We all know that your target market is much more informed than ever before. Not only are buyers inundated with advertising and messaging, they can easily look up prices, reviews, and features of any competitor product in just a few clicks.
This makes life very difficult for your traditional marketing person. The race is on to secure business, and your competitors are working hard to steal your wins from you.
The other difficulty marketeers are facing is an increased work volume resulting from our growing social evolution. With individuals having a preferred way to get information (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, email, digital and physical ads, physical collateral, websites, etc), marketing teams are attempting to provide compelling information on every channel possible just to catch the eye of potential prospects.
Sadly, stressed-out marketing folk are not very good at creating marketing campaigns. They tend to react and not lead; they haven’t the time to create truly innovative or engaging campaigns; they do not have the time to figure out how to properly measure a marketing campaign’s success or failure.
Marketing managers also have a difficult road to walk. They need to keep their teams focused and upbeat, while pushing back on stakeholders who want their meagre resources to do the work suited to a larger team.
All good marketing people know that a single, really good campaign can beat a dozen mediocre ones. A good campaign has energy and passion behind it, and it speaks directly to the target market’s needs or desires.
So, here is some advice on how to approach your next campaign. It will help you save time and resources, and help ensure that you are engaging with the right people on the right channels.
Set your budget and goals
Knowing your allowed spend and objectives for a specific campaign is key. It lets you jump for joy when you pass the goal posts, or tweak your approach during the campaign when it is not performing as expected.
Besides, uncontrolled spend is not something any business owner or senior manager is comfortable with. So before you do anything else, outline your goals and your budget and get them both signed off by your stakeholders.
Get to know your customer
Marketing teams often create messaging and campaigns they personally like, but these don’t always resonate with their key market. Whether you personally find the messaging engaging is actually irrelevant – what matters is that your customers and prospects feel understood and engaged.
So get out there. Meet customers. Survey them. Ask your sales team what messages work and which don’t. Build a profile customer, outlining their needs, desires, and pains. The other advantage to this approach is that when a stakeholder questions your approach, you have data and proof points to back it up, avoiding the battle-of-opinions scenario that often ensues.
Also, find out how these customers like to receive communications. You might find that the majority prefer a few communication vehicles, allowing you to focus on these rather than pumping out information on a dozen or more channels.
Flesh out your messaging
Customers and prospects are wary of marketing, and their expectations around information and entertainment are incredibly heightened. If they feel lied to or feel their time has been wasted, you have failed.
So, once you have collated and analysed your research data, you can then start building out your campaign slogans. The slogan needs to knit your findings with your company or offerings in a natural, honest, and believable way. In other words, it needs to sit well with your company brand, strap line and ethos, while also buddying up comfortably with the product or service you are promoting.
Once you have isolated a few strong slogans, test them out on a focus group to see which ones resonate most strongly. This is not the time to make assumptions because once again, the results will serve you well if the approach gets questioned by the boss.
Get experts in to help
Having understood your audience and what you want to say, think about getting expert third parties involved. Not only will you take advantage of their honed skills when it comes to making your messages pop, wow and woo, their experience of working with a variety of clients means they can provide valuable, fresh insight on where to place those messages, and what forms they ought to take.
Often, people are wary of getting third parties involved because they worry about spend. But if you have an agreed budget for the project, you can allocate spend appropriately and avoid surprises down the line. When a third party understands what you want and how much you have to spend, they should be able to create a prioritised list of actions and activities to boost the awareness and success of the campaign.
And remember, there is an important balance to be achieved: the messaging needs not only to resonate outside the company, but also within. If employees don’t buy in to a campaign, you have lost a huge communication resource. Combining the external and internal expertise will help to maximise engagement both inside the company and out in the world.