From project brief to media blitz, Marketing Consultant Pacharee Pantoomano-Pfirsch explains how to get a marketing campaign off the ground.
I AM sure you have heard of the saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This expression applies to planning a successful launch. Like any project, a marketing and PR plan involves many members of the organization. When bringing a team together, a project brief is required so everyone gets on the same page and moves forward at the same pace to see the project to completion.
Prior to the creative process, a solid foundation has to be created and to do that, market research is required. Market research gives us insight into consumer preferences and behaviors. As many researchers will tell you, consumer preferences are constantly changing and are therefore a moving target. There are two approaches 1) quantitative and 2) qualitative. Market survey, or quantitative research, is deductive and it tests a hypothesis, which is identified before research begins. Qualitative research, or focus group, is inductive and a hypothesis is not required to start the research process. For many companies, market research is an annual process, especially in the area of customer satisfaction.
As part of the research, brands will also conduct a self-evaluation and create a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threat) chart. The same is also created for competitors which make and offer similar products or services that address the same target market. At this stage, potential challenges are identified. It’s an opportunity for you and the team to create contingency plans. It is through this process that brands carve out their unique positioning and selling points which make their products or services distinctive. The next step is to determine the objective(s), budget, milestones and the return on investment your organization wants from the campaign. Every company measures its success by a different yard stick. For some, it is about gaining more share of voice and brand awareness in the media. Other companies may select to measure the number of business leads the campaign generates for the sales team. How you plan to measure your success will determine both the above and below the line activities carried out during the campaign period.
For example, a media relations blitz will create awareness for your products and service. However, it may not likely generate sales leads. If your product is low touch, an advertising campaign with a call to action could be the ticket to generating sales leads. If your service or product is high touch, an event is a good forum for you to engage your target audience. An event gives you time and opportunity to present and address inquiries from potential customers.
As with every plan, periodic reviews should be scheduled to review the milestones. The milestones help the team to evaluate if the campaign is on course or if the campaign should be adjusted. The earlier the issues are detected and addressed the better. It keeps things on track and assures a successful outcome.
Pacharee Pantoomano-Pfirsch is a Marketing Consultant at Brand Now, a boutique marketing and PR agency helping clients to communicate their brand. If you’d like to plan a successful marketing campaign for your product or service, she may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.