If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.
The classic quantification of a marketing plan appears in the form of budgets. Because these are so rigorously quantified, they are particularly important. They should, thus, represent an unequivocal projection of actions and expected results. What is more, they should be capable of being monitored accurately; and, indeed, performance against budget is the main (regular) management review process.
A marketing plan can be adjusted at any point based on the results. If digital ads are performing better than expected, for example, the campaign budget within a campaign can be adjusted to fund the higher performing platform or the company can initiate a new budget. The challenge for marketing leaders is to ensure that every platform has sufficient time to show results. Digital marketing shows results in near real-time, whereas TV ads require rotation to realize any level of market penetration. In the traditional marketing mix model, a marketing plan would fall under the category of "promotion," which is one of the four Ps, a term coined by Neil Borden to describe the marketing mix of product, price, promotion, and place.
This concept of changing people's behavior is the basis of this section, and of social marketing as a whole. We will talk about what social marketing is, and why it can be of use to you in your organization. Then, we'll go into more depth on marketing, and discuss what are known as the "4 Ps"--the four elements around which all types of marketing, social or profit-oriented, are centered. Finally, we'll finish with an overview of the stages someone will go through if their effort is successful.
Think of this section as your opportunity to provide a general overview of your current business operations, as well as your internal and external environment. How long have you been up and running? What’s your business structure? Are you an LLC or a partnership? Do you conduct business online or through a storefront? What sorts of products and services do you offer?

There are several reasons why it makes sense to hire a marketing strategist. One good reason is to get an unbiased perspective on your marketing strategy from outside your company. It’s also useful to hire a marketing strategy freelancer who specialise in the area of marketing you need help with. Hiring a marketing strategist can also save you time and money. As a business owner you don’t have to spend time executing your marketing strategies, and you only have to pay for consulting services when you use them.
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well -- it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.
Of course, depending on your industry and audience these times could vary. The key is to test and re-test in order to see when your buyers are engaging. Look at the competition. See who is doing social successfully in your space and note their patterns. And remember, your engagement on social media is key. When you interact with your audience you are telling them you heard them, you are enhancing your brand and you are showing authenticity.
"Hi Jim, to say I'm impressed with your team would be an understatement. Being a serial entrepreneur for over 4 decades has brought me into contact with many companies and individuals that promise much but fail to deliver. In my relationship with everyone on your team. I've found a company of individuals that generate action and deliver results. Matter-of-fact my relationship with you guys has even changed my attitude a bit, I find myself walking in the office in the morning chanting 'I'm feeling lucky...'" Amanda W.
For public sector agencies, social marketing is often used as a way to encourage people to follow rules and regulations, and practice general safe behaviors. For example, police departments campaign with slogans such as “Buckle up for life” and “Click it or ticket” to encourage people to wear their seat belts—showing either the positive rewards for this action (saving lives) or the negative consequences for ignoring the law (getting a traffic ticket).
Using email instead of a phone call seems like the more efficient, and even customer-preferred way of communicating. But when you skip that person-to-person contact, you're missing the opportunity to answer your prospect's other questions, clarify information you may not have realized was unclear, and simply offer a more personalized customer service experience.

Who should see your plan? All the players in the company. Firms typically keep their marketing plans very, very private for one of two very different reasons: Either they're too skimpy and management would be embarrassed to have them see the light of day, or they're solid and packed with information . . . which would make them extremely valuable to the competition.
Nobody can predict the future, which is why it is vital to remember that your marketing plan should be a living, working document. This is not a style book, a brand handbook or a book on company policy. A marketing plan should be a reference that is used throughout the year, is malleable to a certain extent and is shared with all stakeholders and contributing members of the team. Transparency is important when developing and finalizing the plan. By getting feedback from all departments and being clear on goals, your marketing plan is more likely to be of value and to be seen as a successful tool.

