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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy: How to 10X Your ROI

It is more important than ever to create and maintain a powerful marketing strategy. Here are the 10 main steps to help you create the ultimate marketing strategy.

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You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.
Albert Einstein

Marketing is a dynamic and ever-changing field. The top digital marketing strategies change with the consumer and technology trends of the day. This is why every company needs a good marketing strategy that's well planned and has well defined milestones and objectives. Once you have the right map, the chances you’ll reach the goals you’ve set to your business, are much higher.

That means, that while most of us are eager to start launching our marketing efforts the minute after we decide to start a business, we actually need to invest in planning so we won’t waste our limited budget and energies on the wrong things.

If you're a company / startup owner or marketer you need a good digital marketing strategy to hit your goals.

In this guide, we've put together the 10 main steps that you need to follow to build the ultimate marketing strategy for your business. Here's what it looks like visually.

We call it “From story to glory”:

from-story-to-glory-infographic-mayple-step-by-step-digital-marketing

As you can see, every step is meaningful, but don’t panic :) this guide will take you step-by-step through the process, so you won’t miss a thing and get your digital marketing strategy well figured out.

We have some very useful tips and examples that will make it easier to understand.

If you want a quick summary of our post, check out this video by Adam Erhart, where he goes over the 4 basic principles of marketing strategy.

And if you want to read up on marketing strategy check out our list of the best marketing strategy books.

Now, let's define some of the basic terms.

What is marketing strategy? 

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan of any organization or any business with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and wants of customers.

A marketing strategy is a broad strategy that encompasses everything from how a company positions itself, to the creative, the strategic partners, the media relations, the marketing mix, and the channels and tactics.

A marketing strategy refers to a firm's overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. It also contains the company's value proposition, key brand messaging, data on target audience and customer demographics, and other high-level elements.

The broad marketing strategy is what used to fall under the term "branding" back in the more ambiguous days of marketing. It's a practical summary of the key details of the strategy and some of the broad goals and methods used to achieve them.

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What is the difference between a marketing strategy and a tactic? 

Marketing strategies are broader than specific tactics. For example, a business could have a content strategy for their social media channels or for search engine optimization, and then they could have specific tactics they execute for each channel.

Here's the correct order to follow:

Overall marketing strategy -> Digital marketing strategy -> Specific tactics

For example, here's a great video that introduces specific marketing tactics. These aren't strategies, these are very specific ways you could grow your sales, which would all be included as part of a larger set of marketing strategies inside of your marketing plan.

If you're looking for specific tactics head over to our Ultimate Guide on Digital Marketing.

What is the importance of marketing strategy? 

Sometimes marketers and eCommerce owners get lost in the weeds, in the bits and bytes. They lose track of the overall vision of the business and the large goals. They lose track of the target audience and the main pain points that their product solves for the customer. When that happens, the specific tactics that the business employs can lost their effectiveness.

So, a marketing strategy is not some dusty old document that you put on the top shelf and forget about it. It's a vital process of discovering your company's top goals and objectives, and ways to achieve them. That becomes a blueprint for everything you do to better market your product or service.

Excited? 

Let's jump into it.

1. Define your brand value and offering

Your brand strategy is about defining the core values of your brand to make sure that they align with what your prospect and existing customer find important, that they align to your industry trends and competitive environment, and to what you actually offer ie your product.

That’s not an easy task, but without it, all the other marketing tasks become much more difficult.

Here are some good marketing strategy examples from data-driven brands that succeeded in doing it right:

AllBirds - Sustainable, transparent, comfortable

AllBirds began as a darling brand in Silicon Valley in 2014 and quickly grew to a $1.4B valuation in 2018. The shoe company set out to create the world's most comfortable, and they overshot their goal. Their products are fully sustainable, and made out of wool and bamboo, and their branding is impeccable. Their mission statement reads - "Allbirds is on a mission to prove that comfort, good design, and sustainability don't have to be mutually exclusive".

In just four years they became the market pioneers of sustainable footwear. It all started with a launch on Kickstarter, in fact, here's their Kickstarter video:

The brand has a really quirky brand voice, and its values are transparency, sustainability and comfort.

Here's an email with an order confirmation:

allbirds-email-confirmation

You can see the same quirky humorous brand voice in their social media posts.

allbirds-social-media-brand-voice-marketing

Besides the humor and the spunky brand personality, the brand has really taken advantage of this concept of transparency. They display the materials they use in a creative way and get down to the fine details.

allbirds-materials-our-story-brand-voice

And that ties really nicely with their overall mission and their third brand value - sustainability.

allbirds-sustainable-materials-brand-voice-marketing-tactic

Ultimately, the quirky brand voice and the incredible brand values of sustainability and transparency lead Allbirds to build a super engaged audience online that has contributed the most to the brand's growth. Yes, it is a really comfortable product (the NY Times called it "the most comfortable shoe in the world"), but without a strong brand and a focus on the user experience, Allbirds would not have been the giant that it is today.

Casper - "here to awaken the potential of a well-rested world"

Casper is a mattress company that has completely revolutionized the industry. They were the first direct-to-consumer mattress company and quickly grew to a $1.1B valuation in 2019.

Casper's brand values are all about dreaming big, innovation, and bringing joy to a tired industry.

Look how they merge the "dreaming big" brand value with a pun about sleeping, in their purchase receipt email.

casper-purchase-receipt-order-confirmation-email-brand-strategy

And here's another great email asking for a review.

casper-email-example-brand-voice

Casper's strong brand helped it launch other successful products, like the Casper Glow, which is an innovative bedtime light that changes its light temperature and brightness automatically and can be remotely controlled through an app.

casper-glow-light-brand-value-marketing-strategies

There are a lot of big and abstract words thrown around when talking about brand value creation, so here's a simple way to think about it.

A simple formula to find the right values that define your brand is this:

  1. Think about the main pain points/needs/frictions your brand is solving
  2. Translate it into a value-based language
  3. Make sure it fits your beliefs and motivations

2. Identify customer pain points and expectations

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!" - Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School Professor

One of the top reasons why products or services fail is when their makers fail to identify the customers' pain points. In other words, they don't meet the customer's need or they don't solve a vital problem in their lives. Also, those needs may change over time so it's important to continue examining the customer journey and solve your current customer challenges.

One of the classic examples is the Segway. It was a device that was said to eliminate walking. It could go up to 12.5 miles per hour, had a lithium battery, and made you look like a dork. It was hailed as the device that will make walking obsolete and it failed miserably.

It's a sad story but the creator of the device actually drove it off a cliff and died. The problem with the Segway is that no one wanted to stop walking, people love walking, people loved running, so it failed to meet the customer's need and to identify a pain point.

a-man-and-a-woman-riding-a-segway-on-the-river-bank

What are the different types of customer pain points? 

Financial

the most basic pain point is financial. Does your product help your customers save money? Is it more cost-effective than the alternatives? Are the savings short-term or long-term? And if your product is cheaper than the alternatives, does that price difference create enough value for the customer? 

These are some of the important questions you should ask yourself. An example of this is Target's launch of the brand Smartly with hygiene/cleaning products all under $2 (approximately 70% less than similar products by other brands).

Smartly-the-brand-launched-in-the-US

Convenience

Another really important pain point is convenience. Does your product make your peoples' life more convenient? The classic example of this is Netflix, a brand that became a household name because it was incredibly more convenient than it competitor Blockbuster.

Instead of having to shlep to Blockbuster, for example, and pay all of those late fees customers could now get DVD's straight to their doorstep. Fast forward to 2020, Netflix is worth $203 billion and Blockbuster is is out of business. The company that made me more convenient for people won.

netflix-beat-blockbuster-on-convenience-marketing-tactics

Service

Service is another major factor in solving a customer's pain point. Service refers to the entire customer experience and includes things like - warranty, maintenance, replacements, customer service, and ease of use. A really good example of this is the solar company SolarCity, which was acquired by Tesla in 2016. SolarCity's solar panels weren't cheaper than the competitors they simply had a better warranty and maintenance on them and that's why customers preferred them. This is one of the major drivers that helped SolarCity become the nation's largest residential solar provider.

tesla-solarcity-solar-roof-superior-service

5 easy steps to identify your customer's pain point

Ok, so we've talked about the type of customer pain points that there are, but how do you identify it for your own company and product? Here are some helpful suggestions that will get you on the right path.

Create a customer journey map

Identify what makes your customers buy your product and how they arrived to your physical or online store. This should include the channels that they visited - a search result, a Facebook ad, a social media post, an email, and other online and physical media. At each stage identify possible pain points and uncover the customer's motivation of using your product. This will also help you evaluate your marketing mix and see if there are any channels that you need to add.

customer-journey-mapping-solution-conceptdraw

Survey your customers

Another good way to find the customer pain point is by surveying your customers. Ask your customers what they like and don't like about your product and what are some of the factors that led to their choice. There are a ton of survey tools you could use like Typeform or SurveyMonkey.

Look at customer reviews

If you are thinking of launching a new product you should look at the customer reviews of your existing products. These will tell you a lot about your customers' preferences, expectations and pain points. What's particularly powerful for eCommerce sites are visual reviews - photos or videos that customers post alongside the text of their reviews. You can use tools like Pixlee, Yotpo, or Loox to collect and display visual reviews.

customer-reviews-visual-yotpo-widget

Ask your sales team

Another good way to find your customer's pain points is to ask your sales team. After all, your sales people are the ones that hear and have to respond to the objections of your prospects and customers, hence they are the most aware of what people are looking for in your products or services. Sit down and have a discussion with your sales team. Try to find out what your customers like/dislike about your product, what are the issues that they bring up the most, and what makes them turn down the product. If your marketing team interfaces directly with your customers you could also ask them for feedback.

sales team huddle collaboration in the office hd image

Study your competitors

It's super important to conduct a competitor analysis to analyze the competitor landscape, in any industry. That's how Netflix and Apple began, when they strove to make a product that's better and more innovative than the status quo. Identify where you are, what your market position is. Look at all your competitor products, their marketing mix, the type of promotion and media they publish, and their strategies. Identify the pain points that they are solving and ones that are still unresolved. One strategy is to try to solve the same pain points just better. Another strategy is to go after pain points the remain unresolved, to create something that people haven't seen before.

competitor-analysis-research-marketing

Use the STP framework

Another effective marketing technique is to use the STP framework. STP stands for segmenting, targeting, and positioning.

Segmenting is where you divide the market into distinct groups (or target market segments). Targeting is where you determine which customer segment you want to focus your marketing efforts on. And positioning is the creation of the brand position, the marketing mix, and other various marketing strategies in order to appeal to your potential customers in your target market and try to influence them to make a purchase decision.

The STP framework helps brands identify the types of marketing channels and strategies that will be required to successfully market their product or service to their customers.

3. Identify market trends and competition

That brings us to our next topic - creating a competitive analysis. This is a crucial step in the marketing strategy plan creation because this is where you will identify what differentiates your product or service from the competition. You can do this through a simple SWOT analysis to determine your brand's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Without this step it's going to be very difficult to create a product that provides unique value to the consumer and stays competitive with the market trends of the day. So this analysis is crucial and this is how you go about it:

Identify your competitors

The first step of any competitive analysis is to find out who your competitors are. Find out all the different companies that have similar products and services. Look at their social media content, search in related or niche online communities, news mentions and product reviews.

Categorize your competitors

Now that you have a detailed list of all of your competitors it's time to categorize them. Put them into different groups - primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors. This will help you get clarity on which of your competitors are directly competing with you and which ones you should focus on in your analysis.

Take a look at their social media and branding

The next step of the competitive analysis is to find out all you can about each competitor. Look at all the various social media pages, the content and the branding that they use on their site and email campaigns. This will give you a visual understanding of their brand positioning and how your product or service differs from theirs. Be sure to check out their influencer marketing campaigns to see the kind of branded image that they try to portray online. Look at their display ads (owned media) and UGC(earned media).

Conduct a site audit to look at traffic sources and positioning

This part is the more technical side of the branding audit. Use a tool like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, or Alexa to check the keywords that each competitor ranks for and their various traffic channels. This will give you the precise search terms that the user searches for and the specific needs that your competitors meet. For example, you might discover that a competitor is using a type of media or content that you're not using yet, or a traffic channel that you haven't expanded into. This is super valuable information to have for your online marketing strategy.

marketing competitor research keywords similarweb

4. Create your value proposition

Now that you have your story right, it’s time to build the right strategy for your marketing. That means making business decisions about what are you delivering and to whom.

Your product or service tells the most about your brand.

This is the actual hands-on experience prospects and customers have with your brand, and it can affect their perception about it the most.

Use your values to make sure you walk the talk and implement what you said about yourself in your offering.

Here are some examples to help you get the hang of it:

Walmart - translating brand values to service language

walmart logo
walmart-branding-strategy-tone-of-voice

IKEA - Brand values & design

ikea-logo-hd

Most people will know right away this is IKEA’s products - humble, simple and functional.

ikea products table bed office

5. Identify your target audience

Deciding on your target audience could change the way you present your brand and even the language you use to do it.

We love to use simple models for complex decisions.

We found it is much more effective and fun.

Use this model to map the different target audience groups that you have, and prioritize them accordingly in your audience analysis.

(This is actually one of the models we used to determine our target audiences)
target-audience-priority-model-mayple

You would want your first tier target audience to have good market potential for business growth and that it wouldn’t be a Via Delarosa to convince them to buy what you have to offer.

This is not the only tool you need to characterize the people you are going to invest most of your marketing spend to reach out to.

The second tool we recommend for you to use is defining your personas - or in other words, asking who is your ideal customer, your target customer, to the smallest details.

To define your main persona you can use this question list:

  1. Who is my persona? Is he a male or is she a female? What age is he or she? Name your persona and attach a photo so it will be easier for you to plan your messaging accurately.
  2. What is my persona initial state of mind? - his or her emotions and thought before starting the decision-making process?
  3. What are the different stages of his or her decision-making process until purchase?

If you’re about to launch a new service or product that prospects or customers are not used to using or buying, you might consider applying this psychology of change model. After all, you’re trying to change people perception here.

Each stage represents a psychological state of mind of people until they reach a decision to take action. You can use the needs that are listed below to create your marketing creative tools that will effectively move your persona to take action.

target-audience-priority-model-mayple

Identify the following for each stage of the buyer's journey:

  1. What are your persona’s expectations? What are his goals?
  2. What process does she go through in this stage? Where does she look for information? Who do they speak with?
  3. How would you describe the customer's experience at each point of the customer journey?
  4. What is your objective for each of their decision-making stages?
  5. What actions can help you achieve these objectives?

Now that you've identified your ideal customers, how are you going to reach them?

That brings us to the next step.

6. Identify partners and potential collaborators

Identifying your potential partners or collaborations is a critical step of reaching your ideal customer. It may be that there are online communities that already exist where your customers hang out. It could be that you need to work with a distributor or get a marketing partner to help you reach them.

This is a critical point to consider before you execute your inbound marketing strategy. Sometimes finding and working with the right partner could give you access and help you achieve 10X the results. This could be through revenue sharing or an affiliate program. It could also be done by social networking at industry events or online conferences.

We’re on the digital marketing portion of our guide and it contains 3 parts - deciding on your creative & messaging, selecting the marketing channels that you’ll be using, and deciding on a strategy and a marketing budget for each channel. 

Let’s dive in.

7. Decide on the messaging and creative of your brand

Most businesses (and especially startups) can’t afford to hire a digital marketing specialist in-house so they use the services of freelancers or digital agencies.

From now on, you have a critical job of guarding your brand’s values and strategy in the messaging and creative you’ll create and the different tactics you’ll use.

That’s what storytelling is about.

Make sure that the service provider you hired is aligned with your brand and the various marketing strategies that you want to employ, so they can apply your strategy to the actual marketing communication you’ll have with your potential customers.

Here are two brilliant brands that keep to their authentic brand strategy throughout their messaging:

National Geographic - how to create the “wow” and “wonder” visually

National Geographic know how to present stunning photography and help us discover the wonders of our world. They constantly keep the language they use on their ads (paid and earned media) to be aligned with these brand values.

national-geographic-social-media-example-100M-every-day-explorers
Source: Vox

8. Define your marketing channels

Now that you have defined your value proposition, your partners, and your creative assets and messaging it's time to select the right marketing channels for your marketing mix. This is one of the most crucial steps of the process of creating your marketing strategy. Each digital marketing campaign will vary greatly based on the marketing channels that you'll pick.

You need to select those marketing channels that fit your brand and your product. Let's cover a few of the main marketing channels and their best practices.

Social media

Social media marketing is a vital part of any digital inbound marketing strategy and there are certainly a lot of things that you could do. Also keep in mind that successful social media campaigns can help you get more traffic from search. Organic social media is used for the awareness stage, or the lead generation stage, of the marketing funnel while a Facebook ad is used for the last stage, or the conversion stage. There are a lot of various platforms and strategies you could use and it's important to pick the right channel for your product. 

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the best and most effective social media channels to use for different type of companies: 

For visual eCommerce products - use Instagram and Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter

For B2B companies - use LinkedIn, Instagram, ProductHunt, and Angellist

For B2C companies - use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

For written content-heavy companies - use Medium, Quora, and Reddit

For GenZ-focused companies - focus on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok

Red Bull is a great example of a brand that has a brilliant social media marketing strategy. Early on they realized that if they wanted to connect to their target consumer they couldn’t just use the traditional marketing and sales campaigns that all the other beverage companies were using. They decided to create videos of athletes breaking world records and doing unthinkable things like jumping off airplanes and falling 23 miles and skiing down the Himalayas. To date, the Red Bull YouTube channel has garnered more than 10 million subscribers and more than 2.5 trillion views. 

This is obviously a very expensive strategy and won’t make sense for most brand marketing budgets, but it’s a good example of a brand sharing success stories and targeting their consumers the right way on social media.

Social advertising 

Ads are becoming more and more popular on social media platforms because the recent algorithm changes continue to favor them and decrease organic reach. After all, that’s how the social platforms make their money so you have to use paid media to get anywhere these days. 

Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for advertising. For B2B you can use Quora, Reddit or LinkedIn. 

Top Advertising Tips:
  • Create a lookalike audience on each platform and for each type of campaign that you're running
  • Organize your campaigns based on the marketing funnel (top, middle, and bottom)
  • Match your copy and designs to your target audience
  • Retarget your audience and site visitors on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Paid Advertising

Social media advertising is just a subset of online advertising. Other digital advertising can include native advertising, Google ads, Google shopping, banner ads, and much more. Each ad requires thorough strategic planning to make sure that the messaging and creatives match your market segments to help attract new leads and retain current customers.

If you want to start using ads and are just not sure where to start, we have over 1,500+ top experts here at Mayple so definitely reach out!

PS: that's our expertise, so don't be shy. Click here to get started.

Influencer marketing

Working with influencers is one of the most lucrative marketing channels you could go into. Studies show that businesses make $5.20 for every $1 that they spend on influencer marketing. And 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions. That’s huge. 

influencer-marketing-statistic-channel-strategy-ROI

That means that on average about half of your customers are going to be searching for influencer posts so it is essential that these people are recommending you and your product online. Now, influencer marketing is different than when your users post image of your product. Influencer shots are called paid media (just like ad campaigns) while user-generated content (UGC) is called earned media.

