Updated 14th February 2019.
We have now published our 48 page guide to the A10 Marketing Framework. You can download or order a printed copy of the booklet from the following link
Original article on the A10 Digital Marketing Framework
Ann Stanley, Founder and Managing Director of at Anicca Digital, has created the A10 Digital Marketing Framework to develop digital marketing strategies on behalf of Anicca’s clients.
In this article, Ann has shared the details of A10 Digital Marketing Framework and how you can use it for developing your digital marketing strategy. She has also grounded the A10 Framework into the marketing planning process:
- Developing your business plan and objectives
- Developing your marketing plans and objectives
- Using The Marketing Mix (7 P’s) to develop your marketing strategy
- Developing the Promotional Mix i.e. Paid, Owned, Earned ad Technical Media (POET)
- Practical use of the A10 Digital Marketing Framework to plan, implement and manage your Promotional Mix (POET) at all stages of the sales funnel.
Developing your Business and Marketing Plans
The diagram below shows the relationship between your business and marketing plans, and more specifically with the Marketing Mix and Promotional Mix.
The relationship between all the different elements is explained in more detail below.
- Your business plan should:
- Describe your current situation
- Define your business objectives
- Outline the business strategy that you have agreed to achieve your business objectives
- Your business objectives will cascade down and be used by each department within your organisation, to create their own objectives, e.g. operation and marketing plans.
- Your marketing plan should:
- Describe your current marketing situation
- Define your marketing objectives (some of which will be determined by business objectives)
- Outline the marketing strategy that you have agreed to achieve your marketing objectives
- Many marketers use the Marketing Mix or 7 P’s to develop their marketing strategy. The Marketing Mix is a well-tested approach to develop strategies for all the aspect of marketing that you can control:
- Physical evidence
- The Promotional Mix (one of the 7 P’s) is used to develop marketing communications across both traditional and digital channels. POET (Paid, Owned, Earned and Technical media) can be used to categorise the different types of channels in the Promotional Mix
- The A10 Marketing Framework can be used by marketers, to:
- Plan, implement, manage and measure the Promotional Mix (POET)
- Ensure the successful use of the POET channels at different stages of the sales funnel, i.e. Awareness, Acquisition, Action (conversion), Attention (retention) and Advocacy.
What is Anicca’s A10 Digital Marketing Framework?
Anicca has developed a 10-step Framework for creating and implementing the Promotional Mix. This integrates marketing communications across all the Paid, Owned, Earned and Technical channels (POET) and at all stages of the sales funnel. There are two versions of the Framework:
- The A10 Digital Marketing Framework – when the Framework is used solely for digital marketing
- The A10 Marketing Framework – when the same A10 Framework is used to develop a holistic and integrated Promotional Marketing Mix across both digital and traditional channels.
The Elements of the A10 Digital Marketing Framework
The 10 steps in the Framework are shown in the diagram below:
The ten different elements of Anicca’s A10 Digital Marketing Framework are described in detail below:
- How to audit and benchmark your website, social profiles (and other Owned media) to determine the level of traffic, trust signals, usability, customer engagement, conversions and customer service
- How to determine if your website performs technically (e.g. from an SEO and usability perspective) and whether it is fit for your business purpose
- How to analyse and benchmark your current marketing channels and activities (i.e. presence, activity and performance) as compared to your competitors
- You can use the results of your Analysis to correct any immediate issues or problems
- Any long-term or more complex recommendations should be included in your aims and objectives (e.g. to improve the website by upgrading to https or by increasing the speed).
Taking into consideration your overall marketing objectives, the findings from your initial Analysis, and your target audience for each segment; you will need to:
- Determine the overall aims of your digital marketing and define the SMART objectives for the Promotional Mix (Paid, Owned, Earned and Technology)
- Determine how each individual channel will contribute to the overall objectives at each stage of the funnel:
- Action (conversion)
- Attention (and retention)
- You will need to create measurable KPI for each objective, which relates to the overall business and marketing objectives.
