Let’s face it: if marketing campaigns don’t play a big role your marketing strategy AND your business you’re missing out on a world of possibilities. That’s why we’ve compiled our guide to some marketing campaign essentials.

After all, there are many different types of marketing but they all have the same purpose, and that’s to work towards a specific business goal.

Why are companies spending billions of dollars for marketing though? What makes marketing so important in the business world?

We’ll look at some marketing theory, some great marketing campaign examples and cover a range of marketing campaign essentials along the way.

 

The Purpose of Marketing Campaigns

 

In today’s competitive business environment you can have the best product in the market, but without efficient marketing you’ll fall short of your potential market share.

The question is not whether marketing is important or not; rather it is how much marketing you need to dominate your market.

The role that marketing plays can be broken down into six main elements:

  • Communication

Communicating with potential customers and relaying your company’s message to them is the first step towards increasing sales. Through marketing, a business talks to its consumers, delivers its vision and highlights the qualities of the product or service offered.

Communication with your target market is key.

To reach the largest audience available and effectively deliver your message, spread your word on as many platforms as you can. Any business should research the target market, find out where they can be online and in the physical world. Through effective market research, the company’s message will reach its target audience.

  • Creating a brand image

Brand image is how the consumer perceives your brand and your company. It is created by the customer’s own experience with the company, the consistent message put through your advertising or marketing campaigns and the word of mouth spread through other customers’ experiences.

Why is brand image crucial to surviving in the market? A strong brand resonates with the customer; quality marketing eequates to quality products in the consumers’ minds. Next time he/she is walking down the aisles in a supermarket, the consumer will be reminded of your strong brand image and opt for your product.

  • Customer Loyalty

Loyalty is the emotional response a customer has as a result of several positive experiences with your company’s product or service. Customer loyalty is mostly obtained through efficient customer service management and post-sales services.

However, efficient marketing campaign practices have been shown to increase a customer’s sense of loyalty.

When a customer feels appreciated and has a direct line of communication with a business through social media platforms, this in turn increases his/her sense of loyalty. Messages relayed through ads can fixate on the consumer’s needs, which make customers feel like the products of a certain brand satisfy their requirements.

  • Retaining current customers while obtaining new ones

Retaining existing customers is always cheaper than obtaining new ones. The best marketing campaigns however, can work on both. Targeted marketing campaigns assert a company’s dominance in the market, remind current customers of the benefit of the product and greatly help in securing new buyers.

  • Brand Recognition

One of the main purposes of any marketing campaign is to promote the name of your brand and company.

Brand recognition or brand awareness relates to how much the targeted consumer can identify with a certain brand. Brand recognition is built through effective marketing campaigns. Consumers who are exposed to visual and auditory advertisements are more likely to recognise your products while shopping or looking for certain services.

  • Increased Sales

The main point of any market campaign is to eventually increase sales. Profit is what keeps a company competitive in the business world; and the more sales a company has the more profitable it will be.

 

Marketing Mix – The 4Ps

 

Although originally defined as the 4Ps, the marketing mix has been expanded to include as much as 7Ps.

The original four were price, product, promotion and place. The marketing mix was defined as a set of tactics that are essential in the process of marketing and selling a product or service.

The concept was first derived in 1948 by a Harvard professor called James Culliton. He called marketers “mixers of ingredients”. Those ingredients where later popularised as the 4Ps by Jerome E. McCarthy in the Sixties. The four original Ps were defined as:

  • Price

Price plays an important role in the market: too high and you won’t win enough sales, too low decreases your profit margin and can suggest an inferior product.

With price, a company should hit that sweet spot where prices are fair enough to beat competitors while retaining the product’s image. The pricing aspect includes: pricing strategies, tactics and special promotions.

  • Product

The product aspect refers to the item being marketed to the end consumer. The product could be a tangible or intangible item (ie, services). The product should satisfy the customer’s needs and wants and is arguably the most important of the 4Ps.

If the product is no good, then no amount of work on the other marketing mix tactics can save the project. There is a minimum performance that consumers expect from a certain product or service; the company should target anything above the minimum in order to remain competitive in the market place.

The product aspect of the marketing mix includes: the features, after sales services, quality and branding of the item sold to consumers.

  • Place

The place characteristic of the 4Pss of the marketing mix includes the physical location where the products or services will be offered to the end consumers or the warehousing location of the products.

