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A content marketing planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences

We created our Content Marketing Matrix to help our members audit their content marketing assets as part of creating a content marketing strategy. It can also be used for content ideation, i.e. to brainstorm future content ideas to generate leads, nurture prospects, encourage sharing and generate backlinks for SEO. Since we created it eight years ago it's been shared many times and has inspired many 'mashups' in different formats as this Google search shows; great to see it's been useful! I think the CMM is a powerful mindtool for marketers since it's a content mapping tool, structured to help you think through two key dimensions of which types of content will best support the path to purchase for your target audience. The two dimensions are: 1.…

A successful brand strategy means your business' channels, digital experiences, and tone of voice need to home in on what your key customers want.

We've got marketing training to strengthen your branded consumer goods company's relationships with your target audiences. In order to build a loyal fan base, your brand strategy and style need to reflect your overall vision for the business. Having a brand strategy that jars with your product/service will put customers off and confuse them about who are and what you offer. However, integrating your marketing strategy can be hard, especially today in the age of digital disruption where every customer has an omnichannel experience. That's why our complete marketing training covers all the key elements you need to build a strong brand strategy.

The RACE Framework for consumer branded goods

Our popular RACE Framework is a simple, actionable planning structure for marketing leaders looking to streamline their omnichannel marketing strategies and…

If you're planning to optimize your branding or rebranding, we have tools to support your brand development at every stage

Have you ever wondered how brands grow as large and as well known as they do? From companies like Google to Starbucks, their names are known, customers know exactly what services and products they provide, and satisfied customers keep coming back for more. Brand development is how this happens, and it is no small feat. It takes time to cultivate a brand, to the point that a company has universal recognition like Gillette and Coca-Cola.

What does brand development involve?

Now that you recognize the importance of branding, what do you need to create a good brand? In a nutshell, brand development means: Finding your brand’s voice and communicating your value proposition Implementing your voice and style consistently throughout…

Viral marketing is not an exact science. It’s not the case that if you want to create a viral marketing campaign you simply have to think about it, plan it, and then you have it. If only it was that simple

Viral marketing has grown in popularity for consumers seeking entertainment and content creators finding new ways to reach their customers. Chances are that every CEO out there would like to have a viral marketing campaign for their company. Why? Because it is one of the most effective types of marketing. You don’t have to spend large budgets on creating ads or getting them out there. The focus here is on great content.

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing - or word of mouth marketing, as it was known before the technology era - has been existing for decades, but only during the past few years, since the appearance of social media networks,…

Personas, Journey mapping, AB testing, VoC or NPS: Which Digital Marketing Optimization techniques do you use?

Our latest research on Digital Marketing Optimization demonstrates there is a major challenge for many marketers of creating integrated strategies and communications plans with less than a fifth of businesses using a structured, continuous approach. From a customer point-of-view there is also likely to be a poor experience if their customer journeys are unclear or restricted by the inability of brands to integrate their communications and experiences.

Customer Journey Optimization

Since improving your customer journey can be one of the most effective ways to boost online leads and sales, we asked respondents which analysis techniques their businesses were using to research and improve the effectiveness of their customer journey.

Digital Marketing Optimization - What's hot?

You can see that A/B testing, customer personas and customer journey mapping have become…

I'm sorry to break it to you, but building personas will probably take twice as long as you think it will. Now's the time to create accurate personas to reap the rewards from doing so.

When thinking about personas, what comes to mind? It's likely you'll think of persona cards like the one below. But there is a lot of work involved to get to that stage - there's no point simply creating persona cards based on who you think your customers are. Many may think it's a good idea to have a quick look at data or produce them on the assumptions of every time they've dealt with customers, but by conducting persona research you can truly understand who your customers are. Personalization is also becoming more important, personas help you to deliver content, services, and products to relevant and targeted customers and prospects. Here's why it's worth the time and effort. [caption id="attachment_112641" align="alignnone" width="550"]…

It’s never been easier for B2B businesses to identify and target their ideal customers online.

"I have a great product or service but I just can’t seem to be able to find buyers." I hear this a lot. It's one of the most frustrating things for a passionate business owner or manager with a solution that can solve a genuine problem for people. For anyone who says "my product/service is for anyone that wants it", this may be true; but it won’t help you with your marketing strategy. [si_guide_block id="18795" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Customer persona guide and template" description="This template will be useful for both agency and client-side marketers to help them create compelling customer personas for their marketing plans."/] Think about a sliding scale. At one end you have people who don’t, and probably never will have an interest in your solution. At the other end, you have the person who recognizes…

A combination of data types allows marketers to identify and build out the segment of ideal and high-value customers

Segmentation helps boost the value that marketing teams bring to an organization. I am a big fan of the trusted segmentation toolkit, but for most companies, it can do with a much-needed upgrade. Growing your current database with high-value customer acquisition seems just the way to get there. A new form of segmentation and targeting can be found with the use of  Customer Data Platforms (CDP). A combination of data types allows marketers to identify and build out the segment of ideal, high-value customers.

Moving away from "blunderbuss marketing" from the start

Look at the Pillars of Segmentation marketing segmentation framework for a minute and you will realize that your data is at the heart of all segmentation efforts. Purchase data is a good starting point to identify interesting groups. What your a good…

Short ethnography studies can help to create personas and improve your website user experience and usability

Anyone who reads my Smart Insights blog posts will probably know by now that I try to achieve two things: Show marketers that research isn't too difficult, time-consuming or expensive (ok that's actually three things there) Show marketers the benefit of research and why it's worth the effort The next method I want to talk to you about is a particularly time-consuming type of research: ethnography, which are long-term observational type studies, however, I also believe that a simple short-term ethnography study can also yield fantastic benefits for user research and building personas which I recommend contain these features: Ethnography doesn't need to be time-consuming and there are ways of using this research method on a short-term basis to help increase your conversions and focus your marketing by helping…

Chart of the Day: Annual churn hits 23% in the high-tech industry

Email marketing is a vital channel for B2B marketers. Providing a high ROI when compared to other marketing channels. Which drives us, marketers, to spend many hours creating engaging content for our target personas. After all this effort when you're ready to hit the send, are you sure that your data is accurate? A recent study by Salesforce found that the rate at which B2B marketers were able to grow their email lists looks relatively healthy. In the High Tech and Retail sectors, the growth is as high as 21%. On the face of it, most marketers would take a 21% growth rate each year. Average Annual Growth by Vertical and Department But this is only one side of the story. The report also looks at…