15 May Make your marketing communications more effective
Discover how you can make your marketing communications more effective…
The main objective for any marketing campaign is ultimately to achieve sales. That may be via the route of raising awareness, creating an interest in your product or service, gathering leads that can be followed up, but the end goal is always going to be a sale; and nurturing a lifelong customer. To help you make your marketing communications more effective we’ve put together the following check list:
1. Objectives – What exactly do I want my marketing communications to achieve?
- You need to start with being very clear on what exactly you want your marketing campaign to do. Is it to raise brand awareness? Are you launching a new product or service and want to book demos or gather enquiries? Is it a new customer acquisition campaign? Or are you looking to engage with existing customers and cross-sell a product to them?
- Set yourself a target number of enquiries, leads or sales that will reflect the effectiveness of the campaign, that way when you get to the end of it you will know whether the campaign has been successful or not.
2. Audience – who and where?
- Who is your campaign targeted at? Is there more than once segment to engage with?
- Can you personalise the communication to them?
- If you are including social media in your campaign marketing mix (and you should be), has your content got great share-ability potential?
- Do you have any examples or case studies to enhance your credibility within the audience you would like to reach?
- We are all influenced by what we think is popular, otherwise known as social proof, so showing that you already have happy customers, or how many people have downloaded your eBook or report is a great way to influence new customers.
3. Messages – what, when, why, how
- Get to know your audience segments and carefully tailor messages and marketing communications specifically for them and that they can relate to. What are the ‘pain points’ for each segment? Can your product or service eradicate them? What is the impact to them if you remove their issues?
- Use surveys to find out why your current customers chose your products or services – that way you can get a better understanding of their needs and wants and craft messages that can be used in customer acquisition.
- Identify your Unique Selling Points or points of difference. What problem, or problems, can your business solve better than your competitors?
- Whether B2B or B2C you are always engaging with people, so starting with an emotional hook is a great way show you understand their problem before you get to the logic of how you can remove it. e.g. Delivery service UPS used emotion in a recent marketing campaign by saying they don’t just deliver packages, they deliver joy and happiness. I know I get excited when I have a parcel – even if I’ve ordered it myself!
- Remember to think ‘whats in it for me‘; why should a customer buy from you? Engage with your audience emotionally rather than listing off the features of your product or service. These can come in later when your prospect is ready to find out more.
- Once your piece of marketing communication has been received, what would you like your audience to do next? This could include complete a form, download an eBook, click through on an email etc. To make sure you have the best chance of getting the response you’d like you will need to include a clear and strong ‘call to action’. You can read more about creating a clear call to action here.
- Using different messages and media will help you achieve your targets, but to get the most from your marketing communications the quicker you can follow up your leads the better your conversion rate will be. For instance, if you have emailed your customer base about stocking your new product you can quickly and easily see who has opened and clicked through. These are hot leads that can be downloaded and followed up by your sales team that very same minute!
4. Marketing Mix – your tools
- You will need to use a mixture of marketing promotion tools to reach your audience. Which mix of marketing tools will you need? Direct mail, email, social media (which ones?), point of sale, window display, advertising, brochures, newsletter, exhibitions, PR etc.
- It is essential that you choose the right mix to reach your audience within the set budget and that will help you achieve your objectives.
- Great creative will be the vehicle that will not only convey your brand, but will also push your message through the surrounding ‘noise’ and into the arms of your target audience in a way that resonates with with them completely.
- Keeping your style, tone and images on brand is essential to keeping your brand easily recognisable and credible.
- Use the same content across all your chosen media (by audience segment) to ensure consistency and to build trust and confidence in your audience. For instance, any social media graphics should link to a page using the same graphic and message so your reader knows they are in the right place.
5. Cost – keep hold of the purse strings
- Will all of the elements of the campaign be expensive or will they fall within your budget? Do you need remove anything from the campaign? What effect will it have on your overall targets? Decide what size of budget is going to get you the responses you need and adjust your marketing communications accordingly if needed.
- For example, taking an exhibition stand at a big show may cost £3,000 but if it only takes 2 new customers before you break even, the possibility of meeting more prospects and gaining more customers may make it cheaper than spending £3k on an advert that will be seen by 1000s but only a small handful of people may respond.
6. Measure – how did you do?
- Always measure your marketing campaign against the original objectives. Did it deliver the enquiries or sales you had targeted it to generate?
- It’s a good idea to analyse what worked, what didn’t work, why, and what you can change to make it even better next time.
- How long did it take from launch of campaign to to purchase? Is this a lag time that needs to be accounted for in your cash flow?
- What was your cost per acquisition? Is it in line with your target?
- Other elements you can measure include: open rates, clicks, likes, shares, direct mail responses, website traffic, landing page hits, referrals, calls and of course sales value and volume.
- Take the Free Marketing Audit and find out if you could improve your marketing.
- Share this article. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility within your contacts. Create conversations and the potential of new business.
- Leave a comment. Let’s start a conversation about effective marketing communications.