Marketing is an important function in every business. You might sell the best product ever made, offer the best customer service, and have the lowest prices in the industry, but if no one knows you exist then you won’t have any customers.
A poorly executed marketing campaign is about as ineffective as none at all or, in the worst-case scenario, could actually have a detrimental effect on your business.
For example, in the 1990s, the Hoover Company saw sales of its products decline due to a global recession. To try and turn this around, the company ran a promotion that offered two free return plane tickets to the USA, which were worth around £600 at the time, to any customer that bought a Hoover product worth at least £100.
It seriously underestimated the demand for such a generous offer and had hoped that customers would be deterred by the complicated set of forms they had to complete to claim the tickets. The company lost millions in the promotion and its European division had to be sold to a rival as a result of the disastrous marketing campaign.
This is an extreme example, but it shows just how important it is to make sure that you get your marketing campaign right. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to help ensure you make your next campaign a success.
Entrepreneurs often have a lot of ideas bouncing around in their heads and are prone to relying on intuition to make decisions about their businesses. However, that isn’t always the best option as you may have a very different opinion to most of your customers.
That’s what happened in the case of Hoover; its executives misunderstood how the public would react to getting two flights to the USA for £100. Therefore, it’s important to always do your research before making any decisions for your campaign.
You should seek to understand who your customers are, what they like, what they don’t like, why they choose you, and what problems they have. Armed with this information, you can begin to tailor your campaign to address each of these points.
This was what PokerStars did before refreshing its brand in 2020. Its researchers worked hard to understand the types of people that played the company’s games so that it could create a marketing message that would reach them.
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It found that PokerStars customers are “adventure seekers”, so it created the I’M IN campaign to more effectively speak to this type of person.
Next, you need to set goals. Without them, you won’t know whether your marketing campaign has been successful or not. By having goals, you can review the results when the campaign is over and compare them to what you’d hoped to achieve.
You should make these goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. This means that a goal of “increase sales” isn’t enough, you develop it to be something like “increase sales by 5% by the end of December”.
Decide How to Reach Your Audience
With your research, you will have been able to better understand who your customers are, so you should know where you’re likely to reach them with your marketing. If you’re selling products aimed at people who ride horses, then ads in horse magazines or targeting horse-related videos on YouTube are going to be more effective than placing them in more general publications.
How much you have to spend will also be a factor here. If your marketing budget for the new campaign is $500, then TV ads are going to be unattainable but an email newsletter or social media might be effective options.
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Review How it Went
After your marketing campaign is over, conduct a review of how it went. Use your goals to compare the actual results with what you set out to achieve.
You may find that you didn’t achieve what you originally set out to, but this is ok. Try to understand why it didn’t go to plan and use that to create better campaigns in the future.