An effective marketing campaign helps determine the success of a product or promotional launch. Key ingredients to a strong campaign include identifying your product and your consumers, and determining the best ways to reach them.
Developing your marketing campaign
Decide what you want to sell. Marketing campaigns are centered on the product or service to reach a particular audience.
A good marketer needs to intimately know and understand the product before attempting to launch a campaign.
Product knowledge helps with knowing your target market, understanding the hot topics for this product that will get the audience's attention, being able to promote several aspects of the product seamlessly and providing the ability to cross sell additional products and services.
Determine who needs your product. Once you have a handle what you want to sell, you need to consider who would be interested in your product. For example, you wouldn't want to sell organic dog food to cat owners.
Also, the psychology of your audience will play a key role in which aspects of the product you plan to market. For example, using the organic dog food idea, you may want to research dog owners who shop at organic grocery stores or people who subscribe to health food magazines.
Knowing your your audience also helps you with drilled down, targeted marketing efforts. You can home in on what kind of media your audience is drawn to or has the most exposure.
Identify how you are going to reach your target audience. Certain demographics read or view particular mediums. Not everyone is big on watching YouTube for example, or reading the newspaper online. Once you know your audience, you can begin to shape how you will reach them. For instance, if you are promoting a hot new skateboard, you may want to consider featuring the board on YouTube, Facebook and some of the other social media. Another way to advertise may be through middle or high school newspapers, X Game sports magazines or on MTV if you have a television budget.
Review a list of marketing mediums you can use. Ways to market a product, service or promotion are endless, but marketing professionals often consider direct mail, telemarketing, outside and inside sales, newspaper, trade magazines, e-mail blasts, Web banners, in-store merchandise (brochures, handouts, posters), TV, radio, online social mediums (YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter), press releases and events or parties.
Marketing campaign execution
Plan your media launch. Now that you have expert product knowledge, you know who you want to sell your product to and which mediums they read or view, you can begin to market your product.
Before buying media or launching a campaign, you should consider your timing. If it's a seasonal product, you will want to promote your product around that time of year.
Additionally, plan your media campaign around the duration of the sale or sales process. If you are promoting a sale that lasts a short amount of time, for example a week, you may want to saturate the market with your message a few weeks before launch. However, if your company is launching a new product that has longevity, you may want to run a media blast in the beginning and then plan a steady message stream.
Roll out your campaign and track responses. Once you know when and where you are going to promote your message, you should begin to execute your plan along with a tracking mechanism. Sometimes it's difficult to track media response; however there are a few ways to determine if your message is being heard. One way is to include a coupon in your ad or direct mail piece so that the bearer needs to bring in the coupon for her discount. You could also have front line staff members ask customers where they heard of the product or promotion and ask the staff members to maintain an Excel spreadsheet with the responses. If you are marketing online, you can track click-throughs or website visits. With e-mail blasts you can track responses.
Review the campaign and determine what worked and what didn't work. Reviewing the campaign after you've counted the new sales and tracked the channels can be extremely valuable for the future. Gathering your marketing team together to review the high and low points of the campaign, and figuring out why certain things worked or didn't work, can help you build a stronger campaign for the future.
Be open minded when launching a new marketing campaign—sometimes marketing is trial and error. Remember to track marketing costs and compare them to sales figures to determine your return on investment (ROI). When you review the campaign and you've identified a strategy that worked well, include that strategy in your next campaign.