5 Marketing Automation Strategies to Increase Profits

While the concept of automation has been around since the beginning of the industrial age, its presence in today’s economy seems to be growing at record speeds. New technologies, combined with a better understanding of how they work, have allowed business of all types to grow in ways previously thought impossible.

marketing automation strategy business charts

One of the more recent developments in automation is its application in marketing. The emergence of Big Data, and the expansion of internet and smartphone use, means marketers now have their hands on a tremendous amount of information they can use to more effectively reach their target market.

However, as with any technological advance, just using it doesn’t automatically translate into results. You have to have the right strategy.

Marketing automation is all the rage right now, and here are five strategies to make it work for you.

Lead Identification

One of the most frequent debates that goes on between sales and marketing departments is what constitutes a quality lead. Differing opinions not only slow down the process, but they also can lead a salesperson to go after a lead that doesn’t really have much promise. One of the best marketing automation strategies you can pursue is one of lead identification. It uses data to help eliminate the guesswork ,giving sales team better leads to pursue.

The first step in this strategy is to automate data collection, as this will allow you to figure out exactly who is coming to your site. But more importantly, it will give you a chance to learn who is engaging with the content you produce. You can track clicks, time on page, downloads, etc. (using tools such as Google Analytics and UI parameters) and this will help you figure out which part of your target audience is responding most to your tactics.

Another great way to identify leads using automation is through subscriptions. Work with your web developer to have a subscription box pop up after people have spent a certain amount of time on the site. Signing up demonstrate affinity, meaning sales tactics will likely be more effective won these individuals. Implement these simple automation and use them to help make your sales efforts far more effective.

Lead Nurturing

The second strategy to pursue is lead nurturing. It’s one thing to identify good leads, but you need to manage them properly to be able to turn them into sales; even the best leads don’t all convert into sales.

The secret to this strategy is drip emails. These are emails that go out gradually (as if they were dripping) to confirmed leads. And they’re really easy to automate. You start by writing out the content of the emails, and then you set your system up to send different emails at different intervals. You could manage this manually, but you’d likely go insane trying to keep track of everything. By setting it up to work automatically, you can sit back and let the emails do the work for you.

And there’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest these types of campaigns work. In fact, one study found that every $1 invested in an email campaigns produces a return of $38. It’s tough to beat those kinds of results, and they’re really only attainable with an automated lead nurturing campaign.

There are a variety of different software options out there that can help you nurture leads, the most common and effective being Drip, ConvertKit, Vero and Mailchimp.

Brand Management and Engagement

Building and maintaining a brand is one of the key functions of a marketing department. And it requires a multifaceted approach across many different platforms. But it’s hard to beat the effectiveness of social media in building a brand. People use these platforms to stay in touch with those they care about, so being in on these conversations can only help your brand.

Actually doing this, though, can be a nightmare. Between all the different platforms, there’s far too much for any one person to do. The answer: automate. Platforms such as Hootsuite allow you to set up your social media posts in advance, meaning you can front load all the work and then only respond when needed. The software will alert you when someone has commented on a post or reached out to, and then you can respond directly to that comment, saving you from having to comb through all the content on your various accounts.

Furthermore, these services will help track engagement. They’ll bundle information about likes retweets, shares, etc., and this will let you know what’s working well and what’s not, allowing you to refine your campaigns and increase their effectiveness in helping you build your brand.

Customer Service

To stay competitive in today’s market, you must deliver top-notch customer service. While traditionally thought of as separate from marketing, nowadays both functions are closely connected. This bond has formed largely because of the information you can gather from your customer service efforts, and also because you can use customer service as another means of dealing with people.

The primary tool for automating customer service is a chatbot. These are a wonderful way to break the ice with people and make your site, company and brand seem more human. Offering to help people find something, or pointing them in the right direction when they land on you site, can go a long way towards helping to improve the customer experience and promote sales.

But chatbots can go one step further. Because they’re automated, they can collect and compile data that will help you understand your audience even more. They can identify frequent issues, and they can also help you learn more about what people come searching for when they land on your site. And all this means you can tailor your content to better meet the needs of your audience, increasing the chances you’ll connect with them and convert them into customers.

Tailored Content

Successful marketing campaigns speak directly to your target audience. They start by identifying the needs and expectations of a certain group, and they end by connecting with these people and convincing them to take an action, such as making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter. And the secret to doing this is to segment your audiences and deliver content that is directly relevant to them.

tailored content marketing automation strategy

For example, let’s say you’re a B2B business offering employment services or management consulting. Your goal as a company is to help people streamline their HR operations. As such, your audience is going to be people working in HR, as well as divisional managers responsible for making decisions about the business, as these are the people who will ultimately decide whether or not to hire you. And although these two groups are part of the same audience, the content you send to them must be different for it to be effective.

The secret to this is using an automated CRM software. It will help compile information about your many different audience segments, allowing you to create a distribute content tailored specifically for each group. For example, HR generalists may receive information about how to streamline the on-boarding process, whereas HR managers will receive content about how a (PEO) can save the company time, money and resources. It makes sense this kind of segmentation would work, and studies help back up this logic, indicating a 62 percent improvement in email campaign effectiveness with this type of tailored content.

Use Automation the Right Way

Automating marketing tasks presents an incredible opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing operation. However, for it to work, you need to have a good strategy. The five discussed here are some of the most effective known to date, so give them a try and watch as your marketing efforts produce better leads and drive higher sales figures now and into the future.

 

About the Author 

Jock works with investors and business owners to help people maximize the value of their business. Professionally, he is an expert in high-growth internet companies, having bought, built and sold three different businesses throughout his career. He is currently the CEO of Digitalexits.com.

12 Ways You Can Use Psychology in Your Marketing

Ever wanted to get into the minds of your customers and figure out how they think? Ever wanted to know the best methods to convince someone to do something?

As the study of the human mind and behavior, psychology has answers to what you’re looking for. Psychology is applicable to a wide range of fields, from daily life to counseling to human resources. But what you’re probably more concerned about is the intersection of psychology and marketing. We’ve got answers to your questions with

12 Marketing Psychology Tricks to Subtly Convince Your Leads

1. Relate to your customer.

Goldstein, Cialdini, and Griskevicius (2008) conducted a study on Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels. In particular, they tried to determine what kind of messaging would get hotel guests to reuse their towels.

(Credit: http://assets.csom.umn.edu/assets/118359.pdf)

They tested 3 different messages, paraphrased below:

Message Reuse rate
Commonly used message 35%
75% of guests in this hotel reuse their towels 44%
75% of guests in your room reuse their towels 50%

As you can see, the more the hotel related to its guests, the more effective its messaging was.

In another study by Burger, Messian, et al (2004), participants were asked whether they would help someone else with his/her essay. In one situation, they were told whether they had the same birthday as the essay writer. In another situation, they were told that they shared fingerprint similarities with the essay writer and whether their fingerprint similarities were common or very rare.

