If you’re like me, planning, creating, and executing a marketing campaign takes time and energy – it can even be a bit daunting.
A winning marketing campaign should deliver results – whether you’re looking for online or in-store traffic, high-quality or high-quantity leads, high ROI/increased overall revenue, or all of the above!
This can feel like a tall order, but the truth is, there’s more opportunity to do this than ever.
Previously, we had to rely on direct mail, magazines, TV commercials, and radio. Then, email entered the picture. Now, there’s a variety of channels to choose from and they can be utilized individually or combined with one another for an endless array of options.
But what do you choose? How can you know that you’re utilizing these options to the fullest?
Here’s the good news: planning and executing a winning marketing campaign isn’t a guessing game. In fact, there are some simple guidelines that you can use to make your campaign planning and execution easy and successful, every time.
Over the course of the next week, I will be walking through some of the most important steps to planning and executing any winning marketing campaign.
In this first installment, of “How to Plan & Execute a Winning Marketing Campaign the Easy Way”, you’ll learn the importance of setting goals, establishing ideal customers, understanding what motivates these customers, discovering and communicating your “why”, creating a target audience, and finally, crafting an irresistible offer.
Let’s get started…
Set A Goal…Or Two
This might seem cliché, but sometimes clichés are what they are because they’re the obvious first step.
You have to know the purpose of your marketing campaign before you can begin to plan it.
Are you trying to generate more leads or increase revenue? Maybe they go hand in hand, but that’s part of the strategy. If you want to increase revenue, you might need to generate more leads in order to do that.
The more specific you can be ahead of time, the more strategic you can be in the future.
Perhaps you’re trying to increase your brand awareness. This would tell me that you need to get in front of your ideal customers repeatedly and through a variety of channels… but that leads us to the next step.
Establish Your Ideal Customers
Before you begin planning any marketing campaign, you need to understand who your ideal customers are.
Regardless of your campaign goal, you can’t begin to create a successful marketing strategy until you understand who you want to reach with said marketing.
You also might have different types of ideal customers – or different customer segments.
At the very least, if you’re a dealer, you should have an ideal sales customer and an ideal service customer.
Consider it this way, your ideal service customer might be someone who has owned their current vehicle for a few years and comes in regularly for general service and repairs. They’re consistently at your dealership and regularly trusting their vehicle to your mechanics – and willing to pay for it.
Once you understand the type of customer you want to reach and why you want to reach them (your initial goal), then you’re ready to move on to the next step…
Understand What Motivates Your Ideal Customers
You can’t reach your ideal customers with any marketing strategy or message until you understand what their goals are and what motivates them.
How you establish this is up to you.
I’ve had the best results from simply calling current customers and asking them directly what they currently have and what they want to have.
Another way to establish this is to put yourself in their shoes. What does your ideal customer want? A better car? A safer car? A more affordable car? What if they just want to be respected or looked up to by their neighbors, co-workers, parents, etc.?
To create a winning marketing strategy, you have to consider what will motivate your ideal customers to respond to your marketing. What can you offer to them that no one else can offer? Or, how can you position your offer to better communicate how you can give them what they want faster, cheaper, and easier than anyone else?
If you’re seeking to influence shoppers to choose you and buy from you, then you need to give them a reason why.
What’s your motivation? Why are you reaching out to them? Why should they respond?
If you are able to better convey your “why” then your ideal customers will have a better understanding of “why” they’re receiving your letter, email, and/or ad and “why” it should matter to them – a.k.a. “why” they should respond.
This will come up again later on, but this is critical to consider before you begin creating your marketing campaign. You’ll want to understand your “why” because it will inform how you reach the target audience.
Create a Target Audience
Believe it or not, your target audience and your ideal customers are not the same things – though they are similar.
Your ideal customer is exactly that – ideal and a customer. They are customers who you envision at your dealership or are current customers at your dealership.
Your target audience should be people who have similar traits as your ideal customer(s) – like age, location, vehicle preference, etc.
Having an ideal customer helps as you craft your offers and copy, but you have to establish your target audience and create a list from that in order to begin your marketing campaign.
It’s no use to have a great marketing strategy with no one to target!
Creating the perfect offer for your target audience is the most difficult step of the entire process, but, once you’re able to accomplish this, you are well on your way to creating a winning marketing campaign.
Go beyond the basics. If you use common marketing offers, then you should know that your competitors will either match or beat your offer.
In addition, there is no reason for today’s consumers to pay attention to commonplace offers when they can find those offers anywhere – with the click of a button.
In order to craft a truly “winning offer”, you need to revisit your “why” and really consider it.
You have to explain to your audience what they will gain from your offer – or rather, what they will gain from your offer that they won’t gain from anyone else’s offers.
This is what will give you the advantage over your competition and achieve your desired goal.
The Start of Something Big
That’s it! You’ve just discovered the most important steps to planning and creating a winning marketing campaign.
By taking things step by step and really diving in on the front-end of the planning side, you’ll notice that the creating and executing side of a marketing campaign is much simpler.
It’s really about setting yourself up for success. If you skip steps or fail to properly complete a step, you’ll notice that critical elements of your marketing campaign are missing – or worse, not generating results.
It’s a waste of time to do all of the work that goes into creating a marketing campaign if it’s not successful! That’s why these initial steps are so critical.
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