The success of an up-and-coming startup depends heavily on the marketing approach. Before you focus all your effort into a marketing campaign, first you need to devise a proper marketing plan, complete with a system which encompasses all the marketing initiatives you need to take in order to ensure the success of said plan. Whether you’re using content marketing, e-mail marketing or a lead generation campaign, each initiative needs to have a specific plan driving its execution and guaranteeing the return of your marketing investments.
Difference between a marketing plan and marketing campaign
People who aren’t directly related to the marketing industry often confuse these two terms. A marketing plan describes the complete picture when it comes to marking your business. This includes identifying specific marketing strategies which will be used to engage the target audience and interest them in the products and services you’re offering. A marketing campaign is just a small part of the overall marketing plan and describes a particular marketing action used for achieving a particular goal or objective.
Identifying and reaching target audience
Before you define the trajectory or your campaign, first you need to think about who your target audience really is. You might be thinking “but I already know what my target audience is”, but in reality, it’s not that simple. The target audience of a marketing campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be the one purchasing your products and services. Marketing campaigns differ depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Increasing the engagement, getting more visitors, leads or conversion all require a different approach and focus on different audiences.
Setting up campaign parameters and objectives
Parameters and objectives define the purpose of your marketing campaign. They should always be specific, so instead of simply wanting more sales, it’s better to focus on how many sales you want and for which product and service. Detail exactly what that particular campaign needs to accomplish and start discussing the parameters. One of the most talked about marketing parameters is time. More specifically, how long is the marketing campaign going to be run and how effective it will be over time, as most campaigns start to lose their efficiency as time passes.
Setting up the appropriate budget
Which marketing strategy you choose depends greatly on the size of your marketing budget. Not to mention that campaign budget is just a small part of the overall budget for the entire marketing plan, so manage it accordingly. Some ad spots, particularly those in prime time, can get quite expensive. On the other hand, depending on free promotion strategies is out of the question. This does not mean that free advertising is bad, but even if you don’t invest money, you have to invest time. And that time can be spent focusing on better marketing strategies. Only invest in strategies which are convincing and effective in reaching customers.
Setting up specific strategies
Once you’ve figured out the budget, it’s time to focus on specific strategies and communication channels. These include direct mail, e-mail, pay-per-click advertising, social media, websites, etc. Particular communication channels are better suited for specific markets than others. For example, it’s a waste of time and resources to place a radio ad if your target audience doesn’t listen to the radio. Before you decide on which one you will end up using, it’s best to focus on figuring out what is the best medium to deliver the message about the products and services your company is offering.
Don’t forget to optimize the landing page
One of the most common mistakes marketers make during a marketing campaign is to land their visitors on their homepage. Each and every campaign has to have an individually created landing page. Each page needs to be stripped of any distractions, so the visitor could focus only on those elements you’d want them to focus on. Furthermore, the landing page must be in sync with the design and content of the add, which makes for a more streamlined transition from clicking on an ad and landing on your page. Avoid confusing the customer with too many options, complicated forms, and links that lead away from your landing page.
Measuring the success of you campaign
Depending on the primary purpose of your marketing campaign, you have to set specific metrics and performance indicators which help you measure the performance of said campaign. This is particularly useful when you wish to create a new campaign or refine an old one. So for example, if you want your campaign to focus on attracting more visitors to your website than you have to determine how many visitors you need to attract and how can you measure the success. For this specific example, the best answer would be to use Google Analytics, as it gives an excellent insight regarding how many people have visited your website, during what time of the day, from where and using what. And it’s this information that gets used when creating and refining campaigns.
Rinse and repeat when necessary
When you’re done measuring and evaluating the results, you can incorporate that information into the next campaign. The best way to see which campaign produced which results, is to use tracking and analytics. If a specific marketing campaign shows declining numbers, then you should consider either tweaking the campaign, redesigning it or abandoning it completely for a more efficient marketing strategy. Whatever you end up doing, it advisable to keep records of everything you do during a campaign and even if it busts, you still have data which could be used in future marketing decisions.
Each marketing campaign needs to be a part of a larger marketing plan. Even if a particular campaign doesn’t produce the necessary results, it’s still better than not running a campaign at all. The best course of action is to coordinate your efforts and plan according to your campaign budget and specific goals you’re set out to accomplish. Have in mind that launching a campaign isn’t something that can be done quickly and still produce good results and without a proper marketing plan set in place, your campaign will surely fail.
Author bio: Steven Clarke is a web marketing specialist from Sydney. In his spare time, he likes to write about his ideas and share them with the world.