The plan should cover one year. For small companies, this is often the best way to think about marketing. Things change, people leave, markets evolve, customers come and go. Later on we suggest creating a section of your plan that addresses the medium-term future--two to four years down the road. But the bulk of your plan should focus on the coming year.

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on demographic data, online behavior, and your educated speculation about personal histories, motivations, and concerns. For example, you may define one of your personas as VP of Engineering Vince, a business executive who cares most about cost and long-term support. A second persona could be Engineer Elliot, an engineering manager or senior staff engineer who is an expert in your technology area and wants to do a deep dive into the technical capabilities of your product or how you deliver a service. Elliot greatly influences Vince, but Vince makes the final decisions. Vince and Elliot have very different concerns.

A beer festival in Edmonton hired Adster Creative to perform their digital marketing campaign. The event had historically been successful, but the owner wanted to boost performance with targeted marketing. Adster Creative delivered a highly customized AdWords PPC solution, as well as social media management and SEO focused on backlinking. Their efforts were a success, with a 67% lower bounce rate and 39% longer average session duration.
There are so many talented people out there who are willing and able to help you out on a contractual basis. You don’t have provide these people with benefits, and they are an easy write-off on your taxes. Being able to delegate monotonous or time-consuming tasks to a trusted contractor is a huge load off of your shoulders when you’re focused on taking on business. This method allows you to scale to a point where having full-time employees makes more sense. The contractors may decide to join you full time if things go well and they have already proven their competence to you.
In marketing, the marketing expense-to-sales ratio plays an important part in expense analysis because it is used to align marketing spend with industry norms. Marketing expense-to-sales ratio helps the company drive its marketing spend productivity. Marketing expense-to-sales analysis is also included with the sales analysis, market share analysis, financial analysis and market-based scorecard analysis as one of the five analysis tools marketers used to control and drive spending productivity. The marketing expense-to-sales ratio allows companies to track actual spending that is relative to the accepted budget and relative to sales goals as stated in the marketing plan.[14]

Acxiom is an agency that is not as famous as the other agencies on this list, but the people-based marketing agency is a quiet giant of the industry. The agency has been leveraging technology and data for over 45 years to help clients and partners get results. Acxiom is headquartered in Conway, Arkansas with additional locations around the United States, Europe and Asia. Learn more.
A marketing plan considers the value proposition of a business and sets out the schedule for a period. Market research is often the basis for the identification of the target audience and the channels to be used, for example, radio, social media, online ads, and regional TV advertising spots.  The marketing plan includes the rationale for decisions and describes the overall marketing strategy. The plan should focus on the creation, timing and placement of specific campaigns and how the outcomes will be measured.
Social Media is constantly growing its popularity in the internet marketing industry. Much like the internet as a whole, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter bring together millions of people. Using social media fan pages and business pages you can have your business put out there and recommended to thousands of locally targeted people in an instant. With that in mind, there are various other ways social media can be used as part of an internet marketing campaign.
Working with Studio III has been a great experience. We made the move about 3 years ago and never looked back. The websites are ranking great, my Account Rep and the team have been wonderful to work with. There has definitely been a relationship type experience as opposed to just a business transaction. At the end of the day, it’s about results and Studio III has delivered.

One of the most definitive aspects of creative agencies is that they tend to value the visual design of all marketing and advertising collateral over the technical and functional aspects of a campaign. Their expertise and passion often lies in creative design and public relations vs. newer and more technical agency practices like SEO, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media, Responsive Website Design, etc.
Carat is a full-service media buying and planning agency that is trying to redefine media for today’s most innovative clients. The agency is consistently at the top of RECMA’s Global Qualitative Evaluation Ranking, and they service clients in 150 countries with more than 10,000 talented staff. Carat is are also the biggest agency in the Dentsu Aegis Network in terms of yearly revenue. Learn more.
PHD launched as the world’s first planning-led media agency back in 1990. Today the agency is one of the most awarded media agencies being named Media Network of the Year in 2016 and 2015 by Campaign and Global Media Agency of the Year 2016 by AdWeek. The global media agency has over 4,000 people in their 80+ offices worldwide and is part of the Omnicom Media Group. PHD is the media agency of record for HP, Delta, Carnival, Volkswagen and Converse. Learn more about PHD here.
By identifying and optimizing its web content for high volume keywords such as “inexpensive industrial widgets,” a firm can increase its volume of search engine traffic in a systematic way, and capitalize on the demand represented by those keywords. Keyword research that is incomplete, flawed in its methodology or not undertaken, will undercut search engine traffic volume.

