Five Steps to Take to Ace Your Next Marketing Campaign
Regardless of industry niche, almost every company starts out a marketing campaign with the same common goal: To increase conversions, boost visibility and build brand buzz. Yet, with so many tools at our fingertips, it can be difficult to discern where to start. This is especially true when we consider how much technology has expanded our scope of influence and reach. Let’s take a look at five steps that business professionals can take today to make sure their next campaign is a success.
1. Make sure you understand your brand.
Before you can market yourself to your target audience, it’s important to first know what your brand is and what it represents. If you don’t already have a mission statement, craft one now and take your time while doing so. This isn’t a tagline to affix onto a business card. Rather, it is the cumulation of your corporate vision, your goals for the future, and the principles upon which your business is founded.
Many companies find it helpful during this initial step to create a brand persona. Put simply, this is the process of looking at your brand in the way you would a person, and giving it a unique personality. Are you the life of the party, always looking to bring people together? Or, are you a more straight-laced traditional primarily focused on establishing thought leadership? None is better than the other, but it’s important to know which you are before moving forward.
2. Tap into your relevant data.
There’s a reason they call it Big Data. Even in its infancy, your company is absorbing and emitting a ton of information daily. From employee emails to client feedback, there are exchanges happening all of the time. Some of these are of minimal importance, while some offer incredible insight and value. Mine through your data (or use a software program to take care of the task for you) to glean which information is ready to be analyzed and absorbed.
Rather than start from the ground up, tap into the resources you already have in your pursuit to access this data. Your customer support team, for instance, has a wealth of information on your customer pain points and common inquiries. Your technical support team has seen maintenance issues and configuration details. Your sales staff knows how the numbers look this month and which figures you should be projecting for the coming ones. Ask these employees to offer their input on your marketing strategy, as they’re close to your customers and know what they want.
3. Determine your differentiators.
Before you can make someone else believe that your products or services are superior to the competition, you have to know why they are. Figure out what sets you apart and how you can highlight those features in your next campaign. This might mean researching your product line further to better understand those differentiators. Then, compile a list of reasons surrounding why you’d pick your product out of a lineup. Ask your teammates, colleagues and employees to chime in, as well. The people who work with your offerings day in and day out are the closest to them and can speak the best on their outstanding features and functionality. One tip? Your sales team is a great place to start. They’re used to talking about what sets you apart, and their messaging can often help you brainstorm campaign slogans and other collateral.
4. Figure out what you want to accomplish with the campaign.
Before you roll out your next campaign, understand what you want to accomplish with it, first and foremost. Are you solely looking to pad your bottom line or is increasing your social media or website following more of a priority? Or, are you launching a new product and trying to build excitement and intrigue around it? Knowing the answers to these questions can give you a clearer picture of how you want to strategize your campaign and the steps you need to take to get there. During this process, be sure to ask plenty of questions and keep pressing until you get the answers you require.
The responses you receive will also help steer your campaign investments and focus. While there are myriad digital marketing trends to follow, not all will be applicable to your business environment or overall strategy, so take the time to understand what you want to achieve before taking that next step toward investing in the resources it requires.
5. Set your plan and budget.
Don’t move into your campaign blindly. Instead, take the time and hold the meetings required to formulate a specific, concrete business plan that outlines your campaign steps, details the goals and end objectives and specifies a set budget for each categorized expense. Doing so might take a little bit of time, but it’s more than worth it in the end. You’ll have a document to revert back to if you have any questions, and when the campaign is finished, you’ll be able to compare final results to initial projections.
Ultimately, your next marketing campaign doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you’re just starting out or have done a dozen or more campaigns in your corporate lifetime, it’s important to take care of these behind-the-scenes details before jumping in. Then, when you do decide it’s time to launch, you’ll be ready for takeoff and poised for success.