This is important because the placing strategy decides where customers will be able to purchase the product. Distribution tactics include intensive, selective or exclusive dissemination. The company can also opt for franchising or online distribution. Ultimately, the place matters because that is decisive in where the customer can have access to the final product.

Exclusive distribution gives the consumer the idea that the product is of such high quality that it can be found only in select locations.

On the other hand, intensive distribution grants convenience to the customer. Although intensive distribution could be more costly, it gives customers access to buy the product more easily, thus increasing sales.

The last of the original 4Ps, but by no means the least important, is the promotion aspect. Promotion refers to the marketing effort carried out by the company to market and promote the product and/or service offered by the business.

Promotion efforts include public relations, advertisements, marketing strategies plus sales discounts or promotions. The promotional mix part of the 4Ps could be considered to be most important part of the marketing mix.

The 7Ps

A more recent modification to standard 4Ps of marketing: this adds three more elements to the 4Ps.

The recent additions are:

  • People

The term people is used to refer to anyone involved in the process of marketing and selling a company’s product.

This includes the company’s employees, the target market and all decision influencers.

If the targeted market segment does not have enough demand for the product or service, then the company should consider either changing the targeted consumer or try to increase demand by altering the product.

  • Process

Delivering the product from the production phases into wholesale then retail and, finally, to hands of the consumer is complex and expensive.

Fortunately, cutting costs and time where applicable is a good way to saving time and money.

The process should be as consumer-focused as possible; meaning that the end result should have the customer’s best interest at heart.

  • Physical environment

Physical environment is where the consumer and your employees physically interact. This includes your facilities, office, the interior design and the ambient conditions. This refers more to the service industry rather than the tangible product realm. The aim of this is to make the physical environment as welcoming as possible for the consumer.

The 4Cs

In the early Nineties Robert F. Lauterborn introduced a more customer-oriented model.

The 4Cs are, basically, the same as the 4Cs. The difference between the two models?

  • Product changed to Consumer wants and needs

Consumer wants and need differ from product by focusing more on  what the consumer wants rather than the qualities of the product.

  • Price changed to Cost

Price was changed to cost in Lauterborn’s model. The reasoning behind this is that price or monetary value is not the only cost to be considered. The cost of time among other things was something to be kept in mind.

  • Promotion changed to Communication

Lauterborn believed that promotion refers to a one-way process and believed that the process should be viewed as a communication between the seller and buyer in both directions.

 

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Campaign Strategies

 

Running a marketing campaign is like running a marathon, it needs long term preparation, an action plan and an focused effort. In the marketing world, these factors are devised into a campaign strategy.

A campaign strategy will effectively match your products or services with your target audience in order to meet your marketing and sales objectives. Running your marketing campaign is a relatively minor part in the campaign strategy, all the important work is done before this time.

Some common campaign strategies used by many brands and marketing agencies all around the world?

According to AdHere’s article ‘Marketing that Sticks’, these seven features are included in many of the best campaigns:

  1. Clear Call-to-Actions

The purpose of your campaign should be clearly presented. Your audience needs to know what to do and how to act after receiving the information you just shared. While you have your audience’s attention, it is important to get your message across to achieve your marketing goal.

  1. Target to a Niche Audience

Generalising the target audience of your marketing campaign is not cost or time efficient. Rather than sending your message to all age groups, genders, and social classes, focus your aim to the people who are more likely to buy your product or service, your niche audience.

Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can use behavioural and targeted advertising that will help you reach your target audience through those behaviours and interests.

  1. Use A Range of Content Tpes

Creating audio, visual and textual content is the best way to address all your audience’s preferences. Most of the time it is most effective to combine all of them.

  1. Easy to Share

Whether it’s through your website, or on your YouTube channel, your content should be easily shared. Creating content designed to be shareable across several social media platforms will increase your reach and your sales opportunities. But it’s also important to keep in mind that your content should be exciting and interesting enough for people to want to share it.

  1. Inspire Interaction

Engaging your audience is essential if you expect a positive response. Creating content that encourages them to talk back, comment and express themselves makes your brand more memorable, and in reality people are more likely to share this experience with their friends.

  1. Use a Memorable Spokesperson

Some of the best marketing campaigns make use of a spokesperson who is recognisable and is someone the audience can relate to. Using a familiar face to generate attention for your product also helps to give a personal edge for your brand. Also, having a known person as the face of your brand further engages your audience as they will be interested in knowing what they are going to do or say next.

