Businesses tend to get blown around by a lot of different winds. Economic winds can drag a marginal company all the way down or can become a launching pad to allow them to soar. Fads likewise drag businesses around. This is especially the case in marketing, the trendiest of all business functions. However, as the Roman statesman so long ago said, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Every marketing campaign requires a clear set of objectives in order to be know what success looks like.
At the macro level, all businesses are governed by 4 primary business functions:
Understanding your customers while delivering your product or service is essential to ensuring a sustainable business. This information is used to govern your sales funnel and helps identify lead sources to target with your marketing campaigns. This is the beginning of campaign planning, but before this we require a cascading of goals. These goals are then tied to key performance indicators, or KPIs. These allow us to track how well we are fulfilling our goals and see if we are on schedule or not within the campaign’s timeframe.
Which Goal to Consider?
Win Marketing, based in the UK, identifies at least ten different goals that companies typically have when planning out their marketing campaigns. While there is overlap between some goals, each goal requires a distinct course of action and informs the rest of the planning process for our campaign. The goals are:
• Increase sales
• Build brand awareness
• Grow market share
• Launch new products or services
• Target new customers
• Enter new markets internationally or locally
• Improve stakeholder relations
• Enhance customer relationships
• Improve internal communications
• Increase profit
A company planning a campaign in order to build brand awareness is going to target an entirely different subset of (potential) customers than if they were performing a campaign to drive sales. A company trying to improve stakeholder relations will emphasize an entirely different message in entirely different places than a company that is trying to enhance relationships with their existing customers. The goal is the starting point of the campaign.
What Gets Measured Gets Done!
Once a company selects a goal, they need to find a way to measure that goal to see if their campaign is effective or not. This is where KPIs come into play. Just like the campaign is influenced by the goal, the performance indicators likewise vary depending upon what an organization seeks to accomplish. Tying things back into the Four Disciplines of Execution, once the Wildly Important Goal has been identified, we can find a responsive measure for it. This is even more so the case in marketing, where there is a metric for literally everything.
It would be impossible to create a list of all the KPIs that marketing professionals have created over the years, but some of the more common and well known ones are:
• Funnel conversion rates
• Customer lifetime value
• Customer acquisition cost
• Customer retention rates
• Leads generated
• Marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads
• Form conversion rates
• Marketing spend ROI
So we can see how the goals pair up with the KPIs. A company wanting to increase brand awareness might look to the number of leads generated or something even less concrete such as social media mentions or press attention. A company seeking purely to raise profits with a marketing campaign might look for an increase in customer lifetime value or the ROI on the marketing spend of the campaign.
Before a campaign can be begun, we need to have cleared up these two things. A marketing campaign requires a clear goal or goals plus the identification of the necessary KPIs to track them. Once these two criteria or fulfilled, we can begin filling in the other details required for a successful campaign.
What are you looking to achieve for your company this year? Profit growth is of course the usual end goal, but how does your organization plan to get there? Getting more value out of existing customers with current products, finding new customers, offering existing customers new products, or even offering new products to new customers are all ways that this goal can be achieved, each with different KPIs and different goals.
After an organization has worked this out, and only then, can it begin to plan out the actual campaign. This is where we will go next. Social media being what it is, we can focus the main thrust of a campaign here. Come back next week to hear how BIG manages social media campaigns!