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Crafting a Winning Marketing Proposal



Crafting a Winning Marketing Proposal

Convincing new clients to sign up for your marketing services can be a challenge in a sea of other competitive offers. 

Because marketing is not a tangible service, persuading potential clients that your business is the one to go with requires a tactical strategy that delivers value. 

To do this, you need a solid marketing proposal. 

Perfecting the art of an effective marketing proposal is the key to winning lucrative clients and boosting your business sales. Once you’ve nailed it, you can rinse and repeat – saving you hours of time creating new proposals from scratch. 

Read on to learn how to write a marketing proposal that will drive new clients to your agency like bees to a honeypot. 

What Is a Marketing Proposal?

A marketing proposal is a document that outlines the proposed marketing strategy, tactics, and deliverables for your specific client or project. 

It acts as a convincing method to encourage potential clients to hire your services. You can achieve this via your marketing proposal by demonstrating your understanding of their business, industry, and target audience, and showcasing your expertise and experience in creating effective marketing campaigns. 

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A well-crafted marketing proposal can help you win new clients, establish long-term partnerships, and grow your business – all whilst showing why clients should choose to work with your agency instead of the competition.

What Are the Components of a Marketing Proposal?

To win the conversion phase of marketing, your marketing proposal must act as a clear communication method. Demonstrating both why prospects should choose you to work for them, and exactly what you plan to do in order to grow their business. 

To this end, the key components of a marketing proposal include:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of the proposal, highlighting the key points of your marketing strategy and why it will benefit your prospective client.
  • Situation Analysis: A detailed analysis of your client’s business, industry, target audience, and competition. This demonstrates your understanding of your prospect’s needs and challenges.
  • Objectives: Clear, measurable goals that the proposed marketing strategy aims to achieve – such as increased brand awareness, lead generation, or sales growth.
  • Strategy: A detailed plan outlining the recommended marketing tactics, channels, and messaging that will be used to achieve the stated objectives.
  • Pricing and Payment Options: A breakdown of the costs associated with implementing the proposed marketing strategy, including any fees, media costs, and production costs.
  • Timeline: A detailed schedule outlining the proposed timeline for the marketing campaign – including key milestones, deliverables, and deadlines.
  • Metrics: The set of metrics that you will use to measure the success of the marketing campaign – such as website traffic, conversion rates, or social media engagement.
  • Conclusion: A summary of the proposal, emphasizing the benefits of the proposed marketing strategy and why you are the right choice for the client.  

Some of these components are fairly straightforward and don’t necessarily require a more detailed explanation.

Others we will look at in more granular detail to help you to create the most effective marketing proposal. 

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How to Perform a Situation Analysis

As we’ve mentioned, you must demonstrate a thorough understanding of your prospect’s business, industry, target audience, and competition.

To achieve this, you must perform a situation analysis to understand where the business is at right now, and the challenges they’re facing. Start by researching the business – this includes its history, mission, values, and products or services. Identify the client’s unique selling proposition (USP) and competitive advantages.

Next, research the industry and market to understand the current trends, challenges, and opportunities. Identify the target audience, their demographics, psychographics, and their buying behavior.

Identify the prospective client’s main competitors and analyze their marketing strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Identify the gaps in the market that your prospect can fill.

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Research and consider your prospect’s pain points. These are the problems within their current marketing strategy that needs fixing. Your prospect will either know that they have these problems, but don’t know how to fix them, or they may be altogether unaware of any issues. 

An example of a pain point could be inconsistent messaging. When the messaging across different marketing channels is inconsistent, this leads to confusion and a lack of brand recognition. Fixing this problem may involve developing a cohesive messaging platform that is aligned with the brand’s mission, values, and value proposition.

You’ll also need to know exactly what you’re currently working with. This involves reviewing the existing marketing efforts – their website, social media profiles, advertising campaigns, and content marketing. Identify what’s working and what’s not. 

How to Set Clear Objectives

Once you’ve completed your research and ascertained the current position, you can begin to set the clear and measurable goals that you’ll include in your marketing proposal. 

Some examples of marketing proposal clear objectives can include:

  1. Increase brand awareness within the 20-35 year old female demographic by 20%.
  2. Improve open rates by 10% through email marketing efforts.
  3. Generate 20 new leads per month. 