Top Influencer Marketing Tips:
  • Pick influencers based on the type of audience they have, and their level of engagement (not the size of their following)
  • Run giveaway campaigns with groups of influencers
  • Run stories on Instagram because they are clickable
  • Conduct competitor research to see which influencers they are using on all the relevant platforms
  • Use YouTube influencers to create videos about your product or service
  • Use real data to determine which influencers are your best performers

Email marketing 

klaviyo-email-marketing-template-example
Source: Klaviyo

This is going to surprise you but the ROI of emails still remains among the highest in all of the different digital marketing channels and platforms. Studies show that email marketing provides a $42 return on every $1 you spend, which is terrific. 

Top Email Marketing Tips: 
  • Use UGC or earned media in your campaigns
  • Set up email campaigns and email flows (cart abandonment flow, welcome flow, sunset flow)
  • Create campaigns with educational content, don't just send constant product promotion
  • A/B test different copy and formats based your data to better match your campaigns with your audience

That is not to say that the other channels don’t help or assist the sale, it’s like the functions of the various team members in a soccer match. There could have been 5-6 players that touched the ball before it reached the goal post. Same thing happens in marketing.

A user could interact with a brand on numerous channels before they buy their products or services. Which is why it’s really important to have an effective “omnichannel” strategy, a strategy that includes many marketing channels. 

Here are a few examples of channels that work really well when combined with email marketing: 

Push notifications 

Push notifications are those messages you get on your browser on a desktop device or on your mobile screen. They work really well when combined with emails. You could send off the email in the morning for example, and then follow it with a push notification 30-60 minutes later, to remind the user to check out your deal of the day. 

Push notifications have a click through rate that’s 7 times higher than emails, so when sent after the email they increase your chances of getting a sale that much more. 

push-notification-example-from-taplytics
Source: Taplytics

Chatbots and messaging

email marketing vs messenger chatbot open rate and CTR

One of the quickest and most effective ways to communicate with customers is through text messages and this has become its own marketing channel. You can set up automated messages and flows that gets sent to a customer or even a chatbot that is able to bring them from product discovery all the way to purchase, without any human involvement. You can also use this channel to send people a product promotion, a cart abandonment flow, or a content promotion.

chatbot-example-from-manychat-messenger
Source: Manychat

Text messages are much more personal and that’s what makes them so powerful for brands. According to Social Media Today, chatbot messages get open rates of over 80% and click through rates of over 50% so these messages provide an additional and very effective way to augment and boost your email marketing performance. 

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most overlooked strategies is Search Engine Optimization, especially for eCommerce. It involves optimizing a site's content to make it easier for search engines to find it and display it. There are numerous new ways to get displayed on search engines than ever before - in the images section, as videos, quotes, products, how-to's, Q&A, and much more. SEO is a super effective marketing channel and can bring a lot of targeted and high-quality traffic to any site.

Top SEO tips:
  • Use Google Search Console data to find the keywords and searches that you get the most traffic from
  • Optimize your on-page content with a tool like Ahrefs or Moz
  • Build a comprehensive backlink strategy based on competitor data and best practices

Now remember, not all SEO best practices will fit your needs or make sense. It's a delicate balance between SEO and the user experience (UX) and that requires some tough decisions sometimes. So always learn from your data and keep your audience as first priority and you will win.

Content Marketing

Last but not least, let's talk about your content marketing strategy. Content provides a way for users to find your product or service online. Use content to target your ideal buyer persona, acquire new customers, and delight and retain your existing customer base. In order to use content marketing successfully, brands have to create different content for each part of their marketing or sales funnel. For example, a company might put out educational content for the top of the funnel, for first-time visitors, and more promotional content for those shoppers that are ready to buy.

Top Content Marketing Tips: 
  • Write long-form blog posts for organic search traffic
  • Publish comparison and shopping guides for the middle of the funnel visitors
  • Use UGC, video content, and longer descriptions on your social media posts to tell your story
content-marketing-facebook-ads-example-from-Leesa-home-decor-brand

Public Relations (PR)

Last but not least, there's PR. Public relations is one of the most effective growth strategies that can help solidify your brand images and expand your digital presence.

Now that we’ve covered the various marketing channels that you should consider to grow your business, let’s talk strategy.

9. Select a strategy and budget for each channel

It’s now time to select a specific strategy and a budget for each of the marketing channels that you’ve chosen for your brand. Here are a few helpful steps: 

Identify your business goals

What are your goals? Pick a few strategic business goals or KPIs to focus on in the short-term. A really helpful rubric for this is what’s called SMART goals. Smart stands for: 

Specific - describe clearly what you want to accomplish

Measurable - set goals that you could measure

Achievable - these goals have to be achievable and not way out of reach

Relevant - set goals that improve the specific aspects of your marketing, so no vanity metrics.

Time-bound - pick objectives that you can achieve within a certain time frame. 

Now that you’ve set up your goals it’s time to look at your market.

Here's a fantastic video from Hubspot to watch about setting the right marketing goals for your business: 

Conduct market research

Gather information about your market - the size, growth, social trends, search trends and demographics of your target market. Find out what is possible and feasible to accomplish and which channels, content types and media, are used to reach your target customer, and which you should add to your marketing mix. You can use a PEST analysis or a SWOT analysis to help you with your research.

A PESTEL analysis is a marketing framework or management method that helps businesses assess major external factors that influence its operation, in order to become more competitive in the market. PESTEL stands for political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal. For example, legal factors could include a new regulation that significantly limits a brand's ability to sell their product in a particular region. Political factors could include new trade restrictions, tarrifs, or a new tax policy. Environmental factors could include weather conditions, seasonality, an even natural disasters.

Align your strategy with your ideal customer

Go back to the customer personas that you’ve created in the beginning of this process and make sure that your strategy aligns with your personas. Look at the trends, at the type of customers that you are going to be able to reach and tweak accordingly.

It’s performance time!

At this point, you have your brand story and values, your go to market strategy and a professional to run your marketing efforts.

From this point forward, you should focus on a much more tactical management. That means iterative testing of your content and creatives, of your target audience segments and even of the words you use on your ads CTAs (call-to-action buttons).

Which brings us to the last step of the process: 

10. Analyze your results

This is one of the most crucial steps in anything you do in marketing. Once you test something you have to analyze the results and continue testing. Data is crucial in every aspect of marketing and the business data you get from testing marketing strategies is the best kind of data to have. Smart marketing managers use data to continue iterating and optimizing their growth strategies.

Once you have the results of your strategy you can then make the changes you need to make and A/B test various aspects to get even better results.

BONUS : Examples of Marketing Strategies Templates

There’s no one size fits all marketing strategy, and if you’ve read this entire guide to this point - you’re probably eager to implement some of the various strategies we talked about. And you’ve probably discovered a lot of topics that you should learn more about to really perfect your marketing strategy. 

Here are some of our favorite resources + marketing strategy examples + templates. These are really effective and comprehensive. They cover a really broad range of channels and use cases so you can find some value regardless of which business you’re in. Choosing the right template is the secret behind creating an effective marketing strategy.

Let’s dive in.

How to Plan Your Marketing Strategies in 12 Steps (CoSchedule)

This beautiful strategy guide has everything you need to know to create the perfect strategy. The best part is that it shows everything visually in each section, and has a really simple marketing strategy template to follow to create your own strategy. Plus, CoSchedule started off as a content marketing tool for inbound marketing teams (they are now much more than that), so they go into a brief history of content marketing, inbound marketing, and how it all started.

marketing example template from coschedule


The best part about CoSchedule is that they have a feature where that allows you to divide the tasks among your team members. For example, if you're a content team manager you can use this to visually display who writes each piece of content, who edits it, and who publishes that piece of content on the team. This is a crucial and super effective step that gets missed pretty often. Once a brand makes their strategy, it’s important to delegate the work and get started on the execution. 

managing a project with your team feature

10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth (Entrepreneur)

This is an old one but when we read it we thought it has the perfect sequence of some of the most effective marketing strategies for an eCommerce business. It has literally everything you need to market successfully. We’re talking influencers, email marketing automation, content marketing, video content, Facebook retargeting and search engine optimization. This post is an excellent broad overview of eCommerce marketing at its finest. 

The Essential Guide to Marketing Strategies (Hurree)

Hurree is one of the best marketing blogs ever. This post in particular gives a really good detailed overview of each step of creating a marketing strategy. It also has a variety of videos sprinkled throughout the post that explain concepts deeper, and the best part - they have a whole section of marketing automation.

Hurree is a marketing automation platform so you know to expect some talk of automation in every single one of their posts. This is a segway from traditional marketing principles to present-day automation and beyond. 

marketing strategies animation gif

The 11 Best Marketing Strategies We Tried This Year (WordStream)

This post is for the more advanced marketer that wants to really hone in on the top strategies that work in 2022. It’s written by Sujan Patel, the one and only, and he goes over things like webinars, reaching out to other tools in the industry, brand partnerships, search marketing, evergreen content, SMS, and non-traditional social media channels.

Check out this post, even though it was written in 2018, it remains one of the best lists of marketing strategies on the web.

marketing for evergreen content update old posts sujan patel

The Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategies Guide (HubSpot)

This is a classic resource from HubSpot and we like about it is how clearly they define every term, every type of content and marketing tactics that you should develop. They also include 5 examples of marketing ads and dissect each one. It’s a great read and you will get a lot of value out of it.

Here's a great video they include in the post.

That’s it folks. 

Now that you have a better idea of how to craft the ultimate marketing strategy for your business or startup it’s time to go out there and absolutely smash it. 

PS: we're here for you if you are an eCommerce brand and you want to grow your business. Just click here to get your free marketing audit.

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FAQs

What are the 5 marketing strategies?

The 5 P's of Marketing are - Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and People. These are key marketing strategies that are used to position any business strategically.

What is marketing strategy?

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan of any organization or any business with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and wants of customers. A marketing strategy is a broad strategy that encompasses everything from how a business positions itself, to the creative, the strategic partners, the media relations, and the channels and tactics.

What are the 5 C's of marketing?

The 5 C's is a technique used to help marketers better position their business and make more informed business decisions. The "5 C's" stand for Company, Customers, Competitors, Collaborators, and Climate. It's a type of analysis that helps marketers look at the whole picture as an ecosystem in which the business lives in.

What is the difference between a marketing strategy and a tactic?

Marketing strategies are broader than specific tactics. For example, a business could have a strategy for their social media channels, and then they could have specific tactics they execute for each channel. Here's the correct order to follow: Marketing strategy -> Digital marketing strategy -> Specific tactics

Stylish photo of an escalator

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy: How to 10X Your ROI

It is more important than ever to create and maintain a powerful marketing strategy. Here are the 10 main steps to help you create the ultimate marketing strategy.

DOWNLOAD TEMPLATEGet Strategy Consultation
You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.
Albert Einstein

Marketing is a dynamic and ever-changing field. The top digital marketing strategies change with the consumer and technology trends of the day. This is why every company needs a good marketing strategy that's well planned and has well defined milestones and objectives. Once you have the right map, the chances you’ll reach the goals you’ve set to your business, are much higher.

That means, that while most of us are eager to start launching our marketing efforts the minute after we decide to start a business, we actually need to invest in planning so we won’t waste our limited budget and energies on the wrong things.

If you're a company / startup owner or marketer you need a good digital marketing strategy to hit your goals.

In this guide, we've put together the 10 main steps that you need to follow to build the ultimate marketing strategy for your business. Here's what it looks like visually.

We call it “From story to glory”:

from-story-to-glory-infographic-mayple-step-by-step-digital-marketing

As you can see, every step is meaningful, but don’t panic :) this guide will take you step-by-step through the process, so you won’t miss a thing and get your digital marketing strategy well figured out.

We have some very useful tips and examples that will make it easier to understand.

If you want a quick summary of our post, check out this video by Adam Erhart, where he goes over the 4 basic principles of marketing strategy.

And if you want to read up on marketing strategy check out our list of the best marketing strategy books.

Now, let's define some of the basic terms.

What is marketing strategy? 

Marketing strategy is a long-term, forward-looking approach and an overall game plan of any organization or any business with the fundamental goal of achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by understanding the needs and wants of customers.

A marketing strategy is a broad strategy that encompasses everything from how a company positions itself, to the creative, the strategic partners, the media relations, the marketing mix, and the channels and tactics.

A marketing strategy refers to a firm's overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. It also contains the company's value proposition, key brand messaging, data on target audience and customer demographics, and other high-level elements.

The broad marketing strategy is what used to fall under the term "branding" back in the more ambiguous days of marketing. It's a practical summary of the key details of the strategy and some of the broad goals and methods used to achieve them.

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What is the difference between a marketing strategy and a tactic? 

Marketing strategies are broader than specific tactics. For example, a business could have a content strategy for their social media channels or for search engine optimization, and then they could have specific tactics they execute for each channel.

Here's the correct order to follow:

Overall marketing strategy -> Digital marketing strategy -> Specific tactics

For example, here's a great video that introduces specific marketing tactics. These aren't strategies, these are very specific ways you could grow your sales, which would all be included as part of a larger set of marketing strategies inside of your marketing plan.

If you're looking for specific tactics head over to our Ultimate Guide on Digital Marketing.

What is the importance of marketing strategy? 

Sometimes marketers and eCommerce owners get lost in the weeds, in the bits and bytes. They lose track of the overall vision of the business and the large goals. They lose track of the target audience and the main pain points that their product solves for the customer. When that happens, the specific tactics that the business employs can lost their effectiveness.

So, a marketing strategy is not some dusty old document that you put on the top shelf and forget about it. It's a vital process of discovering your company's top goals and objectives, and ways to achieve them. That becomes a blueprint for everything you do to better market your product or service.

Excited? 

Let's jump into it.

1. Define your brand value and offering

Your brand strategy is about defining the core values of your brand to make sure that they align with what your prospect and existing customer find important, that they align to your industry trends and competitive environment, and to what you actually offer ie your product.

That’s not an easy task, but without it, all the other marketing tasks become much more difficult.

Here are some good marketing strategy examples from data-driven brands that succeeded in doing it right:

AllBirds - Sustainable, transparent, comfortable

AllBirds began as a darling brand in Silicon Valley in 2014 and quickly grew to a $1.4B valuation in 2018. The shoe company set out to create the world's most comfortable, and they overshot their goal. Their products are fully sustainable, and made out of wool and bamboo, and their branding is impeccable. Their mission statement reads - "Allbirds is on a mission to prove that comfort, good design, and sustainability don't have to be mutually exclusive".

In just four years they became the market pioneers of sustainable footwear. It all started with a launch on Kickstarter, in fact, here's their Kickstarter video:

The brand has a really quirky brand voice, and its values are transparency, sustainability and comfort.

Here's an email with an order confirmation:

allbirds-email-confirmation

You can see the same quirky humorous brand voice in their social media posts.

allbirds-social-media-brand-voice-marketing

Besides the humor and the spunky brand personality, the brand has really taken advantage of this concept of transparency. They display the materials they use in a creative way and get down to the fine details.

allbirds-materials-our-story-brand-voice

And that ties really nicely with their overall mission and their third brand value - sustainability.

allbirds-sustainable-materials-brand-voice-marketing-tactic

Ultimately, the quirky brand voice and the incredible brand values of sustainability and transparency lead Allbirds to build a super engaged audience online that has contributed the most to the brand's growth. Yes, it is a really comfortable product (the NY Times called it "the most comfortable shoe in the world"), but without a strong brand and a focus on the user experience, Allbirds would not have been the giant that it is today.

Casper - "here to awaken the potential of a well-rested world"

Casper is a mattress company that has completely revolutionized the industry. They were the first direct-to-consumer mattress company and quickly grew to a $1.1B valuation in 2019.

Casper's brand values are all about dreaming big, innovation, and bringing joy to a tired industry.

Look how they merge the "dreaming big" brand value with a pun about sleeping, in their purchase receipt email.

casper-purchase-receipt-order-confirmation-email-brand-strategy

And here's another great email asking for a review.

casper-email-example-brand-voice

Casper's strong brand helped it launch other successful products, like the Casper Glow, which is an innovative bedtime light that changes its light temperature and brightness automatically and can be remotely controlled through an app.

casper-glow-light-brand-value-marketing-strategies

There are a lot of big and abstract words thrown around when talking about brand value creation, so here's a simple way to think about it.

A simple formula to find the right values that define your brand is this:

  1. Think about the main pain points/needs/frictions your brand is solving
  2. Translate it into a value-based language
  3. Make sure it fits your beliefs and motivations

2. Identify customer pain points and expectations

"People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!" - Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School Professor

One of the top reasons why products or services fail is when their makers fail to identify the customers' pain points. In other words, they don't meet the customer's need or they don't solve a vital problem in their lives. Also, those needs may change over time so it's important to continue examining the customer journey and solve your current customer challenges.

One of the classic examples is the Segway. It was a device that was said to eliminate walking. It could go up to 12.5 miles per hour, had a lithium battery, and made you look like a dork. It was hailed as the device that will make walking obsolete and it failed miserably.

It's a sad story but the creator of the device actually drove it off a cliff and died. The problem with the Segway is that no one wanted to stop walking, people love walking, people loved running, so it failed to meet the customer's need and to identify a pain point.

a-man-and-a-woman-riding-a-segway-on-the-river-bank

What are the different types of customer pain points? 

Financial

the most basic pain point is financial. Does your product help your customers save money? Is it more cost-effective than the alternatives? Are the savings short-term or long-term? And if your product is cheaper than the alternatives, does that price difference create enough value for the customer? 

These are some of the important questions you should ask yourself. An example of this is Target's launch of the brand Smartly with hygiene/cleaning products all under $2 (approximately 70% less than similar products by other brands).

Smartly-the-brand-launched-in-the-US

Convenience

Another really important pain point is convenience. Does your product make your peoples' life more convenient? The classic example of this is Netflix, a brand that became a household name because it was incredibly more convenient than it competitor Blockbuster.

Instead of having to shlep to Blockbuster, for example, and pay all of those late fees customers could now get DVD's straight to their doorstep. Fast forward to 2020, Netflix is worth $203 billion and Blockbuster is is out of business. The company that made me more convenient for people won.

netflix-beat-blockbuster-on-convenience-marketing-tactics

Service

Service is another major factor in solving a customer's pain point. Service refers to the entire customer experience and includes things like - warranty, maintenance, replacements, customer service, and ease of use. A really good example of this is the solar company SolarCity, which was acquired by Tesla in 2016. SolarCity's solar panels weren't cheaper than the competitors they simply had a better warranty and maintenance on them and that's why customers preferred them. This is one of the major drivers that helped SolarCity become the nation's largest residential solar provider.

tesla-solarcity-solar-roof-superior-service

5 easy steps to identify your customer's pain point

Ok, so we've talked about the type of customer pain points that there are, but how do you identify it for your own company and product? Here are some helpful suggestions that will get you on the right path.

Create a customer journey map

Identify what makes your customers buy your product and how they arrived to your physical or online store. This should include the channels that they visited - a search result, a Facebook ad, a social media post, an email, and other online and physical media. At each stage identify possible pain points and uncover the customer's motivation of using your product. This will also help you evaluate your marketing mix and see if there are any channels that you need to add.

customer-journey-mapping-solution-conceptdraw

Survey your customers

Another good way to find the customer pain point is by surveying your customers. Ask your customers what they like and don't like about your product and what are some of the factors that led to their choice. There are a ton of survey tools you could use like Typeform or SurveyMonkey.

