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Way too often, marketers, under pressure from their seniors, CEO's launch into campaigns even when they do not have all elements of the campaign figured out. The result most often is sub-optimal results. It is always helpful to start with a written plan, that communicates the various pieces of the campaign and clearly sets expectations.
Here is a checklist that will help you put this campaign plan together.
1) What is the premise/hypothesis for the campaign?
Why do you think the campaign will succeed? Is it because of a market situation or a because of a seasonal phenomenon that you are aware of. When you have your ears to the ground in terms of content research, you will know the trending topics in the industry, which you can capitalize on to create campaign ideas (& also content ideas). Your content research can span across media, competitors, events as well as editorial calendars of leading publications. The more trending the topic (the more real the pain), the more likely will be your campaign success.
2) Set campaign goals
What are you expecting the campaign to accomplish, can you talk of measurable results from your campaign that you foresee. It is best to be as specific as possible. Your end goals may be business leads and revenues, but also think in terms of measurable intermediate goals like clicks, calls, contacts, registrations, referrals, etc.
3) Define your TG (Target Group), including segment definition
Who are your targeting your campaign to. Is it a specific market segment, is it to specific job titles, is it to specific regions? Be clear about these definitions and create a dashboard of what these segments mean in terms of numbers. You might need to create different offers/promotions to different segments and may need to tweak your messaging.
4) Define the offer
Come up with a compelling offer, that will WOW your target audience. This could be a free evaluation, free test orders, special initial pricing, price lock, discount offers, or any number of things. The greater the appeal it has for potential customers, the greater the response will be.
5) What are the components of the campaign?
What channels will you use for the campaign and what will be its components. Will you need an email campaign tool, integration of data with some systems, a landing page? Will you be planning some content pieces as a part of the campaign? Where will you be hosting these content pieces, on a blog, on LinkedIn or as assets on your website. Having created content, how will you promote your content and what will be the destination landing page across these assets and what will be the objective of this landing page.
6) Define the stakeholders involved and what you need them to know
As you launch into specific offers, you might need support from your finance team for pricing offers. Your operations team may need to ramp up to support additional volumes coming in as a part of the promotion. Your technology will need to be robust to support the additional volumes expected. Your customer service may need to be equipped with the FAQ related to the promotion etc.. Think through several of these pieces
7) Determine your budget
Define your budgets for the campaign. Are you providing mementos, gifts, lucky dips as a part of the campaign? Are you planning advertising, advertorials? Define the high level cost items and include them in your campaign budget for approval, right up front.
8) Craft your key messages
It is necessary to focus on the benefits of your product or service, when you write about it. Features are what makes benefits possible. Customer never buy features, they buy benefits. As you craft your message, focus on the benefits that you are able to drive or your target audience. Also make sure that your messages have emotional appeal, as that is what drives most of the purchasing decisions.
9) Defining automation and nurture workflows
If you are using marketing automation tools, make sure that you have defined your campaign workflow and scenarios well. Based on transactions that your TG is doing on the reach-outs, you can trigger automated workflows, which could include specific nurture oriented messages.
10) Analytics and reporting metrics
Decide on the analytics and reporting metrics for the campaign. Make sure that you can capture these metrics easily and can report frequently. Reporting these will ensure that you can track early signals from the campaign and can factor in corrective steps, as needed to ensure campaign success.
We hope this checklist will be useful for you as you plan your integrated campaigns. If you need help we are just a call away. Do take a look at what we offer in terms of campaigns and some examples of how we have delivered results to customers.
Regards - Atul Dhakappa