The social marketing "product" is not necessarily a physical offering. A continuum of products exists, ranging from tangible, physical products (e.g., condoms), to services (e.g., medical exams), practices (e.g., breastfeeding, ORT or eating a heart-healthy diet) and finally, more intangible ideas (e.g., environmental protection). In order to have a viable product, people must first perceive that they have a genuine problem, and that the product offering is a good solution for that problem. The role of research here is to discover the consumers' perceptions of the problem and the product, and to determine how important they feel it is to take action against the problem.
The social marketing "product" is not necessarily a physical offering. A continuum of products exists, ranging from tangible, physical products (e.g., condoms), to services (e.g., medical exams), practices (e.g., breastfeeding, ORT or eating a heart-healthy diet) and finally, more intangible ideas (e.g., environmental protection). In order to have a viable product, people must first perceive that they have a genuine problem, and that the product offering is a good solution for that problem. The role of research here is to discover the consumers' perceptions of the problem and the product, and to determine how important they feel it is to take action against the problem.
Craig Lefebvre and June Flora introduced social marketing to the public health community in 1988,[10] where it has been most widely used and explored. They noted that there was a need for "large scale, broad-based, behavior change focused programs" to improve public health (the community wide prevention of cardiovascular diseases in their respective projects) and outlined eight essential components of social marketing that still hold today:
There are several core qualities to look for in strategic marketing freelancers. As well as a passion for creating effective marketing campaigns, the ideal marketing strategist will be experienced in marketing planning, and any other marketing techniques you plan to use. A successful marketing consultant should be able to prove their experience with certifications and past examples of work. Ideally, a digital marketing specialist will be knowledgeable, creative, and well-organised. The best strategic marketers are also great at understanding their client’s business, and communicate progress regularly.
You can't do a marketing plan without getting many people involved. No matter what your size, get feedback from all parts of your company: finance, manufacturing, personnel, supply and so on--in addition to marketing itself. This is especially important because it will take all aspects of your company to make your marketing plan work. Your key people can provide realistic input on what's achievable and how your goals can be reached, and they can share any insights they have on any potential, as-yet-unrealized marketing opportunities, adding another dimension to your plan. If you're essentially a one-person management operation, you'll have to wear all your hats at one time--but at least the meetings will be short!
Motivate people to want to change their behavior. The recipient has to form an intention to act on the basis of that attitude. It's not enough to just convince people that something is a good idea. A leap needs to be made from thinking something is a "good idea" to the stage of "I will do that." Think about it--how many of us think it would be a really good idea to cut down on our fat intake, or get up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise? Social marketing helps people move from attitude to intention, and beyond. For African women, this might mean taking the leap to find out about birth control or planning to postpone intercourse.
Even so, your neighbors may not be open to your ideas and programs right off the bat, and you may find yourself having to persuade them. This is what social marketing excels at. The idea may be new for you, or a complete change in how your perceive things. That change, however, may end up being the breath of air your organization needs to become even more effective in changing behavior.
A variation of social marketing has emerged as a systematic way to foster more sustainable behavior. Referred to as community-based social marketing (CBSM) by Canadian environmental psychologist Doug McKenzie-Mohr, CBSM strives to change the behavior of communities to reduce their impact on the environment.[18] Realizing that simply providing information is usually not sufficient to initiate behavior change, CBSM uses tools and findings from social psychology to discover the perceived barriers to behavior change and ways of overcoming these barriers. Among the tools and techniques used by CBSM are focus groups and surveys (to discover barriers) and commitments, prompts, social norms, social diffusion, feedback and incentives (to change behavior). The tools of CBSM have been used to foster sustainable behavior in many areas, including energy conservation,[19] environmental regulation[20] and recycling.[21]
Maybe you work for a large corporation and have been tasked with developing next year’s marketing plan, or perhaps you are launching a new start-up and need to craft a plan from scratch. Maybe it’s been 20 years since you graduated from business school or wrote your last marketing plan, and realize that times have changed a bit. Whatever the case, the steps you take today to create a functional and straight forward marketing plan will lay the foundation for your year ahead, helping you to get results that are measurable and quantifiable.
Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date,[41] or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.[42]
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well -- it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.

