The statistics on how many marketing campaigns fail to achieve the desired outcomes vary widely: Percent estimates range between 50% and a whopping 97%—likely owing to differences in sectors measured, campaign types and a host of other variables.
Regardless of the exact number, the general magnitude of suboptimal marketing campaigns seems worryingly high. In today’s post, we explore the common factors of marketing campaigns that, if well-controlled, are more likely to ensure your marketing campaign succeeds. Below, I consider each of these campaign success factors (11 in total) organized in three categories. Arguably, each category is as important as the next because failure(s) in any one category will compromise your campaign.
1. Campaign Strategy
All campaigns should start with strategy. There should be a clear and unambiguous purpose for the campaign: Are you trying to support a new product launch, or are you looking to increase brand awareness? Are you wanting to drive immediate sales, or are you looking to improve customer retention? A campaign must first answer this purpose question without ambiguity.
Once the purpose is determined, the targeting needs defining. If you are unclear on “who” you are targeting, you are unlikely to be successful with your campaign. Targeting involves demographic, psychographic and behavioral variables. Many marketers use “personas” to help bring the targeting to a sufficient level of detail to ensure everyone is clear about “who” the campaign is focused on. If a marketing campaign fails to effectively reach the intended audience, it will most likely fall short of expectations.
Related to proper targeting, another important factor is customer insights. If your market research is insufficient in helping you to understand customer motivations as well as their predilections and pain points throughout the customer journey, your campaign will likely fail to engage prospects, even if you do reach them.
As important as customer insights is knowing the marketplace. Market insights include measuring what close-in competitors currently are saying and offering to your common targets. It also includes analyzing what/how other brands are indirectly competing for your targets’ attention. Of course, being aware of all relevant economic, social and political trends that may impact your marketplace helps ensure campaign success, too.
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2. Campaign Assets
The next category of factors you need to properly manage for marketing campaign success loosely fall into what can be called “assets”. These include messaging that effectively communicates the value proposition and is clear and connects with the target audience(s).
Although verbal messaging is important, they rarely appear in isolation. Messages are usually presented in the context of a brand and other (visual/sensory) creative. Messaging should be brand-consistent and not violate the brand’s defined voice and language use. Also, we know from psychology that the majority of the information we humans process is non-verbal or sensory and that we process that information much faster and more automatically than words. Accordingly, effective campaigns use creative that not only stands out and engages, but also communicates and amplifies the desired perceptions the campaign is seeking to instill in the targets with the verbal messaging.
Finally, a more mundane asset important to campaign success is monetary. Campaigns cost money, and below a certain funding level, the campaign cannot be successful. Beyond that, and generally speaking, better-funded campaigns have a higher chance of succeeding than less-well funded campaigns.
The last category of campaign success factors is execution. Here, we need to consider timing and frequency. If the campaign is launched at the wrong time, or if the frequency is too high or too low, it may not capture sufficient audience attention. Consider seasonality, current events and industry trends in this context.
Choosing the right or wrong media channels can also impact campaign performance. Different audiences engage with certain channels more than others, so it is important to select the ones that work for your target audience.
Finally, without proper tracking and analysis, it is difficult to determine the success or failure of a marketing campaign. Regular monitoring and analysis of key performance indicators (KPIs), along with appropriate modifications, messages and activities will help ensure the goals for the marketing campaign are met.
Keeping these factors in mind when planning and executing your next marketing campaign will help ensure your campaign is more likely to achieve its objective.