How to plan for campaign success - don't wing it!
I’m sure we can all think of at least one marketing campaign that has stuck in our memories. Mine is the 60ft floating yellow duck that casually floated along the River Thames in December 2012 grabbing the attention of thousands of city workers and press. The newspaper coverage and online news was something to be proud of and yet the reason why it worked was simply because it left spectators wondering what it was all about! This led to Google searches galore and a social media frenzy whilst people found out the reason behind the stunt.
The idea was to cheer up people in London and promote part of a marketing campaign run by Jackpotjoy.com's new Facebook FUNdation - granting funds to individuals who have great ideas that make people laugh. Mission accomplished!
Obviously, unless you have the budget for half a ton of materials and 60ft of rubber, something on this scale can be hard to beat...however, there are still principles that would have been considered as part of this campaign that are fundamental to the planning of any marketing campaign, despite it's scale. To ensure your campaign goes swimmingly (see what I did there!?) I would recommend following our tried and tested tips...
1. Set a realistic budget
How much can a marketing campaign realistically cost your company?
Be sure to have flexibility within the budget in case the campaign runs slightly over the expected amount. The last thing you want to do is stretch to the top end of your budget from the start as things may go wrong and additional costs will be incurred.
Once you have a rough budget to work towards you can start to build ideas for your campaign.
2. User profiling - understand your audience
If you are reaching out to a new target audience then you need to ensure that you have a clear idea and understanding of whom you are targeting and why you are targeting them.
Create a profile for your target customer, get into their heads. Who are they? How old are they? Are they male or female? What do they do for a living? Are they married or single? Do they have children? What do they do in their spare time? What are their hobbies? What do they read? Do they use the Internet?
Creating profiles that answer questions like these will give you a better understanding of your audience and help tailor your campaign accordingly. Take a quack at it early on in the planning phase and this will save you time and energy later on!
3. Keep an eye on your competition
Now we aren't promoting any foul play or stalkerish activity, but understanding your competitors is essential to the research process. If you have a better understanding of your competitors you can start to analyse them and discover ideas to take on board. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who are your competitors?
Why are they a competitor?
Do they have the same audience as you or your new target audience?
What are they doing differently to you?
What is their sales message?
Once you have information for the above questions you can begin to compare your business to theirs and way up pros, cons and key differences.
4. Think outside the box
You want to create something new that hasn’t been done before to grab the attention of your audience or the public. Brainstorm and create more mood boards to build on ideas (yes, we do love a mood board!)
Once you have some ideas, arrange a meeting with the team and get feedback from everyone, remember every person will have their own opinion and this is valuable information to take into consideration. Discover what the favourite option is and expand on this idea.
And remember...refer to your audience profiles to ensure that the ideas are suitable.
5. Get your ducks in a row
Determine the final idea of your marketing campaign and by creating a step-by-step plan for everyone to follow as a guide throughout the promotion. An editorial calendar is a great way to plan in all your content in advance across all your different platforms.
Have a back up plan incase anything goes wrong. What would you do? How would your company rectify the situation? Mistakes and mishaps are bound to happen and having a back up plan is essential. These can often turn out for the best and improve your campaign. Don't let it ruffle your feathers, stay positive and keep moving forward!
Produce some additional content marketing such as press releases, blog posts and social media marketing and ensure you have a dedicated individual to manage the social media surrounding the after effects of the campaign as well. Post pictures and create a hashtag on Twitter to keep the campaign alive! It’s good to have someone monitoring the hashtag, the conversations and attention your campaign will hopefully receive and interacting with people as much as possible.
7. Measure & repeat
It’s important to monitor the success after a marketing campaign to understand whether it worked and how you will now manage the outcome. What worked well? What didn’t work well? What could you have done differently? How can you move forward?
Even if the campaign is a bit of a flop, don't drive yourself quackers – find a good spin on it. Document your lessons learned and use this knowledge to your advantage next time.
At Reflect Digital we work with our clients to formulate a content marketing strategy that complements their wider marketing plan and long-term business objectives. So if you are lacking in inspiration, are struggling to bring your ideas to fruition (or you have a brilliant duck pun I failed to mention) our marketing team would love to hear from you!