Set your pricing by examining how much it cost you to produce the product or service and adding a fair price for the benefits that the customer will enjoy. Examining what others are charging for similar products or services will guide you when you're figuring out what a fair price for such benefits would be. You may find it useful to conduct a Breakeven Analysis.
Another challenge is the sheer scope and scale of digital marketing. There are so many great digital marketing techniques ranging from search, social and email marketing to improve the digital experience of your website. Our article, What is digital marketing? shows how by using our RACE planning framework you can define a more manageable number of digital marketing activities which cover the full customer journey. Within each digital marketing technique, there are lots of detailed tactics that are important to success, so they need to be evaluated and prioritized, for example from dynamic content for email automation, website personalization to programmatic, retargeting and skyscraper content for organic search.
Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.
The broadest approach to audience segmentation is targeted communications, in which information about population groups is used to prepare messages that draw attention to a generic message but are targeted using a person's name (for example, marketing by mass mail). This form of segmentation is used commercially to aim products at specific customer profiles (for example, upper middle income women who have children and live in suburban areas). It has been used effectively in health promotion to develop socially desirable images and prevention messages (fig 2).

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
Smokey Bear and his admonition, "Only you can prevent forest fires," when seen alone on T.V., are again just an advertisement. But taken in context of all of the work done by the U.S. Forestry Service, the result that emerges is a social marketing campaign. Smokey is trying to change a particular behavior (being careless with fire); his message is targeted at a specific audience (six to ten year olds), and information he provides (on commercials, on the Internet and elsewhere) overcomes two major barriers to children being careful with fire: ignorance and also the scientific, "it's no fun" barrier. Further, the message is supported with information provided to parents at the campsites, making it more likely they will provide reinforcement to the message. That's social marketing. It uses targeted marketing, reinforcement, and it reduces barriers--three key elements missing from the two examples above.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.[41]

Before you hire a marketing strategist, it’s important to ask about their years of experience, bachelor's degree and past clients, and to see examples of their previous work. You should also establish what kinds of services they can provide for you, and the cost and likely duration of any marketing tasks they do. Make sure that the market strategist you hire is an expert in digital marketing. Finally, check how he will report on your campaigns so you can measure success.


At HubSpot, we’ve built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of over 200 employees. Along the way, we’ve learned countless lessons that’ve shaped our current content marketing strategy, so we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team’s size.
Doing business without a marketing plan is like driving without a map. You may get to your destination—eventually—but you risk making time-consuming and costly errors along the way. You might be assuming there's demand for your product when there isn't, for example. Your services might be priced too low. Or you could be venturing into a market that is impenetrable because of regulatory restrictions.
Deliver value no matter what: Regardless of who you are and what you're trying to promote, always deliver value, first and foremost. Go out of your way to help others by carefully curating information that will assist them in their journey. The more you focus on delivering value, the quicker you'll reach that proverbial tipping point when it comes to exploding your fans or followers.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
If you’re new to internet marketing and wish to get online as quickly and inexpensively as possible you can start with a social media platform like Facebook - you can create a business Facebook page in less than an hour. However, if you want more control over your online presence, a customized website is more appropriate. Ideally you should have both a website and a social media presence, with each linking to the other.
You can't do a marketing plan without getting many people involved. No matter what your size, get feedback from all parts of your company: finance, manufacturing, personnel, supply and so on--in addition to marketing itself. This is especially important because it will take all aspects of your company to make your marketing plan work. Your key people can provide realistic input on what's achievable and how your goals can be reached, and they can share any insights they have on any potential, as-yet-unrealized marketing opportunities, adding another dimension to your plan. If you're essentially a one-person management operation, you'll have to wear all your hats at one time--but at least the meetings will be short!

If you were to explain what you do as a marketer to a 5-year-old and a grown man/woman, would you do it in the same way? Would it take the same amount of time? Would you use the exact same words? You would probably use some examples or analogies, but different ones in each case. That’s called essential intelligence and also goes by “defining your audience”.
The goal of a public relations specialist is to generate positive publicity, usually through social marketing campaigns and strategies. Some of these specialists are directly employed by government agencies, public service companies, nonprofit organizations, or large commercial companies. Others work on a freelance basis, either as individuals or for marketing agencies that specialize in social marketing.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[45] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
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