Marketing is not just about flashy ads and funny commercials, it’s about setting goals and achieving tangible results. A campaign offers measurable indicators of those results, but only if it is set up for success. Here’s what R&A does every day to create successful marketing campaigns for its clients:
Define the Goals
The first step of a campaign is to outline a set of goals. Determine if this a campaign to reach new customers, increase brand loyalty and repeat patronage, increase average ticket sale, or introduce something new for your business. Try to determine what you can do to move your business forward and create specific goals based on what you find. The more specific you can be (as opposed to, for instance, setting a goal to increase profit), the better you will be able to create messaging and measure the success of the campaign.
Set a Budget
Now that you know the goals of your campaign, you’re ready to determine a budget. If you are advertising a product or service, it will be helpful to know the purchasing power of your audience so you can estimate a return for your marketing investment. This will help you determine how much you can spend on the campaign while still making a profit.
It is important to set a realistic budget that is both big enough to effectively communicate your message to your audience and small enough to maintain your profit margins. You should also ensure that you are able to cover the cost of the campaign being planned.
Determine the Target Audience
The target audience for a campaign will depend on two questions: who uses your product or service already, and do you want to expand your reach. If your goal is to increase brand loyalty and incentivize repeat customers, you will want to have an in-depth understanding of who your current customer is. If you want to expand the reach of your business and target a new audience, it is still important to know what type of person currently uses your business the most.
You should know the average income of your customer and what their interests and needs are. If you can pinpoint why your current customers choose your business, you can understand what needs your business fulfills for them and what the strengths of your business are. This will help you find new customers with a similar need.
Select Your Medias
To decide which medias are best for this campaign, think about the medias your target audience uses most and how the different medias align with the goals and budget of your campaign. Trying to increase online sales? PPC ads and social media might work best. Want to increase foot traffic for a seasonal promotion? Think about using television and newspaper.
The best campaigns usually utilize a mix of different medias to target and re-target customers. With a huge selection of print, digital, cable and in-person medias at your disposal, it might be worth trying a new media in addition to trusted ones and seeing how it impacts your campaign.
Develop Your Messaging
Now you are ready to start brainstorming about the messaging of your campaign! You want the message to resonate with your target audience, so you will want to create a message that speaks to their needs, interests and experiences. Remember, messaging should be focused on the consumer and how your business will benefit them.
Once you decide what you want to say, determine how you want to say it. Choose a few words or sentences (and remember, less is more) that encapsulates your message and provides a clear call-to-action. This is also a good time to choose or create images that highlight the messaging. Keep in mind that you have approximately three seconds to capture your audience’s attention, so your message needs to be both interesting and succinct.
Measure the Results
Instead of waiting until the campaign is over, you want to try to monitor the results of your different medias throughout the campaign. This might mean counting how many people used a coupon from the newspaper or clicked on an online advertisement. If one aspect of your campaign is thriving while another is not, consider making changes to improve the results.
At the end of the campaign, study the results to determine whether you succeeded in meeting the goals outlined in step one. If yes, how can you capitalize on that success and turn it into more success? If not, what prevented you from reaching your goals and how can you do better next time? Were there any unexpected outcomes that might help you improve your business and future marketing?
If Necessary: Compare with the Competition
If your campaign did not have as much success as you hoped or expected, start looking at the marketing strategies of your competitors. These are the companies who share your target audience and offer similar and products and services.
Then you’ll want to find out what makes their business different from yours and monitor how they position themselves in their advertising. This will help you differentiate yourself because you will be able to market your business as having one or more of the following: better selection, faster shipping/delivery, better service, or more efficiency (as long as you can deliver on your promise).
As a full-service advertising agency, these are the steps R&A takes multiple times per year with every one of our clients. We know that planning a marketing strategy is just as important as executing a campaign. If you think that your business would benefit from a marketing plan but you aren’t convinced that you need an advertising agency, just contact R&A to set up a phone call and take our process for a FREE test drive! You might be surprised by the results!
As a copywriter at R&A, I write and create content for all R&A clients. This includes broadcast, print, direct mail and online/social media projects. It can be a challenge to bring a fresh perspective to retail advertising but I try to do that on every project.