A marketing campaign needs to achieve three results;
- A well-targeted message that reaches a defined target audience
- A message that is understood by the audience
- A message that encourages people to take one of more actions
Just as looking at these three points is enough to understand why there needs to be a marketing strategy behind a campaign.
This is what a marketing strategy brings to your campaign;
It defines marketing campaign GOALS
Every campaign needs a goal or goals. These goals need to be measurable so you can understand if a campaign has been a success or not.
Decide what it is the marketing campaign needs to achieve – is it new customers? Or to achieve higher loyalty from your current customer base? Whatever the goal, you need to define it in the strategy so when you create the campaign, your creative thinkers and doers know what they are aiming for.
A marketing strategy defines the TARGET AUDIENCE
A marketing diploma graduate will have had it drummed into them that customer demographic – knowing who your customers are – is essential. And the better you know them, the better results you will get.
However, it is important you do your research on a campaign by campaign basis because the people you are aiming at with an earlier campaign, may not be the ones you are aiming for with a later campaign.
By knowing the goals of the campaign and who the target audience are, your creative marketing thinkers and doers can create an even better campaign that gets better results.
A marketing strategy assesses OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
You may be familiar with the SWOT concept.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the business, but opportunities and threats are external to it. A marketing strategy takes into account these external opportunities, but also gets the measure of the threats that are perceived to be prevalent.
In many cases, this will be your competitors. It is not just about what they are offering and at what price, but how do you counter their next move if they attempt to usurp your marketing campaign?
By identifying these threats and thinking through the possible scenarios, you can have the answer ready and waiting. In other words, you can make changes to the campaign that don’t knock it off course because you have an overarching strategy that has been carefully researched and put together.
A marketing strategy sets out the BUDGET
What is going to be the spend on this current marketing campaign?
Where will this money be spent – how much on online marketing and how much on other means?
What is the expected return of investment?
Forecasting expenditure is part of the marketing strategy. Understanding which areas yielded most return is important for future campaigns and strategies.
A marketing strategy confirms which MEDIUMS will be used and why
Is this a campaign that is going to be conducted entirely online? Which platform or channel? Why?
Or is there to be a mix of mediums? Why?
What proportion of each medium will you use? Which of your customers can be found through these mediums?
Can you see the importance of creating a marketing strategy? It poses question but more importantly, it answers them.
A marketing strategy develops an EFFECTIVE MESSAGE
A marketing campaign is only as good as the message it carries. If people don’t connect with it or engage with it, the campaign is all but lost.
However, with a well-thought and planned marketing strategy, you can create a fantastic campaign that hits the mark.
A marketing strategy EVALUATES THE CAMPAIGN
Planning it and executing the campaign are two parts of a three-part equation. If a campaign is not evaluated, then you have lost a valuable chance to take an in-depth look at what could be achieved with future campaigns.
A marketing strategy will include reviews in longer-running marketing campaigns, complete with evaluating the entire campaign at its end.
Take Away Points
A marketing strategy ensures success in many ways:
- Defines the campaign goals and objectives
- It defines the target audience so that an appropriate campaign can be created and nurtured
- It identifies threats and suggests remedies
- It sets out the overall spend, forecasting the return on investment in the campaign too
- It sets out which mediums will be used and why these are the best formats for reaching the intended audience
- It helps to develop an effective marketing campaign message that resonates with your audience
- It reviews the campaign as it is ongoing and evaluates the overall success
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