Comments Compliance to essay request
Different birthday 34%
Same birthday 62%

 

Comments Compliance to essay request
None 48%
Similar prints: common 55%
Similar prints: very rare 82%

Again, participants were more willing to help the essay writer if he/she seemed to be more similar to them. This phenomenon where people tend to view others who are similar to them more favorably is called in-group favoritism.

All in all, the best way to motivate your customers to do something is to say that customers in their situation have done so. Try to find common ground and draw similarities among your customers as well as between your company and your customers.

2. Start small.

This is commonly known as the foot-in-the-door technique. Freedman and Fraser (1966) knocked on doors asking if residents could do something small, such as sign a petition or put a sticker on their windows. For their control group, they skipped some houses and didn’t speak to them at all.

Some time later, Freedman and Fraser went to the exact same houses with a larger request, such as putting a large sign on their lawn, which was either related to the same issue as the previous request or related to a different issue.

Situation Compliance rate to large request
Controls 17%
Different issue / type of request 48%
Same issue / type of request 76%

They found that people whom they had already approached were much more willing to agree to their large request, nearly 3 times more willing if the request pertained to a different issue and more than 4 times more willing if the request pertained to the same issue!

Starting small and then gradually scaling up your requests is one way to convince your customers to do something. We see examples of this everywhere. First, a non-profit organization simply asks for your email address. Next, they keep you updated regarding their events and progress. Before you know it, they’re asking you to donate.

The opposite of the foot-in-the-door technique is the door-in-the-face technique, where instead of starting small, you start big. You make a large request from the get-go, maybe something ridiculous that the customer unsurprisingly turns down. Then, you make a smaller request. In this case, the customer is more likely to agree to your smaller request since it’s much less ridiculous than the large request you started off with.

3. Use random reward schedules.

You know those stamp cards that some restaurants and coffee shops give you that allow you to get a free drink on the 10th time you come? Actually, although those cards can be effective, they’re not the most effective way of incentivizing customers to come back. Instead of having a fixed ratio reinforcement schedule, where customers get rewarded every 10th time they come, you should have variable reinforcement, where customers get rewarded randomly.

This draws on a concept called operant conditioning in psychology, where we learn to associate our behaviors with events, for example, associating going back to a restaurant with getting a free drink. Operant conditioning commonly involves rewarding a behavior to get more of that behavior. (Like when you’re training your dog, you reward it every time it sits when you tell it to.)

Skinner showed this by rewarding a mouse with food in two different ways:

1) rewarding every 5th time it pressed a bar (fixed ratio schedule)

2) rewarding randomly (variable reinforcement).

He found that the second option was more long-lasting and required less reinforcement (less food)!

Although humans and animals are very different, we are also very similar. Imagine if a restaurant didn’t tell us when they’re going to give us a free drink. We’d probably be going back as much as we could to maximize our chances of getting that free drink! Cereal brands and Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory take advantage of variable reinforcement by putting golden tickets in some of their cereal boxes or candy bars, spurring us to want to buy more for a shot to win!

4. Frame your sales pitches in an appealing way.

Consider two different situations below. The original price of the jacket is $125; $23 for the tripod.

1)  marketing psychology customer experience

2) marketing psychology customer experience

Which one would you be more willing to buy if you had to drive 20 minutes to the store?

This adapted example is based on Kahneman and Tversky’s (1984) study. They found that 68% of respondents were willing to buy the tripod whereas only 29% were willing to buy the jacket. You might’ve realized that in both cases, consumers are saving the same amount: $11.50!

The point is that consumers think about gains and losses in relative terms, not absolute terms. In other words, they think in percentages, not dollars. A discount of $11.50 for the tripod is a larger percentage than a discount of $11.50 for the jacket.

When coming up with your sales pitches and marketing messages, be sure to take this into account! Think of more appealing ways of framing your messages – even if your messages are describing the same thing!

5. Appeal to your customers’ senses.

Sight

visual long term memory psychology marketing

Sight comes first because it’s probably the most important and effective sense for us humans. Brady, Konkle, Alvarez, and Oliva (2008) conducted an experiment where they flashed images of objects to participants. The images below are examples of ones that they flashed.

After flashing a certain number of images, the researchers then presented 2 similar images to participants. One image was an actual image that was flashed but the other was one that looked similar to the actual image that was flashed. They then asked participants, of the two images below, which was the one that you actually saw?

marketing psychology two remotes

They found that participants were shockingly accurate at identifying the images that were actually flashed and were not fooled by images that were incredibly similar. In other words, they remembered the visual details of the images that were flashed and could distinguish subtle differences between the images that were flashed and the images that looked similar but were not actually flashed. In fact, for 2,500 images that were flashed, the accuracy was around a whopping 90%!

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy9

Participants’ responses were also very accurate when considering the number of items that appeared between the actual item and its match.

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy10

What does this mean for your marketing? USE VISUALS! A lot of them! Make all of your marketing material (ads, brochures, flyers, websites, emails, blog posts, social media, etc.) visually appealing and colorful. Don’t just overwhelm your audience with tons of text! Include images, videos, and other multimedia to spice things up whenever possible.

Smell

Ever walk into a busy shopping mall and immediately recognize the strong, signature cologne of Abercrombie & Fitch? That’s a successful marketing technique right there! We can smell an A&F from miles away before seeing it, and we then simply follow our nose the rest of the way.

This marketing technique is so effective that it creates a learned association between a specific smell and a brand. In psychology, odors have been found to be highly effective retrieval cues that evoke our memories. Just imagine walking back into your house and being hit by the aroma of baked cookies in the air, reminding you of your grandma…

Why is smell such an effective sense to appeal to? One hypothesis is related to anatomy: Signals from smell go from the olfactory bulb directly to the hippocampus and to the amygdala whereas signals from other senses take less direct routes. Another hypothesis is related to evolution: We as humans needed our sense of smell back in the day to hunt for food and survive. The last hypothesis is related to dilution: Try to imagine a smell. It’s harder than imagining a picture or sound, right? Because smells are harder to rehearse, researchers propose that this makes them stay stuck in the context in which you sensed them.

Hearing

1-877-KARS-4-KIDS

K-A-R-S Kars4Kids

1-877-KARS-4-KIDS

Donate your car today.

877-241-LUNA

I bet you sang those jingles in your head just now. The crazy thing is, the Luna jingle is at least 10 years old. How can we still remember it now?

All thanks to great marketing!

On top of that, the famous experiment with Pavlov’s dogs highlighted the phenomenon of classical conditioning. Pavlov rang a bell, served his dog with meat, measured the amount of salivation, and repeated this. After several trials, he found that even if he rang a bell and didn’t serve his dog with meat, his dog would still salivate. His dog had created a learned association betweeen the bell ringing and being served meat.

We, as humans, can be classically conditioned too. If you, as a marketer, can create a jingle that gets stuck in everyone’s heads for very long and creates a learned association between the jingle and your brand, then you’re golden. Think about the McDonald’s jingle!

6. Capture your audience’s attention.

Time for a quiz! Which image below is the correct one for the penny?