  1. Go Against the Norm

Your audience doesn’t want to see something they’ve seen before. In everything you create for your marketing campaign, try to stand out.

The strategies you choose to implement in your marketing campaign really depend on your product and your target audience. This is where you market research plays its role in shaping the scope of your marketing.

The list above is far from the only approach to create the best marketing campaign. There are countless  tactics to help you create great marketing campaigns.

Alongside Adhere’s list, Entrepreneur posted an article titled, ‘10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth’.

  1. Social Media

Having an online presence is, of course, extremely important in today’s digital world. Use social media to give your brand a ‘world’ online. Create Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages to keep your audience updated with your latest posts and marketing moves.

  1. Video Tutorials

With YouTube now very much a giant of the digital era, it’s safe to say that people love watching videos. Creating video tutorials will give your brand an informative edge as you’ll be teaching your audience something new and useful.

  1. Blogging

If you don’t already have a blog, start one! Blogging is an effective way to establish your brand online. Creating meaningful content will drive people to your blog to stay updated with your latest posts, hopefully sharing with friends.

Use platforms like Medium to publish content online and answer questions on Quora and Reddit.

  1. SEO

Understand how Search Engine Optimisation works in order to make the most use of it. SEO can be a powerful way to find and drive traffic. Often misunderstood, it simply refers to using the right content, page set-up and links to be seen favourably by Google for a specific keyword. A free Yoast tutorial is a great start.

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  1. Influencers

To gain visibility on social media, sometimes you’ll want to go beyond your own audience and followers, so you have to utilise an existing loyal audience base. Social media influencers make money by promoting products online to their social media followers.

  1. Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is an offering of some value to a prospect in return for their contact information. The aim of a lead magnet is to maximise the number of targeted leads for an offer. Working on your lead magnet can lead to exceptional results.

  1. Facebook Ads

Rather than sending out general advertisements to a broad audience, you can select the most appropriate audience on Facebook.

  1. LinkedIn

You can use this platform to introduce yourself, promote your business and explain why you stand out from the rest. While this content may be overlooked on other social media platforms, many people on LinkedIn are interested in finding out more about the workings of your business. LinkedIn is also a good place for ‘thought leadership’ content showing your expertise in a particular subject related to your business.

  1. Affiliate Scheme

Creating an affiliate scheme can lead to a number of benefits in the long term and short term. Affiliate marketing will help your business growth by creating a network of other companies or people promoting your produce.

  1. Email Marketing Sequences

Lastly, sending out emails to your subscribers on a regular basis creates a platform for your audience to have a direct communication with you.

After taking a look at multiple marketing strategy approaches, we can summarise some common approaches to marketing campaign success.

  1. Understand the Market

Understand your competition, your audience and the platforms available to you! Make sure that your knowledge of all aspects is balanced, contextual and purposeful.

Knowing your audience really well but not understanding the competition in the market will harm your results. Focus on market research and the best marketing campaign strategy can be formed around your findings.

  1. Create a Variety of Content

Your audience will have a variety of tastes and preferences. From video to audio to text, there are a large number of ways you can approach content creation. Understand how to combine every available method, how to use them separately and which sector of your target audience each relates to.

  1. Use Social Media

Different social media platforms open doors for various exposure opportunities. Make sure you understand the different content that can be created for each platform.

It’s important to have an active social media presence as a large number of your target audience will be found there, but quality content will help cut through the ‘noise’.

 

Behavioural Advertising vs. Targeted Advertising

 

Within online advertising, your advertisements can appear where they are most relevant. With options like behavioural advertising and targeted advertising on Facebook and other platforms, you can select exactly when, where and to who your advertisements are shown.

Although these two options may sound similar, there are differences between them.

Firstly, behavioral advertising involves advertisements based on the audience’s behaviour online.

For example, after running a Google search on yoga mats for sale, an advertisement offering music for yoga could appear on webpages for the searcher.

Of course, this may not be effective because the searchers aren’t interested in the product specifically because of their Google search.

On the other hand, targeted advertising is something we’ll have seen very often, for example on Facebook. Through your likes and interests, advertisers will be able to identify you as a potential customer. On that basis, some ads are only presented to specific demographics or a specific age group.

Using this type of advertising ensures that you’re reaching your niche audience, and gaining the best possible engagement rate through your online advertisements

 

Getting Down to Business – Running Your Marketing Campaign

 

There are some steps you need to keep in mind when running a marketing campaign in order to stay focused, within your budget, on the right results.

