With a creative team, you might have some great marketing campaign ideas that you’re ready to jump into executing. As great as these ideas might be, the discovery phase is a crucial step before you get started on the campaign details. Even if you don’t have the time or resources for full blown market research, there are some basic steps to make sure your campaign will achieve the results you want.
Look inward first by doing a brief assessment of your own brand. Review internal documents and existing marketing materials, including your brand platform, business plan, and details of your products/services. Make sure everyone that will be involved with the marketing campaign grasps the business environment, sales strategy, and marketing objectives. This will help make sure everyone is on the same page with who you are as a company as you move forward.
Make a list of key internal stakeholders, industry experts, customers, and prospective customers who might be willing to give their input. The purpose of this exercise is to gather additional insight into customer needs, preferences, and perceptions, and validate your assumptions – before you begin your campaign.
It’s important to make sure you’re staying in tune with up-to-date insights as you launch key marketing campaigns. Aim to conduct at least 5-8 structured interviews where you ask people the same list of questions.
Another important exercise is refreshing your competitive review. You need to regularly explore what you’re up against. Assess the positioning/messaging of competitors, evaluate commercial opportunities, and take time to understand market segmentation (the subgroups of your target audience based on demographics, interests, etc.). From here you can identify gaps that you can capitalize on based on your company’s strengths and hone in on your creative approach.
Once you’re confident that you have a good foundation to base your campaign on, it’s time to start planning the specifics. Check out our post, “Building an Integrated Campaign” to see the remaining five steps to make your campaign a success.