As consumers increasingly expect ongoing, authentic and personalized interactions with their favorite brands, marketing campaigns must be more sophisticated and creative than ever before. And with a wealth of emerging technologies, like voice search, VR, robotics, video and personalization, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of new tactics, mediums and behaviors that make campaign planning a challenge.
But even in today’s diverse marketing landscape, there are qualities that all effective marketing campaigns share. So if you want to deliver incredible value to your customers -- while improving the impact of Marketing in the organization, make sure your campaigns possess these six traits.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Align to Business Strategy
While it’s easy to get lost in today’s dazzling array of marketing tools and tactics, successful campaigns start with something rather basic -- a clear alignment to corporate strategy. This is especially important as 80 percent of CEOs believe Marketing is still too disconnected from the financial realities of the business.
Rather than focusing on siloed or “vanity” goals, like the number of Facebook “likes,” effective marketers work cross-functionally with other teams -- like Finance and Sales -- to understand what matters most to the business, then base campaigns around activities that support those initiatives.
For example, a healthcare organization may be looking to improve donor relations, while a financial services company may be looking to drive mobile application downloads, or improve CSAT scores. If you focus on understanding what the business needs most when developing campaigns, you will not only deliver clear impact, but also gain support for Marketing across the organization.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Are Measurable
Once you’ve aligned a campaign to critical business goals, it’s important to determine how you will know if the campaign is a success. This can be challenging, as it requires full visibility into both online and offline channel performance.
While it’s easy to capture data about mobile application downloads and website visits, it’s difficult to measure offline behavior -- like the impact a campaign has on visits to your brick-and-mortar stores. But understanding this part of the customer journey is just as important for identifying the ultimate cost of acquiring a customer, or a campaign’s total contribution to revenue.
While many marketers can easily measure the success of their digital channels, understanding offline consumer behavior is still a challenge. In-store engagement solutions can provide a critical path to understanding how consumers behave when offline, so you can truly understand the connections between marketing events and customer action.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Capture The Imagination
With over 300 million downloads of Adblocker Plus in 2016, it’s clear that consumers are tired of the “same old” content. And with “lack of innovation” and “uninspiring creative work” listed as two of the top reasons marketers lose their jobs, executives are tired of the “same old” content too.
Your customers want to be delighted and engaged, and campaigns that deliver new content in a new way will have a much bigger impact than ones that don’t. Technologies -- like VR and humanoid robotics -- can play a critical role in driving consumer attention and interest. For example, Tom’s shoe brand effectively leveraged virtual reality in-store to transport shoppers to a village in Peru, in an effort to help customers see the true impact of their purchases. Another technology retailer in Palo Alto, b8ta, used SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper as an effective tool to attract shoppers and increase foot traffic by 70 percent.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Adapt Their Tactics Across Channels
It’s well-known that effective marketing campaigns are multichannel, but the best campaigns adapt their campaign content to take best advantage of every medium.
A great example of this was a campaign run by Alcon, a global leader in eye-care. In 2016, the brand wanted to reinforce its medical credibility, drive brand awareness and increase sales inside Walmart stores. Rather than focusing on purely digital campaigns, the company put kiosks and signage inside the back-to-school sections of Walmart stores, placed clever articles and advertisements in parenting magazines, launched visual social media and street campaigns, and—most creatively—published an interactive eBook, Howard and the Amazing Eye Exam, with the help of a leading pediatric optometrist. Because Alcon developed a variety of content pieces to drive maximum engagement at every touchpoint, the company was able to achieve a 262% increase of incremental sales, a 3.5% rise in category sales and a dramatic increase of engagement at Walmart Vision Centers.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Use Targeting Tactics to Create “Personalization”
Along with taking advantage of the various mediums, it is critical that you understand your various audiences, and speak relevantly and credibly to them, without losing your authentic “self”.
Business goals should work hand in hand with your brand voice, as you begin to build your marketing messaging. It is critical that your voice stay consistent, in order to maintain credibility in any marketplace; and it is equally important that you find ways to speak directly to your targeted audience. Be that through the targeted media (use of specific media outlets with a certain audience) or targeted advertising, it is proven to be beneficial to ensure that your message speak specifically to that audience. For example, if you are advertising women’s shoes, you’ll be more successful finding outlets whose audiences aren’t male dominated. Then, if you do that, and you understand the demographics of your target within those media, it would make sense to cater your message a little more specifically based on age, or lifestyle/interest… i.e. “this shoe is great for training” on a fitness media, or more specifically, “this shoe is great for ‘Orange Theory’-style group fitness classes” with a younger audience, vs. “this shoe is great for that after dinner walk around the neighborhood” for a more mature audience.
Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand your target audience, then understand what segment of your audience your specific medis reach, and cater your messaging to them. It gets even more custom (and arguably more effective) with the advanced targeting available through digital and social media. Behavioral targeting and Sequential messaging are ways to ensure that you are maximizing the impact of your marketing spend.
Effective Marketing Campaigns Drive Long-term Engagement
While all marketing campaigns have a shelf-life, campaigns that go beyond transactional goals to drive customer engagement have a much longer lasting impact, and deliver significantly higher ROI.
Engaged customers are your most valuable resource, as they can act as a volunteer salesforce, that will continue to increase sales and brand sentiment down the line. So think of ways to work a two-way, data-collecting conversation into each touch-point, and incorporate ways for campaign participants to stay engaged weeks, months -- or even years -- after the campaign concludes.
The need for engagement is a big reason that loyalty programs and mobile apps are gaining traction with leading brands, like Starbucks and Sephora. The Starbucks rewards app helps customers achieve a seamless user experience, while Sephora’s “My Beauty Bag” makes it easy for customers to quickly manage purchases of their favorite products from any device.
Learn More About More Effective Marketing Campaigns
While marketing campaigns are increasingly complex, taking advantage of social and technological innovations -- without losing sight of the fundamentals -- will help you ensure your campaigns are a success. In future posts, we will share more specifically how companies are using technology to create marketing campaigns that deliver on their top priority initiatives, and drive marketing ROI.