Successful Marketing campaigns aren’t created on an ad hoc basis, they are thought about and planned in detail. Our Marketers reveals the steps should take when putting together a campaign strategy :-
Putting together a strong campaign is a time-consuming challenge for marketers but it can lead to a smooth-running operation with less stress and headaches, satisfied clients as well as future successes and opportunities.
What differentiates an effective campaign from the rest is having a documented campaign strategy, and following it very closely. In order to stay on track and deliver a satisfactory outcome, there are steps that marketers need to take. “The key during the planning stage is to take your time and ensure you’ve planned for every element of the campaign,” says Jada Balster, marketing director at Work front. “If you fail to plan well, it can be easy for things to slip through the cracks during the execution stage, pushing back delivery dates and affecting the overall outcome.”
Take time to properly organize and structure your campaign, including informing all departments and people who may be involved. At this stage, it’s important to decide what campaign success looks like. Success means different things to different people, depending on the nature of the campaign being undertaken.
Learn from your mistakes. You’re not usually re-inventing the wheel when you’re planning a campaign, so take into consideration the lessons learnt from past campaigns that will help you to thrash out and circumvent issues or bottlenecks from painful experiences of the past.
- Sales and Marketing – how to align two pillars of business growth (smarteinc.com)
- Understand your market space through SMARTe’s Competitive Intelligence (smarteinc.com)
- SMARTe Rewind: Social Media Trends Shaping Your Marketing Efforts (smarteinc.com)
Planning and objectives
It’s easy to get carried away with a creative idea and run with it, without actually thinking about the goals and ultimate objectives. A significant issue is remembering why the campaign is being run in the first place, so never lose sight of the objectives. Thinking about what you want to achieve will help define the campaign, as will asking pertinent questions such as: who do we want to reach? What messages do we want to send out? And how do we want that to impact on the business?
Collaboration and transparency between all parties involved in the campaign will help to smooth the way forward and prevent confusion as to who is doing what, ensuring targets and delivery dates don’t fall by the wayside. Build in a system where everyone in the team knows what is happening at each stage of the campaign and can troubleshoot problems before they impact on the campaign timeline.
A good campaign plan will give the project focus and direction. Forward planning means an efficient use of time and better results. At this stage it’s also wise to research your audience. Penny Arbuthnot, director at Genesis PR says: “Strategically, you’ve got to understand who your target market is. From that, develop what your proposition is for that market and what the messages are going to be.”
Now your objectives are in place you have to decide what channels to use. Howell advises marketers to choose their campaign channels carefully and to ensure they understand the audience they are trying to reach. “One industry sector may dominate on Twitter. For example, we know architects are very noisy on Twitter but not on LinkedIn. The hotel industry on the other hand, is very noisy on LinkedIn. If I was selling to those two sectors, I would have a different approach to the way I would work. This is more precision marketing.”
Activity on social media channels is a must-have in today’s arena. According to Salesforce’s State of Marketing 2015 report, 70 per cent of marketers will increase their social media spend this year. But as Howell hints, marketers must know which platforms their audience prefer.
Today almost all successful campaigns are multichannel, with some channels complementing each other. For example, a personalized direct mail piece is often a good precursor to a telemarketing call and can be a conversation starter.
Exploit and utilize all channels and don’t be afraid to go against the crowd. When the activity has launched, keeping up the momentum is vital to staying on course as well as re-energizing the campaign once the adrenalin of the launch phase is over. This can include an ongoing programed of content, as well as monitoring awareness levels. By looking at the initial results during this stage, it’s possible to identify interesting trends and drive further marketing activity.
Analyze and report
The analyzing and reporting stage is vital in being able to report back on the quantifiable successes and failures of a campaign. People come up with a creative idea and run with it without actually thinking about what they are doing with it. The important thing is to know why you are actually doing the campaign, then define success and ensure that the campaign is actually in line with the business strategy.
Planning a B2B marketing campaign has its challenges, frustrations and difficulties. The challenge for B2B is measurement and not just looking at the bottom line but perceptions. Things are moving quickly and it’s vital to keep up, and experiment, with new and emerging ways to plan and run an effective campaign. Be ready to adapt your strategy as and when necessary – it’s flexibility that will keep you ahead of the competition. The key to success lies in targeting the right people and focusing on opportunities that produce a high ROI. How to do this lies in sticking to a plan but also being able to think on your feet and respond to information that emerges from the strategy.
(We Are leading Marketing Database Providers globally to improve your business ROI in all Industries – SMARTe Inc, Marketer)