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy5

Why is this quiz harder than expected? If you’re an American, you see tons of pennies regularly. Did our elementary school education go to waste?

Not to worry! 1) As you can see below, there are many people on the same boat.

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy6

2) This psychology study shows that it’s not the number of pennies we see that matters, but the amount of attention we devote.

In another study, Castel, Vendetti, and Holyoak (2012) surveyed employees in a building. Although the average time that the employees had worked in the building was 4.5 years, only 1 in 4 people knew where the nearest fire extinguisher was. Not devoting attention to these sorts of things could be very dangerous!

What does this mean for your marketing? Make sure to capture and direct your audience’s attention. If you’re writing a blog and want your audience to pay attention to an important call to action, image, video, or link, be sure to call your audience’s attention to that, maybe by mentioning it explicitly in your writing or by making it stand out on the screen.

Also, don’t clutter your webpages! I think we’ve all been victim to webpages with lots of ads and content, which can be incredibly overwhelming and make it difficult to find what exactly to focus on. In these scenarios, if I’m reading an article, for example, I find myself scrolling past and ignoring anything other than the text. But sometimes, I find out that there was an image or table I missed that was actually relevant to the article. You don’t want this to happen with the amazing content you’ve created! Especially in this age with information overload which has resulted in short attention spans, strive to engage your audience and capture their undivided attention. Appealing to the senses works here as well!

7. Use eye contact.

Have you ever “borrowed” something from work or school without asking? Bateson, Nettle, and Roberts (2006) investigated how to prevent this from happening. They set up an “honesty box” in a coffee room at a university for people to pay for their coffee and put up either a control image (for example, a picture of flowers) or a photo of eyes.

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy4

It turned out that when eyes were displayed, coffee enthusiasts paid THREE TIMES as much! This shows the importance of the creepy feeling of being watched and how we care so much about our reputations.

How should you use eye contact in marketing without creeping out your customers? Uncle Sam can be seen putting this into practice.

uncle sam marketing psychology

If you’re pitching to a customer or investor, be sure to make eye contact with them. Try to incorporate eye contact into your ads and marketing material. Ever wonder why the Trix bunny and the Cap’n Crunch captain are looking down? To make eye contact with the kids who want the cereal!

capn crunch cereal eye contact marketing

8. Use the power of 7.

What’s so powerful about the number 7? Well, it’s the number of chunks of information that you can hold in your short-term memory.

What’s a chunk of information? Consider the phone number 877-241-LUNA from above. Luna was clever to chunk the last 4 digits of their phone number. So instead of remembering the last 4 digits as 4 separate chunks of information, you only need to remember LUNA as 1 chunk of information. Kars4Kids does an even better job of chunking their phone number into an easy-to-remember, catchy phrase.

This technique doesn’t just apply to phone numbers; it can apply to product specifications, websites, prices, and more! Chabris (1999) further showed that chess players use chunking to remember the setup of the board. They were better at remembering a setup that could occur during a game (taking the rules of chess into account) compared to a random setup (not taking the rules of chess into account).

How else can you chunk and make things easier to remember? Think back to how you remembered the orders of operation in math or the taxonomies in biology. Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally? (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) Did King Phillip Come Over For Good Spaghetti? (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

Using acronyms or mnemonics and creating structure and constraints that limit the options are effective ways to help people remember things. Remembering an acronym is essentially chunking all those pieces of information into a single chunk!

In marketing, you’re going to have to be as memorable as you can to your customers. Make sure you don’t overwhelm them with too much information that they won’t remember. Keep the power of 7 in mind.

9. Throw your customers an anchor.

“What?” you’re probably thinking. Let me explain what I mean by this. In psychology, there is a cognitive bias called “anchoring.”

Consider this question: Is the proportion of African nations that are in the UN greater than 15%? What is the actual proportion?

  1. 0-10
  2. 10-20
  3. 20-30
  4. 30-40
  5. 40-50
  6. 50-60
  7. 60-70
  8. 70-80
  9. 80-90
  10. 90-100

My psychology professor, Professor Daniel Swingley, asked his class this question and aggregated the results into the bar chart below.

Notice anything unusual about this chart? Nearly all the responses are clustered around 15%, with the range “10-20” having the highest percentage.

psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy11

This quick example question was modeled off of a study conducted by Englich, Mussweiler, and Strack (2006) called Playing dice with criminal sentences: the influence of irrelevant anchors on experts’ judicial decision making. German judges and lawyers rolled two dice and decided whether the sentence for a shoplifter would be higher or lower than the sum of the numbers on the two dice. Below are the results.

Condition Average sentence
Only {1, 2} come up on dice (sum = 3) 5 months
Only {3, 6} come up on dice (sum = 9) 8 months

These results are shocking because the decisions made by the German judges and lawyers were influenced by something as arbitrary as a dice roll. The higher the dice roll, the higher the average sentence decided on by the judges and lawyers.

Why does this happen? Well, when there’s a lot of uncertainty or not enough time to make a decision, we tend to succumb to unusual and shocking influences. Anchoring adjustment occurs when we start with a random number and adjust it a little based on what we know. Think about the question about the UN above. Unless you have a lot of experience with the UN and/or know a lot about it, you probably wouldn’t have any idea about the proportion of African countries in the UN. You scramble for a reference point or anchor to go off of, and if this is provided in the question, you immediately seize it and base/pivot your thinking off of that.

In psychology, this phenomenon, “activating particular representations or associations in memory just before carrying out an action or task,” is called priming, which is one way to explain anchoring. The effort of adjustment also explains the small adjustments around the anchor.

But how is this related to marketing? As shocking as this is in terms of the ethics of deciding on a criminal sentence, you can still use this in an ethical way to maximize your revenues. Let’s pretend that you’re on the phone with a potential customer. Let’s also say that this customer might not be very knowledgeable of a suitable price range for your product. Maybe he/she doesn’t know much about the pricing of competing products or the prospective value of your product. With an email, your customer would have time to do some research and think through the pricing more, but when he/she is on the phone in the hot seat, time is constrained, and he/she needs to think and respond quickly on the spot.

This would be an ideal situation for you to use anchoring. What’s the best thing for you to do here? Maybe start off by suggesting a relatively high price (but not absurdly high) that sets an anchor for your customer to base off of. With little prior knowledge, he/she would use this as his/her single data point. Further thinking and discussion will likely be clustered around this reference point.

This overlaps with the door-in-the-face technique mentioned above, where you start high and then potentially negotiate a bit lower later on.

A word of caution: Be very careful in gauging whether or not your customer is knowledgeable about the field. You don’t want to risk angering a knowledgeable customer by assuming he/she wasn’t knowledgeable and offering a price that he/she knows is too high compared to competing products. Some knowledgeable customers might take it well, but others might not. Ultimately, starting with a relatively high price is merely a suggestion. Anchoring is backed up with empirical evidence, and you can feel free to keep it in mind and use your judgment to decide how best to adapt and apply it to your specific situations.

10.Put your audience to work.