Each of these objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Including clear objectives in a marketing proposal can help to align the marketing strategy with the business’s goals, provide a clear roadmap for success, and track progress and results over time.

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How to Create the Marketing Strategies

We’ve looked at the what. Now we’ll explore the how part of the marketing proposal.

This section of your marketing proposal should include concise information about how you plan to improve your prospect’s marketing strategy. Basically, it’s time to show off your skills. 

Let’s use our aforementioned objectives as examples:

  1. Increase brand awareness within the 20-35 year old female demographic by 20%.
  2. Improve open rates by 10% through email marketing efforts.
  3. Generate 20 new leads per month. 

The marketing strategies you create to achieve these objectives could look like this:

  1. To increase brand awareness in this specific demographic, develop a social media strategy that includes regular content updates, engaging visuals, targeted social media ads, and influencer partnerships to increase the brand’s visibility. 
  1. To improve open rates by 10% through email marketing efforts, segment the email list to include more targeted subscribers, optimize email subject lines, personalize emails using automation software, and ensure emails are optimized for mobile devices.

Say your prospect wants 20 new monthly leads for their JPG to PDF software service. The strategy would be to  develop  a lead magnet as an incentive to offer potential leads in exchange for their contact information. Then, plan to optimize the business website with clearer CTAs to direct visitors to the lead magnet.

Remember to add in this section of the marketing proposal that you will include regular monitoring to determine the effectiveness of each of the marketing strategies. 

How to Create Pricing and Payment Options

When it comes to pricing and payment options in your marketing proposal, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Firstly, always be transparent. Prospects appreciate transparency, so be clear and make sure that your pricing structure is easy to understand. Be upfront about what is included in each package or service, and make sure there are no hidden fees or charges. 

Offering multiple options gives your potential clients flexibility and choice. For example, you might offer different levels of service at different price points, or offer a discount for clients who sign a longer-term contract.

You could also consider an online payment system that accepts multiple forms of payment. This can make it simpler for clients to budget for your services and make payments on time. 

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Be sure to highlight the value of your services in relation to the pricing. Clearly explain how your services will help your prospective client to achieve their goals, and why your pricing is reasonable in comparison to the results they can expect to see.

Marketing Proposal Tips 

Focus on the Prospect

Ensure you write the marketing proposal with the prospect at the forefront. It needs to be all about their problems and business, and how you can help. More You, and less We.

Include Visuals

Where relevant, include eye-catching infographics to demonstrate your points. If you’ve got success stories from previous clients that include impressive stats, add them in, too. 

Use Templates

To make life easier, explore Proposify alternatives that will help streamline your marketing proposal creation process. Customize templates to come up with the best one to work with for your business’s needs. 

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Be Clear

Include transparent timelines for marketing campaigns and one-off projects. This looks like specific milestones and key deliverables dates. 

Encourage Action

Include a clear and compelling call to action that encourages your prospect to take the next step. This can include scheduling a call or meeting, signing a contract, or requesting more information.

The Art of Persuasion

Writing a marketing proposal that convinces new clients requires a thorough understanding of your audience’s needs, clear communication of your unique value proposition, and a well-structured plan for delivering your solution. 

By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can create a proposal that effectively differentiates your business from competitors, provides evidence of your effectiveness, and clearly outlines your approach and process. 

With these key elements in place, you can create a persuasive marketing proposal that helps you win new clients and grow your business.

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Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat



Building Customer Trust: Comparing Credibility of Custom Chatbots & Live Chat

Addressing customer issues quickly is not merely a strategy to distinguish your brand; it’s an imperative for survival in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Customer frustration can lead to customer churn. That’s precisely why organizations employ various support methods to ensure clients receive timely and adequate assistance whenever they require it.

Nevertheless, selecting the most suitable support channel isn’t always straightforward. Support teams often grapple with the choice between live chat and chatbots.

The automation landscape has transformed how businesses engage with customers, elevating chatbots as a widely embraced support solution. As more companies embrace technology to enhance their customer service, the debate over the credibility of chatbots versus live chat support has gained prominence.

However, customizable chatbot continue to offer a broader scope for personalization and creating their own chatbots.

In this article, we will delve into the world of customer support, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of both chatbots and live chat and how they can influence customer trust. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of which option may be the best fit for your business.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become increasingly prevalent in customer support due to their ability to provide instant responses and cost-effective solutions. These automated systems use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers in real-time, making them a valuable resource for businesses looking to streamline their customer service operations.

