Whatever product or service your business is offering, you need to market it to the masses, because marketing efforts directly impact sales numbers. That being said, how do you plan, execute, and track a campaign’s results, and what can you do with the numbers you have collected?
Here are the questions KOMACI’s Chief Marketing Officer asks himself when he’s activating a campaign.
What’s the Objective?
What are you looking to achieve with this marketing campaign?
Of course, many business owners would say they want more sales. However, that is not an objective to start a marketing campaign.
Many people confuse objectives with results. The reality is, achieving the marketing objective sets your business up to generate the results you are looking for.
There are 3 main objectives anyone would want to start a marketing campaign:
To raise awareness: Publicity through public figures, celebrities, influencers, and events.
To generate leads: Capture emails and phone numbers through newsletter signups, contests, giveaways, etc.
Or to increase brand loyalty: Referral benefits, points collection and redemptions, etc.
Achieving these objectives leads to sales. Ask yourself which objective do you need for your product or service. Do you need more awareness? Or do you have enough but no conversion? If you generate a lot of sales but your customer doesn’t return, then what do you need to do to encourage them to come back?
Airbnb does a great job of this through their referral system, both parties get travel credits when Airbnb makes a sale. When the incentives are great, people will take action.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Who are the people who will reap the most benefits from owning your product or engaging your service?
Obviously, there are products in the market that will benefit everyone and their cat, but targeting everyone means targeting no one. We don’t want to have no sales, do we?
The two main things to look at when identifying your target audience are demographic and psychographic. The simple way to look at the difference is:
Demographics: Who your buyer is (age, gender, location, marital status, etc)
Psychographics: Why they buy (hobbies, patterns, lifestyles, behaviours, etc)
Anthropologie, a US retailer of women’s fashion, home décor and more, defines their ideal customer as “the woman who is running away from her responsibilities”. This seemingly simple description encompasses both the customer demographics and psychographics Anthropologie is looking for: women who have responsibilities (jobs, children, etc), who are looking for a break to treat themselves on the way home from work or a grocery run.
They imagine her walking into the store, a beautiful place where she can temporarily forget her burden and just be a woman, and then leaving with that fluffy towel she didn’t need, or that beautiful new dish to serve her breakfast with.
You are at the top of your marketing game when you can summarise your ideal buyers in one short sentence. Deciding on your specific target audience also allows you to tailor your marketing campaign to appeal to different behaviours and lifestyles. The more specific you get, the clearer your campaign becomes.
What are the Campaign Channels/Mechanics?
The campaign channels and mechanics refer to the platforms on which you can activate your campaign, both online and offline.
Online channels typically refer to social media platforms – Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, websites, blogs, Facebook, etc. Offline channels include radio ads, magazines, newsletters, leaflets, events, partnerships, and many more. You can even use both online and offline channels to activate a campaign in order to maximise your campaign exposure.
How you choose your campaign channel largely depends on the product you are selling and the audience you want to reach. Are your target customers young, vibrant, and internet-savvy? Blast your ads across all your social media channels and engage key opinion leaders to shout about your service. Blogs are also a great way to enhance your searchability and to boost your SEO. Are you a fashion or lifestyle brand? Consider running Instagram campaigns. Even though the conversion will be low in the beginning, Instagram ads are great to capture attention and increase awareness.
You will not be using all channels to market your business. Pick and choose the ones that are relevant to your business and your target audience and track the campaign progress according to the objective you have set.
What are your Amplification Tools? (Paid vs. Earned Media)
Content amplification is the promotion and distribution of content through multiple channels using earned and paid media in order to broaden your brand’s reach beyond organic search.
In order to do that, amplification tools are crucial as advertising instruments that will widen your communication with the market, amplifying your reach in the shortest possible amount of time. This requires the right audience chemistry and many trial and error to perfect. Some examples of amplification tools are Facebook ads for reach, influencer marketing for engagement, Youtube video sponsorships for views, and blogs for search engine optimization.
These are also commonly known as paid media, which are marketing channels that you pay for in order to increase traffic.
For most businesses, paid media is the most straightforward approach to amplifying content. It is easy to track, results are instant, and great for targeting the right customers.
Earned media, on the other hand, is the word of mouth distribution of content, primarily through reviews and marketing partnerships. Social seeding, SEO and SEM, when done well, also increase reach as your content is shared from one user to another.
An example of successful amplification is Coca-Cola’s partnership with McDonald’s. Coca-Cola rarely appears on tv ads and print ads, but McD does, and Coca-Cola will make an appearance in every single McD ad. A local example, closer to home, is Touch & Go who partners with different merchants in order to get customers to use their services.
Having great content on a great campaign channel is not enough – there must be a great amplification strategy to go with it in order to increase conversion.
What is your Budget?
This is a tricky topic, as there is no clear-cut answer on how much you should spend on a marketing campaign.
For small businesses that are just starting their first marketing initiative, as there is no guarantee that a set budget can generate X amount of views or conversions, a simpler question would be: how much are you willing to spend to activate a test campaign?
If you have RM5,000 that you are ready to burn, sit down and plan your campaign. Again, what is the objective? Who is the target audience? What are your campaign and amplification channels? What are the content and your approach?
Once you are confident with your plan, spend the money and track the response.
If you are doing a month-long campaign, track your engagement on the daily. Take screenshots and record all the numbers. Views, comments, shares, conversions, sales, etc, capture all of this information and compare your results post-activation to your sales before. This will give you an idea of how much you need to spend monthly, quarterly, and yearly for your marketing campaigns.
While it can be nerve-racking to launch your first marketing campaign, you will find that there are no right or wrong answers. The only way to find out if a campaign will generate results is to launch and learn along the way. Even the best of marketers have had to scrap a whole campaign at some point in their career and start all over. Just take a deep breath, trust yourself, and launch.