Again, you’re probably like, “What? Why would I do that to my audience when the tendency for all of us humans is to be lazy?”

But if you want someone to remember something longer, Craik and Tulving (1975) showed that you need to get them to work and put in more effort. In other words, the depth of processing is key.

Craik and Tulving showed subjects a list of words and asked them to do a task for each word. Then, they asked subjects to recall as many words as they could. The results are shown below.

Task Recall rate
Press button (a) if word is in caps, (b) if not 15%
Press button (a) if word rhymes with “train”, (b) if not 47%
Press button (a) if word makes sense in “He saw a _____ in the street.” 81%

As you can see, the more work the subjects had to put into their thinking (the greater their depth of processing), the more words they remembered.

So how can you put your audience to work, but not in a dreadful way? Think about the content in your Facebook or Twitter feed that piques your interest the most. Is it the ads that are mixed into the photos of puppies on your feed? Or is it the BuzzFeed quizzes such as “Which Disney Princess Are You?

Probably the latter! That said, think about how to incorporate similar quizzes and activities into your marketing campaigns. If you work for a laptop company, maybe you could create a quiz, “Which Laptop Are You?” In fact, if you’re at any company that sells a range of products, you can create a quiz that determines “Which _____ Are You?” to help customers with their buying decisions.

Another way to apply this psychology study is to ask your audience rhetorical questions. Why are rhetorical questions so effective in ads, presentations, and more? Because they get your audience actively thinking rather than passively observing. It increases the depth of processing.

Dale’s Cone of Experience summarizes this idea nicely in a visual.

dales cone of experience marketing psychology

The moral of the story is that making something more engaging and hands-on is more effective in getting someone to remember it. Remember: There’s always a way to make something more interactive. Strive to effectively engage your audience.

11. Invite your friends.

Consider the two networks of friends below.

Christakis Fowler smoking friend networks-psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy Christakis Fowler smoking friend networks2-psychology-marketing-cmo-online marketing strategy

Notice anything for the smoking groups?

Christakis and Fowler (2008) found that smokers tend to be friends with smokers and nonsmokers tend to be friends with nonsmokers. Smoking dropped by around 50% from 1971 to 2000, but these social groups didn’t change in size. Groups of smokers shrank in number, not size.

What does this mean? This means that smokers quit smoking in social groups. Christakis and Fowler also found that smokers moved more toward the social peripheral and became less likely to be a “hub” of a social group. For mutual friends, one friend quitting makes the other 43% likely to quit as well.

In terms of marketing, why do you think so many marketing campaigns are founded on “Invite your friends”? The truth is that your friends have a lot of influence on you. Think about all those times you tried something new just because your friends did it and encouraged you to do it too!

Harness the power of social groups in your marketing, and you can drive the next trend.

12. Ask your customers to pay in advance.

Think back to your favorite band 5 years ago. What is the maximum amount you’d pay to see them now?

Now think about your current favorite band. What is the maximum amount you’d pay to see them in 5 years?

What you’re realizing now is that you probably answered a higher amount for the second question than the first, even though it doesn’t really make sense rationally. Well, you’re in the same boat as the subjects in a study conducted by Quoidbach, Gilbert, and Wilson (2013)

mean for first question $80
mean for second question $129

They concluded that “participants substantially overpaid for a future opportunity to indulge a current preference.”

You could potentially take advantage of this by asking your customers to pay in advance for what they want, before they have time to change their preferences!

Now, time to put theory to practice and apply psychology to YOUR marketing!

Is Your Business Implementing VR?

The Virtual Reality market has been steadily growing and is expected to grow to an industry of $US 2.16 trillion by 2035 and plenty of organisations are taking advantage of the boom, for instance, Facebook bought Oculus for this very reason. There are also endless opportunities in this sector and the organisations that move quickly would have the advantage. Computer simulation has become an important part of the gaming industry and Telsyte estimated that by 2020 2.5 million households would own a VR unit. But its uses are far advanced to be just utilised in gaming.

Virtual Reality has and can be used for education and training as well. And it is slowly taking over the business world as well. With a plethora of benefits associated with implementing the technology in your business, make sure you don’t miss out on any one of them. How do you do that? By asking yourself if your business is implementing VR. Since Virtual Reality is one of the top trends in 2017, your business is going to benefit once you implement this technology. Whichever business enterprise you run, Virtual Reality can help you take it to the next level. And it’s not even that expensive!

To help make up your mind, here are some of the ways in which implementing VR will aid your business.

Employee Training for Design Related Businesses

vr accessories

Capturing and dispersing knowledge has become easier with Virtual Reality. The immersive way of distributing knowledge makes sure that all your employees remain up-to-date with the technicalities involved.

In the real estate industry, most businesses were early to catch up on the trend. They started with 360-degree virtual walkthroughs and made marketing properties easier. Even the construction industry has now caught up to the trend. Whenever a client demands some changes in the design, they can easily see the final look through VR. See KFC’s employee training below!

VR as a Marketing Tool

business-vr-virtual-reality

This immersive media also makes for a great marketing tool. Since most families are still new to the Virtual Reality experience, it’ll be the perfect tool for attracting them to your business. Such activities provide businesses with an opportunity to raise brand awareness and customer engagement.

Businesses like McDonalds, Samsung and Lowe’s have realised the efficacy of using VR as a marketing tool and they are making the best of this opportunity. See Jack Daniel’s marketing VR.

Adding a Twist to Print Media

Traditional print media has seen some setbacks since the internet has taken the market by storm. Although there are many people who still prefer the old way of reading the newspaper, there can be no denying that the new dimension of news and entertainment has gained immense popularity. Virtual Reality has also penetrated this industry.

The New York Times caught on to it early and in November 2015, produced a VR film, The Displaced. The film was distributed to over a million Sunday home delivery subscribers, along with Google Cardboard glasses. They repeated this in May 2016. Through their efforts, they were able to make the genre feature a fresh perspective and to gain interest of the youngsters as well.

Help Customers Make Informed Decisions

Gone are the days when customers had to choose home improvement pieces without any idea of their compatibility with their home and space. Lowe’s store had been working on this problem and through Lowe’s Innovation Lab, they have developed some creative augmented, mixed and virtual reality tools.Now their customers can easily use the VR tools for designing, visualising DIY skills training and even navigation of Lowe’s store. By implementing these technologies, they have made sure that customers can easily visualise what their home improvement projects are going to look like, even before they get started. With this power in hand, customers are now more informed and can thus take better decisions.

Gaining popularity wasn’t difficult for this technology, as people are more open to new experiences as they were before. Over time, the price of technology has also dropped and it keeps on dropping, which will make it easier for Virtual Reality products to gain access to households and businesses.

So far, the production of Virtual Reality gear hasn’t achieved a sustainable level yet, which raises a question about the industry as well. Although China has already invested billions of dollars for VR hardware, in Australia, the production hasn’t seen any significant rise.

