The basics of planning a marketing campaign

Oct 1, 2012 by

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The public perception of the sales and marketing industry is that it’s a glamorous one, and a pretty easy job to do, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Marketing campaigns are delicate and complex ideas, and there’s a lot of legwork to be done before you get to the posh parties, big launches, and crazy publicity stunts that are so prominent in the minds of the general public.  In fact, if you’re part of a smaller company, your marketing might never reach that stage, but just because your marketing campaigns are smaller in scale, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t successful.

Plan to Keep Planning

When you put together your business plan, there will have been a section on marketing. If you’re still relying on the marketing plan you put together all those years ago, then you’re probably throwing money down the drain.

The first secret of planning a good marketing campaign is to remember that your plan is not a one-off thing.  Marketing is an on-going effort, and the plan that you come up with this year is only good for a short period of time.  When this season / quarter / year (or whatever measure of time you use in your industry) is over, you need to revisit your marketing plan and improve it.

Reaching the Right People

What should your marketing plan contain? Well, to start with, you need to figure out who your target audience is, and how you’re going to reach them.  There’s no point buying an advertisement in the local newspaper if you’re trying to reach students that do most of their reading online.  In contrast, there’s no point using SMS marketing if your target audience is older people that are more comfortable with landline telephones, and would respond better to voice broadcasting.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can start thinking about your message. Students are likely to be price conscious, and appreciate marketing messages about sales, happy hours, and discounts.  Businessmen are more likely to respond well to products that are priced at the upper end of the market, and would see value in rebates and repeat customer discounts, or invitations to try a new product before it launches.

Another thing to consider is the timing of the message.  It would be wasteful to send a marketing email to a company on a Friday evening – by the time the intended recipient gets back to the office, the email is likely to be hidden amongst many other messages, and deleted unread.  By the same token, older couples aren’t likely to appreciate a voice broadcasting call that comes in late at night, or during traditional meal times. Try to schedule your marketing messages so that they go out during times that people are most likely to read or listen to them.

Define Measurable Goals

The first section of your marketing plan should contain a list of goals.  Perhaps you want people to join your mailing list, or you want to earn a certain number of subscribers, or increase sales by a given percentage.

Make sure you define some clear goals for your marketing plan, and track those goals over the next few months.  If you don’t know where you’re starting from, and where you want your company to be in the near future, you won’t be able to figure out whether your marketing plan has worked.

Your goals don’t have to be huge – in fact, small milestones often work better than grand long-term goals.  All that matters is that you have a way to track your progress.

This guest piece was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Collstream, experts in SMS marketing and voice broadcasting. Find out more by clicking here or here.

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