Look at customer reviews

If you are thinking of launching a new product you should look at the customer reviews of your existing products. These will tell you a lot about your customers' preferences, expectations and pain points. What's particularly powerful for eCommerce sites are visual reviews - photos or videos that customers post alongside the text of their reviews. You can use tools like Pixlee, Yotpo, or Loox to collect and display visual reviews.

customer-reviews-visual-yotpo-widget

Ask your sales team

Another good way to find your customer's pain points is to ask your sales team. After all, your sales people are the ones that hear and have to respond to the objections of your prospects and customers, hence they are the most aware of what people are looking for in your products or services. Sit down and have a discussion with your sales team. Try to find out what your customers like/dislike about your product, what are the issues that they bring up the most, and what makes them turn down the product. If your marketing team interfaces directly with your customers you could also ask them for feedback.

sales team huddle collaboration in the office hd image

Study your competitors

It's super important to conduct a competitor analysis to analyze the competitor landscape, in any industry. That's how Netflix and Apple began, when they strove to make a product that's better and more innovative than the status quo. Identify where you are, what your market position is. Look at all your competitor products, their marketing mix, the type of promotion and media they publish, and their strategies. Identify the pain points that they are solving and ones that are still unresolved. One strategy is to try to solve the same pain points just better. Another strategy is to go after pain points the remain unresolved, to create something that people haven't seen before.

competitor-analysis-research-marketing

Use the STP framework

Another effective marketing technique is to use the STP framework. STP stands for segmenting, targeting, and positioning.

Segmenting is where you divide the market into distinct groups (or target market segments). Targeting is where you determine which customer segment you want to focus your marketing efforts on. And positioning is the creation of the brand position, the marketing mix, and other various marketing strategies in order to appeal to your potential customers in your target market and try to influence them to make a purchase decision.

The STP framework helps brands identify the types of marketing channels and strategies that will be required to successfully market their product or service to their customers.

3. Identify market trends and competition

That brings us to our next topic - creating a competitive analysis. This is a crucial step in the marketing strategy plan creation because this is where you will identify what differentiates your product or service from the competition. You can do this through a simple SWOT analysis to determine your brand's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Without this step it's going to be very difficult to create a product that provides unique value to the consumer and stays competitive with the market trends of the day. So this analysis is crucial and this is how you go about it:

Identify your competitors

The first step of any competitive analysis is to find out who your competitors are. Find out all the different companies that have similar products and services. Look at their social media content, search in related or niche online communities, news mentions and product reviews.

Categorize your competitors

Now that you have a detailed list of all of your competitors it's time to categorize them. Put them into different groups - primary, secondary, and tertiary competitors. This will help you get clarity on which of your competitors are directly competing with you and which ones you should focus on in your analysis.

Take a look at their social media and branding

The next step of the competitive analysis is to find out all you can about each competitor. Look at all the various social media pages, the content and the branding that they use on their site and email campaigns. This will give you a visual understanding of their brand positioning and how your product or service differs from theirs. Be sure to check out their influencer marketing campaigns to see the kind of branded image that they try to portray online. Look at their display ads (owned media) and UGC(earned media).

Conduct a site audit to look at traffic sources and positioning

This part is the more technical side of the branding audit. Use a tool like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, or Alexa to check the keywords that each competitor ranks for and their various traffic channels. This will give you the precise search terms that the user searches for and the specific needs that your competitors meet. For example, you might discover that a competitor is using a type of media or content that you're not using yet, or a traffic channel that you haven't expanded into. This is super valuable information to have for your online marketing strategy.

marketing competitor research keywords similarweb

4. Create your value proposition

Now that you have your story right, it’s time to build the right strategy for your marketing. That means making business decisions about what are you delivering and to whom.

Your product or service tells the most about your brand.

This is the actual hands-on experience prospects and customers have with your brand, and it can affect their perception about it the most.

Use your values to make sure you walk the talk and implement what you said about yourself in your offering.

Here are some examples to help you get the hang of it:

Walmart - translating brand values to service language

walmart logo
walmart-branding-strategy-tone-of-voice

IKEA - Brand values & design

ikea-logo-hd

Most people will know right away this is IKEA’s products - humble, simple and functional.

ikea products table bed office

5. Identify your target audience

Deciding on your target audience could change the way you present your brand and even the language you use to do it.

We love to use simple models for complex decisions.

We found it is much more effective and fun.

Use this model to map the different target audience groups that you have, and prioritize them accordingly in your audience analysis.

(This is actually one of the models we used to determine our target audiences)
target-audience-priority-model-mayple

You would want your first tier target audience to have good market potential for business growth and that it wouldn’t be a Via Delarosa to convince them to buy what you have to offer.

This is not the only tool you need to characterize the people you are going to invest most of your marketing spend to reach out to.

The second tool we recommend for you to use is defining your personas - or in other words, asking who is your ideal customer, your target customer, to the smallest details.

To define your main persona you can use this question list:

  1. Who is my persona? Is he a male or is she a female? What age is he or she? Name your persona and attach a photo so it will be easier for you to plan your messaging accurately.
  2. What is my persona initial state of mind? - his or her emotions and thought before starting the decision-making process?
  3. What are the different stages of his or her decision-making process until purchase?

If you’re about to launch a new service or product that prospects or customers are not used to using or buying, you might consider applying this psychology of change model. After all, you’re trying to change people perception here.

Each stage represents a psychological state of mind of people until they reach a decision to take action. You can use the needs that are listed below to create your marketing creative tools that will effectively move your persona to take action.

target-audience-priority-model-mayple

Identify the following for each stage of the buyer's journey:

  1. What are your persona’s expectations? What are his goals?
  2. What process does she go through in this stage? Where does she look for information? Who do they speak with?
  3. How would you describe the customer's experience at each point of the customer journey?
  4. What is your objective for each of their decision-making stages?
  5. What actions can help you achieve these objectives?

Now that you've identified your ideal customers, how are you going to reach them?

That brings us to the next step.

6. Identify partners and potential collaborators

Identifying your potential partners or collaborations is a critical step of reaching your ideal customer. It may be that there are online communities that already exist where your customers hang out. It could be that you need to work with a distributor or get a marketing partner to help you reach them.

This is a critical point to consider before you execute your inbound marketing strategy. Sometimes finding and working with the right partner could give you access and help you achieve 10X the results. This could be through revenue sharing or an affiliate program. It could also be done by social networking at industry events or online conferences.

We’re on the digital marketing portion of our guide and it contains 3 parts - deciding on your creative & messaging, selecting the marketing channels that you’ll be using, and deciding on a strategy and a marketing budget for each channel. 

Let’s dive in.

7. Decide on the messaging and creative of your brand

Most businesses (and especially startups) can’t afford to hire a digital marketing specialist in-house so they use the services of freelancers or digital agencies.

From now on, you have a critical job of guarding your brand’s values and strategy in the messaging and creative you’ll create and the different tactics you’ll use.

That’s what storytelling is about.

Make sure that the service provider you hired is aligned with your brand and the various marketing strategies that you want to employ, so they can apply your strategy to the actual marketing communication you’ll have with your potential customers.

Here are two brilliant brands that keep to their authentic brand strategy throughout their messaging:

National Geographic - how to create the “wow” and “wonder” visually

National Geographic know how to present stunning photography and help us discover the wonders of our world. They constantly keep the language they use on their ads (paid and earned media) to be aligned with these brand values.

national-geographic-social-media-example-100M-every-day-explorers
Source: Vox

8. Define your marketing channels

Now that you have defined your value proposition, your partners, and your creative assets and messaging it's time to select the right marketing channels for your marketing mix. This is one of the most crucial steps of the process of creating your marketing strategy. Each digital marketing campaign will vary greatly based on the marketing channels that you'll pick.

You need to select those marketing channels that fit your brand and your product. Let's cover a few of the main marketing channels and their best practices.

Social media

Social media marketing is a vital part of any digital inbound marketing strategy and there are certainly a lot of things that you could do. Also keep in mind that successful social media campaigns can help you get more traffic from search. Organic social media is used for the awareness stage, or the lead generation stage, of the marketing funnel while a Facebook ad is used for the last stage, or the conversion stage. There are a lot of various platforms and strategies you could use and it's important to pick the right channel for your product. 

Here’s a breakdown of the some of the best and most effective social media channels to use for different type of companies: 

For visual eCommerce products - use Instagram and Pinterest, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter

For B2B companies - use LinkedIn, Instagram, ProductHunt, and Angellist

For B2C companies - use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest

For written content-heavy companies - use Medium, Quora, and Reddit

For GenZ-focused companies - focus on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok

Red Bull is a great example of a brand that has a brilliant social media marketing strategy. Early on they realized that if they wanted to connect to their target consumer they couldn’t just use the traditional marketing and sales campaigns that all the other beverage companies were using. They decided to create videos of athletes breaking world records and doing unthinkable things like jumping off airplanes and falling 23 miles and skiing down the Himalayas. To date, the Red Bull YouTube channel has garnered more than 10 million subscribers and more than 2.5 trillion views. 

This is obviously a very expensive strategy and won’t make sense for most brand marketing budgets, but it’s a good example of a brand sharing success stories and targeting their consumers the right way on social media.

Social advertising 

Ads are becoming more and more popular on social media platforms because the recent algorithm changes continue to favor them and decrease organic reach. After all, that’s how the social platforms make their money so you have to use paid media to get anywhere these days. 

Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for advertising. For B2B you can use Quora, Reddit or LinkedIn. 

Top Advertising Tips:
  • Create a lookalike audience on each platform and for each type of campaign that you're running
  • Organize your campaigns based on the marketing funnel (top, middle, and bottom)
  • Match your copy and designs to your target audience
  • Retarget your audience and site visitors on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Paid Advertising

Social media advertising is just a subset of online advertising. Other digital advertising can include native advertising, Google ads, Google shopping, banner ads, and much more. Each ad requires thorough strategic planning to make sure that the messaging and creatives match your market segments to help attract new leads and retain current customers.

If you want to start using ads and are just not sure where to start, we have over 1,500+ top experts here at Mayple so definitely reach out!

PS: that's our expertise, so don't be shy. Click here to get started.

Influencer marketing

Working with influencers is one of the most lucrative marketing channels you could go into. Studies show that businesses make $5.20 for every $1 that they spend on influencer marketing. And 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations for their purchase decisions. That’s huge. 

influencer-marketing-statistic-channel-strategy-ROI

That means that on average about half of your customers are going to be searching for influencer posts so it is essential that these people are recommending you and your product online. Now, influencer marketing is different than when your users post image of your product. Influencer shots are called paid media (just like ad campaigns) while user-generated content (UGC) is called earned media.

Top Influencer Marketing Tips:
  • Pick influencers based on the type of audience they have, and their level of engagement (not the size of their following)
  • Run giveaway campaigns with groups of influencers
  • Run stories on Instagram because they are clickable
  • Conduct competitor research to see which influencers they are using on all the relevant platforms
  • Use YouTube influencers to create videos about your product or service
  • Use real data to determine which influencers are your best performers

Email marketing 

klaviyo-email-marketing-template-example
Source: Klaviyo

This is going to surprise you but the ROI of emails still remains among the highest in all of the different digital marketing channels and platforms. Studies show that email marketing provides a $42 return on every $1 you spend, which is terrific. 

Top Email Marketing Tips: 
  • Use UGC or earned media in your campaigns
  • Set up email campaigns and email flows (cart abandonment flow, welcome flow, sunset flow)
  • Create campaigns with educational content, don't just send constant product promotion
  • A/B test different copy and formats based your data to better match your campaigns with your audience

That is not to say that the other channels don’t help or assist the sale, it’s like the functions of the various team members in a soccer match. There could have been 5-6 players that touched the ball before it reached the goal post. Same thing happens in marketing.

A user could interact with a brand on numerous channels before they buy their products or services. Which is why it’s really important to have an effective “omnichannel” strategy, a strategy that includes many marketing channels. 

Here are a few examples of channels that work really well when combined with email marketing: 

Push notifications 

Push notifications are those messages you get on your browser on a desktop device or on your mobile screen. They work really well when combined with emails. You could send off the email in the morning for example, and then follow it with a push notification 30-60 minutes later, to remind the user to check out your deal of the day. 

Push notifications have a click through rate that’s 7 times higher than emails, so when sent after the email they increase your chances of getting a sale that much more. 

push-notification-example-from-taplytics
Source: Taplytics

Chatbots and messaging

email marketing vs messenger chatbot open rate and CTR

One of the quickest and most effective ways to communicate with customers is through text messages and this has become its own marketing channel. You can set up automated messages and flows that gets sent to a customer or even a chatbot that is able to bring them from product discovery all the way to purchase, without any human involvement. You can also use this channel to send people a product promotion, a cart abandonment flow, or a content promotion.

chatbot-example-from-manychat-messenger
Source: Manychat

Text messages are much more personal and that’s what makes them so powerful for brands. According to Social Media Today, chatbot messages get open rates of over 80% and click through rates of over 50% so these messages provide an additional and very effective way to augment and boost your email marketing performance. 

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most overlooked strategies is Search Engine Optimization, especially for eCommerce. It involves optimizing a site's content to make it easier for search engines to find it and display it. There are numerous new ways to get displayed on search engines than ever before - in the images section, as videos, quotes, products, how-to's, Q&A, and much more. SEO is a super effective marketing channel and can bring a lot of targeted and high-quality traffic to any site.

Top SEO tips:
  • Use Google Search Console data to find the keywords and searches that you get the most traffic from
  • Optimize your on-page content with a tool like Ahrefs or Moz
  • Build a comprehensive backlink strategy based on competitor data and best practices

Now remember, not all SEO best practices will fit your needs or make sense. It's a delicate balance between SEO and the user experience (UX) and that requires some tough decisions sometimes. So always learn from your data and keep your audience as first priority and you will win.

Content Marketing

Last but not least, let's talk about your content marketing strategy. Content provides a way for users to find your product or service online. Use content to target your ideal buyer persona, acquire new customers, and delight and retain your existing customer base. In order to use content marketing successfully, brands have to create different content for each part of their marketing or sales funnel. For example, a company might put out educational content for the top of the funnel, for first-time visitors, and more promotional content for those shoppers that are ready to buy.

Top Content Marketing Tips: 
  • Write long-form blog posts for organic search traffic
  • Publish comparison and shopping guides for the middle of the funnel visitors
  • Use UGC, video content, and longer descriptions on your social media posts to tell your story
content-marketing-facebook-ads-example-from-Leesa-home-decor-brand

Public Relations (PR)

Last but not least, there's PR. Public relations is one of the most effective growth strategies that can help solidify your brand images and expand your digital presence.

Now that we’ve covered the various marketing channels that you should consider to grow your business, let’s talk strategy.

9. Select a strategy and budget for each channel

It’s now time to select a specific strategy and a budget for each of the marketing channels that you’ve chosen for your brand. Here are a few helpful steps: 

Identify your business goals

What are your goals? Pick a few strategic business goals or KPIs to focus on in the short-term. A really helpful rubric for this is what’s called SMART goals. Smart stands for: 

Specific - describe clearly what you want to accomplish

Measurable - set goals that you could measure

Achievable - these goals have to be achievable and not way out of reach

Relevant - set goals that improve the specific aspects of your marketing, so no vanity metrics.

Time-bound - pick objectives that you can achieve within a certain time frame. 

Now that you’ve set up your goals it’s time to look at your market.

Here's a fantastic video from Hubspot to watch about setting the right marketing goals for your business: 

Conduct market research

Gather information about your market - the size, growth, social trends, search trends and demographics of your target market. Find out what is possible and feasible to accomplish and which channels, content types and media, are used to reach your target customer, and which you should add to your marketing mix. You can use a PEST analysis or a SWOT analysis to help you with your research.

A PESTEL analysis is a marketing framework or management method that helps businesses assess major external factors that influence its operation, in order to become more competitive in the market. PESTEL stands for political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal. For example, legal factors could include a new regulation that significantly limits a brand's ability to sell their product in a particular region. Political factors could include new trade restrictions, tarrifs, or a new tax policy. Environmental factors could include weather conditions, seasonality, an even natural disasters.

Align your strategy with your ideal customer

Go back to the customer personas that you’ve created in the beginning of this process and make sure that your strategy aligns with your personas. Look at the trends, at the type of customers that you are going to be able to reach and tweak accordingly.

It’s performance time!

At this point, you have your brand story and values, your go to market strategy and a professional to run your marketing efforts.

From this point forward, you should focus on a much more tactical management. That means iterative testing of your content and creatives, of your target audience segments and even of the words you use on your ads CTAs (call-to-action buttons).

Which brings us to the last step of the process: 

10. Analyze your results

This is one of the most crucial steps in anything you do in marketing. Once you test something you have to analyze the results and continue testing. Data is crucial in every aspect of marketing and the business data you get from testing marketing strategies is the best kind of data to have. Smart marketing managers use data to continue iterating and optimizing their growth strategies.

Once you have the results of your strategy you can then make the changes you need to make and A/B test various aspects to get even better results.

BONUS : Examples of Marketing Strategies Templates

There’s no one size fits all marketing strategy, and if you’ve read this entire guide to this point - you’re probably eager to implement some of the various strategies we talked about. And you’ve probably discovered a lot of topics that you should learn more about to really perfect your marketing strategy. 

Here are some of our favorite resources + marketing strategy examples + templates. These are really effective and comprehensive. They cover a really broad range of channels and use cases so you can find some value regardless of which business you’re in. Choosing the right template is the secret behind creating an effective marketing strategy.

Let’s dive in.

How to Plan Your Marketing Strategies in 12 Steps (CoSchedule)

This beautiful strategy guide has everything you need to know to create the perfect strategy. The best part is that it shows everything visually in each section, and has a really simple marketing strategy template to follow to create your own strategy. Plus, CoSchedule started off as a content marketing tool for inbound marketing teams (they are now much more than that), so they go into a brief history of content marketing, inbound marketing, and how it all started.

marketing example template from coschedule


The best part about CoSchedule is that they have a feature where that allows you to divide the tasks among your team members. For example, if you're a content team manager you can use this to visually display who writes each piece of content, who edits it, and who publishes that piece of content on the team. This is a crucial and super effective step that gets missed pretty often. Once a brand makes their strategy, it’s important to delegate the work and get started on the execution. 

managing a project with your team feature

10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth (Entrepreneur)

This is an old one but when we read it we thought it has the perfect sequence of some of the most effective marketing strategies for an eCommerce business. It has literally everything you need to market successfully. We’re talking influencers, email marketing automation, content marketing, video content, Facebook retargeting and search engine optimization. This post is an excellent broad overview of eCommerce marketing at its finest. 

The Essential Guide to Marketing Strategies (Hurree)

Hurree is one of the best marketing blogs ever. This post in particular gives a really good detailed overview of each step of creating a marketing strategy. It also has a variety of videos sprinkled throughout the post that explain concepts deeper, and the best part - they have a whole section of marketing automation.

Hurree is a marketing automation platform so you know to expect some talk of automation in every single one of their posts. This is a segway from traditional marketing principles to present-day automation and beyond. 

marketing strategies animation gif

The 11 Best Marketing Strategies We Tried This Year (WordStream)

This post is for the more advanced marketer that wants to really hone in on the top strategies that work in 2022. It’s written by Sujan Patel, the one and only, and he goes over things like webinars, reaching out to other tools in the industry, brand partnerships, search marketing, evergreen content, SMS, and non-traditional social media channels.

Check out this post, even though it was written in 2018, it remains one of the best lists of marketing strategies on the web.

marketing for evergreen content update old posts sujan patel

The Ultimate Digital Marketing Strategies Guide (HubSpot)

This is a classic resource from HubSpot and we like about it is how clearly they define every term, every type of content and marketing tactics that you should develop. They also include 5 examples of marketing ads and dissect each one. It’s a great read and you will get a lot of value out of it.

Here's a great video they include in the post.

That’s it folks. 

Now that you have a better idea of how to craft the ultimate marketing strategy for your business or startup it’s time to go out there and absolutely smash it. 

