The 5 Steps to a Successful Marketing Campaign
For a newbie, it can be quite scary to embark upon a marketing strategy, like most jobs, there is a framework that can make your job that much easier.
Step 1: Know where you stand
Do a SWOT analysis of the business. What are you good at, bad at, where are the opportunities and where do the risks lie? You or someone in the business probably already knows this.
Step 2 – 5: Where to next?
Although these are critical steps in their own right, I feel that they are intrinsically linked.
The steps involved are Audience, Goals, Avenues and Budget. There can be a lot of back and forth in this series – perhaps you may want to set budgets first, but then your avenues might be too costly for your budget and you have to revise it, or vice-versa. Awareness of all the potential problems each step might present is preferable.
Audience – Knock, knock. Who’s there?
Creating customer types is a critical step in your marketing campaign strategy – you want to know who you are targeting so you can connect with them effectively. Does your goal create your audience, or does your audience create the goal? It’s good to be specific, but anything you mention should be appropriate – the colour of your target customer’s hair probably won’t make it into your persona unless you are selling hair product.
Goals – What do we want? When do we want it?
We all love our acronyms – SMART goals are essential (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). Your hope might be world domination but for this particular marketing campaign you should be practical (dream big, wake real) and should be a part of your overall marketing plan. Do you have a new product? Are you building brand awareness, or needing more sales, or both? When do we need it? This is part of goal building process. For example, a goal might look like this: by the end of the Easter break we will have booked 50% of the log cabins for July holidays.
Avenues – Marketing streams, channels, whatever you call it …
The marketing avenues you choose to target your audience can stem from your goals. If your target audience is working mothers who are more likely to use public transport, you might buy bus/train advertising or some mobile display ads on news sites, blogs etc. Whereas if your audience is likely to be driving during prime time, some outdoor and radio spots might be your best bet. Depending on the campaign, you might need to target personas at all stages of the buying cycle and it might take a mixture of channels to produce results.
Budget – Now it’s time for the number crunching
A percentage of your projected sales should be your yearly marketing budget, which in turn should be divided up and allotted, part of which will be this campaign. The size or importance of this campaign will be a factor, hence waiting until this stage to do your budget, but you may find that the numbers don’t add up and some tweaking might be needed.
6 1 – Eulogy or celebration
Rarely do we attain perfection, and a bit of analysis is needed for improvement. Finding out what went well and what didn’t work, will give you genuine insight for the next campaign (which is why it’s really step 1 (and not step 6) – it will form part of the updated SWOT analysis for what lies ahead).
So there you have it – how to systematically build a campaign. Sticking to the framework will give you every chance of success but creative work will also have a huge impact on your campaign. Creating an ad that captures your audience and spurs them into action is the final piece in the puzzle – in other words – Don’t forget to remember creative.