 

Best Marketing Campaigns – Some Examples

 

Every year, consumers witness an enormous number of ads.

By looking at real life examples, you can learn from some world-class marketing techniques and try to subtly apply them to your own marketing campaign.

From Pepsi to Gucci, we’ve seen some outstanding campaigns in recent years:

  1. The New York Times – The truth is hard to find

At a time when political and social tensions all around the world are at a peak, journalism becomes all the more important. People turn to the news in search for the news, and the truth. This campaign by The New York Times depicts journalism in a new light.

The video ads were first aired during the Academy Awards to an audience considered to be receptive to the message they were portraying, and from there the campaign gained positive feedback and shares from viewers.

A particularly positive thing about this campaign? It didn’t excessively push the brand, it aimed to change the idea of journalism as a whole and not just the work of The New York Times.

  1. Spotify – Play This at My Funeral

In collaboration with the advertising agency, Wieden + Kennedy New York, Spotify launched this advertising campaign.

The videos consisted of artists commenting on playlists which featured their songs. One of the videos which went viral was the ‘Play this at my funeral’ video featuring Joe Jonas and ‘Global warming is real, let’s dance’ featuring Alessia Cara.

This campaign clearly shows how you can use the information available at your fingertips, to create engaging content for your audience.

Spotify was able to make use of data provided to them by their own listeners, and turn into one of the best marketing campaigns of that year.

  1. Gucci – #TFWGucci

The luxury brand Gucci jumped on the meme trend by creating content to drive hype and enthusiasm around the brand itself using the hashtag #TFWGucci.

This is an example of how a brand can use already popular trends and ideas to market their products.

It should be recognised how Gucci managed break a number of their brand stereotypes, by tapping into a trend created by younger consumers who do not specifically fit their targeted demographic.

  1. Airbnb – We All Belong

Because of its diversity and presence all across the world, Airbnb focuses on showing their support of accepting people no matter who they are and where they come from.

Airbnb released their ‘We All Belong’ campaign days after President Trump imposed his travel ban. In contrast to the events in the headlines, Aitbnb sought to remind people of their values.

  1. IKEA – The Place app

Through the IKEA Place app and augmented reality technology, you could see how furniture would look in your apartment without having to physically place it there.

IKEA understood problem faced by their audience and they found a great way to make buying from their company easier for their audience.

  1. MailChimp – Did You Mean MailChimp?

MailChimp were able to use the fact that people pronounce their name incorrectly and turn it into a marketing theme. The advert was primarily a short animated abstract film, making the campaign stand out due to taking a fresh approach.

Using this example, we can see how important it is create a personality for your brand.

  1. Be The Match – Be The Guy

Be The Match is a non-profit working to help cancer patients and to save lives through bone marrow transplants. The aum of this campaign was to encourage men to donate bone marrow for cancer patients.

However, rather than using the more obvious emotions of guilt and compassion, Be The Match touched on the feeling of empowerment within us all.

Be The Match was able to break with audience’s expectations, making Be The Guy a stand-out campaign.

  1. Apple – The Earth ad

Following President Trump’s decision to remove the US from the Paris Agreement, Apple posted a video showing the beauty of our Earth and its priceless value. The entire video was shot on iPhone.

The shots were widely varied, and included scenery and landscape shots from different climates and regions around the world, expressing the global nature of the brand. Ultimately, Apple aimed to communicate with their audience on a political and social level.

  1. Heineken – Worlds Apart

This Heineken ad focuses on the element of diversity and the differences amongst us all.

However, there are some things in lifewe can agree on. To Heineken, that would – of course – involve their beers. Worlds Apart is presented as experiment where two people with completely different ideologies choose to set their differences aside and sit down to discuss their differences over a cold beer.

  1. Dove – Real Beauty campaign

Through their beauty products, Dove has always sent a message encouraging body positivity and the definition of ‘real beauty’.

For this marketing campaign, Dove created limited edition shapes and sizes of bottles representing the shapes and sizes of all women, encouraging them accept their natural beaut.

 

Summary: Marketing Campaigns And Your Business

 

Whether you have a startup business or an established business, working on your marketing is pretty much essential.

To create the best marketing campaign for you brand, some marketing basics need to be used.

Don’t be afraid to always try something new, try to make use of all the available technology and keep a clear focus on your strategies to achieve the best results.

Good luck!

 

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