The importance of joined up thinking
Marketing is a creative business. To succeed you need oodles of creativity, and if you’ve got it, then it goes far.
However, it does only go so far.
We see it time and time again. Fantastic ideas, which fizzle out into nothing when it comes to implementation.
Creativity is a genuine talent and a real skill to harness properly. Not everyone has it – and that’s why so many businesses have to turn to outside help to deliver it. So when you do get a nugget of creativity it’s not something that should be taken lightly, it should be nurtured into full maturity to seize maximum advantage – and this is where campaigns come into play.
Campaigns not only help transform an idea into a tangible offering, they help you to measure success and ensure that the application matches your idea of what you want it to do. Individual thoughts are no good; you need to join them up, and campaigns provide the framework.
Let’s look at the things you should consider when formulating a campaign.
Once you have the inspiration – that creative nugget – then you need to thrash it out. Pulling together an active campaign helps to cover all bases, ensuring that all elements are maximised. Look at the strengths in the idea and play to them in its development. Determine just who you’re looking to target and what steps you can take to achieve that.
It’s at the development stage that you should also do a bit of testing to determine whether what you think is a good idea is actually a good idea in reality. Sound out your prospective audience first before blowing a fortune on a clanger. Testing the waters before implementing something will help to reassure you that you’re on the right track and reduce the risk of expensive mistakes.
Choose your weapon
What form or media are you going to target? National press? Trade press? Social media? Radio or television? If it’s a campaign that’s to be delivered via multiple channels then make sure the message at its heart retains consistency.
With a diverse range of formats, it’s easy for the nuance of the message that you’re looking to convey to be lost. The requirements of radio advertising, for example, are very different to those of a printed advert in a trade magazine. Ensure that all elements are suitably joined up so that there’s no ambiguity.
It’s all well and good having a fantastic idea and a great plan around it, but that idea needs to deliver its rewards. Set out just what you want from your marketing – what do you want the result to be? Is it improved sales? Improved brand awareness? An improved reputation? No doubt it’s all of these, but set yourself realistic goals that can genuinely be achieved.
It’s also important to define what you regard as a success. This might be different from your overall goals. You can set some goals that are far and above what you reasonably expect – reach for the stars and all that. However, it’s still possible to regard a campaign as a successful undertaking even if you don’t achieve all your goals. Determining a minimum level of success will help you to realistically assess what you’ve achieved, with room for some serious celebration should results outstrip your initial hopes.
Setting the budget
A definitive plan reduces the chances of going wildly over budget. Creative thinking can sometimes do that, as you look to turn your vision into something feasible, costs can add up as the idea runs away from reality.
If you set a budget and break it down into manageable costs, this will make it much more likely that you achieve what you’re looking to set out to achieve. A key aim of any budget should be that the financial rewards outweigh the costs – so don’t spend huge sums on something that isn’t likely to generate a sufficient return.
Campaigns don’t just end once all of the media has been published. It’s important to take a step back and evaluate what’s been done. Just what are the results? By analysing what worked and what didn’t, you’re able to determine areas to exploit in future.
The results are obviously dependent on the goals that you’ve set out at the beginning. Is there a spike in website traffic? Have you seen sales improve in the wake of a campaign? Have you gained more social media followers? There are many ways in which to determine the success of a marketing campaign. Work out which ones apply to you and go with them.
To conclude then, successful campaigns don’t just come out of nowhere and inspirational ideas alone aren’t enough. It needs planning and foresight to pull it all together with joined up thinking key. By exploring the full extent of the possibilities on offer and determining just where you want to go, it’s possible to get some fantastic results from a marketing campaign. Putting the time and effort in at the outset is what will see you reap rewards in the long term.