Back to Basics: The 7 Fundamentals of Effective Marketing Campaigns
In the marketing world, we spend a lot of time compartmentalizing. There’s B2B vs B2C, content marketing vs paid advertising, and many more branches of this forever-changing industry.
So…let’s talk simplification, shall we? Whether a marketing campaign is digital or direct mail, consumer or company facing, there are fundamental elements they should have in common.
Business goals refer to the overarching objectives of your company. They might include:
- Increase sales/revenue
- Increase average order amount
- Increase customer lifetime value
- Increase customer base
The list could go on, but these provide a basic outline. Also, depending on the industry, marketers could have little to no control over how they originate. Despite the disconnect, it’s essential that your marketing goals (read on) unwaveringly support business goals.
Each campaign should have a distinct set of marketing goals. More than likely, they look something like this:
- Increase foot traffic in X location by Y percent
- Increase website traffic by X percent by end-of-year
- Increase holiday sales by X percent in December
- Increase leads by X percent year-over-year between now and July 30th
- Sell at least Y amount of product A between May and August
If you haven’t set marketing goals before, you might notice these have commonalities. Insiders refer to these as SMART goals. Meaning, they’re Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Try to design a campaign around any goal that doesn’t meet each criterion, and you set yourself (and your company) up for disappointment.
For the sake of time, we’ll assume you already understand and have (respectfully) entered the brains of your target audience. A demographic breakdown generally includes specifics like age range, gender, and annual household income, but depending on your product or service could include things like homeownership, kids (Do they have them?), retirement (Have they retired or do they intend to soon?), and many more.
For B2B folks, target audience characteristics will look different and should include:
- Business needs (hopefully fulfilled by your product/service)
- Decision-making ability (Are you speaking to another marketing department, the CEO, the end user?)
- Urgency (How fast do they want their problems solved?)
- Budget (Can they afford you?)
Your campaign strategy is the approach you take to achieve marketing goals. Think of it as the ‘what,’ or the conceptualization behind the campaign (in the next section, we’ll get to the ‘how’).
Let’s take an advertisement for men’s deodorant, for example (think Old Spice…they hit their marketing on the head with The Man Your Man Could Smell Like commercials). Their business goal was likely to increase sales of this deodorant line over a measurable period. The marketing goal that supported the business goal could have been something like, to increase brand recognition and favorability by X percent.
If you analyze the commercials, you can plainly see the strategy was to target female audiences, probably because studies have shown women do most of the household shopping.
Like this example, your marketing strategies will generally revolve around what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to.
It’s easy to confuse strategy and tactics because they’re closely related, but while strategy nails down what you will do, your tactics break down how you will get it done.
Going back to Old Spice, their commercials target women (strategy) by using attractive men speaking directly to them (tactics).
Other common tactic examples include:
- Sending targeted emails
- Using direct mail
- Placing adverts on social media, billboards, or yard signs
- Publishing content on certain websites
- Exhibiting at trade shows and other events
Note: Messaging is one of the most crucial tactics you have at your disposal, and effectively communicating your brand position at the right time to the right audience is a marketing superpower.
Of course, you must always establish a firm and realistic budget for making all this magic happen, said financing being eternally dependent on your business, the size of your marketing team, and a zillion other factors.
When you plan to run the campaign will probably be one of the first elements you nail down, and there’s also how long the efforts (and measurements) will last. Some questions to consider:
- Is the product or service seasonal?
- Will the campaign align with major company events (store opening, product launch, business anniversary)?
- Will the campaign align with cultural events (super bowl, national holiday, local festival)?
A great campaign will reflect a timeline that has been thoughtfully set out.
Whether you’ve been a marketer for years or weeks, filling your knowledge bucket is key to long-term success. For more tips and tricks, check out the Xpressdocs blog. Whether you need concrete guidance or fun inspiration, we have lots of wisdom to choose from.