As a marketer, you just have to leverage every occasion, weigh in on every trend, engage every audience, and deliver on that marketing calendar, don’t you?
These steps are what make you feel safe in board meetings and provide you with answers to “what are we doing on the marketing side of things”. This comfort zone, where marketers find security in the infinite excuses they can provide for poor or downright disappointing results, is not inevitable and pressure to deliver should no longer be an excuse for it.
Wherever you look, you’ll see ill-placed content pathetically begging for engagement from audiences who couldn’t possibly be interested and on occasions that have nothing to do with the brand. Throwing money behind such attempts is also not the answer. The results, often in red, should be evidence enough.
Marketing does not involve any rocket-science mathematics or brain surgery accuracy. The holy grail of marketing, data, has never been more accessible and analytics are readily available to all. So, why do so many get it so wrong?
The answer simply lies in insisting on having an A before your B when planning your marketing communications as opposed to diving head first and relying on A/B testing to give you answers.
This means taking a step back and revisiting the basics; positioning, vision, differentiators, objective from your campaign (i.e. key message), and audience. Of course I do that, you might say, but if you are not getting the results you are aiming to get then you are doing so in a single meeting or brainstorming session that relies on guesswork driven by the desire to tick boxes.
Here are the simple steps you should follow before setting up your next campaign:
- Data and/or research should be your main reference for identifying your target audience. Any other way does not count
- Stay true to your positioning, vision, guidelines, tone of voice, and any other aspect that identifies your brand. Do not reinvent your brand to accommodate every trend; it simply does not work
- Set your objectives. What do you hope to achieve? And be very specific
- Develop your key message for your campaign in light of the above – again, don’t let your desire to engage, trend, or sound relevant influence you
- Put all this into a clear brief and let your creative team do their magic
- Assess, budget, release, and monitor
It is not a magical formula for guaranteed success but it’s a sure recipe for keeping your brand on track and getting the most out of your campaigns. More importantly, it saves you from digging into your bag of excuses to justify expensive failures.
Remember, engaging audiences randomly will rarely materialize into profits; even when this manages to land you odd leads, the CPL will render them useless from a business perspective.
Court the right audience, determine the right time to propose, and seek a meaningful engagement that actually leads to a mutually beneficial relationship.