- Use Analytics and various ad platforms to profile the characteristics of your existing customers and converters, for example; by using user and interest profiling in Analytics, or by uploading lists of customers into ad platforms like Facebook or Google
- Your audience analysis should be carried out for each category of products and services to identify different segments
- Once you have data on the profiles of your ideal target audience, you can create personas to describe or represent each segment
- The customer personas can be used by your team to know exactly who to target, when using different marketing channels, such as paid display, paid social, paid search and email
Branding and integration with your corporate and offline marketing
- Your corporate and offline marketing strategy will give the context for your digital marketing plans. For example, you will need to create content creation and distribution plans (or calendars), which need to be integrated with any existing marketing plans, such as offline promotional calendars, key events etc.
- You will need to create (or review) any documentation that outlines your brand guidelines and your “tone of voice”. These guides should be used to ensure consistency when new assets are created
- As much of your marketing is likely to be based on the content you develop, you will need to ensure that your website, blog, email and social media profiles are all performing properly and have the necessary functionality implemented for uploading and sharing content
Owned assets (for example your website and apps)
- Your Owned assets need to have the correct tracking and be populated with quality content that works for the user, SEO purposes and to improve the credibility of your brand:
- You will need to develop and improve your website and other content assets across your own and third-party platforms
- You will need to check the technical aspects of your site and your other assets, such as; technical SEO, on-page/meta tags, load speed, schema, API generated content, native apps, AMP etc.
- You will also need to check or improve the quality of the content and design elements of your website and social profiles. Do you have the necessary trust signals, is there consistency across platforms or channels, are they suitable for your target audience(s).
Social media platforms
- You will need to create or improve your social media profiles, including; account verification, consistency, imagery, enabling reviews etc, plus the creation of sub-pages for store locations or specific products and services etc.
- Set-up and use of the management dashboard for each platform (e.g. Facebook Business Manager). Use of account features such as account analytics, creation of tracking pixels, creation of audiences, use of creative hubs for sharing and storing images and videos
- Creation of initial and ongoing content on social platforms, including posts, articles, videos, stories etc
Creation of content, promotional material and ads
- You will also need to formalise your processes (or use technology), for the creation, review, approval and use of creative assets.
- You should work across teams to develop (or extend) a central bank of images, photos and messages, which can be used in future content creation, campaigns and ads (across all channels)
- You will need to create new and ongoing assets for use in specific ad campaigns; including videos, images, lead generation forms, Canvas ads (for Facebook) etc.
- You will need to create new and ongoing content (text and multi-media), promotional material and other supporting assets for specific campaigns (including content housed on your website)
- You will need to select and implement your technology toolset for delivering, measuring and supporting your marketing activities
- This will include a mix of free and paid tools. So, you may need to research, compare, demo and implement paid tools before using them in your marketing
- You will need to use multi-channel techniques for increasing brand awareness across the digital marketing mix (POET). This will include the selection of channels, plus the planning, implementing and measuring of the campaigns you undertake.
- This is likely to include social media and PR activities (both Owned and Earned), as well as Paid channels like paid display and paid social.
- In addition to using channels and techniques to increase awareness, you may also need to invest in educating the audience or building trust and credibility
- You will need to find mechanisms to measure the level of brand awareness, including the amount of searches, mentions in social media and the press.
- Effective awareness campaigns should help increase in the size of your social communities, increase the amount of organic traffic to your site (via brand searches) and increase the amount of direct traffic to your site
- You may also need to use specialist tools or services to carryout surveys to determine brand recall and the impact of specific campaigns on the level of brand awareness (see Assessment)
- You will need to use a range of POET channels to increase acquisition of traffic to your website, social communities or offline properties (including store visits, event attendance etc):
- Targeting and optimising your Paid channels through search, display, social, ecommerce marketing and other paid opportunities
- Managing Owned channels using search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, social media, email and multimedia content (video, podcasts, webinars) etc.
- Managing Earned channels by encouraging positive online conversations about your brand by using social media, PR and influencer outreach etc. This may also include developing your community, fans and advocates, who will evangelise on your behalf.
- Developing Technical channels by exploiting current (and new) technologies/platforms that can impact your acquisition strategies; such as devices, IOT, voice search, digital assistants, chatbots, machine learning, AI, and the new web formats (AMP and progressive web apps etc).
- These acquisition activities can either be Inbound or outbound:
- Inbound (or pull activities) is where potential visitors are actively seeking out information or your product or service. For example, where they are researching in a search engine, on a video channel, on a review site or comparison site.
