we’ve aimed to provide you with a broad range of resources to help you achieve them. So, whether you’re trying to improve your skills, upskill your team or grow your business, you’re all set with the support of Smart Insights. You’re not the only one either, as this year has seen a huge number of people making use of our guides,…

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…

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…