PS: we're here for you if you are an eCommerce brand and you want to grow your business. Just click here to get your free marketing audit.

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Intro

In the last two years, we’ve built an incredible community of ads experts on Mayple, and today we are going to give you a sneak peek of the kind of talent that you can find on our platform. We’ve vetted more than six hundred of the top PPC experts and have paired them up with eCommerce companies to help them achieve incredible results.

Our marketers have worked with 1000+ eCommerce brands with over $20M+ budgets, and have contributed to over $100M in sales. If you want to stay on top of the latest eCommerce strategies and future trends around topics like CRO, SEO, PPC, online marketplaces and eCommerce strategy, then check out the tips of these disruptive eCommerce experts.

Bar G.

Bar G.

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Bar Gedalyahu, founder of Botim, specializes in a new and exciting field of marketing - Conversational Design.

With 5 years in promoting businesses online, Bar is constantly searching and developing better ways to benefit his clients and their marketing needs. Today, he is focusing on developing conversation design solutions for eCommerce brands & businesses at scale.



A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Think about your expectations as an eCommerce user - cross-channel, personal and immediate interaction. Brands are expected to change form and e-meet the user in a much more friendly and interactive manner. Introducing - Messenger Chatbots, the ultimate tool for brands to become approachable and likable, when done right, of course. These chatbots are designed to drive traffic to the store with a high level of segmentation, to drive leads and register to mailing lists, to encourage user engagement, while learning about the user’s desires and passions. This is the new e-world, in which interactive content is truly the king.


A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

Who said eCommerce cannot be a fun experience, or even a game? Using chat marketing features, we create fun, non-binding and challenging games within Messenger. We make customer experiences that make users engage, engage, and engage. During engagement, users provide you with valuable information - thoughts, beliefs, shopping preferences, etc. Take this data, crunch it, process it, learn from it - create more personal and compelling ads and content, content that over time increases ROI and improves results. This is how you turn a static brand into a marketing beast.


What makes a killer ad-copy?

This might not come as a surprise, but - people are mostly interested in themselves. How is that related to marketing? Because if that is true than people always - sometimes without knowing much about it - strive to get a better understanding of their personality and experiences. This is also a significant insight to content marketing, think about it - getting the user's attention means interacting through a personal dedicated message. A message that presents a challenge, that makes you rethink what you know about yourself. Now that’s a killer ad copy.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

Ever wondered why extensive workout makes your muscles sensitive to injuries? The answer is simple, not using the right equipment to help your body cope with massive training.

MAVA Sports, TCM company's eCommerce brand, has the perfect solution with quality workout products.

They reached out to us looking for a chat-based marketing solution to lower marketing costs, segment users by sport types, and then custom-tailor

a marketing journey to rock-their-socks-off.

Now, that’s what happens when the marketing solution is spot-on: the campaign was a huge success, and provided MAVA with the cheapest leads in the past 5 years. Socks, off.


Hilary S.

Hilary S.

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Hilary has passionately been working in digital marketing for the last 8 years focusing primarily in paid advertising. With a developed balance of creative skills and analytical skills she has successfully been able to continually create fresh ways to increase ROI for medium to large b2c and b2b clients.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Google Analytics, or some top-level conversion tracking in place not just within the platform that you are advertising. I prefer Google analytics as Google is the largest search engine and can show an accurate picture of what is happening on your site when users come through an ad. But whichever conversion tracking setup you use, there needs to be two one to accurately assess the true value of platform conversions. For example Facebook even with the IOS changes is still very "liberal" with it's attributing conversions, you need another platform to provide comparison and clarity. You can't improve performance without a clear picture of how you are doing with your current efforts.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

A paid marketing technique that I have implemented across all my accounts both paid search and paid social and always seen improvement in ROI are complex remarketing funnels that push the user from a cold lead to a warm lead and ready to purchase. For search, this is a little more complicated but doable with RLSAs and display/youtube remarketing. For social I particularly ensure that users aren't seeing the same ad for more than a week before they see a different ad with different messaging. This approach prevents ad fatigue and usually increases conversion rates.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

The day when marketers got away with "salesy' ad copy is long over. In order to drive conversions ad copy needs to be engaging and directly tied to the audience being targeted or keywords being targeted. Users are looking for conversational language, messaging that resonates with their goals, beliefs, and values. More and more with the changes in society users are becoming focused on connecting with brands before they purchase. This is positive for brands as it means more likely the user will be a life-time customer, however there is a greater challenge to get that message across in an engaging manner than ever before, that is why remarketing is imperative.

A brand that you've worked with and the specific results that you've achieved (that you are particularly proud of)

Over the last couple years and particularly through COVID I partnered with an Ecommerce gift store in managing both paid search and paid social. COVID was difficult for a lot of businesses, especially for the brands that didn't already have an online presence, and those who did, competition increased greatly. While continuing to build an online presence for my client and managing paid search and Facebook and Instagram ads I was able increase conversion rate by 163% resulting in 60% more revenue 2020 vs. 2019.

Barbara H.

Barbara H.

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Barbara has been working in digital marketing for 10+ years now. She started her career at a media agency taking care of clients such as Nike, Lufthansa, or Unilever. Throughout her career, she was leading marketing teams in different industries such as online gaming or lifestyle mobile apps. For about 2 years now she is working as a freelancer helping startups grow.


A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

A properly working conversion tracking tool. This might sound quite obvious to professionals but it's essential for a successful business. Without data, it is practically impossible to make just the right decisions and grow. This is step zero. When you have your tracking sorted out, find a tool that helps you with customer engagement and loyalty. You probably invest a lot of money into acquiring a customer so you want to get the most out of it.


A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

I think it's all about understanding data attribution. Meaning going beyond last click attribution.  You need to understand your customers' touchpoints and their impact on your revenue. Based on that you can decide which paid channels to focus on and which ones to discontinue. That way you can fully take advantage of your invested money.  


What makes a killer ad-copy?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You know you have a good ad-copy if it's perfectly tailored to your target audience and they respond to it the way you expected. This means you should speak your customers' language and choose images that are appealing to them. If you do your research before jumping into creating your ad these shouldn't be a problem for you. It's important to remember that your own personal taste and style don't necessarily match your customers'. So it is best not to take your own taste as a reference. Also, remember to always include a call-to-action!


An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

Several projects come to my mind but I'm most proud of the results I achieved for an Austrian brand for baby slings. We found a way to combine the online and offline world.  We didn’t only promote it via the usual online channels but we also used offline training and mommy get-togethers to create trust and build a community. This tactic worked out excellent as we were able to accelerate our online sales. I think to grow it's important to be creative, to try out new ways and techniques, and invest in long-term strategic steps.



Drew B.

Drew B.

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Drew has worked in the digital advertising space for over 5 years and started out as an intern for several marketing agencies after college which how he fell in love with the space. After graduating college in 2016 with a Bachelors' degree in Marketing, Drew worked for several large ad agencies on Fortune 500 clients before going off on his own in 2017. Since then Drew has helped many ECommerce brands both large and small start out and grow in the space across digital advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

In eCommerce, sustainability and growth are impossible unless you’re willing to spend resources on tools that can help you scale your business. The first and most important tool for any eCommerce brand is the platform itself. There are a lot of tools out there and given that 80% of sales. You’ll need tools with more functionality and enhanced capabilities such as artificial intelligence to help you take over and automate everyday tasks.

Best Ecommerce Tools:

  • An e-commerce platform
  • Digital payment processing systems
  • Email marketing platforms and print marketing
  • Advanced analytics and tracking
  • Shipping service integrations
  • Social media management solutions
  • CRM

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

As a marketer, you have various choices at your disposal for reaching new customers. It’s important to concentrate on the channels most suitable to produce a high income on investment (ROI). First, you need to know which type of marketing channels are possible and how they deliver results. Channels like search paid, and email gives access to the best marketing strategies for ROI. Focus on tactics within these channels because they can produce short and long-term profits. These digital or online channels cover strategies like email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.


What makes a killer ad-copy?

Several aspects can learn how successful your advertising will be. The way ads are distributed may have improved, but the rules for good advertising copywriting have continued the same. While digital marketing has started up new channels and new challenges for people seeking to advertise their businesses, ad copy will still make or break your campaign. But you must make it clear that your content will help them answer one of their top challenges. Advertising copy specifically refers to the words in your ads and the right words can create a big difference in how your ad is received and the results it achieves.


An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

A pet dropshipping store that started with $5k in spend and now spends over $20k. We went from standard to smart campaigns and continue to build out more search campaigns for different topics and brands. It is an ever-growing account where revenue on the brand as a whole has gone from $120-$150k per month to between $350-$400k per month. Obviously, not all of it is paid ads related but shows the power of how one channel affects another and another.

Robert L.

Robert L.

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Robert is a performance marketer who has managed and executed over $500M USD in advertising spends across 3,000+ client accounts throughout his career. As an Ex-Googler in Sydney and New York, Robert has developed winning paid search strategies which won him the award of being the top strategist in the Americas (US, CA & SAM) in 2019. Robert has also applied his expertise to enterprise brands such as Woolworths, Air New Zealand, and Samsung during his tenure at Dentsu and Publicis. Today, he's the CEO and Founder of a thriving boutique marketing agency that has scaled to a team of 20+ experts since its inception in 2020.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

I believe a must-have tool would have to be Google Analytics - it's important to have a one-source-of-truth platform to go to for your traffic, revenue and to have an accurate pulse of your business. This isn't a new tool but there are functions, dashboards, and insights that not many marketers access. Most don't even feed in their Facebook Ad cost data.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) marketing technique that you've used to get amazing ROI

Our team uses a concept called Single Purpose Campaigns in which we treat each audience or layer of the audience as it's own individual campaign or line item. Meaning that we are able to be more personalized in our messaging and controlled on our costs and targeting. It's something I've gathered during my time working on one of the world's top airline brands. They had segmented each one-way route, each language, each promotion as an individual campaign. Ultimately creating and managing 100's to 1,000's of campaigns and extracting every dollar to get a 50x return.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

A killer ad copy is more about how it addresses the user. We first need to know what the user's intent is. For Google Search, it's rather easy to understand their intent (if you segmented campaigns properly). With Facebook, you can use indicators such as Page Engagement, Video Watched 100% and Previously visited site to get an understanding of where this user is in terms of journey, in relation to your brand. By understanding this, any level of personalization can be considered Killer Ad Copy.

A brand that you've worked with and the specific results that you've achieved (that you are particularly proud of)

We've worked with brands during this tough COVID period, helped them pivot, and come out the other side stronger. We worked with this boutique small business called the New Grocer who had previously had a business that did Lunch Meal Preparations for School Kids whose Parents didn't want their kids to eat the food there. The New Grocer was born to help the suppliers maintain their revenue source and for the chefs at the meal prep company to retain their jobs as Schools were closed. Through this pivot, we were able to help support this newly born e-commerce brand to acquiring 2,000+ new customers over the course of 6 months. Introducing new product lines and many pivots to value proposition. Ultimately we were able to retain jobs and keep their business alive.

Slava L.

Slava L.

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Slava has 10 years of experience doing online marketing with the last 5 focusing on paid ads. He helps local and international brands find customers online and optimize their funnels for higher conversion rates. Currently, he is working with medium-sized businesses and managing over 1.5 million a year in ad spend.


A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

For me, the 2 most important tools are:

1: Tools for increasing AOV. They will get your customers to spend more before they checkout. That will allow you to increase marketing spends and scale further than before.

2: A follow-up tool, whether it's for email or SMS. You need to follow up with users who sign up to get them to buy for the first time if they are non-customers, or buy more if they are existing customers. Everyone is busy nowadays, and to scale one must always be on a customer's mind to increase conversion rate.


A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

A not so obvious paid media technique would be to use all the available bidding strategies that the platform you're using provides. For example, marketers tend to stick to “lowest cost” bidding on FB, but there is tons of money to be made with target cost and bid cap bidding strategies.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

For killer ad copy you need to make sure that the first sentence already has intrigued your customer - every business is different, but I personally love to start my copy with a question… e.g.: “Is this really the best laptop of 2020?” That's a simple example, but applying the question format to your copy can get people engaged to keep reading, or engaging with your ads.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

I work with a company named MYSTER, and they are the go-to place to get high-end accessories for cannabis users - we were able to get a HUGE 18 ROAS on their remarketing campaign this year by re-engaging with potential customers on FB through sales and promos. The campaign has been running for about 11 months now and it keeps being extremely profitable.

Katelyn G.

Katelyn G.

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Katelyn Glass, Founder and Managing Partner of Fifty Six Advising, has spent the past 12+ years of her professional career leading the digital transformation for multiple firms serving in various change management roles for high-end retail and consumer brands. She was the first female C-Suite executive at Rowing Blazers, scaling the lifestyle brand to #8 on SimilarWeb's 15 fastest-growing DTC brands by web traffic in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is an expert in sustainable scalable global growth, cross border solutions, data architecture and supply chain management. As a Marketing professional Katelyn believes in data driven decision making, with a focus on multi-path attribution, and strategic management across all channels of paid and organic acquisition; CRM, SEM/SEO, e-mail, social, PR, out of home and creative production.

In addition to her role within Fifty Six, Katelyn currently serves as a member of Chief, a private invite-only network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there, and volunteers in her local community in New York City through Send Chinatown Love and Rotary International in Chinatown (District 7230). She is also an MBA Candidate at University of Chicago Booth.

Outside of work, Glass enjoys spin class, traveling around the world, a great margarita on the rocks, true crime podcasts, and reading as much fiction as she can get her hands on.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

That’s an easy one - a scalable, easy-to-use globalization platform. My preferred partner is Flow.io which I recommend to clients looking to localize their content in an efficient manner when they are otherwise limited by bandwidth. There is a hesitancy in the eCommerce space to expand globally with barriers to entry such as price, or liability & shipping concerns. With tools like Flow.io a brand can spin up multiple experiences and optimize potential emerging markets rather quickly, eliminating the product bottleneck and a price significantly cheaper than if it were done by in-house teams.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

Localization, localization, localization. It’s important to remember that paid-media techniques are not the same everywhere in the world. A successful Google strategy in the US would necessarily yield to a successful strategy in South Korea, where Naver is preferred. Far too often I see brands simply scale their marketing strategy by taking what has worked in the US and rolling it out to other markets and be disappointed in the results. Treat global markets like you would segments and personas – each country, each region is different – and before you know it, you’re optimizing RoAS across the globe.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Regardless of how serious your brand voice is, make sure to keep it light and conversational. For customers to engage with your content, it needs to be engaging. Plain and simple. Here in the states I always recommend keeping it short and simple whereas in places like France customers like to see longer form content and tend to engage with more verbose content.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

I was the first female C-Suite executive at Rowing Blazers where within a year they were ranked as one of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) 250 Direct Brands to Watch in 2020 and they were #8 on SimilarWeb's 15 fastest-growing DTC brands by web traffic. When I founded Fifty Six Advising in 2021, Rowing Blazers signed on to become our first client where we partnered with their internal team to bring to life their vision of a youthful, inclusive, and irreverent take on the classics with a multi-platform marketing campaign including design & development, email marketing, and Shopify integration.

Stacy C.

Stacy C.

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Stacy is a results-driven business development professional with 20+ years in digital marketing. The bulk of his experience has been in early-stage start-ups, either as a founder or as an early hire. He excels at conceptualizing unique monetization strategies, pitching them to potential partners, and then managing long-term execution around collaborative monitoring of relevant KPI’s.

Specialties include: Monetization Strategy, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Traffic Arbitrage, Media Buying, Ad Sales, Conversion Funnel Optimization, User Acquisition Strategies, search engine optimization (SEO), social commerce, pay per click (PPC) management, eCommerce marketing strategy, project management, graphic design, and copywriting services.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Any online store must have a Google Search Brand campaign for its brand name terms and domain name, including misspellings. Your brand search is your most sacred and even if you organically rank for #1, your competitors could be bidding on your brand terms, and also this is a game of real estate. Taking the #1 and #2 spots makes you a winner. Be sure to bid toward impression share at 100% and bid a high CPC something your competitors can't and won't afford. They will eventually go away from this practice which you protect your brand real estate.

Depending on the type of products a Google Search Generic term campaign should also be in place. Google Display is a great opportunity to increase brand presence to highly targeted audiences. Consumer Intent marketing is the most powerful audience and next up is remarketing.

If you have a brick and motor, Google My Business is the single most important thing you can do, and be sure to link it to Google Ads and while you are at it link Google Ads to Google Analytics and Google Merchant Center. Connect merchant center to your online store software to create a feed so that you can enable Google Shopping Ads.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

Leverage Consumer Intent Marketing audience building and really take the time to think about your ideal customer, what their needs are, what websites they will visit during research for related products or items that together with what you sell.

Ask yourself this question... what is their intent just before they purchase my item?

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Calls to action! Short and sweet. Users need to be told exactly what to do. There is too much clutter to have them guessing what you want to do. Call Now. View Products Now. Hire a creative writer to proof all your ads. Do this on a regular basis.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

Encompass this client was running Google Ads for years. They sell parts for repairs, appliances, and they have millions of items. They had a very high daily volume and almost every customer has the potential for multiple repeat purchasing. I was able to use their Google Analytics to create an all user audience from the last 540 days. Serving ads through Google Display reminded old customers to come back to Encompass. The immediately generated sales on day one and to this day is one of their top campaigns in conjunction with Remarketing.

Kristina A.

Kristina A.

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Kristina Adel is a Customer Relations Coordinator at Velour Beauty, one of the most luxurious eye-centric beauty brands that also sell in Sephora and Ulta. Her role is in creating email marketing strategies, optimizing customers’ experiences and building relationships with the community. Her expertise lies in content creation, copywriting and e-commerce as she is passionate about helping every customer have the best experience with the brand. Kristina loves conveying brand stories that generate demand and achieve success.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Every tool has a place in your toolbox but without data, any step you take becomes just a guess. Microsoft Clarity is an amazing free tool business can implement to start studying heat maps, view customer recordings and much more. It’s not as robust as some other applications but its simple interface and no cost make it a perfect tool for exploring how your customers interact with the site. Such data will then form a foundation for the next optimization steps that will drive conversion and sales. Don’t forget to focus on the mobile interface as that’s the main source of traffic nowadays.


A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

It may sound obvious but a strong segmentation of your customers is key. Everyone expects a personalized experience that is tailored to their specific needs. Building automated email funnels for these specific groups will take some work off your shoulders as you focus on other goals. I like using Retention Science for this as its AI technology makes product recommendations and timings super simple. Connecting those audiences with your Facebook and Google Ads is also a massive plus.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

A/B testing of different killer ad copies will help you find that KILLER ad copy. It can very interesting to see how one word changes the results. Also make you to check for the main keywords on Google trends and listen to what your customers are saying in reviews and on social media. Your customers already know the best keywords you should use in your copy. Plus pop in influencer content into your ads so you don’t even have to worry about the creative.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

I’m proud of promoting all the small businesses I had a chance to work with as part of the ShopHERE program in Toronto. Every small business managed to successfully shift their brick-and-mortar stores online and continue their entrepreneurial journeys.

Michael V.

Michael V.

