A famous marketing pioneer once said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." Qualifying a response to ads has become much easier since his time. As marketing trends continuously shift in conjunction with new media – it's become less about traditional media and more about digital. This has a lot to do with the ever-changing landscape of marketing and technology. The best agencies are moving away from the outdated models of marketing strategies and focusing on an omni-channel approach.
There's a huge change happening in retail and consumer spending habits. An eMarketer study predicts that mobile payments are to increase to 61.8% within the year. That might be enough to show the importance of investing in digital marketing, but creating a personalized campaign strategy is more than just throwing your money into every media channel there is. It's about developing a relationship between the agency and client in order to fulfill the needs of the customer.
Planning any strategy starts with extensive market research and clear communication. Clients will voice their ideas, but it is the agency's responsibility to really determine what needs to be improved. There are a few steps businesses and agencies can take to begin building a successful marketing campaign strategy.
It All Starts With Data
As an agency, you cannot be an expert in every single vertical market, but what you can do is conduct some research and collect data about the industry. Understanding a business is the basis of a marketing campaign. Before diving into developing a plan or message, evaluate the industry snapshot:
- How large is the industry? Consider this in terms of dollars, prominent locations, or number of products and services sold?
- What is the percent of growth? Does the industry move slow and steady, or more fast-paced?
- How many competitors are there? Is there room to compete? What other businesses are you up against?
Of course there are more specific factors are going to need to be considered as you analyze each industry, but just keep an eye on any chance for an improved analysis. Determine what you want to know, and it is likely you'll stumble upon information that will come in handy when developing your goals.
It's not enough to focus only on the business itself. Getting a thorough understanding of their competitors can reveal faults and triumphs regarding previously attempted strategies that have been implemented, and that analysis can be used towards your advantage. Even if there are hundreds of competitors, it doesn't mean they will have the same marketing approach, which will provide you with another area worth investigating. The observations from this data analysis will allow a business and agency to adjust their strategy according to the overall trends and outlook of the industry.
Research Customer Insights
Most marketing campaigns are based around the customer's needs, especially service industries, so it is truly important to listen to your audience. Do you know which segment of individuals visit your website the most? How about their perception of your brand? These are common, yet often unanswered questions that every business has, and it is a fundamental part in building a strategy for your marketing campaign. Ignoring your customers will bring you more problems than just poor service. By actually listening to their opinions you can get a sense of their needs, and adjust your plan as needed.
Discovering the main needs and concerns of your consumers is another step in the research process that will benefit your strategy in the long-run. Many agencies extensively test the current or previous advertisements to get an understanding of the audience. One of the most frequent objectives is generating a sense of trust. Customers that trust your products, services, and business as a whole, will create a high level of brand awareness to garner conversions.
Nobody can read minds. If that were the case, we would all be marketing geniuses. The only way to get into your customer's head is to survey their thoughts and opinions. This will give you an idea of their positioning, and a provide you with a few things to really think about:
- What do your customers care about?
- Which benefits do they see as the most valuable?
- What media channels do they use the most?
- How could they trust your brand over others?
Every organization can solve many of their existing problems simply by understanding their consumer's views. Thoroughly completing this research will allow you to easily define goals for your marketing campaign strategy.
Determine the Assignment
Once you have the data and insights, you can then begin outlining the assignment. On the agency side, you work with your client to find out what you will be working toward, particularly the problem that needs to be solved. However, it isn't always necessarily a problem, it could be any area that requires development. Whatever the goal may be, it can be determined when doing the research and by looking through the data.
Your campaign lays out the plan for a business's marketing future. It is fine-tuned to the company's goals, generally including things like increasing brand awareness, customer acquisition, and offline marketing messages. This forms a foundation, and allows you to now hone in on specific goals:
- Do you want to become a thought leader in your industry?
- What is your specific target market, B2B or B2C?
- What actions do you want consumers to take? Are you trying to just gain interest, or gain actual customers?
- Which messaging would be most effective for your audience?
Regardless if you're working with an agency or internally at your organization, understanding the assignment is a crucial part in forming your marketing campaign strategy. Agencies need to consider which team of experts will be needed to perform these assignments, and businesses need to trust that their goal is being met. Once the assignment is established, it's time to work on the creative.
Creative Design and Content
Visually creating a message that clearly aligns with your assignment is a task for a creative team of experts. Deciding your goals and getting customer insights will guide designers in crafting a brand image that goes hand in hand with the strategy. The right creative team can be what sets the business, and even agencies, apart from its competitors.
It's the combination of design and content that will really be able to set the tone of the message. That is why it's important to establish the objectives of the business, and provide several copy options to meet their needs. Rolling out several concepts gives a choice in which direction they want their marketing to go, thus developing the business's position. What kind of message are they trying to portray? Creative has the ability to bring these ideas to life, and create a new brand image in which consumers can resonate.
Marketing is changing at a rapid pace, especially with evolving technology and expertise. It isn't enough to focus on one or two channels and getting the results you were anticipating. Omni-channel execution is the process between taking all of these elements and delivering it to the consumer through the right platforms.
Knowing your consumer is necessary in figuring out which channels your business should use to best convey your marketing message. It doesn't make sense to send an advertising message to everyone in hopes of influencing only a few. Having the wrong customers is just as bad as having no customers, so it is important to target your audience based on these factors.
Making a collaborative effort in defining a business's audience and goals helps streamline the strategy development process. Agencies and clients function together as real partners, through all the steps of building a marketing campaign. Clear communication allows the agency's client partners to understand the decisions that need to be made on behalf of the clients. After executing the first few steps of the marketing campaign strategy, being able to debut them on the right channels will allow both agencies and businesses to see the extent of their marketing efforts through beautiful messages that have been thoughtfully collaborated.