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Achieving digital marketing success using the RACE planning system

Learn how to structure a digital marketing plan using Smart Insights RACE

Research by Smart Insights has shown that incredibly, many businesses are actively working on digital marketing, yet they don't have a structured plan in place. It’s understandable since it’s difficult to know where to start if you’re unaware of all the potential options of digital marketing and how best to evaluate and prioritize them.

Consider the missed opportunities if you don’t have a plan or it’s incomplete... Without a comprehensive plan, it’s likely you will have:

  • Limited targets without a digital marketing dashboard to guide direction
  • An incomplete roadmap prioritizing always-on digital marketing activities and marketing technology
  • Wasted budget and wasted staff or agency time as people focus on the wrong activities

Effective business and marketing plans are simple to explain and easy for your audience of colleagues or clients to buy into. To help achieve this, this guide explains six pillars or capabilities for successful digital marketing that every business needs to work on improving.

This guide will explain the thinking behind the Smart Insights RACE planning system, specifying the 25 essential digital marketing activities that most businesses need to consider including in a comprehensive digital marketing plan.

For each part of RACE, we recommend five key marketing activities which should be assessed as a strategic priority. Plus, we recommend 'mindtools' or analysis techniques you can use to analyze performance within a workshop.

Who is this guide for?

This guide will help anyone involved with shaping future digital marketing direction for their business or their clients, including:

  • Company owners and directors
  • Managers responsible for increasing the contribution of digital channels in their organization, including Digital Director and digital marketing managers
  • Heads of marketing including CMO, VP of Marketing, Chief Customer Officer, and Marketing Director
  • Consultants or agency account managers

How is this guide structured?

This guide is structured around the RACE planning system. For each part of RACE, we recommend five key marketing activities which you should consider to create a comprehensive plan covering communications touchpoints across the marketing funnel.

Plus, within the Plan section, we recommend specific analysis and planning techniques you can use to help select the best strategy.

This guide contains the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • The six pillars of digital marketing success
  • Introducing the RACE planning framework
  • Plan
  • Reach
  • Act
  • Convert
  • Engage

Resource Details

  • Author: Dave Chaffey, co-founder of Smart Insights and creator of the RACE planning system
  • Format: Online chart with illustrations and checklists
  • Recommended resource: Our free digital marketing plan template PDF

About the author

Dr Dave Chaffey

Dave is co-founder and content director of Smart Insights. He 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 used by our premium members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing.

For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave 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.

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