Advantages of Chatbots

24/7 Availability

One of the most significant advantages of custom chatbots is their round-the-clock availability. They can respond to customer inquiries at any time, ensuring that customers receive support even outside regular business hours.


Custom Chatbots provide consistent responses to frequently asked questions, eliminating the risk of human error or inconsistency in service quality.


Implementing chatbots can reduce operational costs by automating routine inquiries and allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.


Chatbots can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, making them highly scalable as your business grows.

Disadvantages of Chatbots

Limited Understanding

Chatbots may struggle to understand complex or nuanced inquiries, leading to frustration for customers seeking detailed information or support.

Lack of Empathy

Chatbots lack the emotional intelligence and empathy that human agents can provide, making them less suitable for handling sensitive or emotionally charged issues.

Initial Setup Costs

Developing and implementing chatbot technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Role of Live Chat Support

Live chat support, on the other hand, involves real human agents who engage with customers in real-time through text-based conversations. While it may not offer the same level of automation as custom chatbots, live chat support excels in areas where human interaction and empathy are crucial.

Advantages of Live Chat

Human Touch

Live chat support provides a personal touch that chatbots cannot replicate. Human agents can empathize with customers, building a stronger emotional connection.

Complex Issues

For inquiries that require a nuanced understanding or involve complex problem-solving, human agents are better equipped to provide in-depth assistance.

Trust Building

Customers often trust human agents more readily, especially when dealing with sensitive matters or making important decisions.


Human agents can adapt to various customer personalities and communication styles, ensuring a positive experience for diverse customers.

Disadvantages of Live Chat

Limited Availability

Live chat support operates within specified business hours, which may not align with all customer needs, potentially leading to frustration.

Response Time

The speed of response in live chat support can vary depending on agent availability and workload, leading to potential delays in customer assistance.


Maintaining a live chat support team with trained agents can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses strategically.

Building Customer Trust: The Credibility Factor

When it comes to building customer trust, credibility is paramount. Customers want to feel that they are dealing with a reliable and knowledgeable source. Both customziable chatbots and live chat support can contribute to credibility, but their effectiveness varies in different contexts.

Building Trust with Chatbots

Chatbots can build trust in various ways:


Chatbots provide consistent responses, ensuring that customers receive accurate information every time they interact with them.

Quick Responses

Chatbots offer instant responses, which can convey a sense of efficiency and attentiveness.

Data Security

Chatbots can assure customers of their data security through automated privacy policies and compliance statements.

However, custom chatbots may face credibility challenges when dealing with complex issues or highly emotional situations. In such cases, the lack of human empathy and understanding can hinder trust-building efforts.

Building Trust with Live Chat Support

Live chat support, with its human touch, excels at building trust in several ways:


Human agents can show empathy by actively listening to customers’ concerns and providing emotional support.

Tailored Solutions

Live chat agents can tailor solutions to individual customer needs, demonstrating a commitment to solving their problems.


Human agents can adapt to changing customer requirements, ensuring a personalized and satisfying experience.

However, live chat support’s limitations, such as availability and potential response times, can sometimes hinder trust-building efforts, especially when customers require immediate assistance.

Finding the Right Balance

The choice between custom chatbots and live chat support is not always binary. Many businesses find success by integrating both options strategically:

Initial Interaction

Use chatbots for initial inquiries, providing quick responses, and gathering essential information. This frees up human agents to handle more complex cases.

Escalation to Live Chat

Implement a seamless escalation process from custom chatbots to live chat support when customer inquiries require a higher level of expertise or personal interaction.

Continuous Improvement

Regularly analyze customer interactions and feedback to refine your custom chatbot’s responses and improve the overall support experience.


In the quest to build customer trust, both chatbots and live chat support have their roles to play. Customizable Chatbots offer efficiency, consistency, and round-the-clock availability, while live chat support provides the human touch, empathy, and adaptability. The key is to strike the right balance, leveraging the strengths of each to create a credible and trustworthy customer support experience. By understanding the unique advantages and disadvantages of both options, businesses can make informed decisions to enhance customer trust and satisfaction in the digital era.

