Marketers like to talk about the importance of creating a marketing plan for your business. Yet, how does that plan turn into individual marketing campaigns that drive actual revenues?
Whether you are implementing a lead generation, content marketing or an email marketing campaign, each one needs to have its own action plan that drives its execution and ultimately a significant return on your marketing investment.
What is a marketing plan and -campaign?
A marketing plan provides the overall, high level strategy based on the business’s objectives over a period of time. It is a road map for achieving your goals and guiding your decisions throughout the year.
A marketing campaign is a focused, tactical initiative to achieve a specific marketing goal. It requires a step-by-step process that focuses on execution and the resources needed to successfully achieve a particular result.
The anatomy of a marketing campaign
Marketing activities require careful planning so that every step of the process is understood before you launch. You need to map out that process from the initial promotional tactic to the ultimate outcome.
- Who are you interested in attracting?
- Which are your goals and KPIs?
- Which specific problem do you want to solve? Or which gain are you bringing?
- What media channels will you use to promote this offer?
- How will you get the visitor to take action?
- How do you help your visitors with their buying journey? What is the ideal journey?
- How will you measure progress and success?
Who are you interested in attracting?
Before you can choose the what and where of your marketing campaign, you need to determine the who – your target audience, and the how – where you will reach them.
Let’s say you sell water to 1) people that want to live a healthier lifestyle. 2) people who want to lose weight. 3) hipsters that want to drink a cool beverage.
Which one of these audiences will you target this campaign to?
The best way to reach these distinct audiences is to understand their unique challenges and how you can solve them. Define buyer personas for your audience to help you refine your messages to their specific needs as they evaluate their options.
Which are your goals and KPIs?
Marketing activities can have different types of outcomes: leads, visitors, visibility or engagement. Each marketing campaign needs to focus on one primary purpose.
Based on that purpose, you need to set specific goals and metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you determine how your campaign is performing against that goal and are helpful when creating or refining marketing strategies
In the example of selling water, and your campaign is focusing on the health aspect, how many leads do you want to generate and how will you measure success?
Which specific problem do you want to solve?
Next to targeting campaigns to buyer persona's, you also clearly want to finetune your campaign to a specific existing problem you can solve; or new gain you can bring; through your service or product. Drinking water, in our example, will indeed help you in living a healthier life!
Next, your campaign needs to entail an offer that resonates with where your buyers are in the buyer’s journey so that you get their attention.
Offering an hour long, free webinar to people who don’t know your brand or are not looking to buy could be a waste of time. Providing a short, useful guide may be the better introduction to your brand. Be sure to align your offer with something you know your target buyer actually wants.
What media channels will you use to promote this offer?
What mix of marketing communications channels will you use to communicate your message and attract and capture your audience? Digital channels typically include:
- Social media
- Search engines
Depending on your business, you may include some traditional channels such as direct mail, advertising in local publications, site signs, truck lettering and networking events.
The channels you choose will be different depending on your business, target audience and goals.
How will you get the visitor to take action?
A successful marketing campaign should always direct people to a special, optimized landing page, blog or specific [focussed] part of a website that prompts the visitor with more information and a CTA (call-to-action). As a general rule, never just land your visitors on your homepage when you are executing a marketing campaign.
When you are paying for advertising, you will want to create a specific landing page for each campaign that removes distractions so your visitor can focus on what you want them to do. Try not to confuse your visitor with too many options, detailed forms, menus or links that can cause the visitor to move away from the landing page.
Your landing page will need to:
- Overcome objections
- Build trust
- Provide proof
- Clearly lead the visitor to your call to action...as only action possible (next to maybe having a logo directing people to the general page).
What is the ideal journey?
The process of building a relationship with new leads that you acquire through lead generation campaigns is called lead nurturing. Usually these leads are those more cautious people who may be interested but not ready to buy right now. Lead nurturing is about providing the right content and offers at the right time, educating and providing value through every stage of the customer journey.
How will you measure progress and success?
It is important to track your marketing activities and measure your results. Results will be determined by what your goals were for the campaign. But in most cases, results are usually in terms of sales or qualified leads.
Tracking and measuring results can be simple or complex, but is based on the nature of your business. In its simplest form, you can measure cost per lead if you have the details of how much you spend on lead generation. In the more complex measurement arena, you can track your marketing influence to closed deals using marketing automation software.
Most companies still use MS excel or google sheets to keep track of sources, campaigns, events, etc... Platforms such as journy.io are helping marketers manage and measure their campaigns in a much better, more consistent and actionable way.
When you have completed the cycle of a marketing campaign, ask the following questions during your review:
- Did you meet the goals? If not, why?
- Did your offer satisfy your target audience? If not, what can you offer that will?
- Should anything change next time you run the campaign?
- What did you learn that you can apply to your next campaign for this audience persona?
Launching a marketing campaign is not something you can do quickly and achieve results. Each initiative needs to be planned and thoroughly tested before you begin the campaign to ensure your marketing activities are effective and generate a sound ROI.