Most of us want more customers and more sales. In order to do that, we are told that we must market, stay at the forefront of people’s minds, be attractive to our prospects, and stay connected to our existing database. All this takes time and effort.
Ad hoc efforts become frustrating and lack the desired impact. But many SME Business Owners are busy doing the work so if you are not being strategic about your marketing then you may be fighting a losing battle. Your efforts can end up being inconsistent and unproductive in terms of increasing the bottom line.
At Engineering Business Growth, we want you to be consistent in getting out to your target market and audience with all the great products and services you have available. We want you to have the success you deserve. And the key to that success is actually a relatively simple switch of mindset and activity. You start to use the power of campaigns effectively.
The word “campaign” is possibly scary sounding. We relate it to politics and voicing our thoughts. Here we are talking about something much more interesting and positive for you!
The great news is that, as well as being THE most effective way to get more customers, it is also much more efficient to start to communicate and market through a campaign than it is to make haphazard sporadic efforts when you can.
What is a campaign?
A campaign is a coordinated series of steps that can include promotion of a product through different mediums. It has three key factors; a specific goal, a start date and an end date. A campaign can be as long or as short as you want it to be but you have to get specific in order to make sure the campaign works. The more honed your goal and plan is, the more your efforts will be rewarded.
Let’s say you want to sell the overstocked items you have to make room for the newer products you have coming in for the next season. You need a clear path to promote these goods.
A good campaign starts with a strategic decision to introduce a product service, event or opportunity to your target market, to attract them to take the action you are aiming for. The action can be anything from making a purchase to attending an event, to joining a database, to any other desired outcome you may have.
The campaign can be online or offline online or offline or a combination of the two. It can be fully automated or fully manual or a both.
The key elements of an effective campaign are:
- Clarity on the end result e.g. clear 1200 items of stock to make room for the new season’s goods
- Targeted – ensure your campaign is being directed to your identified target market. For example if it is a campaign with a stand at an exhibition then ensure you have done the research and know your target market will be at the exhibition or it could all be a waste of time. Also, understand the needs of that target segment and what it is that they would be interested in and tailor your campaign accordingly from the concept to the smallest detail.
- A defined plan and schedule that is dated and laid out so you know what needs to happen each and every day during your campaign. Ideally everything is set up to run ‘automatically’ so it takes very little effort whilst the campaign is in progress. However some elements may be prepared in advance and then activity can be done throughout the campaign to maximise on it. So for example you may have emails, blogs and social media all set up in advance and then you can network and call people throughout to have even more impact.
- A variety of approaches and connection points so that you reach as many people in your audience as possible. These should all be reflected in your campaign plan or diary. This means you are not just using email marketing or relying on LinkedIn to promote your campaign, but instead a joint effort using multiple mediums that all have a joined up purpose.
- A desirable offer and “Call to Action”. It’s a competitive world and what you offer during your campaign must appeal to the audience you are presenting it to. Also, do what you can to move them forward in some way at every step of engagement, not just the end point.
- Clear and engaging messages are key. Everything else can be in place but if you don’t communicate it effectively then people may not hear or understand what is available to them or what steps to take
- Measure your performance and results. This can give you insights to change tack during the campaign and learning to feed into future campaigns. It will help you to know what works and what doesn’t.
With these elements in place, your efforts in communicating with your current and future customers will be more focused and much more likely to give you the results you want.
In addition, it will make the most of your own precious resources – your time, energy, attention and money. Campaigns are a surer way to ensure that you get the specific targeted results you have set in the business and we recommend that you plan them quarterly so you always have a campaign running meaning you always have focus in your marketing activity.