7 STEPS FOR PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Marketing

Conducting a successful marketing campaign requires thorough market research, goal setting, developing CRM, creating a reasonable budget, and evaluating results. 

The marketing department’s success means positive cash flows that guarantee your business continuity. However, for the marketing department to succeed, you need to effectively plan and coordinate marketing campaigns to improve your brand’s visibility and the business’s bottom line.

If you want to create a successful business marketing campaign, you should first develop a marketing plan. The plan will act as a roadmap directing you to achieve set goals. However, if you do not have a marketing plan, you will run blind and fail to promote your brand to prospective customers.

A robust marketing plan should be well researched and easy to implement. It does not have to be outrageous or complicated, but it should shed light on the bigger marketing campaign picture.

Steps to planning a successful marketing campaign

Many companies risk going under because they do not have a well-defined marketing campaign. Marketing tactics may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful venture. Therefore, it is important to invest in a marketing plan to guarantee your business growth and healthy cash flow. Below are some seven steps you can follow to develop a great marketing campaign.

1. Conduct a SWOT Analysis

Before running a marketing campaign, you should know your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis prevents you from operating blindly, allowing you to take advantage of opportunities outside the business and enhance profits. Is there a new trend you can take advantage of? You can also take advantage of a section of the market neglected by your competitors.

Analyzing things in your business environment that may negatively impact your business will help you plan your marketing campaign to counteract them.

SWOT analysis will also help you look inward for your brand’s strengths and unique characteristics that are likely to give you an edge in the marketplace. What is your brand known for? Is it excellent customer service, innovation, customer engagement, or social media presence? Leverage your strength in your marketing campaign to attract more customers and retain existing ones.

Don’t forget to identify your weaknesses like limited advertising budget or resources, and plan on how to mitigate them. If you know what your business struggles with, you can amplify your strength to cover them, thus ensuring they do not hinder your growth.

2. Conduct market research

You cannot develop a successful marketing campaign with research. Research sheds light on your target audience’s buying habits and the media platform you are likely to meet them. Market research will also help discover the following:

  • Market size
  • Market growth
  • Customer demographics
  • Current trends

Market research should help you know your customer composition (age, gender, location, and shopping habits). This information allows you to decern which media platform and tone will resonate with audiences during your marketing campaign.

Regardless of your business strategy (B2B or B2C, new or old, big or small), market research provides accurate data for your marketing campaign to help you make informed decisions. Research can also help you determine the success and failures of past campaigns, thus enabling you to improve the current campaign.

You could also research your competitors to gain insight into marketing areas you can edge them. Competitor research will allow you to evaluate your competitor’s marketing campaigns, sales volume, and reputation to determine their strength and weaknesses.  

Market research can also help you plan your marketing campaign successfully through customer segmentation. You will segment your target audience into various personas, thus allowing you to run an individualized campaign for each group.

3. Set realistic marketing goals

Every successful marketing campaign should score against clear goals. If you do not have marketing goals, you will be running blind and will not know if you achieved the desired results. As you set your marketing campaign goals, ensure they relate to the business goals.

 However, you should exercise caution when setting goals. You do not want o set unrealistic targets, impossible for the marketing team to achieve. This practice could demoralize your group and make your campaign a flop. The team needs to believe that your marketing campaign goals are within reach and are motivated to achieve them.

Your marketing goals should be specific and measurable. Instead of stating that you will improve your email marketing strategy, you can include something specific like “improving your email marketing conversion rate by 30%”. When your goals are clear and measurable, they become easier to achieve.

Marketing goals should also be actionable and time-bound, meaning they should motivate your team and give clear steps to achieve them within a specific time limit. At the end of the marketing campaign, you should evaluate if you achieved your goals.

Generally, your marketing campaign goals should be SMART goals- specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. Benefits of SMART goals include:

  • Clarifies your vision
  • Allows you to focus
  • Instils discipline
  • Propels your team to action
  • Good for time management

4. Develop your marketing tactics

After identifying your target audience and setting reasonable goals, the next step is developing powerful marketing tactics. You will need to include strategies in your marketing plan to help you reach your target audience and realize your goals. The marketing campaign should identify advertising channels and suitable content that can resonate with prospective customers at different buying stages.

If you understand the marketing funnel, your marketing campaign will likely succeed. You can tweak your marketing tactics to tackle the need of various customers in different purchasing stages. Additionally, you can use paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, or content marketing to reach different audiences from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

Some marketing tactics include identifying customer touchpoints and how to mix different content and channels to build an ideal campaign plan. You can also use retargeting ads or leverage influencers on social media platforms to drive sales. Other marketing tactics include using search engine optimization to improve your content’s visibility.  

5. Build a customer relationship management (CRM)

CRM will enhance your marketing campaign by improving customer loyalty. Fortunately, you can employ various CRM software to help you manage customer relations for your business. These tools will enable you to monitor which marketing channel, campaign, and platform has the best result.

Furthermore, you can monitor your customers’ preferences, needs, and engagement and use collected data to conduct a targeted marketing campaign. Since a marketing campaign needs money to oil it and keep it running, you can implement straightforward and cost-effective CRM actions like offering return policies and warranties to inspire confidence in your existing customers.

6. Know your budget

Many businesses, especially small businesses with a strict budget, cringe at financing a marketing campaign. It may be overwhelming to peruse several marketing options to determine which one fits your business. Nevertheless, setting aside a small fee to attract new customers that will be loyal to your products and services for life is a worthy investment.

One way to get it right is through budgeting. Regardless of your business’s size and growth stage, it is worth the trouble to invest time and money in developing a workable marketing campaign plan. As you budget, analyze strategies and tactics that pay off in short and the long run. Allocate more money to these strategies to help you achieve your desired goals with less.

Additionally, ensure you develop measuring metrics to help you track the success of each strategy. Monitoring these marketing campaign metrics is key to maintaining focus to achieve sufficient ROI. The data you gather will enable shift gears if a given strategy seems to be producing low ROI.

Remember, you will likely spend more if you run a startup’s marketing campaign that an established business. However, do not be discouraged; it is marketing that builds your brand, makes it known, and reduces future marketing campaign budget.

7. Build an implementation schedule, monitor, and evaluate

The final stage is to create a timeline detailing which marketing actions are needed, when to execute, and by whom. This schedule should also show how much each activity will cost and the percentage of the cost to the overall marketing campaign budget.

Do you have adequate staff, money, and time to execute all the necessary marketing tasks? If you lack staff, you may consider outsourcing the services of a consultant or hiring part-time staff to help with important marketing tasks.

After establishing a budgeted schedule, determine the effectiveness of your monitoring and evaluation tools. How successful are your marketing strategies? Your measurement tools will help you know if your strategy meets the desired goals.

You can use Google Analytics to know your website traffic and conversion rate or use an Excel sheet to evaluate your marketing campaign’s ROI. If you realize that some aspects of your campaign do not contribute to your bottom line, you can take appropriate corrective action.

Final words

Though some businesses consider marketing an expensive affair, it is an important part of your business if you want to succeed. Nevertheless, conducting a successful marketing campaign requires proper planning, research, and understanding of your target audience. It also involves knowing your strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats facing your business. If you set realistic goals, adopt workable marketing tactics, and develop a good CRM, you will reap the rewards of a successful marketing campaign.

What other marketing campaign aspects have you found important for small and big corporations?