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The Rise in Retail Media Networks



A shopping cart holding the Amazon logo to represent the rise in retail media network advertising.

As LL Cool J might say, “Don’t call it a comeback. It’s been here for years.”

Paid advertising is alive and growing faster in different forms than any other marketing method.

Magna, a media research firm, and GroupM, a media agency, wrapped the year with their ad industry predictions – expect big growth for digital advertising in 2024, especially with the pending US presidential political season.

But the bigger, more unexpected news comes from the rise in retail media networks – a relative newcomer in the industry.

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain how these trends could affect marketers or keep reading for his thoughts:

GroupM expects digital advertising revenue in 2023 to conclude with a 5.8% or $889 billion increase – excluding political advertising. Magna believes ad revenue will tick up 5.5% this year and jump 7.2% in 2024. GroupM and Zenith say 2024 will see a more modest 4.8% growth.

Robert says that the feeling of an ad slump and other predictions of advertising’s demise in the modern economy don’t seem to be coming to pass, as paid advertising not only survived 2023 but will thrive in 2024.

What’s a retail media network?

On to the bigger news – the rise of retail media networks. Retail media networks, the smallest segment in these agencies’ and research firms’ evaluation, will be one of the fastest-growing and truly important digital advertising formats in 2024.

GroupM suggests the $119 billion expected to be spent in the networks this year and should grow by a whopping 8.3% in the coming year.  Magna estimates $124 billion in ad revenue from retail media networks this year.

“Think about this for a moment. Retail media is now almost a quarter of the total spent on search advertising outside of China,” Robert points out.

You’re not alone if you aren’t familiar with retail media networks. A familiar vernacular in the B2C world, especially the consumer-packaged goods industry, retail media networks are an advertising segment you should now pay attention to.

Retail media networks are advertising platforms within the retailer’s network. It’s search advertising on retailers’ online stores. So, for example, if you spend money to advertise against product keywords on Amazon, Walmart, or Instacart, you use a retail media network.

But these ad-buying networks also exist on other digital media properties, from mini-sites to videos to content marketing hubs. They also exist on location through interactive kiosks and in-store screens. New formats are rising every day.

Retail media networks make sense. Retailers take advantage of their knowledge of customers, where and why they shop, and present offers and content relevant to their interests. The retailer uses their content as a media company would, knowing their customers trust them to provide valuable information.

Think about these 2 things in 2024

That brings Robert to two things he wants you to consider for 2024 and beyond. The first is a question: Why should you consider retail media networks for your products or services?   

Advertising works because it connects to the idea of a brand. Retail media networks work deep into the buyer’s journey. They use the consumer’s presence in a store (online or brick-and-mortar) to cross-sell merchandise or become the chosen provider.

For example, Robert might advertise his Content Marketing Strategy book on Amazon’s retail network because he knows his customers seek business books. When they search for “content marketing,” his book would appear first.

However, retail media networks also work well because they create a brand halo effect. Robert might buy an ad for his book in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal because he knows their readers view those media outlets as reputable sources of information. He gains some trust by connecting his book to their media properties.

Smart marketing teams will recognize the power of the halo effect and create brand-level experiences on retail media networks. They will do so not because they seek an immediate customer but because they can connect their brand content experience to a trusted media network like Amazon, Nordstrom, eBay, etc.

The second thing Robert wants you to think about relates to the B2B opportunity. More retail media network opportunities for B2B brands are coming.

You can already buy into content syndication networks such as Netline, Business2Community, and others. But given the astronomical growth, for example, of Amazon’s B2B marketplace ($35 billion in 2023), Robert expects a similar trend of retail media networks to emerge on these types of platforms.   

“If I were Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot, or any brand with big content platforms, I’d look to monetize them by selling paid sponsorship of content (as advertising or sponsored content) on them,” Robert says.

As you think about creative ways to use your paid advertising spend, consider the retail media networks in 2024.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions



AI driving an exponential increase in marketing technology solutions

The martech landscape is expanding and AI is the prime driving force. That’s the topline news from the “Martech 2024” report released today. And, while that will get the headline, the report contains much more.

Since the release of the most recent Martech Landscape in May 2023, 2,042 new marketing technology tools have surfaced, bringing the total to 13,080 — an 18.5% increase. Of those, 1,498 (73%) were AI-based. 

