Marketing planning

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,…

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…

Two different models with the same acronym

I see the 4C models referenced a fair bit when reviewing student assignments, so we thought it would be interesting both to students and marketing professionals to take a look in a little more detail at how they can be applied in practice. Background and clarification Two groups of marketers have created the 4Cs. 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…

3 actions to kickstart Digital Transformation

Take a deep breath, you’ve managed to get the senior team to commit to a digital project and your digital transformation journey has started. The next stage requires a sprint! A big leap forward to catch up with or leapfrog the competitors. Here are three actions you can take now: 1. Benchmark against the competitors 2. Listen to your customers 3. Build a team

1. Benchmark your business against the competitors

Benchmarking will identify the biggest gaps and generate a priority action list. There are many tools available to enable you to benchmark your digital marketing capabilities as part of strategy development.

Strategic Benchmarking Tool

One of my favourites is this strategic benchmarking tool. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, so it’s painless, although the questions are thought-provoking. You could ask several team members to complete and then compare results. Simply select your answer from a drop down box…

Learn to love The Logic Sandwich

To successfully take people through a whole buying decision, you need to find the right balance between satisfying their emotional and logical needs. The human brain has two halves: the left side of the brain is rational, considered and thoughtful, the right is creative, intuitive and spontaneous. To really get someone on board with your brand, you need to appeal to both sides of their nature. In short, you need messages that tick their emotional and logical boxes. [caption id="attachment_35506" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Are you serving up a Logic Sandwich?[/caption] Whatever you’re selling and whomever you’re selling it to (in the vast majority of cases), you are selling to a person: a human being. And, real people are primarily driven by their emotions. Even when what they articulate is a logical motivation for a purchase, there will be…