Are you overwhelmed with implementing a marketing plan. No worries, uses this roadmap to help guide you campaigns to success. Need more help? Feel free to email us, we would be happy to chat about you plan or share with you some of our marketing templates.
- Set a goal: This sounds like an obvious step, but you can’t have a marketing campaign understanding what you are trying to achieve. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) by how many organizations just adopt a “spray and pray” approach of direct mail, telemarketing, etc. to customers and prospects without a clearly defined goal, other than “more sales.” If you don’t have a clear goal, you can’t measure if your marketing is working.
- Set your timeline: a campaign timeline helps you define the components and when they are needed for launch and execution. For example, it allows you to estimate your budget, build and gather creative and select your deployment vendor/ tools. Your timeline can also guide your messaging: a summer campaign will look different and potentially contain different information than a winter campaign.
- Identify your audience. You may be aiming your campaign at repeat customers, or you might be purchasing a list of prospects in a certain industry, geographic location, etc. that you hope to turn into customers. Under one campaign goal—increase sales of Widget X by 25% over 6 months—you might have one set of communications aimed at repeat customers and another set of communications for customers that haven’t bought anything recently. When you’re using a channel such as email or direct mail, you have the names and addresses of your audience. But, even if you’re advertising via mass media—radio, television, or print—you need to know which stations your audience is likely to listen to/watch, which magazines they read, etc. In this area, a lot of time can be spent on market research, defining audience segments, and target audience profiles. However, we’ll come back to those topics in later posts.
- Define your message(s). You might have a single message that consists of one call to action (“Buy more widgets today!”), or you may have multiple messages that focus on the same goal. Example: one message to educate consumers that widget owners live 35% longer, and another one saying that your company has been making widgets with the highest standard of quality for over 50 years. The call to action in both messages is “buy more widgets,” but each message gives the consumer something different to think about. As mentioned above, your message will definitely be guided by your goal, it should be further shaped by your specific audience (although sometimes this doesn’t apply), and it can be influenced by your timeline.
- Identify which channels you’ll use, and when. As I mentioned above, you’ll want to target your audience, using the channels that you expect them to respond to. Sometimes understanding where/how your customers want to communicate with you can be achieved through surveying them. If the majority of customer prefer one channel over the other, you should consider how you acquire new customers from that channel.
- Develop your content. This can involve anything from drafting a series of Tweets or Facebook posts to tailoring emails and letters, adding special pages to your Web site, or designing graphics to support print and online messages. Obviously, a lot of time can be spent on this step in the process, especially as you go with more elaborate communication vehicles. So, we’ll come back to the topic of content development at a later date. For now, let’s stay focused on best practices for the overall campaign.
- Launch your campaign, and communicate your message(s) to your audience(s) in each of the channels that you feel are appropriate. This is the moment you’ve been working toward! Post and/or send out your first wave of communications, and prepare the content and other resources you’ll need for the follow-up communications, based on the timeline you drew up (see steps 2 and 6, above). One thing we suggest to many clients is using a campaign manager or Project manager to oversee the deployment of your campaigns. As the marketing director for your business you should not be in the weeds worrying about making sure a campaign is deployed correctly.