The RACE Model was created to help digital marketers plan and manage their activities in a more structured way since it was shown that many don’t have a well-formed digital marketing strategy.
Follow the link below to the Smart Insights website to get a more in-depth look at the RACE Model.
Find out more about the RACE Model
The big challenge for individuals learning about digital, developing their skills, and also the challenge for organisations prioritising their investment and time resource is what’s going to give them the biggest returns.
There are just so many different channels, so many different options. There’s hundreds if you drill into them on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, e-mail marketing, the customer experience.
What I was keen to do was to give a top-level summary that people could quickly create an actionable plan, either to improve digital marketing in their business or improve their personal knowledge.
What we did initially was to create RACE as a simple funnel model of the customer life cycle and how a business might interact with its audiences.
So, first of all, how you would reach your audience to drive demands, to gain awareness, to drive visits to website or social media to interact and then follow through to get people on the right customer journeys, connect them with the right content.
And we separated out the interaction from the conversion stage because getting that initial interaction is so difficult online. And of course, it’s still the case, despite the importance of digital media, the real-world interactions and traditional communications through sales or customer service teams are really important.
So, RACE is a multichannel framework, and the convert stage can either be offline or online, so we need to encourage our audiences, persuade them through different channels.
To complete the picture, engage is the long-term customer engagement once someone has purchased and how you communicate them, for example, through e-mail marketing or social media, to encourage people to act as advocates and then to buy again.
We have that simple top-level framework, but we want to provide a bit more detail so that marketers could structure their activities under each of those four headings of RACE.
Yes, there is a gap, because often with digital marketing, there’s so much to learn in terms of the channels. We might be learning about search marketing, social media, e-mail, and those are important in their own right, and you can optimise them.
But the big question is how do you integrate those channels with the website, as well on the customer path to purchase, so that you’re not running a lot of separate activities but you’re integrating them to support your commercial goals.
Build a solid plan
That’s really what I find marketers want, is a planned approach which is data-driven. So they’re able to review each month or each quarter what digital is actually delivering to their organisation and then make improvements because there’s so many fantastic tools for testing.
For example, A/B testing on a website, you want to try and harness those, but you won’t be able to unless you’ve got a plan of action of what you’re doing, what you’re covering off every 90 days.
One of the key features of our RACE planning framework is that, before you get into the details of how you reach and interact with your audience, you do have a solid plan so you’re making the investments in the right place.
And the thing with digital marketing is, regardless of the size of the business, you need a long-term plan to get the interaction, the right sort of interactions with the audience. You might need different marketing technologies. You might need to look at the way you review your customer insight and the data as well.
For me, it’s essential to have a digital marketing plan to support your transformation in that long-term scale. But of course, businesses need to get returns quickly as well. So, what we’ve developed is a 90-day planning approach where you can quickly review your use of digital marketing compared to your competitors and then to identify the quick wins to make improvements.
Because I think it’s the case businesses don’t need a 30, 50-page planning document.
They need a very punchy summary of where they need to improve and that’s what RACE planning will give marketers.
This is the first in a series of posts from Dave and new blog content from MMC – sign up for email updates over on the right to make sure you don’t miss them when they post.
Do you know the most effective format and channel to REACH your target audience?
InterACT with your customers – What is your “Middle Of the Funnel” strategy?
Interpreting customer pathways and CONVERTing your customers using RACE.
Start using a more data driven approach to measure customer ENGAGEMENT