So far I've explained how your marketing plan and your marketing campaign relate, how to set your marketing campaign objective, how you'll tell if your marketing campaign is a success, the importance of setting your marketing campaign budget, and selecting marketing channels and strategies suitable to your target market (see page one of this article). It's time for the "Just Do It" part of the marketing campaign.
6) Create a time line/action plan.
Write down what exactly you’re going to do and when in your marketing campaign.
It doesn't have to be elaborate, but writing it down will greatly increase the chances that you follow through and give you records to use when you go to evaluate the success of your marketing campaign.
For instance, suppose you are selling bicycle seats designed to be more comfortable than most. You might come up with a marketing campaign such as:
- Sponsor local Sea to Sky bike race in September ($500 to become sponsor).
- Send out a press release when you first become a sponsor (free if you do it yourself). Send out another pre-race in late August.
- Place a series of ads in local newspaper, one in June, one in July, two in August and one post-event in September (5 x $125.00 = $625).
Now that's about as simple a marketing campaign as you can have. My point is, they can be simple. Simple is fine if it gets results.
This is also a great example of a marketing campaign that it would be easy to jazz up.
Suppose, for example, that there was a local person who was going to be in the bike race that was willing to wear a jersey with my business name and logo on it for the cost of a free bike seat.
Suppose as well that she was willing to be the face of an online marketing campaign, whether free or for a price, and I could then set up a Facebook page and Twitter account about her training for the race (and, of course, promoting my bike seats). On race day, I could tweet about her progress. See how easy? And all for less than $2000.
You could also get more promotion benefit out of your race sponsorship by advertising in more places, such as buying banner ads on bike-related websites, and/or ads in appropriate ezines and magazines.
7) Do it.
Write your ad copy. Firm up your dates. Place your ads. Search for and approach someone to be the face of your online marketing campaign. Whatever actions your marketing campaign involves, execute; do; activate.
Go back to your action plan timeline and check items off, writing in the date that you complete them. It will keep you organized and you'll love the feeling.
8) Measure your results.
When the marketing campaign is over, it's time to see how successful it was. Go back to your marketing objective, measure what you've chosen to measure to determine the marketing campaign's success and see how it's done.
Suppose that my marketing objective for my bike seats marketing campaign was to increase my sales of bike seats 25% over four months. It would be a simple matter after the fact to compare my May, June, July, August and September sales figures and do the math.
9) Tweak and repeat as necessary.
Once you've measured the results of your marketing campaign, you'll be able to make decisions about the marketing strategies you've used and future marketing campaigns. Suppose that my bike seat marketing campaign increased bike seat sales 41%. I would call it wildly successful and decide to repeat it again next year.
Assuming I had the tracking in place to know which marketing strategy produced which results, I could tweak my marketing campaign accordingly. If I had the data that showed that only 2% of my increased sales came from my Twitter and Facebook strategies, I may decide not to bother with that aspect of this marketing campaign next year. Or I might decide to repeat the whole marketing campaign as designed and see if the results for these two marketing strategies improve.
Of course, my sales results for the months involved may show no improvement or even a decline, making this marketing campaign a bust. That happens sometimes, too. I might have to go back and do some serious revamping or even scrap the whole bike race sponsorship campaign.
But if I've set up my marketing campaign properly and kept records of what I’ve been doing, at least I have data to make these kinds of marketing decisions.
The Best Marketing Campaign
In a way, any marketing campaign is better than none, because it means you're directing your small business marketing efforts rather than just casting blindly here and there. But the best marketing campaign is the marketing campaign that gets the results that you want and that takes some planning and a coordinated effort.