It’s not enough for a business to have a well-respected brand and a profitable niche in its category. To be really successful, you have to be growing. Mining your customer base for increased revenue. Creating product spin-offs. Line extensions. Acquisitions. Shoring up your place in the market against inevitable competition. It never ends.
When any one of these objectives needs special attention, you’re in campaign mode. And because each of these efforts requires different resources and strategies, special cross-functional teams are gathered. A goal is established. A clear path of accountability is put into place. Budgets are reserved. And a campaign gets underway.
And a campaign has a special energy. Each one is unique — not only aimed at achieving different outcomes, but employing distinct tactics and utilizing different channels.The idea is to create something that is literally the opposite of business as usual. It’s a concentrated effort with serious guardrails.
The Intelligent Campaign Kickstarter
Probably the most important phase of mounting a campaign is the initial planning. You might know where you want to be when you cross the finish line, but getting there feels a little daunting at first. Social Media Analytics may well be the best place to start. It’s the most accurate and timely way to get a handle on your brand, industry and audience. The answers to the questions below will give you the insights and inspiration to create a great campaign.
Where are you right now?
What is the competition up to?
Who is your audience?
Where do they consume content?
What messaging is most effective?
Where are you right now? One highly useful asset in campaign planning is often overlooked: Your own data. Historical sales trends. Seasonal trends. Price sensitivity. Geographical distribution. No doubt you have a wealth of information to examine and no one has it but you! This proprietary business data may well provide the insights you need to tap into new markets, create better products or develop engaging creative. The fact that it’s been sitting there all along, just down the hall, is not a good reason to ignore it. The planning stage of a campaign is the best time to bring that data to the table.
What’s the competition up to? Sometimes the seed of a great campaign comes from an unlikely source: what your competitors are doing. Social Media Analytics can help get beyond the obvious information layers like market share and sales figures and dive into the behavioral and emotional aspects of your competitors’ messaging. Online consumer conversations from social networks, forums, blogs and more offers up billions of data points, and if you point your inquiry at the competitive landscape it’s amazing what you will learn. Like, what specifically consumers prefer about a competitive brand and what opinions and proclivities make them feel that way.
Who is your audience? This may be the most important part of the campaign planning process: Who are you trying to target? The traditional sources of this information are things like market research and sales data. You can also look at your relative success in different sales channels, each of which has its own, well known demographics. (Whole Foods vs. Bargain Outlet). No doubt, gender, age, geography and education level are all valuable demographic data points, but look how much further Social Media Analytics can take you. You can get more than numbers to define the person, you get the person.
Where do they consume content? Back in the day this question would have been ‘what’s the media plan?’ You’d be thinking about radio vs. print. Or TV vs a celebrity promotion. The options available for placing your message were diverse but relatively easy to keep track of. Right now? It’s ridiculous. Thousands of TV networks. Radio stations from across the globe. Highly targeted pay-per-click advertising. Content marketing. Promoted social messaging. An infinite number of choices on the web. Ironically, using Social Media Analytics is the best way to make sense of this by carefully tracking the content and the channels, your customers prefer.
What messaging is most effective? The tools available for sharpening your messaging strategy are awesome. In the planning stage, a focus group or other traditional research technique can give you some feedback in a closed setting so that your plans are not available to the public or the competition. But when Social Media Analytics is engaged, you can add information gathered from the relative success of previous campaigns. Precedents that worked and didn’t work. (And by ‘previous’, we could be talking about yesterday.) Social media conversations can tell you what messages people like and shared. What they disliked. What messaging stimulates intent to buy. What messaging is most successful with the people you are trying to reach.
Plan On Social Media Analytics
When you consider the costs of staff, production and media, a winning business campaign can be an expensive proposition. Should you miss the mark by even a little bit, it gets even more expensive.That’s why, in the last several years, Social Media Analytics has gone mainstream It’s the definitive way brands learn who their consumers are, why they buy, and why they don’t. It’s the ultimate kickstart for creating successful campaigns.
In the bad old days, marketers had two approaches to planning campaigns — 1) time-consuming and expensive market research or 2) just going with their guts. But Social Media Analytics has allowed them to use billions of online consumer conversations found in social media data to learn about their audience, identify market gaps and pressure test creative.
In fact, I’ll leave you with an example. When Fender, one of the world’s leading guitar brands, wanted to create a campaign specifically designed to reach and empower female guitar players, they turned to Social Media Analytics. They were able to better understand women’s opinions about guitars (and, crucially, the guitar-buying process) and identify female artists with strong followings.
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You can read about Fender’s campaign-planning process in this free case study, or by watching this video.
Download the full guide: The Modern Guide to Planning, Optimizing and Measuring Campaign Performance