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Mr. Volkin is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker, Army veteran, and author of 5 books (one bestseller). He has built and sold 4 companies. As a marketing leader, he helps entrepreneurs launch and scale businesses that maximize freedom with time-leveraged business models and no revenue ceiling.  Mr. Volkin has a tremendous track record of driving company growth and brand awareness through the implementation of strategic, cross-channel eCommerce marketing campaigns.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Funnels are hot right now, if you have a product that is over $100, then scaling an eCommerce business through funnels is definitely the way to grow. I suggest Systeme.io. Systeme is similar to ClickFunnels, just easier to use and half the price. It also has other features like the ability to sell (or giveaway) courses to educate your customers. Other features like dropshipping, blog posts, evergreen webinars and email marketing make Systeme.io my all-in-one secret weapon for eCommerce companies.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

My not so obvious technique is running a contest on paid media, grab their email address through that contest then take them through your sales cycle through your email. It’s an extremely effective (and cheap) way to build your email list. I have had clients that have spent as little as $3,000 on paid ads and got over 10,000 new email subscribers to their list. The key though is not to give away your product, remember, that people don’t know your company or your product yet. The giveaway in the contest has to be a product they can immediately identify with like an Apple Watch or Macbook.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Graphics are great at converting ads but the real secret sauce is to get people to read  your ad in the first place. That is where copywriting comes in. Great copywriting starts with truly understanding your core audience and then understanding what they will react to. We are all exposed to hundreds of ads a day, to get your audience to react you really have to test many different aspects of ad copy. Remember, ads are usually an interrupter of what people are doing. So you have to interrupt their scrolling FB, catch their attention, then get them to take the next step. By understanding what will get their attention and create an action for them, you need to test many variants. It may not be just one ad that wins and there even may be seasonal fluctuations. You should create a spreadsheet of all the variants you want to test.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

I have been helping Platinum LED Therapy Lights for a couple years and am proud at the continued growth they have made. We have been successfully hitting many aspects of marketing, from SEO to paid ads to influencer outreach and more. Each contributes to their success and each now provides a predictable revenue stream each month. Our approach was to master one marketing channel, get that running well, then move on to another marketing channel and repeat. Each time we add a marketing channel we are brining the knowledge we learned from the previous one to maximize success.

Zo Björgvinsson

Zo Björgvinsson

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Award winning creative business strategist & entrepreneur, who helped build the digital business for some of retail’s biggest names including Tiffany & Co., Macy’s, Harry Winston, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Jessica Simpson. Transforming and re-inventing some of the world’s best known brands to fit both the times and the medium.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

To build an ecommerce business you must be able to reach your customers where they are, on Instagram, Google, YouTube, reading a newspaper or checking the weather - marketing is what enables you to do that. For online marketing to be affective you need a brand promise that is clear, beneficial to the customer and memorable.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

Strategic story telling is an often missed component in effective paid-media campaigns. 360° story-telling, consistently delivered in all medium, that draws the customer in and then delivers a continuation to the story once the customer clicks on the paid-ad. That lifts all ROI metrics significantly. To maximize the growth of a business the story needs to make sense to the customer.


What makes a killer ad-copy?

First, you must stop people before you can sell them. People are always moving. And online people move like they are on the highway - fast. The first order of business for copy writing an ad, is to find a way to get people to stop and then draw them in with the benefits of your product. Stop them. Then, sell.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

Harry Winston's website significantly improved on how the business delivered the House of Winston brand promise when we launched their website. The focus on making the product the hero of the story and how the customer could best experience the amazing jewels and the the ultimate in fine jewelry Harry Winston built its fame on. On the website or by scheduling a visit - what ever helped the customer the most - that was transformative for Harry Winston online.
The fact that SEO story about the Hope Diamond lead to a purchase of over million dollars was extra sweet.


 David Gosselin

David Gosselin

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David Gosselin, founder and CEO of A-List Me, is an expert in influencer marketing. Originally a mechanical engineer David felt he hit the ceiling in his career. He quickly noticed there isn’t a ceiling when it comes to influencer marketing. He took a leap of faith and after 8 years has curated a dedicated marketing team that is now A-List Me. His focus is on providing e-commerce brands value by working with influencers. He has helped thousands of brands accomplish their goals and exceed expectations!

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

We have several tools in place to accelerate influencer campaign planning. One of my favorites is ClickUp. With ClickUp we can easily share influencer data with our clients. This allows our brand partners to launch campaigns on a tight deadline. In house marketing can be quite expensive, our systems increase efficiency while reducing costs - saving our clients time and money!

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

Influencer marketing is growing rapidly. The value of this industry doubled between 2019 and 2021. It’s no surprise paid- media drives the highest ROI of any strategy. There’s many reasons Influencer marketing has been so successful and suggested to all e-commerce brands when it comes to marketing & advertisements. To break it down: user generated content (UGC) performs best because audiences relate to influencers. Influencers build strong relationships with their followers creating a loyal community. This is why influencer marketing works better than other paid advertisements.

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Influencers know their brand and content better than anyone else. It's often beneficial for brands to give influencers creative space to create their own ad-copy. They know how to communicate with their followers. The copy should feel organic which will lead to increased brand awareness, website traffic and sales conversions.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

We work with a range of companies from start ups to established brands: Amazon, Pepsi, Netflix, Fashion Nova, Under Armour, Anheuser, Busch, Bondi Boost etc. There’s no campaign too small or too big for A-List Me. It’s very motivating to witness our impact on a brand’s success. BURST Oral Care is a recent example. We have completed several successful campaigns for them in which we used influencers to

1) drive traffic to their website and convert sales, 2) create content to be used in other paid advertisements, 3) build brand awareness, and 4) utilize influencer content to build credibility on their QVC feature.

Nicolas G.

Nicolas G.

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Nicolas is a young, newly emerging marketer living and working in Japan (while pursuing his first title as a professional mahjong player for Nihon Pro Mahjong Kyokai). He loves PPC, automation, and task management. Currently still working at ZenMarket to promote their upcoming e-commerce platform “ZenPlus”. Be on the lookout for it!

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

If we are talking about scaling, then Zapier is my go-to solution. Zapier allows marketers to automatize proven and true marketing routines with little to no code involved, connecting dozens of different marketing apps and workflows, providing the necessary systems to manage your business as you grow bigger. It's a win-win, as you get to use the time that you save with Zapier to further find ways to grow your business.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

“Get People Off the Highway With Your Llama” - I love the story about how Alison J. Prince was driving with her kids when suddenly they saw a llama farm next to a gas station on the way; that made them get off the highway and stop to feed the llamas, while at it filling up on gas and grabbing snacks from the gas station. They probably wouldn’t have stopped at that gas station at all if it weren’t for the llama farm. So my advice is, find your llama and apply it to your ads. It’s all about the engagement. Stand out, think outside the box!

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Speak the language of your audience. Not just the same tongue, but the same language. While I love automation, I still craft most of my copy manually for every single demographic group. If you’re not tailoring your ad copy to your targeted demographic, you are leaving tons of money on the table for other more laser-targeted markets to take. Is there any slang or inside joke your audience uses? See if you can include it in your copy for extra engagement. It's all in the research.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

I am particularly proud of our ongoing promotion work at ZenMarket (proxy shopping service for Japanese goods). We constantly craft advertisements targeted at many different audiences (fishermen, fashionistas, otaku, gamers, and much more) in over 12 languages, with plenty of different demographics, so it’s very satisfying to see how each part of the message affects the final outcome. We have dramatically grown our loyal customer base and doubled our sales every year for the past three years, and counting! We're soon expanding to even more additional languages.

Hailey F.

Hailey F.

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Hailey is a search engine marketing expert, a chef-in-training and a San Francisco resident. She's the co-founder of Growth Marketing Pro which she built into a 6-figure passive income business in 18 months, and of the SEO tool Growth Bar.

A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

GrowthBar - it's the best way to spy on your competitors and see what marketing tactics are working for them. You can use it to find the best keywords to target, hone in on the right backlink strategy and much more. I would say that it's crucial for any eCommerce business to have a really good SEO tool and really get a handle on their search rankings.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) marketing technique that you've used to get amazing ROI

SEO is the way we’ve been able to turn Growth Marketing Pro into the largest growth marketing blog on the internet. And it’s the unlock that’s helped us produce nearly a million dollars a year in passive income, without spending a dollar on ads. We've used SEO to scale dozens of eCommerce businesses with success.

Which eCommerce platform or marketing channel have you seen the most success with?

I've used SEO & affiliate marketing to grow our blog. So many marketers think of Facebook ads as the best source of traffic, and that totally depends on the business that you're running. For us, we focused on writing high-quality content and optimizing it to rank on the major search engines. We then monetized it with affiliate marketing, and voila! We now have a really great source of passive income. So don't focus all your time on ads, think outside the box, look at all your options and then decide.

A brand that you've worked with and the specific results that you've achieved (that you are particularly proud of)

We helped Dipsea reach 135,000 app downloads in year 1, raise $5.5 million in VC funding, and get featured in NYT and Forbes 30 Under 30. We've grown our marketing blog to over $60k MRR, with no ads or paid traffic.

Austen Kelekian

Austen Kelekian

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In 2014, Austen started his Marketing career in college when his Marketing professor, who owned an agency, started feeding him clients that didn't have the budget to work with his agency. Austen took the creative lead and started building websites, running paid ads, and growing their online presence with the power of Social Media. Austen graduated from California State University, Chico, in 2016 with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Management. By the age of 22, he sold his first $1 million.
From helping businesses with social media management, lead generation, and online sales, to graphic design work, building websites, and writing content, Austen took his knowledge of sales and marketing to help businesses small and large, utilize the power of the Internet to generate growth.
To date he now has 7+ years experience in Social Media Management, Content Creation, Paid Ads, and Website Development.
Over $5M spent on paid ads resulting in 5-7x Return on Ad Spend for Clients, generated over 1M new followers for clients across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, & Pinterest and 100M+ New Video Views, and has published a book on Amazon on how to grow on Instagram.


A must-have tool for scaling eCommerce business

Other than utilizing the insane reach and measurability that paid advertising has to offer, a must have tool would be a one click upsell app like Zipify. Zipify offers pre and post purchase upsells which, on average, users increase sales 15% immediately after installing it.

A recommended (not-so-obvious!) paid-media technique to drive the highest ROI possible

One technique that will almost always drive your highest ROI is retargeting. For example, on average 77% of people will abandon their cart when online shopping, so the question is how do we get them to finish their purchase? With Facebook retargeting, we can segment out those that abandoned their cart, send them a targeted ad with a simple coupon code, and we'll be able to capture a good chunk of those people to not only finish their purchase, but add more to their order now that they have a discount code!

What makes a killer ad-copy?

Ad copy that targets specific pain points for your targeted audience, and gives them a reason to justify their purchase. Behaviorally, people buy emotionally and justify rationally, so you must express how you're helping them solve their problem.

An eCommerce brand you promoted you are particularly proud of the results achieved

A fitness and supplements brand. They do very well in the US, about $150m a year, but my mission was to grow their Philippines division. Our challenge was to take them from $30k a month to $60k a month in a country that has a median annual income of $13k a year. Not only did we reach our goal but we blew it out of the water. By the 6 month, we hit $300k in sales in that single month at a 5x Return on Ad Spend.

In the year 2025

Meet the marketing guru who got his start at age 12 building websites in his parent’s garage, the woman who created a trademark method that granted her the nickname “the Idea Whisperer”, the guy who has helped Coca-Cola and other ‘Globrands’ solve complex marketing and business problems, an NYU professor, eight acclaimed authors, and successful Start-up mentors, as they share their vision about where the marketing industry is headed in the near future.

In this must-read article, 20 marketing masterminds reveal what makes them tick and has granted them a rightful place in the pantheon of marketing influencers - all followed by thousands of people online, several keynote speakers at some of the industry’s largest events and some major publications contributors.
We label these influencers as disruptive because each one of them has made an impact or holds a unique point of view on how businesses can tell their stories so customers will listen. Being disruptive isn’t always about breaking all the rules, but rather being able to distill a clear path to the emotional triggers that move the marketing process along. No groundbreaking technology or marketing tool can replace the proven heuristics these influencers preach.

We at Mayple are proud to call all of these influencers like-minded friends. Much like them, we too recognize the business leverage obtained by combining the best technology has to offer with irreplaceable human insight.

So here is our rundown of the 20 most disruptive influencers, as we approach 2021.
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer

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Neal Schaffer is an accomplished marketing speaker, consultant & advisor for both large and small enterprises. He assists businesses develop and execute marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives on social media.

Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese he is a frequent guest speaker on digital media across the globe and teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland).  

He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including “Maximize Your Social” (Wiley), and is expecting his 4th book to be published this winter (2019), “The Business of Influence” (HarperCollins), on leveraging the potential of influencer marketing.

“I believe that marketers need to become more data-driven and more focused on the end-to-end customer experience. This means that the marketing industry needs a lot more data scientists but also needs to be better at listening and conversing on social media where most public conversations about the brand occurs. Similar to how social media marketing ROI was difficult for many companies to measure before the appearance of Paid Social companies will need to realize that customer experience marketing is a necessity in order to thrive in today's increasingly difficult market and find different ways to measure the ROI of their efforts there.”

"I believe in 2025 you will have a scientific and artistic approach to marketing. The scientific part will be about having a completely data-driven approach to marketing which includes a greater share of marketing automation. On the other artistic side you have the exact opposite, where the "art" group of marketing will have to become better storytellers with the content they create and how they engage with social media users as well as influencers."

"I embody both a data-driven approach to marketing activities solely focused on hitting ROI and strategic marketing objectives while also having a user-first approach to organic social media marketing with a focus on generating user-generated content and developing relationships with influencers to replace in-house efforts that are simply no longer effective."

Larry Kim

Larry Kim

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Larry Kim is the CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc. a leading Facebook Messenger Marketing Platform, for marketers at companies of all sizes, and founder of WordStream, Inc. (recently acquired for $150M) a leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools used by millions of marketers worldwide.

He is a top-ranking author on Medium and a contributor to CNBC and Inc. Magazine on all matters related to AdWords, Facebook Ads, Entrepreneurship and Start-ups. He is also an award-winning marketer and guest lecturer at MBA classes at Harvard & MIT.

“Marketing is always going to be about finding the channels with the most leverage. Channels are always going to change, and it's impossible to know the exact platforms that will be dominant in 10 years, but you can look toward trends: machine learning, chat marketing channels and personalization. The smart marketer today will be investing in their training and capabilities where these opportunities lie. Then no matter what channels are available, they will have experience testing and designing funnels.”


"Businesses have been slow to adapt to the popular communication shift towards chat preferences. 75% of millennials say their preferred channel of communicating with businesses is via messaging, yet less than 1% of businesses around the world have developed the ability to automatically connect with customers and leads by chat. Developing effective chat automation or building chatbots is the biggest adjustment that marketers need to make right now. Other technological shifts like adapting strategy to AI, is actually not as big of an adjustment; most businesses will be able to follow the old standard ways of marketing for what the customer needs and create great content in order to optimize machine learning that is heavily weighted toward user interaction signals."


"Right now the most leverage can be gained from Facebook ads, typically in Instagram story placement, with a chatbot conversation as the post-click experience. Add Facebook Messenger ads to the marketing funnel for instant lead capture at a fraction of the cost per click and 10X the ROAS of traditional Facebook ads with traffic or conversion objectives.

Tamsen Webster

Tamsen Webster

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Tamsen Webster is the creator of the Red Thread™ method for brand and message strategy. Part keynote speaker, part message strategist, and full-time “Idea Whisperer”, Tamsen uses her proprietary Red Thread™ method to help audiences, organizations, and individuals build and tell the story of their big ideas.

She is a long-time Executive Producer of TEDx Cambridge, one of the largest and longest-running TEDx Talks in the world. While she does hold degrees in the fields of Management Communications, Organizational Behavior, Administration and Marketing, she credits most of her learning about inspiring change to her 13 years as a Weight Watchers leader.

“I think that the most dramatic change the marketing industry should go through is the re-embracement of human nature as the engine for marketing technological advancement. People need to connect to brand and business emotionally, and marketing automation (which seems to be all the buzz nowadays) is still lagging behind.”

"I think that there are two parallel developments that will become intertwined. Technologically we are moving forward, speeding things up, connecting from all over the world. Psychologically, we’ll be looking back at what has and will always fundamentally be true and that is human nature. AI is essentially the culmination of both, and the better we get at that on the technological side, the more our marketing efforts will pay off."


"My approach is very human-centric, I believe that the emotional connection should be at the heart of every marketing step. My method is just my unique way of helping people tell the story of their big ideas."


Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner

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Micahel Brenner is a Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes.

As a keynote speaker and evangelist on leadership, culture, and marketing, he help companies reach, engage, and convert new customers through employee engagement and storytelling.

Today, he is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, helping brands to create content that converts and delivering presentations that connect at events all over the world.

“Marketing is under attack. I even like to say that "marketing has a marketing problem" because ask most people what marketing is and they will say ads. And who likes ads interrupting their favorite content? For example, there is no CMO at Coca Cola, Uber, Lyft, Taco Bell or Hyatt hotels. Those companies decided they didn't need what we used to think of as marketing. But I learned in college that marketing is supposed to be a 2-way conversation between a company and it's customers. But what executives see their marketers as the ones driving conversations with customers? Marketing leaders need to learn to explain to the business side that marketing is strategic, and adds value to the organization in a measurable way.”

"We used to run marketing like this: ask for a big budget, hire an agency to create ads. Run the ads. By 2025, effective marketers will be telling stories of real people, by real people, of real human challenges. We will be activating our customers, our partners, and mostly our employees to serve as brand storytellers. Then technology will tell us what works, where we need to promote that content, and how to generate business from the engagement."

"Every organization creates content. But I believe that most organizations don't answer their customers' questions or tell authentic stories. It's the natural instinct of the business to want to promote itself. But that doesn't work anymore. "Hi you don't know me but let me tell you about my product" is not effective anymore if it ever was. We help our clients to focus on customer value by answering their most basic questions. We help them to rank for the "pain point" keywords that their customers are using when they search for answers. Then we help them activate their employees’ expertise and storytelling ability to scale that success."

Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman

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Brian Honigman is the owner of Honigman Media, a marketing consultancy based in Philadelphia. Through speaking, leading marketing trainings and workshops, coaching, strategy consulting and writing, He teach leaders how to drive business value from content marketing, social media, SEO and career development. He is also the adjunct Professor at NYU.


“Marketers need to spend more time developing a strategy to guide their efforts. With a clear plan behind their programming, it's easier for a marketer to work towards the right goals for their organization, account for potential challenges, optimize for the right opportunities, and adjust to handle any issues that may arise. Marketing programs that are guided by a defined strategy, instead of an impulse or simply following the lead of others, can help an organization better position itself as a distinct, meaningful, and supportive voice in their industry.”

"By 2025 marketing will be more automated than ever, which is why it's important to focus on a marketing strategy that creates a distinctive perspective for your organization and meaningful dialogue with your customers. Having both ensures that regardless of what channels, techniques, and technology become popular or disappear into obscurity, it'll be easier for your business to adapt and continue to reach its customers."

"I educate marketers and corporate leaders on how to drive business results from their marketing by focusing on the right goals. It's common to get caught up following industry standards and duplicating what others are doing to reach customers, leading to less effective marketing. But with my support, it's more impactful to develop your own unique strategy that addresses the distinctive qualities of your organization and caters to the particular needs of your customer base."

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott

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David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed business strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, and public speaker.
He is the Wall Street Journal's bestselling author of ten previous books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in a 6th edition and available in 29 languages), Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, and The New Rules of Sales & Service. In his spare time he surfs and travels around the world for great live music.

“In a digital world where our lives are increasingly cluttered and superficial, we’re missing something tremendously powerful: genuine human connection. People are going to be most invested in that which creates a sense of intimacy, warmth, and shared meaning in a world that would otherwise relegate them to a statistic. The relationship we build with our customers is more important than the products and services we sell them. I call this a fanocracy.”

