ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — In a dimming economy, promotional budgets are a bean counter’s favorite target. These budget crunchers have been eagerly waiting to put the kibosh on marketing’s endless string of spendy events and exorbitant promotions, along with their nebulous “results.” Marketers rationalize the absence of metrics with responses like, “you can’t put a price on building brand awareness.” Even when results are generated, the path from promotional customer-engagement activities to a qualified lead or sale is generally untraceable, except for possibly the very last campaign element that “may” have inspired the customer to hit the purchase button or request pricing or more product information.
Swoosh. The next thing marketers know, their budgets are slashed. The only money left is for initiatives that can be directly correlated to a qualified lead or sale. Now there is a new problem: initiatives executed in isolation don’t produce.
When promotional initiatives can’t demonstrate measurable results, they should be cut –in a healthy or an unhealthy economy. When the market takes a downturn, however, every marketing program has to go above and beyond to meet its return on investment (ROI) or return on advertising spend (ROAS) objective. Today, this may mean saying goodbye to activities such as trade shows and their sky-high costs per lead, unmeasurable “brand building” event sponsorships and high-cost advertising’s unquantifiable results. Instead, say hello to the specific measurability, low cost and high ROI of a well-planned integrated online marketing campaign. In this article, we’ll walk you through some key success factors and a model you can use or customize to build an effective integrated online campaign.
Building an Effective Campaign
One key to your success will be the ability to define and promote the results of an integrated campaign to the executives charged with both top and bottom line responsibility. This will limit the possibility that your campaign will be killed before it’s been fully executed. Doing this will require you to surmount a few challenges: (1) Educating decision makers on what constitutes an effective integrated campaign. (2) Adequately communicating the results, progress and mid-course corrections of the campaign over time. (3) Ultimately, delivering a campaign that maximizes ROI and achieves other defined objectives.
Before you begin, or in parallel with the campaign-planning process, you have to educate executives on why a multi-step, integrated online campaign is the best avenue for proven results. Now proven, traceable results may be as rare as a unicorn sighting, but there is no shortage of executives looking for a silver bullet to immediately deliver on a company’s revenue goals. The 90-day fix presented below, if properly presented and reported on, may be fast enough for even the most impatient, but business-savvy, executive.
You’ll need to convey a few important concepts. One is that successful online campaigns use multiple marketing vehicles to touch each individual prospect 7-11 times over a 45-90 day period. This is because prospects need to be repeatedly exposed to your brand, so your company or product name registers. Then you need to captivate the prospects desire to learn more.
Now, you’ll need to communicate expectations, and subsequently, the progress toward meeting the objectives. In order to do this, you’ll need to define and track multiple metrics for each marketing initiative. Because you will have the metrics defined in every step of the campaign, and your online monitoring tools will be in place, reporting is baked right into the overall design of the campaign.