- Outbound (or push marketing) is where you proactively push out information or ads to your target audience to encourage them to; visit your site, watch your video, read your content, join your online/social communities, or visit your store or outlet.
- A large part of the management of Acquisition techniques is testing and optimisation to ensure that you maximise the effectiveness of the campaigns. So, you will need to use a mix of site and platform analytics/dashboards to determine the effectiveness of these campaigns and whether they result in actions and conversions (see Assessment)
Understanding Actions and Conversions
- Actions are the interactions that users and customers have with your website, Owned assets and other content or ads that you produce and distribute
- You will need to measure and improve the number of customer Actions and the overall Conversions generated from your assets or marketing activities (i.e. the number of phone calls, leads, sales, store visits etc). These conversions will have a direct impact on the amount of revenue generated by your business
- Increasing your marketing performance and efficiency will result in an increase in conversion rates. This could help you achieve your target number of leads, sales (or other conversions), without needing to attract as much traffic
- Increasing your conversion rates will normally help to achieve a lower cost per conversion, higher revenue, more profit for your business and a higher Return on Investment (ROI)
- It is normally easier to focus on improving the Actions and conversions on the Owned assets (that you control), such as your website, app, emails or social media profiles. However, you can also improve the effectiveness of your ads or content on third-party platforms; by the process of testing and optimisation.
Improving actions and conversions on your website
- You will need to use Analytics (on your website) and possibly other specialist software (like click-tracking) to measure and understand user behaviour on your site:
- Macro-conversions – such as a sale or lead
- Micro-conversions – such as a newsletter sign-up
- Goals – measuring a specific action like visiting a contact page or completing a form (by going to a thank you page)
- Funnels – measuring the drop-off and user journey through the different stages of a process (such as a sales funnel)
- Events – these are on-page actions, such as; clicking a button (call-to-action) to submit a form, download a pdf or playing a video
- A full diagnostic or heuristic report can be developed by using a mix of tools and site reviews. The aim of this report is to understand user behaviour and their journeys on your site. The objective of the analysis is to determine any areas of user drop-off or parts of the site with a poor performance, which then impacts usability and conversions
- With the insight from the audit, you should be able to develop strategies to improve your website by improving calls for action, user journeys, UX, and to optimise conversion rates
- Some changes can be made immediately, whereas others will require a more systematic testing programme, which is often called conversion rate optimisation (CRO) or A:B landing page testing:
- This involves the creation of a working hypothesis that outlines what changes should be made to the site (or user journey) and the impact this would have on the performance on the site
- You will then need to create alternative versions of the page (or elements of the page) that are currently performing poorly
- You can use testing software to run A:B landing page tests, to see whether the new page outperforms the original (i.e. was the hypothesis correct)
- If the test was successful, then you can implement the new version of the page (or element of the page), which should result in an increase in engagement or conversion rate
A8: Attention (and retention)
- It makes good business sense to maximise customer retention and loyalty, through proactive customer service and providing an excellent customer experience:
- You may need to have a team that is responsible for this role. This often falls to customer services, marketing or sales, (or a combination of these teams)
- These teams should work together, to develop ongoing customer communications to increase purchase frequency and customer lifetime value
- Techniques such as remarketing, social, content, email strategies, outbound calls/visits etc. are often used to encourage retention and for cross and up-selling
- You may need to use specific CRM or ecommerce technology to aid in the retention process or to prevent defections
- You may also be required to report on customer retention vs churn, cross- and up-selling, and lifetime value of customers
- Managing customer service online (and in public eye)
- In the past, poor customer service could often be dealt with behind closed doors. However, now when a customer is not satisfied, they will often resort to social media as their preferred route to air complaints and issues (i.e. “naming and shaming” to embarrass a brand), with the motive of trying to get a quicker response
- It has, therefore, become essential to listen to social media channels for mentions of your brand. You will also need to have staff, processes and policies in place to deal with online customer service. Note this may be just one of the channels that customers use to communicate with you, so you may need an integrated strategy
- Good (or well managed) customer service can often generate good publicity, reviews and brand reputation, which can help advocacy (see below).
- Whereas, poorly managed (or the lack of management) of customer complaints and concerns, is much more likely to negatively impact brand reputation and future sales.
