Developing a new marketing campaign is no simple task. From client lists, demographic break downs, purchasing history, mailing requirements, and website additions and adjustments, it’s easy to get bogged down with the weight of campaign planning.
Not to worry! There’s a surefire way to get through it successfully, and it’s even simpler than you’d expect. These 5 steps will guide you through the complicated marketing process and keep you on track to achieve your desired results.
1. Define - your objectives, target market, financial limitations, desired ROI, time frame and marketing channels. Knowing where you’re going before you start driving will ensure you don’t wind up lost and out of gas somewhere down the road.
2. Plan - around time and money. If there’s any essential aspect of a campaign to always be thinking of, it’s that. When one option for meeting your campaign objectives falls through, there are always others that will fit your schedule and your budget.
3. Strategize - your implementation tactics. Whether it’s a direct mail, social media or inbound marketing campaign, implementation at the right time into mediums that are not just relevant, but also important to your target market has to be planned and well thought out.
4. Execute - your campaign. You’ve done all the hard work, and it’d be a shame to drop the ball in one of the most important stages of campaign development. Remember that executing doesn’t mean that your job is done, or that it’s time to sit back and wait for your customers to manage themselves. It means maintaining your awareness of responses, nurturing leads, keeping track of important and relevant customer data, and turning strangers into customers.
5. Analyze - your results. Now that the campaign is over, it’s time to evaluate your successes and failures. What seemed to strike the strongest cord with your customers, and how can that be utilized to nurture leads that came from this campaign? What did people ignore? What was the tool most utilized by your customers to engage and buy? What medium drove the most website traffic and/or phone calls? These and many other questions need to be evaluated at the end of the campaign to support an opportunity for future success. Without digging into what worked and what didn’t (and planning your next campaign accordingly), only temporary results will come from your efforts.
Campaign planning is a dicey business with plenty of opportunities to drop the ball. The good thing is that you don’t have to master it on your first try. Testing a campaign on a small market is a great place to start. While it won’t give you as accurate a sample size as what you’d get with your actual market, it will allow more room for learning errors and campaign refinement. Take it slow, and remember that how (and how fast) you move through these five steps will determine your results!