Too often, the success or failure of a marketing campaign is judged on the back end results. Unfortunately, these results can be dramatically impacted by the amount and type planning that was put into the campaign on the front end. More simply put: poor planning leads to poor results.
The stage for success is set at the beginning of the planning process. A proper marketing campaign plan will answer: who, what and how.
- Who do you want to talk to?
- What do you want to say?
- How do you want communicate it?
If your plan does not answer these questions, then you’ve left opportunity on the table.Your plan should also include what you hope to achieve as a result of the campaign -- is it sales, awareness, etc. These goals should be tangible and measurable. Depending on the length of the campaign, you should also outline what adjustments you’ll make to the what and how from above and include those as contingencies.Once completed, you should figure out how will you evaluate the success or failure, what will you hope to learn and how will you use these key learning’s in the implementation of future campaigns.
2. Understand (Research) your customer.
By understanding your existing customers and knowing what your potential customers want, you’ll be able to craft a message that appeals most to each particular customer. Unfortunately, without speaking to every single customer, that’s impossible to know, so you’ll have to put your customers into clusters or segments based on how they respond (or how you expect them to respond) to your messages or offers. By putting customers into groups, you can more easily test your various offers and the response that each generates.Many companies also use various socio-economic demo graphics that are way too complicated to explain here. Bottom line: Research is the key to knowing the who, what and how.
3. Execute the plan.
If you’ve put the time into your creating plan and into understanding your audience, then the execution of the plan should be the easy part. The key here is to execute the entire plan start to finish, don’t stop midway through because you think you’ve achieved your results.
4. Keep score.
You’ve set the bar in the planning process, now measure the response in relation to the bar. Be prepared to make adjustments according to your plan based on the response.
5. Review and repeat.
The planning for your next campaign begins here. By understanding what you did to achieve the results, what worked and what didn’t work, you’ll be able to figure out which levers work best. Over time, this knowledge accumulates (and if you use it) you’ll find that your campaigns become more and more successful.