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 The best agencies are moving away from the outdated models of marketing strategies and focusing on an omni-channel approach.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.
It All Starts With DataAs 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?
Research Customer InsightsMost 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?
Determine the AssignmentOnce 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?