As I continue to work with clients on their marketing campaigns and initiatives, I often find that there are gaps in their marketing campaigns that prevent them from meeting their maximum potential. Some findings:
- Lack of clarity – Marketers often overlap steps in the buying journey that don’t provide clarity and focus on the purpose of the audience.
- Lack of direction – Marketers often do a great job designing a campaign but miss the most important element – telling the audience what they should do next.
- Lack of proof – incorporation of evidence, case studies, reviews, ratings, testimonials, research, etc. to support your campaign’s premise.
- Lack of measurement – ensuring you have a means to measure each step in the campaign and its overall results.
- Lack of testing – providing alternate imagery, headlines, and text that may provide an increased lift on the campaign.
- Lack of coordination – marketers often execute a campaign in a silo rather than coordinating all their other mediums and channels to promote the campaign.
- Lack of planning – overall… the biggest problem with most campaigns that fail is simple – a lack of planning. The better you research and coordinate your marketing campaign, the better the results will be.
I’ve been developing an on-demand digital marketing curriculum with a regional university to help businesses to implement processes to overcome these gaps. It’s based on the framework I’ve developed for all our clients documented graphically in our Agile Marketing Journey.
Along with the journey, I want businesses and marketers to always have a process when sitting down to plan out any initiative. I called this checklist the Marketing Campaign Planning Checklist – it’s not limited to campaigns, it’s about every marketing effort you make, from a tweet to an explainer video.
The purpose of a checklist isn’t to provide a completely documented strategy. Much as a lab technician utilizes a checklist to ensure they don’t miss a step, your business should also incorporate a checklist for every campaign or marketing initiative you deploy.
Here’s the list of questions that should be answered for every marketing initiative.
Marketing Campaign Planning Checklist:
- What is the audience for this marketing campaign? Not just who… what incorporates who, their personas, their stage in the buying journey, and thinking about how your campaign is superior to your competitors’ campaigns.
- Where is the audience for this marketing campaign? Where do these audiences reside? What mediums and channels should you utilize to effectively reach your audience?
- What resources will this marketing campaign need allocated? Think about the people, the process, and the platforms you need to use to manage the campaign effectively. Are there tools that can help you maximize your results?
- What proof can you include in your campaign? Use cases, customer testimonials, certifications, reviews, ratings, research… what third-party validation can you incorporate to overcome any trust issues about your brand or company to differentiate you from your competition?
- Are there other efforts you can coordinate with to maximize this initiative’s results? If you’re developing a whitepaper, do you have a blog post, public relations pitch, optimized blog post, social sharing, influencer distribution… what other mediums and channels could be incorporated to maximize your return on your campaign investment?
- Is the call-to-action clearly indicated? If you’re expecting your target to take any action, be sure to tell them what to do next and set expectations on it. Additionally, you may think about alternate CTAs if they’re not ready to fully engage at this point.
- What methods can you incorporate to retarget your audience? Your prospect may not be ready to buy today… can you put them in a nurturing journey? Add them to your email list? Execute cart abandonment campaigns to them? Thinking about how you could retarget your audience will help you implement solutions before it’s too late.
- How will we measure whether this initiative is successful? Incorporating tracking pixels, campaign URLs, conversion tracking, event tracking… leverage every aspect of analytics to accurately measure the response you’re getting on your campaign so you understand how to improve it.
- How long will it take to see if this initiative is successful? How often will you revisit your campaign to see if it’s working or not, when you may need to kill it or redesign it or optimize it moving forward.
- What did we learn from this marketing initiative that can be applied to the next? Do you have a well-organized campaign library that provides you with tips on how to improve your next campaign? Having a knowledge repository is critical to your organization so that you avoid making the same mistakes or coming up with additional ideas on the next campaign.
Marketing is all about measurement, momentum, and continuous improvement. Answer these 10 questions with every marketing campaign and I guarantee you’ll see improved results!
I hope you enjoy the worksheet as you move forward with your initiatives, let me know how it helped you!