The core of a successful marketing campaign is a thorough and cohesive plan – from strategy to execution – you need to find the why, craft the way and deliver the wow. There are six steps to think through you as you prepare your next marketing campaign. We’ll walk you through what each step entails.
Step 1: Discovery
When people think about campaigns and promotions, a lot of times they go right to execution. Even if you’re pressed on time or pressed on budget, it’s important to take a step back and think about your sales objectives.
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What segments are most profitable?
- What are your competitors doing?
- How are you distinct?
- Why should they buy from you?
- Are they reasons they buy from you really aligned with why you think they buy from you?
- Which channels are most effective for capturing their attention and interest? (Have you asked them lately? Done any win/loss reporting?)
Think about your goals for the campaign in very specific, measurable ways (with KPIs) and define the best strategy to create demand. Assuming budget is an issue, which it almost always is, consider the effectiveness of each channel relative to the cost and prioritize your execution plan.
Step 2: Content
After you’ve established the general framework for your campaign, and have clearly articulated your value proposition relative to the reasons to buy, you want to think about translating this value proposition into a content strategy.
- Which components of your product or service positioning are most important to the target segment?
- What voice will you use?
- How important is digital content relative to your execution plan?
- Who will generate the content?
It’s important to establishing a baseline of campaign content and understand the cadence. If you are running multiple campaigns based on different stages in the funnel, you also want to create content relative to that particular stage in the sales cycle.
Step 3: Concept
Once you’ve solidified your messaging and content strategy, it’s time to bring the campaign to life with the help of the creative minds on your team. This is the time you want to visualize the themes and concepts that have an emotional appeal. Try collecting ideas on mood boards or creating mock-ups and prototypes of your ideas relative to your brand. Narrow down your concepts down in a methodical way.
Step 4: Design
After you have refined your theme and concept, it’s time to design the visual look of your campaign. If you don’t have graphic design or production experts on your team, you can outsource this leg relatively inexpensively using freelancers or even online through sites like 99 Designs. It might take a bit of legwork to find an aesthetic that is right for your campaign, but you will definitely be able to keep costs down this way. Other agencies, like G3, can provide more full service support across all components including strategy and execution. Regardless of whether you outsource or not, your design team should generate several creative ideas for evaluation and then manage all the production.
Step 5: Deployment
Now that all components have been designed, developed and fine-tuned, it’s time to deploy the campaign. Again with proper planning and adequate resourcing, your campaign will have several different components across different channels. Depending on your priorities and execution plan, you can think of additional components that may further differentiate you.
For example, if you are planning a direct mail, hand-addressed envelopes add a personal touch, if your target audience is a feasible amount. If you’re using emails or social media, be sure you have landing pages set up on your website for clickable links and that you have a schedule in place for posting/sending. You also want to make sure that these lead forms from your website are integrated directly into your CRM to expedite the hand-off from marketing to sales.
Step 6: Measurement
An often overlooked, but crucial part, of marketing campaigns is analyzing effectiveness. If you follow a process like this one, or similar to this one, you will have established your campaign KPIs at the beginning of the process. Not at the end! Review the analytics and KPIs to evaluate if your marketing approach met your goals. This will help you make adjustments and will also inform the “strategy” phase of your next campaign. The key here is fast execution and iteration so you can quickly modify anything that isn’t converting as planned. If you can’t measure the “wow” – then it’s probably not very powerful.