The Most-Effective Marketing Campaigns Share These Common Components
It’s crazy when you stop to think about how much of our daily lives are infused with marketing messages. Whether we’re lounging at home, driving in our cars, or surfing the web at work, it’s nearly impossible to go even a few hours without being exposed to multiple marketing campaigns via tv, radio, social media, billboards, emails, mailers, and so on.
In the course of a day, most of us cross paths with hundreds of marketing messages, and in one average lifespan, a person likely encounters tens of thousands of marketing campaigns, if not more. While it can be excessive and even overwhelming at times, marketing does serve an important role in society, especially when it comes to helping create a thriving economy.
Marketing has existed for thousands of years in one form or the other because, for businesses to remain viable and sell more of what they offer, consumers have to be made aware A.) that a product exists, B.) why it makes their lives better, and C.) why it’s better than similar options.
Integral in separating a brand from its competition, a marketing campaign is a long-term strategic effort to promote a brand, product, or service through multiple channels. Its overarching goal is almost always bringing more profits into a company, either directly or indirectly.
A successful marketing campaign is one that not only delivers immediate desired results but creates new mutually beneficial relationships between a brand and a customer which can then be nurtured and strengthened for years to come.
While there are many key components to building an effective marketing campaign, these six are among the most essential:
- Identifying Your Target Audience
No matter the size of your business, your resources aren’t infinite. For lasting success, you have to be wise with your time and money, and when it comes to marketing campaigns, that starts with narrowing your focus and clearly defining your target audience — the ideal customers or clients whom the product would serve best.
Marketing to everyone at once is unfeasible as well as futile considering a large number of people may not have any interest or need for your brand. Whatever your product or service, there is an appropriate audience you should be targeting, and before building your campaign, you have to first know who that audience is, what they want from you, and how best to reach them, so you can tailor your messaging to them.
While some of it is common sense, it’s actually more nuanced than you’d might think, and the more nuanced you get, the better your chances for success. For instance, you’d obviously market baby clothes to new parents and pregnant women, but cost, style, and even location may warrant narrowing that audience down even further.
In B2C marketing, you’re typically targeting individuals within certain demographic groups featuring a combination of factors including age, gender, ethnicity, financial status, and belief system. While some products and services cross over demographic lines, these different segments tend to have their own unique likes and dislikes, buying habits, languages, and needs. B2B marketing caters to specific businesses and industries that can utilize a company’s products or services, but those audiences too can have distinct groups, each with their own tendencies, preferences, and needs.
There are several ways to help define your target audience including online research, competitor analysis, and data evaluation. In this day and age, with countless tools, resources, and industry experts available, it’s inexcusable for any business to not know who their audience truly is.
- Establishing Your Goals
When embarking upon any large project, it’s always wise to set expectations and have goals of what you hope to accomplish. That’s especially true for launching a marketing campaign. Again, increased profits are typically the ultimate underlying goal, but there are many specific goals on which a campaign can be based, whether it’s generating quality leads, enhancing brand visibility, increasing website traffic, getting more engagement on your social media accounts, or bringing more people into your brick-and-mortar store.
These goals should be tangible and measurable when at all possible to help you assess effectiveness during and after your campaign by analyzing results and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as sales numbers, social media likes, website traffic, audience feedback, click-through rates, or other metrics. Once you determine your goals, you can build your vision around them, making it easier to lay out the next steps and build your strategy.
- Developing a UVP-Based Strategy
Once you establish what you and your business wish to get out of a campaign, you must develop a plan that effectively communicates what consumers will get from your brand and product or service. That strategy should always revolve around and emphasize what makes those uniquely valuable.
At M:7 Agency, we refer to it as what makes your brand 1-OAK (One of a Kind). Most others call it your unique value proposition (UVP), as it’s the case you make to consumers regarding the unique value you offer while meeting their needs or solving a problem — which can be anything from better prices, quality, convenience, taste, or warranty to exclusive styles, sizes, or features.