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“But where did it land?” said Frans Riemersma of Martech Tribe during a joint video conference call with Scott Brinker of ChiefMartec and HubSpot. “And the usual suspect, of course, is content. But the truth is you can build an empire with all the genAI that has been surfacing — and by an empire, I mean, of course, a business.”

Content tools accounted for 34% of all the new AI tools, far ahead of video, the second-place category, which had only 4.85%. U.S. companies were responsible for 61% of these tools — not surprising given that most of the generative AI dynamos, like OpenAI, are based here. Next up was the U.K. at 5.7%, but third place was a big surprise: Iceland — with a population of 373,000 — launched 4.6% of all AI martech tools. That’s significantly ahead of fourth place India (3.5%), whose population is 1.4 billion and which has a significant tech industry. 

Dig deeper: 3 ways email marketers should actually use AI

The global development of these tools shows the desire for solutions that natively understand the place they are being used. 

“These regional products in their particular country…they’re fantastic,” said Brinker. “They’re loved, and part of it is because they understand the culture, they’ve got the right thing in the language, the support is in that language.”

Now that we’ve looked at the headline stuff, let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating body of the report.

The report: A deeper dive

Marketing technology “is a study in contradictions,” according to Brinker and Riemersma. 

In the new report they embrace these contradictions, telling readers that, while they support “discipline and fiscal responsibility” in martech management, failure to innovate might mean “missing out on opportunities for competitive advantage.” By all means, edit your stack meticulously to ensure it meets business value use cases — but sure, spend 5-10% of your time playing with “cool” new tools that don’t yet have a use case. That seems like a lot of time.

Similarly, while you mustn’t be “carried away” by new technology hype cycles, you mustn’t ignore them either. You need to make “deliberate choices” in the realm of technological change, but be agile about implementing them. Be excited by martech innovation, in other words, but be sensible about it.

The growing landscape

Consolidation for the martech space is not in sight, Brinker and Riemersma say. Despite many mergers and acquisitions, and a steadily increasing number of bankruptcies and dissolutions, the exponentially increasing launch of new start-ups powers continuing growth.

It should be observed, of course, that this is almost entirely a cloud-based, subscription-based commercial space. To launch a martech start-up doesn’t require manufacturing, storage and distribution capabilities, or necessarily a workforce; it just requires uploading an app to the cloud. That is surely one reason new start-ups appear at such a startling rate. 

Dig deeper: AI ad spending has skyrocketed this year

As the authors admit, “(i)f we measure by revenue and/or install base, the graph of all martech companies is a ‘long tail’ distribution.” What’s more, focus on the 200 or so leading companies in the space and consolidation can certainly be seen.

Long-tail tools are certainly not under-utilized, however. Based on a survey of over 1,000 real-world stacks, the report finds long-tail tools constitute about half of the solutions portfolios — a proportion that has remained fairly consistent since 2017. The authors see long-tail adoption where users perceive feature gaps — or subpar feature performance — in their core solutions.

Composability and aggregation

The other two trends covered in detail in the report are composability and aggregation. In brief, a composable view of a martech stack means seeing it as a collection of features and functions rather than a collection of software products. A composable “architecture” is one where apps, workflows, customer experiences, etc., are developed using features of multiple products to serve a specific use case.

Indeed, some martech vendors are now describing their own offerings as composable, meaning that their proprietary features are designed to be used in tandem with third-party solutions that integrate with them. This is an evolution of the core-suite-plus-app-marketplace framework.

That framework is what Brinker and Riemersma refer to as “vertical aggregation.” “Horizontal aggregation,” they write, is “a newer model” where aggregation of software is seen not around certain business functions (marketing, sales, etc.) but around a layer of the tech stack. An obvious example is the data layer, fed from numerous sources and consumed by a range of applications. They correctly observe that this has been an important trend over the past year.

Build it yourself

Finally, and consistent with Brinker’s long-time advocacy for the citizen developer, the report detects a nascent trend towards teams creating their own software — a trend that will doubtless be accelerated by support from AI.

So far, the apps that are being created internally may be no more than “simple workflows and automations.” But come the day that app development is so democratized that it will be available to a wide range of users, the software will be a “reflection of the way they want their company to operate and the experiences they want to deliver to customers. This will be a powerful dimension for competitive advantage.”

Constantine von Hoffman contributed to this report.

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