In marketing, the marketing expense-to-sales ratio plays an important part in expense analysis because it is used to align marketing spend with industry norms. Marketing expense-to-sales ratio helps the company drive its marketing spend productivity. Marketing expense-to-sales analysis is also included with the sales analysis, market share analysis, financial analysis and market-based scorecard analysis as one of the five analysis tools marketers used to control and drive spending productivity. The marketing expense-to-sales ratio allows companies to track actual spending that is relative to the accepted budget and relative to sales goals as stated in the marketing plan.[14]
By identifying and optimizing its web content for high volume keywords such as “inexpensive industrial widgets,” a firm can increase its volume of search engine traffic in a systematic way, and capitalize on the demand represented by those keywords. Keyword research that is incomplete, flawed in its methodology or not undertaken, will undercut search engine traffic volume.
Although more and more keywords are getting encrypted by Google every day, another smart way to come up with keyword ideas is to figure out which keywords your website is already getting found for. To do this, you'll need website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot's Sources tool. Drill down into your website's traffic sources, and sift through you organic search traffic bucket to identify the keywords people are using to arrive at your site.
With over 15,000 employees and 37 studios around the world, IBM iX is serving as their clients global business design partner. The agency uses IBM Design Thinking principles to deliver progressive ideas not just for design but for the solving of business problems. IBM iX calls the Atlanta Falcons, Migros, Knorr, Purina, DWS and 1-800-Flowers their clients.
When someone does a search on google or bing, the search engine company also displays advertisements that relate to the search term being used, positioned above or alongside the organic results. pay-per-click advertising, or ppc, involves managing campaigns that serve up ads for keywords (anywhere from handfuls to millions) that relate to a firm’s products and services. So, if the widget maker’s ppc campaign includes “inexpensive industrial widgets,” it increases the pool of potential clicks by as much as 10,000 a month. If the campaign ignores this term – it reduces the click-through opportunity to zero.
As among San Francisco’s leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Dino Elyassnia required a website that would display his commanding authority and expertise while still creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that mirrored his compassionate demeanor. The result was classically minimalist, yet edgy and modern, capturing the sophisticated, discerning clients Dino was seeking.
Knowing these big goals will also facilitate backing out the math. How much marketing will be needed to get to your biggest goals? You probably don’t have the budget to achieve that on day one. So, break it up into milestones, and identify the marketing needed to get you to each marker on the journey. One of the first will be hitting that crucial breakeven point, and paying your founding team enough to be able to afford to stay in business, and enjoy it.
Marketing plans and strategies are often used interchangeably. This is because a marketing plan should not exist without the overarching strategy as a framework. In some cases, the strategy and the plan may be incorporated into one document particularly in smaller companies that may only run one or two major campaigns in a year. However, the plan outlines marketing activities on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The marketing strategy outlines the overall value proposition.
A restaurant chain hired Imagine Media Consulting for their social media marketing services. Imagine Media Consulting managed the client's social media posting schedule and their e-blast programs. The restaurant chain's social media followers and engagement increased due to Imagine Media Consulting's work. The client felt that their team was easy to work with and appreciated their sense of humor.
And so on and so on. The point of this step isn't to come up with your final list of keyword phrases -- you just want to end up with a brain dump of phrases you think potential customers might use to search for content related to that particular topic bucket. We'll narrow the lists down later in the process so you don't have something too unwieldy.
So be clear in your messaging. Make sure your site is a place that people want to stay, not only because it is pretty but also because the information they need is easily found. There is an entire science and methodology behind website design including where to place buttons on the page, what content works best where, what colors convey certain feelings and so on. Read, 4 Examples of Fantastic Web Design for inspiration and consider hiring a web designer who specializes in Inbound Marketing and SEO to ensure your website is reaching its full potential.
One of the first questions we receive is how to  assess how much your digital marketing agency is currently worth. There are many ways to measure the value of a digital marketing agency. The simplest and most widely used variant is profit margins. Numbers vary widely both in averages for a digital-only agency as well as the true calculation. For our purposes, we work off of both a multiplier on EBITDA as well as general Net Profit margin. Generally speaking, agency buyers are looking for companies that boast a profit margin of at least 17% but we’ve seen successful acquisitions for much less profitable agencies that boasted IP value, headcount strength, revenue growth or plain geographic diversification. Regardless of if you’re pursuing M&A, if your agency profits reach or exceed that number, then you’re in great shape. If not, there are ways to improve this but don’t be afraid to determine the other methods of evaluation with us or another acquiring group.
There are so many talented people out there who are willing and able to help you out on a contractual basis. You don’t have provide these people with benefits, and they are an easy write-off on your taxes. Being able to delegate monotonous or time-consuming tasks to a trusted contractor is a huge load off of your shoulders when you’re focused on taking on business. This method allows you to scale to a point where having full-time employees makes more sense. The contractors may decide to join you full time if things go well and they have already proven their competence to you.

Knowing your unique selling proposition (USP) and marketing that USP is essential to beating the competition and solidifying your company’s value in the marketplace. Your USP ties in closely with your brand and your content because those are the conduits your USP will be communicated through. And communication is key. Clearly state your USP and do it often, on your website, in your emails, through your ads etc. For tips on formulating your USP read The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition.
Working with Studio III has been a great experience. We made the move about 3 years ago and never looked back. The websites are ranking great, my Account Rep and the team have been wonderful to work with. There has definitely been a relationship type experience as opposed to just a business transaction. At the end of the day, it’s about results and Studio III has delivered.
As we know from interactions with our own friends, they can be full of surprises. So one of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a buyer persona is to constantly make assumptions. Actually put these personas to the test, hit the pavement, and start interviewing people and get some real data. After all, there’s that saying about assumptions making a donkey out of you and me.
Who should see your plan? All the players in the company. Firms typically keep their marketing plans very, very private for one of two very different reasons: Either they're too skimpy and management would be embarrassed to have them see the light of day, or they're solid and packed with information . . . which would make them extremely valuable to the competition.
There can be considerable benefit in comparing these figures with those achieved by other organizations (especially those in the same industry); using, for instance, the figures which can be obtained (in the UK) from `The Centre for Interfirm Comparison'. The most sophisticated use of this approach, however, is typically by those making use of PIMS (Profit Impact of Management Strategies), initiated by the General Electric Company and then developed by Harvard Business School, but now run by the Strategic Planning Institute.
×