Eight steps to build a marketing campaign
If the thought of a building a marketing campaign give you the heebie-jeebies, don't worry; here's eight steps to build a marketing campaign.
Do you feel like you will just be throwing money down the drain? Or does that famous marketing quote by John Wanamaker come to mind? “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half”.
Never fear! Marketing campaigns can be fabulous things if done right – and you can know if it is successful (or not).
Done well, a great marketing campaign can reinforce your positioning and brand, communicate a message and generate sales and new customers.
But like everything that delivers the best rewards and outcomes, it does take some work. Well actually, it takes eight steps.
These eight steps will guide you in building a marketing campaign to help you meet your business goals.
Step 1 – goals, goals, goals
Every campaign should have a goal, and that goal (or goals) should be aligned with your business goals.
Actually, everything you do with your marketing should be aligned with your business goals. So therefore, you should know your business goals. If you don't know your business goals then please stop reading and go and check your business plan.
Know your business goals and develop your campaign to meet them. Think about what you need to accomplish and identify your campaign goals. Do you want to build your brand awareness, generate referrals; generate new leads; nurture existing leads, increase the spend of your existing customers? The list goes on…
You can have a single goal for your campaign or multiple goals. The important thing is that they are aligned to your business goals.
Step 2 – campaign concept
Once you have identified your campaign goals, it's time to develop your campaign concept. Your campaign concept isn't the detail or the content of your campaign. It's more an overview of the type/s of campaign/s you want to use.
To start, do a bit of research and think about:
- What campaigns have you run in the past?
- Which ones worked well?
- Can you modify them?
- Can you use a similar theme?
- What campaigns have your competitors run that you liked and saw were effective?
- Think about other industries – complimentary industries, what campaigns have they used that were effective?
- Consider making emotional connections with your audience instead of focusing on products/services, information, features or benefits
From your research choose the concepts that will resonate with your market to deliver the best return on investment.
From here you can start developing your marketing campaign action plan. Your marketing campaign action plan includes Who, What, Where, When, How, Budget, KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and ROI (Return on Investment).
As a KISS fan, I prefer the plan on a page approach, and use this simple action plan template. As you work your way through each step, add to your action plan.
Step 3 – who are you targeting?
As with every aspect of marketing, it is key to understand who your market is. To do this, refer to your customer persona. Your customer persona describes your ideal customer.
If you don’t know who your ideal customer, then going through the five steps of identifying them will help you develop your customer persona.
We have discussed identifying your ideal customer in our Big the Big Fish blog (here).
Step 4 – select your campaign media
You're half way there!
Understanding your target market then allows you to choose the most appropriate media. These days there are a wide range of options to choose from.
From the various forms of online marketing to email and direct mail, to events, trade shows, PR and traditional forms – choosing the right media for your campaign is a key aspect of its success.
Step 5 – timing, timing, timing
Consider the length of time your campaign should run for.
Is your offer over a certain time frame? How much will your budget allow? Are there specific periods during the year where there is higher interest in your industry? Will the length of the campaign vary dependent upon the different media being used?
Once you have identified when you want your campaign to run, add the time frames to your marketing campaign action plan
Step 6 – what is your message and offer
You have already developed your concept, and you understand your target market. Now it’s time to determine your key messages and offer. These should align with your goals. The detail may vary slightly for each media, but your key messages should be similar.
This is where you can get those creative juices flowing. Think about the five points below and let those light bulb moments commence.
- What is your offer?
- How valuable is it for your target market?
- What action do you want people to take after seeing your campaign?
- What content do you need to include in your campaign?
- What space is required for that content?
And, again, plug this information into your marketing campaign action plan.
Step 7 – identify your return on investment
As with all things marketing, it's important to measure your return on investment. There are different ways you can do this, and below are a couple of examples.
Example 1 – create estimates for the response rate from your campaign, the ultimate conversion ratio from responses to customers, and total revenue generated from the campaign. Estimate your response rate – the percentage of people that respond to your offer.
Create a campaign funnel, eg an example funnel could look like this:
|Projected campaign reach||4000|
|Click link to land on website||5%||200|
|Fill out information request form||15% (of the above 5%)||30|
|Attend open day||25% (of the above 15%)||8|
|Negotiate purchase||50% (of above 75%)||4|
|Become a customer|
Example 2 – calculate your financial return on investment.
From a financial perspective you can estimate your return by identifying your net profit from the campaign. To do this, identify the total gross profit from the campaign, (subtract the total cost of goods/services from your new customers from the total campaign revenue). Then, subtract your campaign budget from the gross profit to calculate your net profit (your return on investment).
For example, if your total cost of goods is $1,000 and your total campaign revenue is $5,000, your gross profit is $4,000. If your campaign budget is $1,500, then your net profit is $2,500 ($4,000-$1,500).
Note: I haven’t mentioned establishing your budget, as this should be part of your overarching marketing strategy. ie, your marketing budget would include an amount dedicated to marketing campaigns. The financial investment required for your campaign should fit within your established marketing budget.
Step 8 – make things happen
Finally, to make sure you make the most of your campaign it is vital that you have follow up processes in place.
This directly affects your conversion rate, so it is a key action to have your follow up processes and actions outlined your requirements for your team.
There's nothing worse that achieving the responses your campaign sought and then not living up to customer or market expectations.
Identify how your market will respond to your campaign, outline what actions need to occur and put processes in place to make things happen and meet your market's expectations.
At the end of the day, marketing campaigns can achieve great things.
These eight steps will help you choose the right media and concepts for your campaign to help you meet your business goals and not come down with a case of the heebie-jeebies.