Marketers have long been concerned with ‘name recognition’ or ‘brand awareness’. But in the18 years that I’ve worked in the industry what my clients really care about is what that campaign did to sales.
There are four steps, and they all relate to Kipling’s five W’s and an H.
Step 1. PLAN the campaign around the following questions:
What are we selling?
Who is our target? This needs to be as comprehensive as possible. See next months Blog (No, your customer is not anyone with a buck).
Where are these people?
How do we reach them?
When will they likely be ready to purchase?
Why should they buy from us? Limit this to one compelling reason. Anyone can do price/value/selection/service/satisfaction; in fact the American consumer expects nothing less. The key is to pick one, and own it. (Wal-Mart owns price and is an ‘advocate’ for the average American while Target owns selection, particularly of ‘cool’ everyday products).
Step 2. DEVELOP the campaign (Set the budget, buy the media, and develop the campaign):
Rule #1 – DO NOT do the creative first. The creative should only be developed once you have defined the advertising channels to be used. Your primary consideration needs to be: ‘What medium will most cost effectively our target? ‘
Other critical considerations are:
What is the budget needed to support this campaign?
How long does it need to run to reach enough people enough times (reach and frequency)? Experience has shown that half a dozen or so contacts are often required before much of anything happens.
What percent of the audience do I expect to respond? Based on that, how much budget is needed to allocate to that medium and how much time do I need to give it? (This will vary greatly by medium; for the web you can see results in 90 hours; for radio, it may take 90 days).
Place the media buy.
Once the budget is set and the media ordered, you can develop the creative. Lastly, check the buy and the creative against your 5Ws and an H. Make sure the campaign THOROUGHLY addresses all critical points.
Step 3. Launch the campaign
There’s nothing you can do now but wait. No, the phone won’t start ringing the first hour. See the campaign through.
Step 4. Evaluate the effectiveness.
Some simple baseline metrics can include: Trackable 1-800#’s (My particular favorite is www.whoscalling.com), Web Analytics such referring URLs, visits, average pages per visit etc., store sales, average transaction increase and guest counts. And if it has to be built around the infamous ‘name recognition’, there is the age-old pre & post campaign brand recognition tests.
Pat yourself on the back, enjoy the rewards and reevaluate to see how you are going to do it better next time.
If it didn’t work, go back to the basics. Did the 5Ws and an H get appropriately addressed? Which one was the weakest and how can it be strengthened?
Start again from Step #1. If it still doesn’t work, don’t DIY, call a professional. (Our recommendation– Hire an agency. We get paid to do this stuff for a living and yes, you really will see a difference.)
“I keep six faithful serving men
Who teach me well and true
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.”