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Part 2: Get Ready to RACE

When helping business owners with their marketing strategies, I often explain the RACE Framework to them in order to explain the steps they must take in order to reach their ideal customers and convert them to purchasing from their business. I personally think it is one of the most practical Frameworks to help guide the thinking of Digital Marketers and business owners alike, when considering how to strategically use digital marketing to grow their business.

The Framework was created by Smart Insights to help with managing digital marketing strategies and the five key stages are: PLAN, REACH, ACT, CONVERT and ENGAGE. The focus is on the need to plan your digital marketing strategy (and not to take a pot-luck approach like many businesses tend to do). The goal is then to reach your ideal target audience and engage with them in the hope that they will like what you do so much, they will convert to being paying customers or clients.

RACE model from Smart Insights


You must first define your business goals and subsequently write your online marketing strategy to work out what steps you will take to stand out in the increasingly crowded world of digital marketing. This will involve creating unique and creative online content and careful management and optimization of your online channels.


If nobody can see your online marketing content then there is little point in doing it. It is important to grow your online audiences to ensure a large number of people can see your content. However, a big audience alone is not enough – it needs to be an audience that is actively interested in your business offering (quality is better than quantity).


It is important to carefully consider who your ideal audience really is. You can learn a lot about who buys your products through your social media and website analytics – it may surprise you to find that multiple ‘personas’ begin to emerge who may be different from your usual customer. Indicators that customers are considering buying from you on your online marketing can be evidence in your analytics of an increased time spent browsing your website, more leads being generated through your enquiry form or mailing list, or increasingly strong engagement on social media platforms (such as direct messages or comments)


This is the part that is highly rewarding for a business owner or marketing manager – when your online marketing campaigns begin to convert to sales of your product or service. It is interesting to discover where sales stemmed from online (for example Google or your social media sites).


The goal is to not only make a one-off sale however – we want customers to love our product or service (and their overall experience) so much that they keep coming back. We also want them to spread the word about what you do through the likes of online reviews (also known as ‘social proof’). We can also measure this through the likes of their lifetime value (repeat purchases) and loyalty to your brand.

Through careful analysis your online marketing data on your website, social media & other platforms you can begin to understand how your strategy is performing for each stage of the RACE model. By evaluating the likes of website visitors, traffic sources, repeat visits, bounce rates and conversion rates you can quickly see what is working and what isn’t. 

In short, be strategic about your online marketing. Never post for the sake of posting. Always check your website and social media analytics to inform your marketing strategy on an ongoing basis – analytics are your secret tool to refining your marketing strategy in a way that grows your business.   

This month’s instalment is from Tierna Byrne, award winning CIM qualified marketer, owner of self-named Marketing & Design Consultancy, Senior Associate of Belfast Academy of Marketing and lecturer in Design for Belfast Metropolitan College:

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