"It can be scary, at first, to focus relentlessly on intangibles like community, generosity, and fun, rather than squeezing every penny from each interaction. But those who apply the strategies in Fanocracy are more likely to dominate their categories."


"The fundamental ingredient for true fandom — meaningful and active human connection — can mean a shift in the way a company communicates with their customers. They are more forthright, helpful and transparent. They create new experiences by turning customers into like-minded, enthusiastic fans.
A fanocracy is a culture where fans rule, and that’s what I see emerging in today’s world. We are moving into an era that prizes people over products."

Jamie Turner

Jamie Turner

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Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author and national TV news contributor who has helped The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Holiday Inn, and other global brands solve complex marketing and business problems.


“Here’s a fact that many marketers don’t want to hear – people hate advertising. They hate ads that interrupt their lives. They hate sales pitches from adverstisers. And they hate the inauthenticity of the whole approach. But every single person who hates advertising can also name a “favorite ad.” We all have a favorite ad, so why can’t marketers find a way to make their campaigns more enjoyable, fun, and engaging? That’s the biggest challenge moving ahead – how to make your marketing campaigns more enjoyable and fun to engage with.”

"The answer most people will give to this question is that AI will be planning and managing your campaigns. And, while that’s true, I think the pendulum will have swung back towards a more human approach by 2025. In the end, AI will only take us so far, and the smart brands will be swinging back to a more balanced Human + AI approach by 2025."


"There are three things marketers will have to do moving ahead. The first is to make the marketing campaigns more engaging. The second is to make the campaigns human and humane. And the third is to try to make their campaigns ubiquitous. Many people hate marketing campaigns, so we need to see companies learn how to weave their brands into the fabric of the consumer’s life. If consumers are going to push back against marketing, then marketers will have to figure out ways to be part of the consumers life, rather than just interrupting it."


Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg

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Tamar is a Bestselling Author and operations Leader. She has had a very diverse career working in system administration,  private investigating, marketing strategist, sales, negotiatiator and so much more. She titles herself a "generalist," with a knack for operations or a "professional hustler".


“I believe that marketing and customer experience should work more hand in hand. The reason is simple: marketing is all about company awareness through broadcasts, creative storytelling, etc. But it's not as relationship-driven as the customer support experience. Therefore, it's imperative that marketing and customer experience work a lot more closely together, because a happy customer is a marketing vehicle, and you want your customers to tell the proper story.”


"I've honestly been preaching the customer experience journey in the context of great marketing for the last 6 years, yet few organizations really have an integrated entity that caters to the collaboration between both arms of the company. I believe that it's a slow and steady evolution, but marketing in 2025 should see a lot more cohesiveness in that respect."


"Marketing is a big part of putting the company on your radar, and that itself works fine, but we need to bring the people who consume the marketing materials into the fray. This is not your typical marketing these days, because marketing works independently. Here's a basic example, but just this past week, I saw an ad for a product on Facebook that I was genuinely interested in. I reached out to the company on Facebook with some questions and heard nothing. Four days later, I decided to follow up with the company in their standard communications channel, which is email support, explaining that they need to maintain a presence where their customers are, especially if they're advertising! Their response was "this is our standard support channel, not Facebook." No! You need to engage where your customers are. There's no excuse. But that's the obvious part. The less obvious part is that the tone of your communications can't be old-school, can't be formal, and can't be dismissive. If you want to gain and most importantly, retain customers, you make every single effort to communicate with them in the right way, where it can't bite you in the behind. Remember, your customers can copy/paste anytime we want and paint you in a negative light — we all have that power nowadays."


Robert Rose

Robert Rose

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For more than 25 years, Robert has helped marketers tell their story more effectively through digital media. As the Founder of The Content Advisory, Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100. He’s provided strategic marketing advice and counsel for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert is also the author of three books, and the host of two podcasts.


“The most dramatic shift for marketing is the shift from the classic campaign-centric (project-centric) operating model into the always-on media operation that is evolving today. Today, the decreasing amount of trust that consumers have in media (and brands), combined with the fragmentation of audiences across digital channels means that today’s consumer is more informed, less loyal, and more skeptical than ever before. So, it becomes important for businesses that want to excel at marketing to adapt to delivering engaging experiences at each and every opportunity they get to gain the customer’s attention.”


"By 2025, marketing will not much look like it does today. It will be planned and managed much like a media organization works today. Content-driven experiences will be at the center of the operation, and marketing professionals will be working in an “always-on” organization to continually attract, engage, and retain audiences that are potential customers."


"Content is at the heart of all business communications.  That means that content – and the business’ ability to create, manage, and measure it well, is one of the single most strategic functions in the enterprise today.  But, unfortunately, most businesses don’t operate this way.  Content is currently everyone’s job, and no one’s strategy.  This is where we bring a unique approach. Mastering content strategy is not simply a creative, governance, or technological challenge. It is both emotional and logical.  It is a cultural shift. An intelligent content strategy evolves the way business teams create, collaborate, and collect insight on every communication. At TCA we are a consulting and education firm, helping to bridge the art and science of strategic content for the modern business."


Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

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Ann Smarty is the Founder at ViralContentBee.com and Brand Manager at IMNinjas.com. Ann also specialize in SEOs and social media marketing.


“Technology is the biggest disruptive force here. It's already changing the marketing industry dramatically. The world is moving in a pretty scary direction: These days machines interact with brands on a regular basis. Machines can now call and schedule an appointment at a nearby business. Machines can perform web searches and select search results. Machines can plan your future shopping lists and remind you what you may have missed adding to cart.

In the future, machines will play an increasingly bigger part in the purchase journey and businesses should start preparing for that now:

– Tools like Alter allow you to create a smart self-learning bot that would interact with your site visitors on your behalf and help guide them through the conversion funnels
– Tools like Text Optimizer helps adapt your content strategy to Google's (and its users') expectations and assist you in understanding how a machine may be understanding your topic.

There are many more tools that teach businesses how to interact and better understand machines but these two are the easiest to start with.”

"Not an easy question! I tend to never look that far! But I think these tactics will be essential:
Creating voice-operated websites. Imagine people using your site without ever needing to type anything. Using the navigation, adding things to cart, giving voice commands, etc. In the future there will be less typing and more voice interaction.
Searching by voice and video. There are already traces of that with Google Lenses but there will be even more. It will be enough to show a cute dress to your iPhone for it to find it on your site to buy.
Becoming part of the brand. If you are not a huge brand, become part one. Being part of Amazon, Google Shopping and eBay algorithms means occasional brand discovery now. It's going to be your survival in the future. Consumers use traditional search less and less. If they want to buy anything, they head straight to Amazon and find products there. And it's going to be only worse. As these guys are collecting their users' data and serving their customers what they want even before they know they wanted it. You will have to get your products there."

"I believe anyone should have a voice. Whether it's a well-known brand with a large  following, or a an enthusiastic newbie with lots of ideas - there should be a way for everyone to get heard.

Therefore, project after project, I come up with ideas on how to connect people in a most meaningful way without having them spend years building their following or reputation. For example, MyBlogU allows anyone to contribute to expert interview and share ideas which then will be published one someone's blogs. And Viral Content Bee allows any website - big or small - to put their content in front of eager social media users who will be encouraged to share high-quality relevant content to their social media feeds.

Both the projects connect people based on mutual benefit. It's the power of collaboration I am a huge advocate of."

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge

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Deirdre is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications has been in PR and marketing for over 25 years helping senior executives in mid-size to large organizations communicate to their stakeholders. She is a communications strategist and has worked with clients on many different types of communication programs, including executive communications and thought leadership, image and reputation management, crisis communications, media relations, PR 2.0 and social media programs.


“Incorporating ethical practices and standards into marketing should be among the most dramatic changes to expect. With artificial intelligence and marketing automation, consumers want to trust brands with their personal data. A big part of this process is communication transparency, good judgment and ethical practices surrounding how companies collect, use and secure the data. Many companies may be looking at ethics as something that comes out of the communications or PR department. Have you heard this familiar statement, “Ethics is the job of the PR people to be the conscience of the company.” True, however, ethics in marketing has to penetrate the entire organization at every level and position. Whether you are incorporating AI and automation into your marketing practices currently or you’re looking to jumpstart the process, then it’s critical to take the lead in your approach to ethics and your definition. Every business must define how it wants to show up to gain the trust of its customers. One breach is all it takes to put trust and credibility in question.”


"By 2025, consumers will experience far more automated processes when interacting with their favorite brands. Yet, human capital and emotional intelligence are still critical elements in building your business relationships. Sure, machines can make the process faster and customers appreciate quick and targeted information as well as the expedited service. Yet, you still need to place an emphasis on the value of the human relationship. You can’t forget part of your marketing programs, from the planning phases through launch and relationship management. If you’re serving consumers, then it’s about people. They require higher Emotional Quotient (EQ), especially when negative issues and less than pleasant experiences surface. Technology and social media intelligence help us to collect large amounts of data to get more “intimate” and understand our customers’ behaviors. However, what truly separates us from the machine is our ability to build genuine relationships, use our intuition, show compassion and create trusted environments through real understanding. Planning and managing with the human “touch" will always be needed as AI and automation become standard practice in 2025."


"We create connections, engagement and build relationships from a FEEL First perspective. Genuine relationships require the ability to FEEL or face Fears, engage with Empathy, use Ethics and good judgment and to unleash the Love for your brand. If you can’t FEEL First, for the people who you want to reach, then the amount of time and resources invested into strategic planning efforts and the execution of your campaigns may not produce the loyal and unbreakable bonds you’re looking to build. Months of research have uncovered the high expectation Millennials have surrounding communication and the type of interactions they would like to have with their brands and company leaders. Unfortunately, Millennials are less than satisfied with the way business leaders are sharing information. Research has also pointed out how Millennials find communication, especially on social media, to be disingenuous, unethical, and lacking compassion. As a result, our strategy for clients includes a FEEL First approach to bring humanity, empathy, ethics, and passion back into communication. FEEL is the bridge that closes the gap between different generations that need to improve in the relationship and trust building department."


Tom Pick

Tom Pick

linkedIn

As an independent digital marketing consultant and in collaboration with select marketing agencies, Tom helps B2B clients increase their visibility and business success online. Through web presence optimization, SEO, search marketing, social media, content marketing, online advertising, and marketing technology strategy, he's helped clients ranging from single-person businesses to $1 billion+ corporations.


“Marketers need to (and the best will) realize that automation technology is a tool like a hammer: it can be very helpful, but it can also cause a great deal of damage if misused. It's not unusual for buyers to receive the same "introductory" email from a company or individual several times -- even AFTER responding. That makes marketers look incompetent and erodes brand trust.Automation is most valuable for improving efficiency at top-of-funnel marketing. But it must be used carefully in order to help move buyers to the next stage, rather than being obviously inauthentic and driving them away.”


"There will be an increasing move toward frameworks, an effort to "process-ize" marketing. For example, the book Building a Story Brand and Myk Pono's Strategic Messaging Map provide a model for brand messaging and product positioning. Books like The Perfection of Marketing and Dan Martell's videos apply a broader framework to the practice of marketing.Those types of models can be very helpful, though only to a point. Marketing is still fundamentally a creative activity - and has to be managed as such. Data is important but it can't answer every question or solve every problem. Just as an example, Facebook has possibly the largest trove of data, best analytical tools, and the biggest team of any marketing organization, yet it still routinely bombards users with irrelevant ads, pointless alerts, and nonsensical event notifications."


"B2B decision makers buy based on two factors: competence and trust. Competence is the simpler (though not always easy) hurdle to overcome, it's basically just "can you solve my problem"? It's about product features and functions, but also about demonstrating that you really understand the customer's problems and speak their language.Trust is tougher. It involves case studies, customer testimonials, social media engagement, (in some cases) industry certifications, and influencer marketing. I help clients understand, navigate, and optimize those processes."


Joe Williams

Joe Williams

linkedIn

Joe's on a mission to make SEO easy, fun and profitable. If your website is lost on search engines and you want it to be found, “Joe the SEO” can help. He’s the founder and SEO trainer at Tribe SEO, the lead SEO lecturer at the Digital Marketing Institute, and he’s here’s been featured in the Guardian, BBC and Huffington Post.


“It’s tempting to go after the largest number of people possible. This is mass marketing and if you’re just starting out or struggling with sales, it’s what a lot of people do. But here’s the thing, unless you sell a regular commodity that you can buy from anywhere, your marketing message needs to be personal. It needs to feel like it was written not just for your target audience but for the person reading it.If you can’t address your target market’s fears and worries… if you can’t provide a solution that overcomes the problems that they face… why should they buy from you? Marketing needs to become and stay more personal.”


"This is how marketing will be planned and managed in 2025. True marketing isn’t merely persuading people through clever copywriting. Although that can help, true marketing starts with having a product that people want and offering it at the right time.Now, image your target market is flowing down a river and they are going in one direction. You’ll want tap into where they are going, right? You don’t want to fight against the tide or paddle upstream, so you’ll want to be right in front of them and let them come to you.In 2025, smart marketing will align market research and product design to position itself to where the market is heading. It will take industry insight, courage and timing to say “no” to what appears to be working right now and “yes” to the one thing you can deliver better than anyone else in the future."


"I’m in the online marketing training space. People are results driven and short of time. My courses focus on moving my students from where they are now to where they want to be and in the fewest number of steps. I do this through engaging videos and frameworks that are easy and clear to follow."


Barry Adams

Barry Adams

linkedIn

Barry Adams is an award-winning SEO consultant specialising in technical SEO and specialised services for news publishers. He's been active in SEO since 1998, and works with a wide range of clients - from micro-businesses to the world's largest media brands. Barry enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with the industry; he regularly speaks at digital conferences around the world, delivers annual guest lectures for several universities, and is chief editor at the popular European marketing blog State of Digital.


“Right now I feel marketers are either very data-driven, or very creative-driven. There doesn't seem to be a lot of overlap between those two approaches, and that needs to change. The best campaigns take what data has to offer and combine it with creative thinking to make something unique and exciting.

Creativity in marketing needs data to keep it honest and accountable, and data in marketing needs creativity to make it human and be able to reach people. Combining the best of both worlds will be something the industry needs to figure out if it wants to stay relevant in the future.”

"I see a growing shift towards tenancy on big platforms. In 2025, almost all marketing will be focused on a brand's space on a third-party platform like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. Rather than build your own properties and trying to grow an audience, brands need to find ways to maximise their visibility on these rented platforms because that's where all their customers will be.

I believe in 2025 that marketers will increasingly focus on generating and optimising data feeds for these third party platforms for maximum visibility. These feeds will contain things like product data, blog content, voice search answers, and even web components that tie in to the main platforms' systems. From basic Amazon product feeds to AMP webpages and structured data, marketing in the near future will be all about integrating your data with the big platforms."

"My motto is that I'm only as good as my last project. So for every client I want to do the best work possible, delivering as much value as I can. It takes years to build a good reputation but only one wrong project to destroy it, so I treat every client as a precious commodity that needs to feel truly appreciated and valued as a business. I don't think that's particularly unique or innovative, but this approach has certainly done well for me."


John G. Courtney

John G. Courtney

linkedIn

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK.
He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran six of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.

He is also a very experienced business Mentor, with Microsoft Ventures then Microsoft Accelerator (now Microsoft Scale-Up), HRH Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace, SETsquared (scale-ups spinning out of the Universities of Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Surrey and Southampton) and Entrepreneurial Spark (now NatWest Accelerator). He is also on the Advisory Board for the Oracle Start-up Cloud Accelerator (OSCA).

“We have seen over the past few years that marketing has started to go full circle - pre-digital it was all strategy, 5 P’s and offline, then when the internet came in, marketing and digital were seen initially as two different things. Digital was “gaming” Google with hidden text and two-way links which then morphed over time to quality content engaged by the right audience. We have already started to see the pivot back to core marketing principles of strategy, 5 (or 7 or even 9) P’s and offline and online working together. I believe this trend will continue and the key to it all will be a marketing strategy which will replace digital tactics as the main driver of success.”


"What is the biggest change businesses should go through to be fit for marketing in 2025 - A growing focus on marketing strategy rather than digital tactics and the returned prominence of the Marketing Strategist - be that the Marketing Director or CMO or whatever they may be called. Digital tactics will remain in use but strategy trumps all in the future as it did in the past because that’s the fundamental that drives all success. Strategic thinking is something that can be taught but it requires a certain type of mind that can unpick a knotted ball of string, analyse the threads and then put them back together in a better order to get better results. I personally feel that there will be a huge amount of connected data that comes from all the automation that will be happening by 2025 so it is more likely that you’ll need grey hairs to help interpret the strategic insights to grow the business."


"Your unique approach that helps businesses get there - Our Advisors all have entrepreneurs’ battle scars, having grown businesses, often from a garage or bedroom to dozens or hundreds of staff. They are available as part-time Executive Directors (CEO’s, MD’s, Digital Directors, Ops Directors, etc) from one day a month to 3 days a week, and both short-term to help transitioning or to fill a recruitment gap to a long term resource. Or also available as Chairs, NEDs or Board Advisors. Many are trained in strategy. Most have grey hairs, some have none. What they all have is experience."


Andrew and Pete

Andrew and Pete

linkedIn

Andrew and Pete are international keynote speakers, authors and YouTubers. They are a multi award winning business duo who help business owners scale their business so they can stop swapping time for money. They run a leading small business development community ATOMIC, and host the UKs leading business conference: ATOMICON.


“Marketers should stop trend-jumping and trend-bashing because there isn’t one size fits all for any industry. Work out the best way to engage YOUR potential customers, and do that consistently, whether that’s with the latest trend or now. Put customer trust and loyalty at the forefront of your marketing strategy.”


"In 2025 the only thing that is certain is that it will be different from today. That’s what keeps marketers on their toes. You can either complain about the latest Facebook algorithm change, whinge about how awful bots are - or instead focus on what’s best for your business and your customers today.
In 2025 - don’t be worried about what’s happening in 2030. Worry about what you’re doing in 2025 that is going to get you to 2030. We think we can all apply that to 2019 too if you catch our drift."

"With ATOMIC we help businesses make the right business and marketing decisions based on their business. We combine creative thinking and logical decision making, which we think are the 2 key ingredients of any marketing campaign.

The first step is to work out what to STOP doing. So much marketing is done for the sake of doing it. We help our clients work out what to stop, giving them time back to make better, more creative decisions."

Andrew Grill

Andrew Grill

linkedIn

Futurist Keynote Speaker and former IBM Global Managing Partner, Andrew Grill is a top-rated presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, social selling, the workplace of the future, emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, digital diversity, personal branding, and employee advocacy.

Andrew has developed an important and relevant niche as The Practical Futurist. Unlike traditional Futurists who can paint a picture of the future in 10, 20 or even 50 years’ time, Andrew delivers practical and actionable insights in every session.An experienced corporate leader, Andrew has launched and run technology companies in Europe and Australia and worked with and for some of the world’s leading companies. He speaks to and consults for organisations world-wide to develop their strategy in a world rife with digital disruption.

Recent clients have included senior executives from companies as diverse as Vodafone, Barclays, Nike, Mars, Schroders Bank, Nestle, Wella, Euler Hermes, DHL, Taylor Wessing, Technogym, LinkedIn, and CPA Australia and he has spoken in over 40 countries.He also holds both Master of Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees.