- Many techniques used to encourage advocacy overlap with retention strategies; as customers will often become advocates when they are happy with your service or products. Advocacy and referrals can also happen when customers want their peers and colleagues to benefit from your products and services
- Your website, social media profiles and other owned assets should be used to encourage client and customer advocacy, by developing a loyal community, reviews, recommendations and referrals
- This may involve the use of third-party tools or adding functionality to your website to facilitate positive feedback, sharing and referrals
- Advocacy often happens naturally via Earned media or third-party platforms. However, you may need to incentivise referrals or develop specific programs to encourage customers, staff and other supporters to recommend you. For example, a “recommend a friend” programme, where both the referrer and friend get a gift or payment
- In addition, there are other methods to proactively encourage advocacy, for example; by employing influencers, celebrities, or thought leaders to amplify your messages and brand. These are paid methods which exploit the influencers’ visibility and fan-base on channels like Instagram or YouTube
The Assessment section of the A10 Framework is designed to provide a strategic overview to determine whether your website, assets and marketing strategy are working (individually and together). Note: Some of these techniques are explored during the initial Analysis/audit stage, or during the optimisation of specific techniques.
- You will need to have a thorough understanding of the standard functionality of Analytics and how Analytics can be customised to provide more sophisticated insights
Ad platform and channels specific Analytics
- You will need to become familiar with the insights functionality within the main ad and social media platforms
- You can also use a variety of other free and third-party tools to assess other aspects of your marketing. These may be platform specific tools or tools designed to assess competitors’ activities or campaigns
- You will need to understand how to use Analytics and Attribution tools to provide insight into conversion attribution across multiple channels and dimensions
Integration of data across multiple platforms
- You may also need to bring data together across different platforms, to determine what happens at different stages of the sales funnel. For example, you may want to know the source of leads that eventually resulted in a sale.
- Some cross-platform integrations are provided by suppliers (for example Salesforce data imported into Google Ads), or you may need to use API or connectors to link data across platforms. This will require a unique identifier that is recognised by each platform
Reporting and data visualisation
- You will need to visualise and report on the success of your campaigns and your marketing KPI (that you set for your objectives)
- You can use dashboards and standard report functionality available in Analytics and other platforms (for each ad and social media platform)
- Some of these packages and platforms will offer customisable dashboards that you can set-up and schedule – so you receive a regular report, or you can share or email to your management team
- You may need to produce a bespoke report for your company, which integrated data from multiple channels and data from your own in-house systems (such as your CRM or accounts/finance packages).
- You can test various paid reporting tools or consider the use of free tools, such as Google Data Studio or MSN Power BI.
Using Anicca’s A10 Digital Marketing Framework for your business
Permission for use (and Ownership)
Anicca already have a successful track history of using the A10 Framework at the start of our clients’ multi-channel projects, but we have now shared the details of the A10 Framework, so you can use it for your own marketing:
You are welcome to use the A10 Framework for yourself,
but please give Anicca the credit or link back to this article.
The A10 Digital Marketing Framework can be used by companies of all sizes and types. We believe it will help your business use the right tools and the best channels for your circumstances and ensure that you do not forget to get the basics right, such as; website usability, trust signal, Analytics and brand consistency.
The A10 Digital Marketing Framework will provide longevity, which will help you apply the same flexible logic to the regularly evolving trends of POET channels. This will mean that you will not need to use lots of different frameworks every time digital marketing technology changes.
Depending on the size and complexity of your business the A10 Digital Framework (including all the initial Analysis) can take between 5 and 10 days to complete. This does require that your Analytics is set-up and reporting correctly and that the necessary diagnostic tools are in place to record data and the effectiveness of specific channels.
Can Anicca help you with your digital marketing strategy, planning or campaign implementation?
If you require any help with using the A10 Framework, then our consultants can work with your team, to create the full strategy for your business, or help you with specific elements:
- The initial Analysis and recommendations
- Selection and set-up of your tools
- Creation of bespoke Assessment dashboards
- Training of your team
In addition, Anicca provides a complete range of digital marketing services for clients, so we can also help with the implementation of the recommended POET channels.
If you are planning to grow your business, or you want some advice on the best combination of channels to use in the Promotional Mix; then please email Ann Stanley on [email protected] or complete the form below. We will then contact you to discuss your requirements.