Creative thinking that delivers results

14 Oct

Shifting on the fly: Succeeding with 21st century marketing campaigns

Category: Digital marketing
digital marketing, online marketing, marketing communications

Change. It appears to be the one constant we can count on these days. We’ve come to grips with the reality that we need to be able to adapt to change or deal with the repercussions. Digital marketers have become very attune with this concept, with many expected to constantly adjust their digital marketing campaigns in order to achieve optimal results.

Test and Adjust

One of the common approaches to modern marketing is the concept of ‘test and adjust’. This refers to the concept of continually testing your marketing tactics with actual prospects and customers and then adjusting your marketing messages, calls to action and creative to optimize results.

This iterative and ongoing process has become commonplace in digital marketing from everything from email marketing to pay-per-click advertising, display ads and social media advertising to name but a few. The critical component is the need to constantly evolve and adjust the marketing tactic to achieve the best possible results from one’s campaigns.

Quantitative and Qualitative Objectives

One component some marketers fail to adequately employ when implementing a test and adjust marketing philosophy is the identification of specific marketing and/or sales goals, and ones that are clearly communicated and agreed to throughout the organization.

Without a set of agreed upon goals that all parties can aim for, evaluating results and making the appropriate adjustments to optimize results will be almost impossible.

5 Tips for Marketing Goal Setting

What kinds of goals should companies include in their digital marketing campaigns and programs? We’ve compiled what we believe are the more critical and important ones, though in reality this list could be endless.

A great first step to identify these goals is to use a SMART decision-making framework (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).  With this in mind, the following are what we would consider to be the more important marketing goals:

1)      Identify and align objectives with your marketing strategy

To establish the appropriate set of marketing success criteria, it’s critical that modern marketers set objectives that reflect your core marketing strategy (i.e. target markets, value proposition, positioning, key messaging, etc.). Failure to do this and the goals you create may have little to do with your business’ long-term success.

2)      Identify your marketing tactics

Once you’ve aligned your objectives to your marketing strategy, you should then be able to identify the marketing tactics that will help you achieve these objectives. Ensure you have the requisite skills within your marketing team to develop and execute these tactics and then analyze the results. Any gaps can be filled by hiring a marketing agency or freelancer/consultant to help.

3)      Identify and specify KPIs

Much has been said about KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and some of it may be a significant overstatement. Nonetheless, specifying KPIs for each and every channel and tactic you’re employing in your marketing campaign will go a long way to ensuring its success. And remember that your goals don’t need to strictly be dollars or percentages; they can also be qualitative, such as to improve customer sentiment. Just be sure to specify exactly what you want to achieve.

4)      Set realistic goals

There is nothing more demoralizing than to set goals that are unattainable, or only achievable if the planets align at the right time! If you’re employing a given marketing tactic for the first time, establish somewhat conservative objectives that will get you rolling and set the business up for long-term success. The alternative is not a very rosy one.

5)      Adjust your goals regularly

Further to the above points, it’s imperative that you change your marketing goals with each iteration of a given tactic. For example, if you’re using email marketing in your marketing mix, be sure that your goals adjust to reflect the growth and evolution you’re experiencing in this channel. This also entails adjusting your goals ‘on-the-fly’ as market conditions, customer expectations and your own internal needs evolve.

There you have it. A comprehensive approach to putting in place a system to identify, evaluate and change your marketing goals in order to create a more responsive marketing engine that will enable your company to design smarter and more successful marketing campaigns.

As always, if you need help coming up with any part of this marketing system, please be sure to contact us. We’d be happy to help you put a more impactful marketing program in place for your business.