Using your 1-OAK as the framework, the strategic stage is where you determine the best methods to achieve your goals such as which content to produce and which channels to use to best connect with your audience. However, even though your strategy may be carefully thought-out and seem airtight, be prepared to pivot when you experience some bumps in the road, fine-tuning your marketing efforts and adjusting tactics as needed.
- Crafting an Effective Hook
Having a strong hook for a blog entry or social media post is all well and great, but it’s not nearly as important as having one for your marketing campaign, considering how much more time, money, and hope are invested. A hook is something that instantly grabs attention and makes prospective customers want to learn more.
The best hooks are memorable, persuasive, and buzzworthy, so much so that they can help the campaign go viral, either online or through the always powerful word-of-mouth. There are a variety of ways to make that hook original and captivating, including smart taglines, earwormy jingles, iconic audio branding, and unique imagery. Whichever the direction, it’s imperative that a hook stays on-brand and speaks the audience’s language.
While many famous campaigns, like Skittles’ “Taste the Rainbow” and Nike’s “Just Do It,” revolve around catchy slogans, some are based around lofty concepts that touch upon powerful emotions such as love, joy, or even fear. Some are simple yet precise. Some are high-brow and clever.
Others effectively lean on edginess, humor, or quirkiness (e.g. two personal favorites: the Panda Cheese’s Never Say No to Panda and Diet Mountain Dew’s Surprising Facts campaigns). You see this done a lot during the Super Bowl, when commercial spots are millions of dollars, so it’s clear that this angle is extremely powerful when done right. Still, too edgy, controversial, overly political, or odd can backfire.
- Producing Quality Content With Strong CTAs
Once you have your target audience and your goals in mind, you can start creating the assets for your campaign. The idea is to be as original as possible with your content and differentiate your brand from the competition, but it doesn’t hurt to get inspiration from other marketing campaigns, whether in your industry or not.
From creative solutions featuring just the right combination of verbal and visual to narrative-shaping communications solutions such as press releases and earned media, a campaign typically has a lot of facets to it, using multiple channels and tactics to support each other and get the message out there. Content options are seemingly limitless, including print and digital ads, commercials, social media posts, landing pages, brochures, supportive blogs, and more.
A campaign can include free content, what some call a lead magnet, which is a free asset such as an informative guide or a special deal like free first lesson offered in exchange for customer contact information.
A vital element to all your content is the inclusion of calls-to-action which help lead customers further through the “sales funnel.” Whether it’s guiding them to call a number, scan a QR code, click a link or button, or come into the store before the sale ends, CTAs should be clear and simple with a sense of urgency when possible.
- Deploying It When & Where It Will Have the Most Impact
Once your campaign assets are ready, it’s time to release them into the world. A marketing campaign necessitates promotion, and thankfully, today there are more channels to do it than ever before, from digital, print, and signage to broadcast tv and radio.
During the strategic planning stage, you should have targeted the best places and times to engage with your audience according to their tendencies and preferences. This helps you set and meet deadlines, but more importantly, lays the framework for what type of deliverables you’ll need. For instance, while older audiences may respond better to mailers, tv commercials, and phone calls, a younger audience would likely be better reached digitally.
Some brands are more suited toward social media marketing, but all brands can benefit from it, no matter the audience or industry, as it’s able to spread a message like few things can. Practically everyone uses social media to some extent these days; even senior netizens are more tech savvy than ever. So it’s essential to capitalize on one of the most popular and hence most powerful channels in existence today. Not to mention that’s also relatively free, minus the time and resources you put into creating posts.
Even if your marketing campaign doesn’t end up as successful as you hoped, the insight and data you gain afterward should help you devise your next one. Like anything else, you live and learn, and continue to hone your messaging and tactics until you start getting the results you want.
At M:7 Agency, we’re experts at building successful marketing campaigns from the ground up, through deep-diving onboarding sessions, in-depth market research that nails down your target audience, expert strategic consulting, and standout creative services that bring your campaign to life. Start a conversation with us today!