Over the years, prices for Virtual Reality solutions are expected to become even lower. This can amount to great opportunities for small businesses, which are not ready to invest yet. There are no doubts to the first mover advantage in Virtual Reality technology, but there are plenty of organisations who have put the idea on hold till the full arrival of VR. With a digital formation strategy though, businesses can demonstrate product attributes, help consumers make better choices, and can also raise brand awareness.

Digital Transformation Top 5 Tips

Making a digital transformation is not easy for any business, particularly one that has been established without much reliance on digital media. While it is possible to make the transformation happen, it requires a lot of hard work. It’s not going to happen overnight.

On the other hand, digital transformations are much more than simply picking the best digital template and applying everything. You need to pay attention to a few aspects in order to ensure that your digital transformation is a success. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. The following are 5 of the best, top tips on how to apply a digital transformation template to your business.

Aligning Your Goals and Vision

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Before you kick start a digital transformation, make sure it is in line with the company’s goals, vision, mission and other aspects. It is very rare where a business requires a business transformation by opting for a completely clean slate. In fact, you’re going to come across plenty of templates that allow you to make use of digital transformation in accordance with your goals and vision.

Keep in mind that just because you need to change doesn’t mean that you should abandon everything. A digital transformation should keep the good, minimize the bad and work out how to enhance the overall impact that your business makes. Once you’re able to do this, you’ll feel like your template is made from gold due to the value it adds to your business.

Enhancing the Customer Experience

customer-experience-centric

A digital transformation should focus on enhancing the customer experience as well. A major component of any template, you can see examples of successful digital transformations everywhere around you. However, they didn’t get this success just by springing it on to their clients. It took months of hard work, testing, tweaking and more, to be able to ensure a successful transformation.

For this reason, you need to ensure that you get your customers on board for your digital transformation too. Amazon.com and Apple are huge examples of businesses that enhanced their user experience by not only embracing digital transformation but also educating their consumer regarding their product offerings.

The Skill Level of Your Team

When you’re attempting a digital transformation, keep the skill level of your team in mind as well. If your team fails at embracing the change, it can be extremely problematic to ensure that your business will fare well. Often times, it can be detrimental towards productivity as well. For example: An office that largely uses Microsoft and Windows decides to go for a different platform such as Ubuntu that relies on other open source products that work like Microsoft Office on it. Unfortunately, the learning curve for Ubuntu is pretty steep and it might mean encountering plenty of problems which can cause a number of unproductive days before the staff and other employees get the hang of it. Yet, the payoff might not be large enough and it eventually will force the business to revert back to its old platform. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just exceedingly unproductive.

Picking the Right Digital Supplier

When you’re opting for a digital transformation, your services will only be as good as the service provider. Whether you’re incorporating the cloud, or streamlining your products, you need to work with a good digital supplier that prevents down time and lagging. Both of these can be costly since consumers expect sites to load and function within seconds.

Waiting for minutes, drives them away from your page or your offerings. By ensuring that the process is thoroughly streamlined, your digital supplier can boost your business in more ways than one. Moreover, they can also provide a number of different services such as security features, data storage and others that are especially suited to your business.

Creating Digital Leaders

Apart from relying on your digital supplier, you should also have a digital business leader who encourages the growth of your business. Digital leaders are people who’re going to be in the public eye and advocate your product. Traditional examples of digital leaders include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Spiegel and others like them.

Steve Jobs was a particularly great digital leader, successfully marketing iPhones and iPods since they were introduced to the market. Despite becoming synonymous with the brand, Steve Jobs actually had very little to do with the invention of the iPhone which was produced by Apple and was a product of its creative team. Steve Jobs just had the brilliance to recognize and support the idea when it was presented to him.

At the end of the day, these tips will help to make a huge impact on your own digital transformation. Keep in mind that these tips are not small ones. For many businesses, it has taken years to apply them properly. Nonetheless, the results you get with their help speak for themselves.

Are You Ticking Off These Essentials in Your Marketing Strategy?

Is your company including the essential parts of a marketing strategy? Do you know what to include? Chances are you’re missing some important parts that could help boost your business. Your marketing strategy is your business’s plan to gain new customers and to keep in contact with existing customers. This is essential when growing your small business. Summarized below are the most important bits of information that your business should be adding and targeting. If you are looking for different marketing templates, check out 8 Marketing Plan Templates to Blow Your Competitors Out of the Water.

Marketing Plan Essentials That You Should be Including

1. Identify your Goals

goal steps-marketing strategy-cmo-digital marketing-customer service-customer success

Identifying your goals when embarking on your marketing strategy is the most important part of the marketing strategy. Your goals are what you want to accomplish by performing this plan. These goals should be things that you can realistically accomplish with the budget and time frame you are giving yourself. You can look at what your company needs and then tailor your strategy to better accomplish this. For example, if you are trying to target a younger demographic, try using a more digital advertising campaign over social media. Your goals will evolve throughout the process, and that is just fine! It is important however, to strive toward the same area of growth or target the same people. This way, when you analyze your marketing strategy afterward, you can find out if it was successful or not.

Related: 8 Marketing Plan Templates That Will Blow Your Competitors Out of the Water.

2. Produce Content

In a world obsessed with technology and the Internet, content marketing and just producing content in general are becoming necessities. Your content should be over a wide range of topics to get as many people reading as possible. Your content should also be split up into the Viral, Discover, Consider, and Customer categories I have talked about in previous blogs.

Content is what drives people to your site and is often overlooked when it comes to building your business and getting traffic to your website. Remember, content is essential when embarking on your marketing strategy!

3. Distribute Content

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After producing this content, you will have to distribute it. It is a good idea to distribute your content on multiple customer channels. At this point in your marketing strategy, you will have already figured out who you are mostly targeting. You can now look to different channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, and your company website. If you are targeting a younger crowd, maybe look towards Facebook. With such advancements in digital advertising, you can directly reach your target market when they search for topics related to your product or company.

4. Analytics

Throughout your marketing strategy you should be analyzing your progress. Google Analytics is a great tool you can use to understand all the incoming data. Google Analytics will provide you details such as average session duration, where the traffic is coming from the most, the demographics of the traffic, and even repeat customers vs. new customers. You can then take this data and see if you are on track to achieve your goal. It will also tell you if your target market is interacting with the content you have produced.

5. Ensure Brand Strength

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Think of Nike, Apple, Google, BMW, or Lufthansa. These companies all have one thing in common: fantastic brand strength. They are the forerunners in the industries they compete in and have incredible customer loyalty. When a smaller company is trying to increase its brand strength, it is important to show consistency. This will prove to your customers what you stand for and over time will increase brand loyalty. It is also best to put your brand out as much as possible. Place your logo on all products, in your social media, and anywhere possible. This increases brand awareness and will, in turn, help promote your products.

6. Marketing Strategy Analysis

After exercising your marketing strategy, it is important to analyze your whole process. Start with your goals. Did they stay the same? Did you accomplish them? What data points are you measuring to define success? This should have been stated beforehand. Get your marketing team together and do a quick rundown to see what went well and what could be improved for next time. Your marketing strategy can be remade and remastered to better fit your future goals, but you always need the same basics to get started.