“As a Practical Futurist, I try and provide my audiences with a view into the near-term future to help equip them for what’s new and what’s next. I think we are not too far away from the age of the “Digital Agent” – our own personal assistant that will not only manage the minute of our daily lives, but also do “digital deals” with the digital agents of our suppliers and providers. This means that we will have to start writing ads for robots as we just won’t see ads anymore. Our agents will become the gatekeepers and use AI to screen which advertisers get through and which are blocked. This is likely to turn traditional advertising as we know it on its head for all the right reasons and hand control back to the consumer.”


"By 2025, we are likely to be in the age of the digital agent. “Interruption marketing” will no longer be a profitable tactic and the use of AI to learn how to get messages through our digital agents to us will become the norm. Planning marketing will be much more complicated than the “programmatic” tactics used in 2019. A true value exchange will exist as consumers will demand a fair value exchange in how their data is used and advertisers will have to respond in a dynamic way. Keeping tabs on the individual, dynamic deals negotiated by digital agents will fundamentally change the discipline of marketing as we know it."


"I’ve had over 30 years’ experience as a Futurist in both the pre and post internet/mobile world. My mantra for this whole time has been “to GET digital you need to BE digital” By this I mean you need to lean forward and embrace new technologies and platforms and actively use them to understand how they work in practice. Having a very broad cross-industry approach to innovation I try out anything new in order for me to be able to explain it to clients and understand how it might disrupt a business or entire industry. My c-suite clients have learned to expect a completely unbiased and hype-free view of a disrupted world."


Adrian Niculescu

Adrian Niculescu

linkedIn

Adrian has over 20 years of experience in building and developing companies and has mentored 30 tech-start-up companies since 2014. He has also tutored over 10,000 students in his online and offline marketing and business courses for the past 6 years. Some of his marketing skills include: marketing strategies, product and startup launch strategies.


“Marketing was and will always be at the crossroad between human emotions and technology. While the technology will massively evolve in the next years at the highest rate the Planet Earth has ever witnessed, our core structure as human beings with our minds and bodies will remain mostly the same.  This could only change if the chip implants will become mainstream but until that moment I don't see any modifications in how our mind operates.  People have the same emotions, fears and triggers that make them do something like our ancestors had,  just that the context of manifestation evolves. We, as marketers, once we create an ideal customer profile for a certain product or service will know more than a person who fits the profile knows about himself or herself. We will know on average the problems keep them up at night, the discussions running in their heads, the triggers that will make them add the card to checkout to make a purchase or to make the call to place an order. We will also know the hooks that will make them pay attention to our social media posts when they browse the social media feeds, the stories that will make them read more and definitely the offers to convert as many of them from prospects to leads and buyers. The technology makes very easy to reach these ideal customers and with such power also comes great responsibility and I believe that here will have to happen the most dramatic change.

If we can create the systems and strategies to sell everything we want to our target market we would have to be very careful and add as much value to our customers so once the sales are made the products and services offered to improve their lives and not the opposite. Both ethical and unethical companies, products and services bid for the same customers and usually the sales are made based on the pitch and not all the time the quality of the purchase. The act of buying is followed by fulfillment or lack of it for the promise made at the moment when the payment changed hands between the client and the seller. ”

"We are entering the era of robots and a lot of the marketing tech will be AI-driven. While my desire is that my creativity never be replaced by a robot :) I see the marketing shifting towards the best mediums where the clients and the potential clients are digesting the information. Now video, chatbots, and voice are slowly taking over. By 2025 I expect new mediums to arise, new platforms to make current highly successful ones obsolete and the personalization of messages and experiences to reach levels we don't even have ideas about nowadays."


"My unique approach is that I always connect the marketing with sales, ROI and business growth. It is very easy today to create a marketing campaign - there are tons of tools and resources available. What is not easy is to create or to grow sustainable a business using ethical marketing strategies, tools, and tactics. Marketing is like a habit, it is not a one-time event, it has to be a persistent activity, trying a lot of things, pushing what is working and pivot from what is not working. A client in my case is always buying not the marketing consulting or service themselves but the value added by marketing in the business which has to be easily trackable and measurable."


Justin Pearse

Justin Pearse

linkedIn

Justin Pearse is partner at communications agency Bluestripe Media. He has worked in the digital media industry for over twenty years, with roles spanning journalism, branded content and PR. He founded and ran the award-winning Drum Studios, the branded content arm of The Drum, before joining Digiday to launch its creative content agency Custom in Europe.

Previous to the Drum, Justin spent two years as Associate Director at content, community and communications agency Bite.

Before this, Justin was a journalist for 16 years, working at titles including IT Week and ZDNet, ending up as Editor of New Media Age where he spent 12 years in total.

He has appeared regularly on television, radio and in the national press as an expert on digital media, from BBC’s Newsnight to Channel 4 news and the national press.

Justin sat on the board of trade body BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) and acted as a member of the IAB Content Council.

“The marketing industry has taken great strides to address the many ‘isms’ it is responsible for and suffers from, in both its output and internal operations, from sexism to racism. It’s now time to tackle the often overlooked final sim, ageism. The reason we launched Rebels, Misfits & Innovators: 50over50 on the publication we own, www.newdigitalage.co, was to celebrate the incredibly talented and prodigious people in our industry who just happen to be aged 50 or over. The industry’s obsession with youth means we’re wasting huge amounts of talent and experience in an industry crying out for both.”


"Increasing amounts of all elements of marketing will be both planned and managed automatically through the use of technology. AI is already making a huge impact in areas such as programmatic advertising and is fast creeping into the more creative areas of marketing where human beings were once thought the only ones capable. The need for human creativity and expertise won’t be diminished but its application will shift to harnessing the power of technologies like AI and XR."


"Through both Bluestripe Media, the comms agency I co-own, and New Digital Age, the publication owned by Bluestripe, we’re dedicated to using the power of authentic content and communications to add value to the digital economy. Through the clients we work for and the readers that visit New Digital Age."


The future is coming

The guy who went from 'nobody' to #1 marketing influencer in 15 months, the woman that teaches the world about the role of AI in marketing, Europe’s SEO guru, the content queen who was featured in every leading publication you can think of, the man that turned himself into a brand, and others!

In this must-read article, 12 key marketing superheroes will share their views about new and coming trends and changes in the UK’s marketing industry and how marketing will be managed in 2025. You will learn about these unique individuals and will discover the skills and expertise that has led them to be followed by thousands of people online and listened to at some of the industry’s largest events and in major publications.

We call these influencers disruptive because each one of these rockstars tells their unique story in a way that engages people and changes businesses for the best. They are disruptive not because they swim against the stream (though some of them certainly do!), but because of the fact that, in this crazy digital world, they have found ways of touching upon businesses’ real pain points and therefore became more relevant than any groundbreaking technology or tool.

And, if that weren’t enough, they are disruptive because they became our friends, transcending the bounds of technology to engage with us, members of a crazy hybrid species, people who are entranced with technology, yet deeply human-centered. We aren't an agency, nor are we a platform. we are neither and both and… and we are Mayple. No, not the syrup. But yes, just as sweet.

So here is our rundown of the UK’s most disruptive influencers, circa 2019

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor

linkedIn

Want to climb the corporate ladder, impress your superiors, or scale your business? With $40m digital ads spend, and over 10 years of experience in marketing, Michael Taylor, the Co-founder and COO of ladder.io is your go-to person in the digital marketing scene. Michael is leading Ladder's growth in New York and in London, and combines strategic thinking, with performance marketing and tech. Follow him on social media and discover how his tricks of the trade can be yours - enabling you to climb the ranks and achieve the highly-coveted status of digital marketing expert.

Because of the UK's historical significance in the marketing industry, we have a tonne of veteran traditional marketers who are fantastic at creative but out of their depths when it comes to digital channels. Unfortunately to date they have largely seen tech and data as a threat to be criticized and rejected, rather than another source of creative ideas. At the same time we have a new crop of digital marketers who are amazing at data and technology, but are either ignoring or slowly rediscovering marketing concepts that were already solved problems 60 years ago - that does nothing for their credibility and opens them up to criticism from the traditional marketing crowd. The best marketers from both sides will learn to respect and learn from each other because the best performing campaigns come from both creative and analytical disciplines interacting together in interesting new ways.


A lot more of the planning process will be automated - rather than relying on excel spreadsheets and memory of what worked before, instead machine learning algorithms will surface opportunities and make recommendations. That will free up marketers to really be more creative to find novel ways to capitalize on the opportunities. There will also be more predictive tools available - imagine being able to run your ideas through a system that helps predict with relative certainty which ones are most likely to cause the desired impact. With most marketing fully digitized every campaign will be accessible programmatically like Facebook and Google ads are now- from TV ads to radio and even offline billboards. That said most optimization will be automated so the real lever to pull will be creative - whichever brand comes up with the most novel and engaging creative through a combination of emotion and data will win the market.


We live in both worlds, creative and data. I studied Economics, learned to code and spent most of my career in digital performance marketing, but our agency was born out of BBH, one of the world's leading creative agencies. Over the years we've found that the best creative drives order of magnitude effects on performance and that data and technology don't stifle creativity they unleash it. We have a data-driven agile approach at our core, but unlike most performance marketers we actually respect the creative process and know that most 'modern' marketing techniques have actually been in practice for years under different names. We're also a little different in that we actually work on early stage startups and can keep up with the best of them - when we work with more mature businesses they're astounded by our speed and efficiency, because most agencies don't touch startups and therefore operate at enterprise level speed. Other than that I was recently told by a client "all agencies are crap so you should choose the one you like" - so read our blog and see if you like us!


Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis

linkedIn

If the intricacies of social media and content marketing leave you feeling lost in translation, you're not alone. But don't worry, Andrew is the digital translator who is ready and willing to help you understand the field and succeed. Considered to be one of the UK’s most prolific keynote speakers & trainers in the fields of social media & content marketing, Andrew holds an impressing portfolio, and works with brands like: KPMG, Ogilvy, Tesco, o2, Paramount Pictures and others. Andrew delivers keynote speeches and training workshops that help businesses translate digital language into action for clients in multiple sectors.

Marketing has been split in 2 areas recently: Brand and Data. Both are important but it seems like organisations are more focused on the data side of marketing. If this is the case then I think marketers need to have more of a business development mind about them.


Understanding the sales process from awareness to relationships with existing customers is important. Marketers also need to be able to speak with confidence and influence other members of staff including senior management and sales. Marketers do a vital job and we should shout about it and get people to respect what we do.

This will sound crazy but bare with me. I have been working full time in digital marketing since 2001 and over the last 18 years I can honestly say nothing has changed professionally. All businesses still need something to sell, someone to sell it to and somewhere to sell it...but what has had an impact are 2 key things: people's behaviour and technology and they both go hand in hand. As a trainer who teaches organisations to not just go through a digital transformation but how to continue working in this space, I focus on traditional business objectives and add a digital lens across them as that is where I see most organisations struggling. Marketing has become a lot more data-driven, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Even though data is key as well as tech I do hope marketers have a focus on the behaviour aspect as well and remember the human aspect. Tech comes and goes quickly but changes in habits can take longer and marketers need to be careful not to forget this.

Jonathan Pollinger

Jonathan Pollinger

linkedIn

Jonathan is the "muscleman" you want training your brand to excel in the field of social media. As a leading social media influencer and expert, he is passionate about helping train small businesses and charities in the UK, and runs The #SocialMediaDaily show on a daily basis. In 2010, Jonathan co-founded Laptop Friday, which brings freelancers and solopreneurs together for coworking and networking purposes. The event runs weekly in Cheltenham and Gloucester - be there or be square!

The customer is at the heart of marketing and yet with the rise of automation and AI, this is sometimes forgotten.

The dramatic change that the industry should go through is to truly put the customer first and to focus on giving them a great experience. So at the start of the marketing process there should be greater market research to really understand what the customer wants and what problems and issues they have that the product or service can resolve. During the sales process, conversation and engagement with prospects should be paramount and personalised as much as possible. It's still the case that many businesses talk at prospects rather than with them. A great example of a company doing it right is IKEA who engage customers through a community - IKEA Family - which they are welcomed to with a personalised video.

Once the sale has been made, marketing shouldn't come to an end although in many cases it does. Existing customers can refer new customers and they can buy again or upgrade so conversation, engagement and where appropriate support needs to continue.

For example, John Lewis and HP provide excellent customer care.

In summary, the customer should be at the forefront in the marketing strategy, not the business or the product.


Planning and management will be areas where AI will play a huge approach. For example, CRM, content planning and data analysis are areas were AI can improve quality and reduce manual resources.

My unique approach is to put my clients first and always be available to answer one-off questions and solve problems. In fact, I do this for non-clients too. I keep on top of the latest trends and new features of social networks to help keep my clients ahead of the game.

Teresa Heath-Wareing

Teresa Heath-Wareing

linkedIn

Teresa is a positively disruptive influencer who was successfully turned the science of marketing into a vertiable art form. As an international social media & marketing keynote speaker, trainer and consultant, Teresa has also presented her knowledge and expertise on TEDx, giving over complex marketing tactics and techniques like they were stories she heard at the hair salon around the corner - with passion, vibrancy and precise details. She is one of the UK's leading social media marketing experts, with over 15 years of experience in the field. Teresa is the author of 'Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses'. She has been featured in content on leading platforms, including Social Media Examiner, Social Day, Atomic and others, the direct result of her knowledge, experience, expertise and artful presence online.

As the world moves more online, marketers are given amazing opportunities to make the customer journey and sales process more tailored and personal to each customer. We will be able to integrate slick automation processes with personal interaction through things like video messaging and voice messaging. Businesses should focus more on understanding their customers, building a community and loving them, rather than chasing follower numbers of social media.


Marketing planning will be very customer focused and I see functions merging into similar roles and using platforms for multiple reasons. Such as the sales, marketing and customer services roles working closer together and all being part of the customer journey which will become the focus rather than the business areas. Platforms such as messenger will be used by all departments of the business and through them you may experience sales, marketing and customer services.

Having been in Marketing for 15 years and also embracing new strategies I feel there is a unique approach to balance the both. To use foundation principles with new technology and platforms


Mark Sean Elliott

Mark Sean Elliott

linkedIn

Mark is the "KPI Guy" who sparks growth in any brand he comes into contact with. A qualified Marketer (MCIM) with over 20 years commercial experience working for blue chip organisations (BT Plc, EDF Energy), Mark's career has spanned the fields of corporate sales, product development, innovation leadership, affinities management, digital strategy and corporate social responsibility. He is the Founder of Sparks4Growth Ltd., a company specialising in marketing consulting, strategy and digital marketing solutions. Focused on achieving customer KPIs and objectives to deliver “marketing that makes your business vision reality,” Mark thrives on innovation, quality and disruptive marketing practices.

The marketing industry is at risk and so are business customers. I work mainly with B2B clients and I constantly see clients at risk from poor quality suppliers. Those who promise the earth e.g. “we promise to get you to number one on Google” and yet deliver nothing that generates value or ROI. This hits the customer hard. It hits the reputation of the UK Marketing Industry even harder.

These low cost, low delivered value providers, send a message to the Market that services such as web development, SEO or social media are ‘quick and easy to achieve’. Of course they are neither of these things, at least if the customer hopes to generate business leads or sales, specialists are needed. The true value, time and expertise, is perceivably reduced and an over price sensitive market has emerged. One where price over measured quality leaves customers vulnerable to exploitation and often no ROI.

The UK Marketing Industry as a whole would do well to self-regulate and set up a Trust Mark like Check-A-Trade, to root out poor practices and give customer confidence. I know initially that is not going to be popular but I am more interested in integrity than ‘quick win’ popularity.


There is a juncture coming in Marketing, a new panacea, whereby the dominant channels such as social media and search engines are reaching saturation point. And that people are also reaching a saturation point of messages, channels, reducing ‘value’ from services available and ROI effectiveness reducing for businesses.

By 2025 I anticipate that deep machine learning, true AI and big data will help to shape marketing planning. Managing data will become even more paramount. Informed from voice, visual, geo-tracking and buying intent anticipation far more refined than today.


My unique approach is uphold quality and simplify. To focus on clients’ KPIs and Objectives first, then solutions 2nd. I have developed a Stop-Start-Continue framework that translates to both technical and non-technical decision makers. It is growth focused marketing.

David Bain

David Bain

linkedIn

David is the voice you simply cannot ignore. As the Founder and Host of Digital Marketing Radio, the marketer, author & podcaster is ready and eager to help you cultivate your brand and offering to meet your customers' needs, through exciting and engaging rhetoric. He additionally serves as a leading consultant, and the host of the Business Book of the Month podcast. So, which channel is your radio tuned to? If it's not David's you're making a critical business mistake!

The marketing industry is currently going through a massive change, partly because of the data and targeting options available to marketers, and partly because of the way that people consume content. However, the biggest challenge that marketers might face in the future could be understanding and appearing in recommendation engines, such as voice search. Consumers won’t browse for as many alternatives in the future. If you’re not top of the pile, you’ll be nowhere.

Marketing will be planned around audiences and buyer journeys in 2025. It will no longer be sufficient just to target consumers just before the point of purchase. You will need to build trust and own the relationship well before then to give yourself a chance of making the sale at some point in the future.

I use my “4H Content Marketing Model” to map the right content to consumers at the right time. Content is paramount to marketing success and I don’t plan marketing channel campaigns until I consider the content that audiences are likely to wish to interact with at every step along the journey. Audiences come first, followed by buyer journeys, then content. And then after that, marketing channels.

Alvin Hussey

Alvin Hussey

linkedIn

Alvin is the Commercial Director at Content Team of the Year 2019 Beano Studios and a Keynote Speaker, with over 16K followers on LinkedIn and keynote speaking presence at some of the leading events in London and Europe, Alvin's digital voice is absolutely one that inspires positive, actionable thinking. Prior to joining Beano Studios, Alvin was a key member of The Hook Labs team, the award winning social marketing agency and content studio where he worked with the likes of Lionsgate, giffgaff, Bandai Namco, Hasbro, Samsung, Apple Music, Hyundai and Warner Bros. Alvin now helps brands and agencies "Think More Kid" - taking advantage of years of creating and delivering mischievous entertainment for kids, teens and families worldwide.

Like all my comments, what I will say will probably be outdated. The most dramatic change the marketing industry is going through is dramatic change. For example the on-going debates around the social media platforms, the rise of Voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or the increasing power of ‘kidfluencers’ in family purchasing decisions. Teams and agencies that are able to adapt and take advantage of this will hugely benefit. What seems to tie in these dramatic shifts is the power of consumers and the importance of truly understanding them as well as communicating your brand values is becoming more paramount than ever.


Please don’t quote this back to me in 2025 (which sounds super futuristic with Timecop 2 being set then)! Perhaps bigger organisations will set up units that each act as ‘lean startups’ able to adapt and react to changing behaviours. I do wonder if planning will focus even more about engaging particular niche communities and generated increased results from them, rather than targeting a broad demographic to increase a ‘pipeline’.

I have spent nearly a decade working at innovative startups. My approach has always been to view content from the perspective of a consumer (whether that is a client or a member of the target audience for a campaign) and not just rely on individual biases (e.g. Well I don't do that so... .). At Beano Studios, we achieve this with insights to the 6-12-year-old audience, who are changing the rules when it comes to digital behaviors and opinions. With our ‘kids-first’ consultancy’, “Beano for Brands”, we help brands to “Think More Kid” to better engage with kids and their families.

