Marketing has always been an indispensable department in many companies as it helps to sell products and services. Establishing an effective marketing plan minimises costly errors and helps to sell products in an efficient manner. It is the key to having successful businesses. While having successful marketing plans is the dreams of many marketing specialists, not all are doing it correctly.
1. Situation Analysis
Having in-depth knowledge about the situation at hand is useful in setting the direction of the marketing plan. Getting insights into the situation helps marketers realise the pros and cons, and similarities and differences among the different competitors. It is during the research phase, whereby the data are collected and analysed to have a detailed overview of the situation.
SWOT analysis is something that people always adopt before they embark on a new campaign or project. It is a method that is used to record a set of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the company. Strengths are the internal advantages that a company possess. They could be used to leverage external opportunities and deter against external threats. At the same time, the company should minimise organizational weaknesses to take advantage of the external environment and deter external threats.
It is always good to know what the strengths and weaknesses of competitors are, so the company can use that to differentiate its products from the competitors. With that, the company can formulate a unique marketing plan that will make the company stand out. Analyse the content that the competitors are creating, learn, and improve from their work. Companies can consider asking: What kind of content they are producing? What kind of channels they are using? Moreover, analysing competitors’ SEO structure and can help the company to identify areas for improvement.
For the marketing plan to be a successful one, marketers should have a clear understanding of their target audience. It helps in developing a more targeted approach that is suited to the audience. If they feel that the products and services are effective at solving their problems, they have a higher probability of purchasing goods from the company. The focus of this segment is about how much the company addresses the dire needs of its customers. To formulate a successful marketing campaign, there should be buyer personas–fictional and ideal consumers who will purchase the products. Having a buyer persona helps to personalise the marketing plan and makes it more effective.
Major selling point
After understanding the competitors and the target audience, marketers should start working on their unique selling point. Do ensure that the selling point is an important feature that customers care about.
2. Planning Phase
After the research phase is over, it is time to move on to the planning phase. It is the time to plan out the GOST for the campaign. Set out the goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics here, while keeping in mind not to exceed the budget.
The goal of a campaign should be broad, general, and encompassing of the whole marketing plan. There should not have too many goals, as it would be difficult to achieve all of them. Example of a goal: This campaign aims to increase overall brand awareness.
Good objectives are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Setting SMART objectives are crucial as they affect how the success of the campaign will be measured at the end of the day. The objectives should always support the overall goal. It is possible to set more than one objective, but do not exceed three, as it would be hard to manage. Example of a SMART objective: This campaign aims to have a 30% increase in Instagram followers by the end of the campaign.
A strategy is a guideline that helps everyone to understand the overall direction of the campaign. Like goal, the strategy is a general framework that marketers follow. Example of a strategy: This campaign is going to use digital-centric measures to increase brand awareness.
Tactics would be the specific and operational level of procedures that will be implemented to achieve the objectives. There can be numerous tactics in one campaign. Example of tactics: There will be IGTVs uploaded weekly and there will be more influencer marketing done on social media sites like Instagram.
3. Implementation Phase
As straightforward as it sounds, this is the phase to put the planning into action. When implementing the tactics, marketers should be mindful of certain things. It would be ideal to adopt persuasion methods to convince the target audience to purchase the products. To garner the trust from target audiences, marketers can use three persuasive appeals—ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos puts emphasis on the credibility of the influencers and company spokespeople. Are they reliable and trustworthy? If a knowledgeable expert was employed to endorse a product, and consumers would have a higher tendency to believe in the key message.
Pathos (Emotions & Sentiment)
It focuses on the emotional aspect of the message appeal. What emotions would the target audiences feel when they come across with the campaign? When faced with advertisements that use positive emotions, audiences would associate the happy emotions with the brand and perceive the brand in a better light. In contrast, negative emotions will instill a sense of fear and guilt that seek to induce corrective actions in the target audiences.
Logos (Logic & Reasoning)
This uses facts, and data to support the campaign’s key message. Consumers will look at the factual pieces of evidence that are put up and conclude if they want to purchase the products. However, rational appeal on its own will not make its mark. It needs to be complemented using emotional appeal.
4. Evaluation of Campaign
Lastly, this is the final stage of the campaign. Compare the initial and the final statistics to evaluate how successful the campaign has been. This step is crucial as companies can find out what worked and what did not. They can learn from this campaign and make amendments in the next campaign accordingly.
Summing up, formulating a campaign can be exciting and interesting. However, managing a successful and effective marketing campaign is not an easy task. Hence, marketers need to come up with creative and innovate campaign ideas to stand out from the clutter. Moreover, getting it to work requires more precise work, tedious procedures, and meticulous to details. Details is what makes or breaks a campaign as it can have far-reaching impacts. Paying attention to details like setting SMART objectives could affect the tactics employed and the evaluation of the campaign in the later part of the campaign. Here are some marketing campaigns that went viral, do look at it and see how they have executed their advertisements to push forth their products.