 

CTA marketing strategy template

8 Signs You Might Want to Switch Up Your Online B2B Campaigns

One of the worst things from a marketing perspective with B2B campaigns is when you look at big companies that have great products or services, but are unable to capitalize due to poor marketing campaigns. The name of your brand and your reputation, will only get your business so far. If you want to strike while the iron is still hot, then you need to focus on switching up your online B2B campaign.

Businesses no longer have the luxury of being oblivious to the latest strategies and tactics for B2B campaigns, because there is no shortage of accessible information online. However, there are many businesses that have marketing professionals who refuse to conform to the latest trends, and prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.

This is a foolish position to take because the strategies that initially brought them success are outdated, and the target audience has also changed and matured. By failing to adopt cutting edge digital strategies they are refusing to adapt and improve their online B2B campaigns. When put under the spotlight for lack of results, the common excuse used is poor execution by the teams.

However, if any business wants to remain competitive, they need to adopt new marketing strategies. All businesses need to adapt to their environment, and that can only be done when you decide to switch up your online B2B campaigns.

8 Signs that show your B2B Marketing Strategy is Outdated

You can’t seem to engage clients

If you’re failing to engage your clients, you’re failing to reach your potential as a business, which is why it is important that you offer them with a comprehensive contact page. This is important for capturing leads and customer satisfaction.

51% of people will not do business with a company that doesn’t provide them with thorough contact information.

You will lose more business if you’re not providing your clients with contact information, which is why it might be time to redesign your website and switch up your online B2B campaign.

You’re not capturing leads

You may not have any problems in attracting traffic on to your website, but you also need to convert that traffic into sales. Lead capturing is important for a business, otherwise they won’t make any money, and to do that you need to include landing pages, forms, and call-to-action buttons on your website. You won’t be able to convert leads without them.

Your website is cluttered

Having lots of content on your B2B website is a good strategy, but you can easily overdo it as well. A cluttered website is going to be an eyesore, and visitors to your website will run away, which is why it is important to balance things out. You should know about the value of whitespace, since it helps visitors focus on the important things on your website. It helps to improve readability, and also helps lead capturing as well.

Your website design doesn’t match your brand

Businesses must focus on their brand positioning as well, which means clearly outlining what the brand and the B2B website represent. The design scheme of your website needs to be in sync with your industry, and should include strong brand messaging. You should be clear about your goals as a business with your clients and customers, which will only help serve your B2B campaign.

Your website hasn’t been updated

When the digital revolution came about, and computers became mainstream, basic website designs were the norm. However, technology has grown rapidly over time, and that has also influenced website designs. If you want your B2B campaign to be successful, you need to update the website design as well. If you’re not sold on that, these statistics might change your perception:

66% of web users want websites with visually appealing designs

38% of web visitors won’t engage with a website with poor content or layout

79% of web users prefer going to websites that are mobile friendly

If you want your B2B campaign to be a success you will need to work on upgrading your website design.

You don’t upload fresh content

You need to frequently upload fresh content on your B2B blog, which is important for SEO, more visitors, driving organic traffic, and converting leads. If you don’t have any new content on your website, your website traffic will fall off a cliff. If you don’t have a blog on your website, you can add a ‘news section’, which will help provide visitors with helpful, informative, and relevant information.

The website is unresponsive and slow

One of the main reasons to switch up your online B2B campaign is if you have a website that is slow and unresponsive.

71% of mobile users stop going to websites that take too long to load or crash frequently.

The average web user only waits about 5 seconds for a website to load. If your website is slower than that, you are going to lose traffic and customers. So, make sure that your website is as fast and responsive as possible on desktop and mobile to keep visitors happy and conversion rates soaring.

You can’t update anything

Websites that are inaccessible or haven’t been updated in a long time will not attract visitors, which is why it is important to freshen things up. You can either upgrade your web design or design a brand new one from scratch to ensure that your website manages to attract more traffic.

Expert tips to generate viable leads

Lead generation is such an important factor in marketing that you just can’t go without a good lead generation strategy. A lot of people think that they have got everything covered when it comes to getting traffic to their website. Gone are the days of traditional marketing because the internet has changed the way we do things. From running a business to communicating with someone, almost everything has its online version. One of the reasons why people fail to generate leads is because they are still using traditional marketing strategies to promote their business online. The dynamics of the online world differ vastly. There are new tools and avenues that can make your business go to newer heights.

7 Strategies That Will Make You Attract Leads Like Bees To Honey

Content creation

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Content creation is one of the most powerful ways to attract leads to a website. But even that is not enough. You need to know what your target audience is in order to do so. If you have the wrong kind of content, you will end up having thousands of visitors on your website but hardly any leads. A lot of people have this confusion that the number of visitors per site can easily determine the number of leads; at least not when you have the wrong type of content on the website. The content could be anything, social media, blogs, videos, podcasts etc. as long as you know that it is reaching to the target audience, you are good to go.

Contact information

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It is imperative that you mention your contact information on your website; more specifically a contact number. This isn’t mostly because you want to increase user credibility to potential customers. They might not necessarily call but at least they know that you are trustable and can be reached directly. If a contact number is not possible, an email and an enquiry form is always a must.

Feedback and testimonials

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After your first couple of orders, be in contact with your existing customers and ask them for their feedback and if they would be willing to let you share their testimonials on your website. This is another way of showing your credibility to potential consumers because they will see firsthand unpaid reviews of verified customers. Amazon uses this effective strategy and even mentions if it is a verified customer. After every purchase Amazon sends an email to its customers asking to write a review for their sellers. You too can send emails and a rating system for your product or service that other visitors can read when they are visiting your website.

A dynamic website

Your website should have the ultimate sweet spot for the user. In other words, the sweet spot is where uniqueness, simplicity and user friendliness collide. Your website should not look like a unicorn and have everything on it. Have a minimalistic design that speaks more about your brand rather than the website design itself. Avoid using cookie-cutter and run of the mill type website layouts because they won’t make you stand out.

Use powerful words

Use words that directly speak to the subconscious of the consumer. This might sound sneaky but in reality it’s just a marketing tool which is being used by decades by various brands and companies to get more customers. Use words like “get”, “have”, “make” “instantly” etc to trigger the subconscious of the consumer and you will notice that it makes more leads than by using words like “can” or “may” these words imply that they may or may not aren’t trustworthy.

Social media

If content is King then social media is the contents advisors. Social media brings in your content to the maximum number of people and to the target audience for your product or service. There are so many mediums available for you to share your content on therefore you need t pick the one that best suits your customer base. For e.g. if your product or service caters to a young crowd using social media like SnapChat can be beneficial for your brand. If it is more visual based then Instagram or Pinterest would be the right choice. Similarly if you have a B2B setup, then posting blogs on LinkedIn would be the right way to go about it. Facebook is the social media staple so having a Facebook button along with one or two more social media buttons on your website shows that you have an extension beyond the confines of your website.