Katie King

Katie King

linkedIn

Who knows EVERYTHING about AI? Why, Katie King does! And lucky for you, she's in a sharing mood! Katie is a published author, keynote speaker and consultant on the subjects of marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation. Katie has over 30 years of consulting experience under her belt and has advised many of the world's leading brands and business leaders on how to integrate AI into their businesses to obtain actionable results. She was even recently appointed to the UK Government All-Party Parliamentary Group's (APPG) task force to help with enterprise-grade AI adoption and is the proud author of Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Maintain the Competitive Edge. Extra, extra! You're going to read all about everything this influencer has to say.

AI will supercharge marketing professionals with augmented intelligence across all of their tasks. It will revolutionise day-to-day practices and boost productivity. It is already being used in a variety of customer service functions. Beyond chatbots, AI’s capabilities are being used in airports for guest service guidebots, and AI also fuels a fully-robotised ‘team’ at the Henn na Hotel in Tokyo. AI can streamline some of the more expensive, repetitive, and time-consuming business processes. In order for these advancements to create value in the workplace, management and the workforce will have to adapt.

2025 will see marketing pros co-existing in the workplace with machines.  This will include chatbot assistants, and email assistants who will operate like a member of the team.  The big data insights from AI will reduce guesswork, giving marketing professionals the confidence that their strategy is correct.

My unique, deeply researched book showcases successes and failures of AI in marketing globally.  I combine this with an MBA and 30 years’ consulting experience to assist clients with training and advisory to help them apply AI to their businesses to future proof and achieve growth.


Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny

linkedIn

Lukasz is the wanderlust SEO guy you may actually get to meet in person! An SEO Consultant for mid-sized and large organisations with 15+ years experience in the field, Lukasz enjoys traveling all over the world, appearing as a speaker and judge in leading industry events, including Brighton SEO (UK), UnGagged (UK), Marketing Festival (Czech Republic), SES London (UK), and ClickZ Shanghai (China). And with good reason. He's really great at what he does! He has also been hailed as a Search Award Judge and Top 10 UK Influencer. After years of managing organic growth, visibility, and customer engagement for some of the UK’s largest brands, Lukasz has founded his own SEO consultancy firm, which enables him a certain degree of flexibility to spread the "SEO wealth" whenever his fancy takes flight.

I think companies need to be more willing to be creative with their marketing, rather than just conforming to what everybody else is doing.  We know that SEO and PPC are valuable, and I’m definitely not suggesting that anyone stops implementing these campaigns, but I do think that if companies were more willing to think outside the box, they may start to see higher levels of success.

For example, I’ve worked with local companies who use HubSpot and MailChimp to send out newsletters.  And, while this strategy can work well for repeat custom, I also advise local businesses to also consider more traditional marketing methods like posting flyers and buying ad space in the local paper.  Obviously, this isn’t something that’s going to work as well for multinational companies - but for local it can still be a success.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that while the most common marketing techniques still work, and are still recommended, it’s definitely worth thinking outside of the box and this is something the industry should start to recommend.  Think about where your target audience spend much of their time, and think about the marketing methods you could employ that your competitors are ignoring.  Those who do this may be surprised by the success they achieve.

By 2025, I expect the marketing skills that many of us have today will be outdated and no longer useful. Similar to how SEO has changed drastically over the past ten years and how we’ve all had to evolve to adjust to the changes, I expect to see a similar thing happen with marketing in general.  Machine learning is growing by leaps and bounds, and those who have a generalist skill set will easily be overtaken.  Instead, we’ll all be specialising in niche areas like data analytics and neuromarketing.

I also don’t think lead generation will be as important as it is today, but instead customer retention will be what most companies are interested in.  And when you think about it, it makes sense.  Not only is customer retention cheaper, but most consumers are brand loyal, so when they find a company that they like working with, they’ll stick with them.  Marketers will be looking at the lifetime value of a customer too and doing what they can to extract the full amount from them.  This will require a whole different mindset to the lead generation style of marketing the majority of companies perform today.

When I help clients with marketing, the one thing I do before anything else is find out more about who they are.  I truly believe that in order for a campaign to be successful, you need to know who it is you are advertising to. After all, without understanding your target market, you can’t create the kind of ads, content, and marketing material that will bring you success.

I also make use of a number of tools to help me implement a good campaign.  I’m not afraid to use a variety of tools to help ensure I’m targeting the correct keywords.  I also perform A/B testing to ensure that every campaign I run is worth the client’s money.  There’s no point at all in continuing to pump dollars into a campaign that isn’t making that money back, but sometimes just a few tweaks is all that is needed.

Finally, I also make sure to keep my clients informed about what I am doing and ask for their feedback.  It’s happened before that a client will give me a small nugget of insight or make a suggestion that takes their campaign to the next level.  I’m not keen on the conformist approach.  I think the human touch and individualised marketing is much better.

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker

linkedIn

Want to turn your business into a digital empire? Chris is the Emperor of all things future-forward and entrepreneurial you absolutely must be following on social medi. With an unwavering eye on the future, Chris has built several businesses and employs over 350 workers around the world, and generously shares his knowledge and wisdom with those looking to enter the serial entrepreneur sphere as well. The term Youpreneur – which Chris coined in 2014 - describes the rise of the personal brand entrepreneur, a new business model anticipated by few but appreciated by many.

The game of online business has changed, and it’s going to continue to change. The problem with building your business based on ever-evolving rules is that they’re going to be different next week or next month or next year. No one can keep up with that. The main shift in attitude entrepreneurs can hugely enjoy is moving from trend-based marketing to personal brand based marketing. The world has changed the way consumers engage, and implementing a personal branding approach will keep them authentic, agile and engaging.

Marketing will be managed in a much more personal and agile way. Some entrepreneurs will be promoting their personality, instead of conceptual brands. I coined the term ‘Youpreneur’ to describe this strategy. It makes every decision so much easier because you’re not constantly trying to gauge the whims of the market. To do that, the first thing they need is to find who they are and what they want to be known for. That’s the single most important thing.

I help entrepreneurs become the go-to leaders in their industries; building profitable, sustainable business around them and those they want to serve. I do that in two steps that are combined with each other. The first is self-awareness - defining who you actually are, what you want to be known for and what you want to become known for. The second step is defining your target audience and their main pain points. Combine the two together and you have a Youpreneur strategy to start with.

Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock

linkedIn

If you're looking for someone whose passion for content knows no bounds, Lilach is your gal. Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock is a content marketing and social media specialist and speaker, who is tremendously connected and highly influential within the digital marketing scene. Lilach is a leading influencer & expert in the fields of digital marketing & tech. She is an online marketer, digital & tech thought leader, content creation expert, and an acclaimed speaker on the subjects of digital & technological innovations - and everything she touches turns to gold.

In the coming years, we’ll probably struggle to find any successful business that doesn’t have a social media presence. Artificial Intelligence will surely have a significant impact on social media, and businesses will have to learn how to use it is a smart way to their communications and service benefit. New forms of content will certainly appear. Augmented reality and virtual reality will make their impact known. Businesses will be using a much wider variety of expertise to create their content and will have to be even more creative so they will be able to differentiate themselves.

Social media platforms themselves won’t change that much over time, but rather the way people use them. Businesses will have to adapt to ever-changing consumer behavior and get more and more agile with their marketing efforts so they can respond quickly. Proving ROI will continue to be one of the biggest challenges social media marketers face, and businesses will have to use more research and tools to do so.

I create holistic online marketing that motivates people to connect with brands. My mission is to translate my successful strategies to help businesses position themselves effectively in their industry.


Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley

linkedIn

Sam is the guy who went from virtual 'Nobody' to #1 Marketing Influencer in just 15 Months (without a website). Sam specialises in digital marketing, and after 6+ years in the field, founded his own company. You can find Sam featured in content by leading industry-recognised organisations such as SEMrush, SalesForce and Mention, as well as on large global publications, such as Entrepreneur, Inc and Forbes. His enthusiasm is positively contagious.

Without a doubt, a shift from revenue-focused marketing to customer centricity is needed in the UK!

Coupled with this: A mentality that devotedly serves retention, not 'churn and burn' strategies.

All too often, further overseas brands just do things better — I see it displayed every day by acquaintances, clients, and brands I buy from abroad.

Go above and beyond to please your customers and let them know they mean the world to you as a business. (Because they really do.)

There are many UK brands that put so much effort into gaining new customers, they seem to forget about their existing base. #SourTaste

Yeah, you know those T.V. adverts I'm referring to!

This is often seen throughout all departments of said companies, which can create truly awful experiences for people who should be enjoying a pleasant purchase journey.

In addition to the above, ultimate personalisation and a real understanding + accommodation of the multi-device customer path, please! 🙂

​​I've never advertised any of my services; I've always been dedicated to putting people and relationships first.

It really pays when you genuinely want your audience and customers to succeed and/or simply feel good — my story is only testament to this concept that will be alien to some.

(Additionally, I also use a lot of emojis.)😊👊🚀😁

The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce sales are expected to hit $1 trillion in the US in 2022. Black Friday sales alone in 2021 hit an epic $8.9 billion. With all the increased hype and usage of online eCommerce stores, the complexity and competition have also increased.

Brands are having a harder time competing on catching the attention of potential customers in their customer journey, focusing their marketing efforts on the right target customer, and delighting them in the post-purchase portion of the buyer experience.

If your eCommerce brand is struggling with optimizing your digital marketing, bringing sales, and improving your customer retention then this guide is for you. This is our most comprehensive guide on everything that has to do with eCommerce marketing strategy.

We cover specific eCommerce marketing tactics, the right channels, marketing tips, and tools to help you crush your ROI goals.

Paid advertising is a crucial marketing channel for eCommerce brands. Traditionally, many successful eCommerce brands were built through Facebook ads. That has expanded to many other types of paid advertising campaigns such as Google Shopping, Amazon search ads, targeted product ads on Instagram/TikTok/Youtube, and native advertising.

Let's explore each one of them.

Google shopping ads 

Set up Google Shopping campaigns to maximize your impressions from organic search and to set up another awesome sales channel. The way it works is that Google recommends products when it sees a transactional search like "buy Nike shoes". If you get into the top listings then you get more placement on the first page of the search results.

Google Shopping works really well with Google Ads (previously called Google Adwords) and with your organic product listings. 

Amazon ads 

Amazon advertising revenue grew by 23.5% year-over-year in 2020. And it's estimated that Amazon is earning more than 10% of all US digital ad spending. The advertising platform on Amazon is one of the most developed in the world and allows for a lot of customization, keyword optimization, and A/B testing. 

Social media ad campaigns 

Facebook and Instagram ads are a must for every eCommerce business. You should also test out YouTube ads and sponsor videos of YouTube influencers. 

Content Marketing 

Digital content is a key to any inbound marketing strategy. Content marketing is all about serving each website visitor with relevant content to entice them to convert on your site. It's a great eCommerce strategy to use for customers in the awareness stage (top of the funnel) or for customers that are shopping and comparing products (middle of the funnel). It's also an effective way to engage with your current customers and bring them back to your site to make another purchase. 

Best forms of content to try: 

  • An eCommerce gift guides 
  • A long-form blog post 
  • Customer testimonials / video content
  • Company news

Another really huge element of eCommerce content marketing is the web content on your product and category pages. Well-known brands, like Casper, don't just try to describe their products really well. They use quirky humor and excellent product copy to tell a story and lead the visitor through the sales funnel. 

Source: 15 Winning Content Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Brands

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an incredibly effective marketing tactic because over 40% of product searches begin on search engines. So if you want to get that large chunk of organic traffic then you need to optimize your eCommerce SEO. 

In order to improve your rankings on search engine results, you need to do two things - improve your content and build backlinks to it. 

Organic search can also include voice search. So see if you could integrate voice into your marketing campaigns and dedicate a portion of your marketing budget towards it. 

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Organic social media strategies can only help your business if you do them right. Here are some of the best eCommerce marketing tips for growing your social media pages and building an engaged audience online. 

  1. Re-purpose your blog content to generate more leads and traffic to your blog. 
  2. Share posts about the latest market trends and how your business is staying at the cutting edge. 
  3. Share product recommendations and expert advice on how to use the product 
  4. Highlight products based in the US and any local marketing initiatives you might have 
  5. Share influencer videos and customer videos showing how to use your product

13 eCommerce marketing strategies

Here are some of the best eCommerce growth hacks to grow your brand:

1. Leverage the Power of Social Influence

Social proof plays a main role in the success of your eCommerce marketing plan. Potential buyers rely heavily on the testimonials of others when approaching a purchasing decision.

To achieve this make sure to generate plenty of testimonials, positive customer reviews, and success stories. This should be placed throughout your store at strategic decision tipping points. The best part is that you don't need to offer any incentive, a lot of your customers will leave reviews for free.

social-media-channels-used-for-influencer-marketing-campaigns
Instagram is the Most Important Channel for Influencer Marketing By Far.
[Source: Influencer Marketing Hub, 2019]

2. Keep improving - Continuously A/B Test Product Pages

Marketing is extremely dynamic, and you should continuously check how modifications to layout, messaging, the product description, the user experience, and other factors could influence your marketing KPI’s for the better.

As Jeff Bezos once said - "Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day..."

3. Use social proof notifications

Take advantage of a consumer psychological truth a.k.a “FOMO”. Fear of missing out is a primal instinct for buyers. Display special conditional offers, limited time offers limited edition products, and bundles to improve your conversion rate and get more sales.

Just be sure to base your FOMO offer on your users' behavioral patterns and expectations, namely, you need to think about what will be considered a high-value offer in their mind and limit its access.

Use dynamic notifications to display when a user recently bought your product or the remaining quantity of a product. These will increase your user's sense of urgency and grow trust in your brand.

One of the top Shopify apps is also called Fomo, and it lets you create these notifications on the spot and launch them within minutes. Here's an example.

fomo-social-proof-app-shopify

4. Launch Retargeting/Remarketing Campaigns

If at first, you don’t succeed you must try again. Many times our potential buyers are not quite ready to complete a purchase, either because they are still unsure, don’t have time to complete payment just this very moment, still want to compare their options, and dozens of other reasons.

Therefore, you want to remain on their radar and present your offering encouraging them to return. Remind them of the items they were checking out, or remind them to finish purchasing their existing shopping cart item with retargeted Facebook ads.

You can target potential customers with similar offerings to what your current customers have purchased in the past.

5. Create comparison guides

This is a perfect tactic for users that are still comparison shopping. Create a guide that compares your company with your competitors and highlights all of the key advantages or
things that your audience would consider as "deal breakers".

Guides have a dual purpose. You can use them to convert the users that initially looked into your competition and then saw you as an alternative worth checking out. You can also offer these guides as free lead magnets to generate leads.

Comparison-guide-for-e-commerce-brand

6. Launch a home page quiz

Another great way to engage with your audience and improve your conversion rate is by launching an interactive quiz. You can display it on your home page and it provides a quick and creative way for your users to learn about your offering and start checking out. That's every content marketer's dream. 

Here are examples of two quizzes from Care/Of, the vitamin brand, and Ellie, the pet brand.

Ollie-customer-quiz

7. Turn your shoppers into ambassadors with creative incentives

Referrals and word-of-mouth are the secret sauces behind long-term growth. You can't be throwing your money into Facebook ads forever, at some point your audience has to get excited enough about your product and start referring their friends for free if you want your brand to grow.

As a famous marketer and entrepreneur once said:

The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven't given them anything else to care about - Seth Godin

Frank Body did this from day 1. They created a unique hashtag - #thefrankeffect and started offering their users monthly prizes for the most creative photo/video posts. This tactic encouraged users to create user-generated content (UGC) in the form of images and videos and helped the brand get over 100k+ pieces of content using their hashtag.

frankbody-ugc-instagram-campaign

8. Launch a subscription service

The subscription model is what made SaaS software companies so successful and it can be used for eCommerce to increase loyalty and referrals and drive repeat purchases. The common misconception is that your entire business needs to be subscription-only and that's simply not true. There are plenty of companies (like Gillette) that have launched separate subscription products.

gilette-subscription

If you don't currently offer a subscription product it's a great time to create one. There are 3 basic subscription box types that you can choose from - replenishment, curation, or access.

Replenishment - offer items that shoppers tend to re-purchase regularly. Think: razor blades, soap, pet food. Start with local delivery to optimize your shipping costs. So if you're based in the United States, start selling to specific states, and then slowly expand as you go along.

Curation - offer super-targeted product suggestions and combinations that provide a variety and the convenience of saving people time. Think: ThreadBeast's CTA - "One less trip to the mall".

ThreadBeast-subscription-box-ecommerce

Access - provide products that are difficult to find anywhere else. This could be a subscription service that offers shoppers to "rent" $3k+ worth of jewelry, and wear new pieces every month.

glamour-box-jewelry-subscription-box-ecommerce

9. Use interactive site search

The search is one of the most overlooked places on any eCommerce store. What most eCommerce marketers forget is that the people that use the search have the highest purchase intent and are ready to buy. So make it easier for them to use the search by making it interactive.

This can mean a few things. First, you can display images of your products as they type in their search query. You could also improve your filters to let your users search by attributes like color, size, design, and more.

Here's an example:

interactive-site-search-on-ecommerce-site

10. Launch a Wishlist

Wishlists are super powerful. They let your users save an item to a list, (read: you receive the user's email) and you can later retarget them with an email campaign. Etsy has this feature and it's been widely successful to lure shoppers back to the site.

Chairish, the home decor brand, uses wishlists as social proof and as a conversion tactic. You first have to sign up on their site to be able to save an item onto your wishlist. And then you receive an email with the item you favorited asking you to buy it. And that irresistible line says it all- "160 other users favorited - act fast!"

Chairish-wishlist-strategy

11. Use testimonials & reviews everywhere you can

Reviews are another great way to improve conversions and you should display them in as many places as possible. You should use them in your email marketing campaigns, on your PDP pages, the home page, category pages, really in any aspect of your marketing.

Here's an example from the home decor brand Brooklinen:

Brooklinen-customer-reviews-email-campaign-ecommerce

Nectar, the innovative mattress company, displays reviews several times throughout the page.

Nectar-customer-reviews

12. Make one-stop-shop product pages

Speaking of Nectar, this is an iconic home decor brand that grew to be an industry leader in just under 5 years. One of their secret sauces is making the product page tell the entire story. They pack all the information that a shopper would want to see on one page so they don't have to go browsing the rest of the site.

The one-stop-shop product page consists of - a promotion, bundle pricing, the product story, the company story, UGC + reviews, PR mentions, specs, unboxing instructions, competitor comparison chart, and FAQs. Oh, and a sticky menu.

nectar-mattress-sticky-menu-product-page

13. Launch SMS cart abandonment campaigns

Text messages are a much more personal way to interact with your audience. But you're probably asking yourself - who has the time for that?

Good point.

So instead of just sending these one-off promotional text broadcasts get a tool like LiveRecover that lets you send automatic cart abandonment messages and get your own team of live agents. Once the user responds the team at LiveRecover actually starts a conversation with them, solves their issue or concern, and helps them check out.

liverecover-cart-abandonment-app-shopify

Another advantage of using LiveRecover is that it lets you store all the information on a sheet and filter by the top concerns of your audience. That way, you not only get to recover abandoned carts but you also get to fix core issues and continue to improve your value proposition.

Recap

Every eCommerce marketer should know how to optimize 5-10 of the most common marketing channels like the back of their hand. They need to create eCommerce marketing plans for each of these channels that target the ideal buyer persona for the business, drive traffic, increase lead generation and bring sales.

They should also create campaigns that delight loyal customers, continue to improve their customer experience and customer satisfaction long-term, and improve retention. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of eCommerce websites out there. Make yours stand with the ideal eCommerce marketing strategy. 

Check out Mayple if you want to hire a vetted marketing agency or marketing expert to help you scale your eCommerce business. 

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