How To Run A Successful Marketing And Advertising Campaign
Updated: Apr 6
Part 1 - Strategic Planning
To this day, some of the most successful marketing campaigns remain in our minds. A good campaign gets people talking. They identify with it, they laugh, they cry, they talk about it but most of all they remember it and they take ACTION! Something sticks.
Think way back when these companies came out with the following messaging...
“Just Do It” - Nike
“Got Milk” - CA Milk Processor Board
“The Most Interesting Man in the World” - Dos Equis
“Where’s the Beef” - Wendy’s
In today’s world we are more data driven and the term “going viral” is a force to be reckoned with but the components of creative marketing haven’t changed as much as you would think.
What has changed is that we are no longer limited to TV, radio and newspaper but what is alive and well is still the need to raise brand awareness and getting people interested in your company’s product or service. Simply put. We just do it a little differently now, with more digital options to get your message out.
Join us for our 3 part series based on HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING and ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN! Over the next month we will be sharing how to make your next marketing campaign run “So smooth you can’t believe it’s not butter!” - I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
Here’s what we have planned:
Part 1 - Strategic Planning: Setting Goals, Understanding Your Target Audience, Defining the Benefits of Your Products or Services, Evaluating Your Competition and Establish a Marketing Budget
Part 2 - Developing a Multi-Touchpoint Media Strategy
Part 3 - Roadmap to Creative Content
For Part 1 of our series, we are going to focus on Strategic Planning. The most successful marketing campaigns incorporate a range of different tools that are heavily supported by comprehensive planning and research. These can be broken down into Setting Goals, Understanding Your Target Audience, Defining the Benefits of Your Products or Services, Evaluating Your Competition and Establishing a Marketing Budget.
Let’s break it down for you...
Before you do anything, be sure to outline clear goals and objectives of what you are hoping to achieve with your marketing campaign. Setting goals and objectives is also a good indicator on the effectiveness and success of your campaign after it has launched.
Here are some examples to get you started. Are your marketing goals geared towards…
Driving New Sales/Revenue?
Building Brand Awareness?
Generating Quality Leads?
Expanding Market Share?
Highlighting a Product or Service?
Targeting New Customers?
*Pro Tip - ensure that your goals are aligned with the five SMART criteria - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Now that you have your marketing goals in place, it’s time to think about your target audience and your competition.
Understanding Your Target Audience:
Understanding your target audience is the most important consideration because it influences every other marketing decision you make to jumpstart your business.
Researching your target markets is one of the smartest business moves you can make. Professional services firms that do frequent research on their target clients grow 2X faster and are more profitable than firms that do not.
Keep these factors in mind:
Demographics: Age, household income, sex, number and age of kids in household, education
Psychographics: What do they like in life? Are they luxury buyers, do they like to travel, are they animal lovers, do they like golf, fashion, theatre, music, etc.
What is important to them? What benefits does your product or service deliver to these prospects? Mostly people want to know what you can do for them. They care about the products and/or service you provide only to the extent it substantiates the promised benefits.
Geography: Are you serving prospective customers internationally, nationally, regionally, locally?
Targeting everyone means you are actually targeting no one. Trying to be everything to everyone means you are nothing special to anyone. Remember, you don't need to be everywhere, only in front of your customers. The people that actually buy from you. Who cares about everyone else?
Read more on Understanding Your Target Audience on the RSC Blog page.
Defining the Benefits of Your Products or Services:
It’s important to identify both the features and the benefits of your product or service because they work together to get the consumers attention. But at the end of the day, benefits are better than features and consumers should know exactly what they would gain by purchasing your product or service and how it will change their lives.
Features vs. Benefits - What exactly is a "feature" or "benefit," anyway?
Features: Describes what the product or service does. It tells the consumer something noteworthy about your product or service.
Benefits: The reasons why consumers buy your product or service. It tells them why their life will be better because of your product or service.
For example, a pair of workout leggings... The features are hi-tech, stretchy with pockets. The benefits are great for the gym, super comfortable and you can carry your cell phone.
Consumers care about the products and/or service you provide only to the extent it substantiates the promised benefits. It’s okay to mention the features of your product or service but be sure your marketing messages are primarily focused on your benefits. Remember, benefits are what make consumers buy, while features are what the product does!
*Pro Tip: To translate features into benefits, ask yourself “So what?” The “So what?” works in any industry. Keep asking yourself “So what?” to find the real benefits.
Evaluating Your Competition:
Every business has competitors. It doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, you have competition. Understanding your competitive landscape will help you target your customers better and help you learn how to position your business to leverage your competitors weaknesses and/or your competitive advantages.
By doing an extensive competitive analysis, not only will it help you stay ahead of the market, it will allow you to make informed decisions and create marketing campaigns that take advantage of your competitors weaknesses.
Here are some tips on how to get started on competitive research:
Identify your top competitors
Research their online presence (website, social media accounts, etc.)
Ask your customers - find out who they used before and why they switched
Attend an industry trade show or conference
Track your data
Read their online reviews
Identify their weaknesses and where you can make improvement
We have a real example to share with you on just how important understanding your competition is...
A Pet Store client came to us asking for help on how to reverse declining sales. The reason was increased competition from big box retailers like Costco and PetSmart…but also online pet stores like Chewy.com. After learning more about the target audience and the products offered at the pet store, we discovered their customers care that the owner is on the premises and because of his experience, can consult with them about their pets’ health…especially digestive issues, joint pain, lethargy, allergies and more…and that the store carries products to treat those ailments not available elsewhere. They were a little older too and more often women.
Our recommendation was to promote the owner as an expert in keeping your pet healthy and create ads that asked people, “Does your dog have allergies?”, “Is your cat lethargic?”…etc..and then offer solutions to these issues. The campaign reversed their sales decline and reinvigorated the business.”
*Pro Tip - set up a Google Alert to monitor not only your competitors but for your own company as well. This will alert you when anyone is talking about your company.
Establishing a Marketing Budget:
Now that we’ve set our goals and objectives, we know who our target audience is and we’ve researched our competition, it's now time to set the marketing budget.
You need to spend money to make money! You won’t be able to make any profit if no one knows that you exist...
First, decide what you should spend overall, for your entire annual marketing budget. A basic rule of thumb, for newer companies your ad spend should be anywhere from 3% to 10% of your overall gross revenue (unless you are a direct to consumer marketer, you may need to spend up to 30%) of your projected gross revenue.
It’s especially hard for small businesses to spend money on marketing. Bottom line, investing in your company is absolutely worth it for long term success. Keep in mind that whatever budget you establish for your business, don’t allocate more than you feel comfortable spending on a month to month basis.
Pro Tip - Contract with a marketing agency. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Services of top-level marketing experts may be more affordable because you won’t incur the costs of hiring, training, and managing several in-house employees
Accountability from a team that wants to succeed and prove the value of its marketing services
Before you get started on your next marketing and advertising campaign, be sure you have all of your ducks in a row. We are sharing a FREE Strategic Planning CHECKLIST. This list will ensure you’ve done your groundwork and have all of your bases covered
Have questions or need help with your marketing needs? RSC Marketing has over 30 years of experience in various industries. Contact us today to chat more about your business!
Was this blog helpful? Leave your comments below.
RSC Marketing & Advertising provides small and medium size business owners with affordable and creative marketing services designed to increase sales.
FOLLOW US on our Social Networks.