Foolproof Marketing Strategy Tips to Increase Revenue

A vast number of e-commerce and online companies have the same goal: increase revenue and products. But what can a company do to make this goal a reality? Online marketing is a quick and easy way to increase company profits. Follow along to learn some…

 

Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Revenue

Focus on Existing Customers

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Existing customers are 60-70% more likely to buy your products than new customers at a mere 5-20%. Existing customers also spend on average 31% more and are 50% more likely to buy new products than new customers, Nichole Kelly, the CEO of SME Digital, writes.

For many companies, connecting with their existing customers is a natural fit for social media. These companies are seeing conversations about their brands, their competitors and their industry that provide them with an opportunity to engage others in dialogue.

There are two types of strategies that revolve around existing customers on the social media channel. The first is to offer customer service help through the social channel. We’ve seen excellent examples of this with Comcast and Boingo, which have successfully addressed customer concerns through social media.

This builds customer relationships, which strengthens customer loyalty. Why not focus on the ones who generate the most revenue for your company?

Increase Revenue Through Targeted Advertising

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Targeted advertising is becoming easier as more information about individuals is available online. In Mike Juba’s article, Online Marketing Strategies to Increase Online Revenue, he says, “The more targeted traffic you can get without having to pay for advertising or PPC, the more revenue you will see along with better margins. Therein lies the question: How do I get more targeted traffic to my website?”

“You need to be going over the keywords, and all of their relevant long-tails, that convert best for your website. This means naturally placing, but not stuffing, keywords in your content on relevant pages in optimal places, correctly doing internal linking, improving user experience (UX), split testing, and optimizing your tags.”

He then goes on to describe the importance of SEO and that specific keywords don’t just come from the larger content you write. You should not only be producing large sums of content on a variety of different topics to get the most people interested as possible, but you should also go and comment on similar articles. If you are able to build relationships with other content writers, you can feature each other to get more and more traffic to your website.

Marketing via Social Media

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Marketing over social media is a great way to increase company revenues. Social media is a cheap and easy way to reach your customers. Many companies limit themselves to just Facebook or Twitter, but they would be so much better off expanding to Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and other social media.

However, in order to keep track of all these different channels, you will need some help. If you market over social media, you will need a customer service team that is capable of handling all the different channels you customers will talk to you. Woveon is an intelligent customer service software that allows companies with fewer resources to have customer service like any big enterprise.

Promotions, Giveaways, Discounts

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Who doesn’t get excited about a great discount, or even giveaways?! TMR Direct’s article on increasing revenue by internet marketing suggests that promotions energize your customers more than anything. With social media, it is once again easy to hold contests and get your loyal customers excited about new deals or potential giveaways. These giveaways, promotions, or discounts on your social media page increase popularity and will get more shares than previous posts. This drives more traffic and increases customer awareness. You already offer discounts, why not energize your customers and gain more money along the way?

Boosting Revenue Through Marketing

Online marketing is a great way to boost revenue. There are many tips and tricks out there, but focusing on existing customers is a great place to start. They are 6 times cheaper to maintain and easier to contact. This contact is often through social media and emails. Companies can host promotions or even giveaways that excite the existing customers, who then share it with new people. Lastly, targeting the right group has never been easier over social media. Search patterns, Facebook interests, and types of YouTube channels you watch all allow companies to better target you as a customer, saving them lots of money.

So before kicking off your next marketing campaign, look back at these easy steps to increase revenue!

CTA marketing strategy template

How to Turn Your Company into a Multi-Channel Success

Multi-channel is the future. Recently, a survey involving a thousand consumers was conducted to study into consumer shopping habits. Of the thousand surveyed consumers, 80% preferred having a choice of shopping in store, by telephone or online. There was a time when all the power in a customer-seller relationship was with local shops. A customer would drive for hours to get a chance to buy something but often, he/she would end up being turned away because the shop had already sold out. Since they got results without making any extra effort, multi-channel marketing or sales did not make sense to the sellers at the time.

Call center online customer support woman operator concept

Today, the entire relationship has been turned upside down. Now, all the power is with the customer and sellers have to constantly adopt new technology just so that a customer considers them when buying. Today, businesses need to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy something from them. In such times, a good way to increase your chances of netting a sale is appearing on different channels familiar to potential customers. In short, you need to whole-heartedly embrace multi-channel sales and marketing.An opportunity to engage with consumers across a variety of channels, multi-channel marketing allows you to maintain a consistent message and brand. On the other hand, multi-channel selling can help you to profitably sell to more people. With a multi-channel strategy, you can reach the right customers, at the right time, using the right channels and the right messages. This allows you to focus towards marketing efforts, improve customer engagement and achieve better Return On Investment.

To collect customer contact information, companies today use at least three channels. Considering this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more and more businesses today are focusing most on their efforts on multiple channel initiatives. Moreover, businesses are doing everything they possible can to make these initiatives successful. So, what are the efforts you need to make your multiple-channel initiatives successful? Following is how to turn your company into a multi-channel success.

Plan Carefully

The most important aspect of your multiple channel strategy is planning. Even if your idea is great, it can turn out to be disastrous if you execute it without much thought. Instead of helping you grow, this will end up costing you. For this reason, you must plan carefully what channels you’ll sell on, what systems you will use and how you will integrate those systems together.

Turn Multiple Channels into A Single View

Using a carefully planned strategy, you can accurately capture and link multiple engagement points into a single identity. When this happens, you will be able to get a single customer view into your multiple-channel activity. With this single customer view, you will know exactly when a customer wants you to reach out to him/her. This in turn will help your business to generate a positive response.

Eliminate the Need for Manual Data Entry

A multi-channel strategy creates repetition of finding customer information, sharing information and customer profiles across different systems and importantly, repeating the same conversation again so the customer service rep can understand the situation. The information stored in these systems includes information related to customers, inventory, items etc. Sharing this information across your systems is mandatory. Whether a customer buys in-store or online, you would want to track his/her order history.

If an item is purchased from your webstore, then the decrease in inventory should reflect in your amazon account and vice versa. Moreover, you must share product information from your point of sale (POS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) to your online sales channels. Often, businesses using a multiple channel strategy for the first time rely on manual data entry to transfer data from one system to another. Unfortunately, the time and cost incurred in this process is something the business underestimates. It may take hours to manually enter data such as entering online orders into your ERP or POS. Moreover, manual data entry makes you prone to typing mistakes that result in out of stock, lost orders and worst of all, ticked off customers.

For the reasons mentioned-above, you need to eliminate manual data entry when using a multi-channel strategy. Today, there are numerous software-based solutions that automate data processing, speed up processing of orders and eliminate those costly human-errors.

Know Who You’re Selling To

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As important as knowing where to pitch, knowing who to pitch to can increase your chances of making a sale. You need to create various ‘buyer personas’ i.e. the customers you’re likely to run into when selling on various channels. These personas represent the different customer groups interested in your product. By customizing your message appropriately to those groups, you can increase chances of making a sale. Ultimately, this will help you to turn your company into a multi-channel success.

