A great marketing campaign that fits the goals and overall strategies developed to promote growth, is the hallmark of marketing. With marketing, you reach out to potential consumers, with the ultimate goal of turning them into valued, loyal customers over time not just selling them something. A great marketing campaign also expands the reputation of your brand, forming positive attitudes about your brand, its commitment to the community, and its ability to solve consumer problems. However, a great marketing campaign can only go so far by itself. In order to truly make your marketing count, you need much more than some catchy slogans or cutsie images.
To make your marketing count, you must go beyond advertising to expand the other aspects of marketing. Good marketing thinks about future goals focused on growing the business and increasing revenue then evaluating brand performance with an eye toward improving that performance. Thus, you must capitalize on the results of your marketing to meet changing demand and grow your business.
If you follow these tips, using them as the basis for your marketing campaigns, you’ll find your market performance improving and your business thriving to meet the needs of all its stakeholders.
Make your marketing count
Plan for the future
Great marketing is all about providing a platform for your business to grow, optimizing performance well into the future. However, in order to do effective marketing, you need a solid business plan in place detailing goals and strategies (both in the next year and long-term, such as over the next 5 years).
A starting point in that planning involves cash flow forecasting and projected sales figures as a means to formulate a marketing budget. Using this financial background, a marketer makes decisions based on the potential rewards and costs associated with each strategy. A marketing tactic is only worth doing if you can demonstrate the costs generate additional sales quickly and efficiently, otherwise, you risk reducing actual market performance, which isn’t’ good for anyone.
Market planning isn’t slavishly tied to financial outcomes in the near term, or at least you shouldn’t always use profits as the only factor in decision-making. For instance, developing a new product involves significant cost and payback periods extending over many years, as you can see in the graphic below.
A decision that rejects the new product based on short-term losses cripples future growth of the firm, especially in fast-moving markets where innovations quickly make existing products obsolete. Such a decision nearly brought down Apple until the board reversed its initial rejection of the Macintosh computer.
Planning for the future in business is always important, especially when planning in conjunction with a major marketing campaign with significant costs.
Prepare for the unexpected
However much you attempt to plan, one truth of business is that the unexpected can – and will – occur. Take our current economic situation, which no one anticipated at the beginning of 2020, yet caused the failure of many businesses, large and small.
Prepare yourself for this, and be ready to turn on a dime in order to meet unexpected circumstances. We call this contingency planning and you should always develop plans for likely contingencies such as changes in demand, competitor’s actions, changes in the economy, or a host of other possibilities. Ensure you make your marketing count by knowing how to cope with these sudden shifts, when to ride the wave and when to follow the signs, and lead your business down the alternate path that has opened up for you, is essential.
By developing contingency plans, a strategic change doesn’t torpedo market performance because managers anticipated these changes and developed plans ahead of time. This planning reduces uncertainty when faced with changes and provides well-thought-out strategies to accommodate changes. Instead of chaos, everyone knows just what’s expected and dives into making necessary changes.
For instance, the pandemic caused stress on almost every business, whether it was vastly increased volume at Amazon or the sudden disappearance of customers for brick and mortar stores. Amazon swung into action by adding additional employees and increasing wages for existing employees, ensuring a constant stream of folks able to ramp up shipments quickly. Also, after years spent developing and testing non-human workers, Amazon easily adapted to the increased demands. Meanwhile, many brick and mortar stores didn’t offer or support e-commerce and stock languished on shelves that consumers could no longer shop.
Match it with service
When it comes to a marketing campaign, you need to back up your promises with extra stock and provide the customer service demanded by increases in customers. Sometimes having too much success is just as bad as too little, as slow shipping and poor customer service damage your brand when you find your operation overwhelmed by the new volume. Recovering from such damage is challenging and maybe impossible.
Hence, you also need to make sure your customer service is fully up to scratch. Occasional growing pains are inevitable as your business expands, and managing these is as important as avoiding them. If any customers run into problems ordering from you or using your services, a great customer service response can smoothly fix the situation and still turn them into loyal repeat customers.
Change it Up
It’s important to remember that a marketing campaign is not a fixed entity. As your business grows and shifts, your marketing strategy needs to shift focus, as well. To make your marketing count, always keep a close eye on your market performance, assess changing perceptions of your brand personality, and update the needs of your business. Relying on your stale, old marketing strategy from last year doesn’t promote the growth and expansion of your market performance. Instead, you need to tweak your strategy based on changes in the external environment and insights gleaned from an analysis of past performance.
In addition, marketing messages and their implementation get stale over time, something we call advertising burnout. Be ready to share new implementations of your messaging or to change up your message to ensure it resonates with consumers as times change. Be prepared to work with your marketing manager, agency, or consultant to change your advertising up every once in a while. Change is key to growth (the opposite is stagnation), and marketing is no exception.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.
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Getting the most out of your marketing efforts is always a good plan.
Angela Hausman says