8 Marketing Plan Templates to Blow Your Competitors Out of the Water

Before diving in with marketing plan templates, ask yourself this: What would you say is the single technological invention that has changed your life the most? Your phone? Your computer? Tablet?

Studies show that American consumers use their mobile devices for 5 hours a day. Every year, we spend 69% more time in mobile apps.

There’s one thing that all of your mobile devices have in common: the Internet. We can all agree that the Internet has completely transformed the ways that all of us live. Can you imagine a life without email and messaging apps? Where you can’t contact someone you love right away? Where you’d need to write a letter to someone far away and not receive a reply until days later? (Although we probably all have that one friend who doesn’t reply for days.)

As such, Internet marketing has emerged as a hugely profitable field, full of endless opportunities. Spending on digital marketing will grow to a whopping $120 billion by 2021. For consumers who did a local search, 72% of them went to a store within five miles away. For mobile users who did a local search, 50% of them were compelled to visit stores in a day or less.

That being said, how should you capitalize on Internet marketing?

We now present to you:

8 Marketing Plan Templates to Blow Your Competitors Out of the Water

1. Volacci

Price: Free

Volacci Internet Marketing Plan Templates-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

  • Volacci offers tools, marketing services, and training, specifically for marketers who use Drupal, a web content management system.
  • Volacci has worked with clients such as Oracle, Red Hat, Levin Law, etc.
  • Volacci helped increase Fast Company’s search engine referral traffic by more than 200%, Acquia’s organic traffic by over 300%, YETI Coolers’ organic and paid traffic by over 400%, and e-MDs’ conversion rate by over 400%.

WHAT WE THINK

Pros

  • Of the marketing plan templates reviewed, this was one of the most comprehensive, with 17 pages. It even covers 4 different kinds of advertising: display, affiliate/partner, and email advertising.
  • Offers detailed samples of what to write underneath each heading

cmo-marketing strategy-woveon-Internet Marketing Plan Templates

Cons

  • The detailed samples are very helpful, but they would be even better if they were paired with more general explanations and tips. The beginning of the document does say that Volacci offers another Guided Version that offers explanations.
  • With such detailed and well-designed headings and tables, you’d be tempted to jump right in and start typing onto the template. Unfortunately, the template is in PDF format, so you’d need to copy and paste into another application.

2. Techeffex

Price: Free

Techeffex Internet Marketing Plan Templates -cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

  • Techeffex offers various Internet marketing and website development services for individuals, small businesses, and corporate clients and has years of software development experience.

WHAT WE THINK

Pros

  • With 12 pages, this template is very extensive and covers areas from SEO to content marketing to social media.

marketing plan templates-4-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

Cons

  • The explanations under each heading are sometimes a bit vague and too general. For example, in the screenshot below, what does “determine frequency” actually mean? How should I go about doing so?
  • Including samples of what to write under each heading would help with this.

marketing plan templates-5-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

3. Smart Insights

Price: Free

smart insights marketing plan templates woveon

  • Based on 15+ years of helping companies and students create, develop, and review digital marketing plans.
  • Dave Chaffey, who developed this template, is the co-founder and CEO of Smart Insights. He is the bestselling author of 5 books on digital marketing and was named a top 50 marketing “guru” worldwide for shaping the future of marketing
  • The RACE planning framework encompasses the major areas of digital marketing planning in the lifecycle of a customer.
  • Smart Insights provides toolkits and advice on integrated digital marketing, with 150,000 Basic members and thousands of Individual and Business members across 100 countries.

WHAT WE THINK

Pros

  • Offers an extensive checklist of concrete, succinct steps of what you can do
  • Very organized–all checkboxes are grouped under 5 big steps with headings such as “Opportunity,” “Strategy,” and “Action” under each step
  • Includes visuals that help you better understand the digital marketing funnel and other concepts

Cons

  • This isn’t what you’d normally think as a “template” since it’s only a checklist, which might leave you desiring for blank forms that you can fill in.
  • The steps are concise, but at the same time, they might be slightly vague and general, leaving you to your own devices, wishing for further guidance. For example, one of the checkboxes below is “Select target market segments and personas. Define digital targeting approaches.” How should I do so? What are some examples of target market segments and personas? You might need to do some digging to accomplish these tasks.

cmo-marketing strategy-woveon-digital-marketing-plan-templates-smart-insight

4. Vende Social Strategic Internet Assessment Template

Price: varies

Vende Social Online Marketing Plan Templates, and Resources-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

  • Vende Social is an Internet marketing firm comprised of digital marketers, designers, strategists, and technologists. It partners with its clients to advance their businesses and connects customers to its clients.

5. E-Video Agency

Price: varies

cmo-marketing strategy-woveon-E-Video Agency Internet Marketing Plan Templates

  • E-Video Agency provides video creation, social media, advertising, and search engine optimization services for its clients.

6. Growthink

Price: $97 (special price)

cmo-marketing strategy-woveon-Growthink Marketing Plan Templates

  • Recommended by Forbes in its Marketing Plan Templates article.
  • With 100,000+ current customers, Growthink has assisted 500,000+ businesses and entrepreneurs in successfully founding, scaling, and/or exiting their companies. It specializes in creating marketing and business plans. It is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business with an A+ rating and has been featured on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Fortune, etc.

7. Smartsheet

Price: Free

online sales-cmo-marketing-plan-templates smartsheet

  • Offers a wide range of templates tailored for competitive analysis, social media, tactical marketing, sales and marketing, budget planning, and strategic marketing.
  • Smartsheet provides a software as a service (SaaS) platform for automating and organizing collaborative work. It is used by 65,000 brands and millions of information workers and has received awards from Forbes, Microsoft Office, G Suite, Geekwire, and DocuSign.

WHAT WE THINK

Pros

  • Differs from the other templates because it provides a spreadsheet that not only includes sections on project goals, target audience, etc., but also sections for quantititative data such as costs
  • The Smartsheet platform offers a lot of advanced spreadsheet tools and templates for Marketing Team Objectives, SEO Checklist, etc.

marketing plan templates-7-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

marketing plan templates-6-cmo-marketing strategy-woveon

Cons

  • Although quantitative data is valuable and essential for marketing plans, Smartsheet’s spreadsheet templates leave more to be desired in the aspect of qualitative data. A spreadsheet may not be the best format to write down a lot of text.

8. Vital

Price: Free

WHAT WE THINK

Pros

  • Provides both a Marketing Plan Template document and a Planning Guide spreadsheet
  • Template offers good general explanations of what to write under each heading.

Cons

  • With only 5 pages compared to Volacci’s 17 pages and Techeffex’s 12 pages, this template could be much more comprehensive and include samples of what to write under each heading.

Ultimately, we think the best way to proceed is to use a mix of the templates above so that the advantages of one can complement the shortcomings of another! For instance, you can use Smartsheet for your quantitative data, Smart Insights for your checklist, and Volacci for your detailed, written plan.

Now, time to blow your competitors out of the water! 

Download our free marketing plan templates below to get started!

CTA marketing strategy template