The fundamentals of marketing & communications

Within any marketing campaign, there are some fundamental questions which business owners and marketing professionals always need to ask/answer before proceeding with a strategy.

Whats our goal here?

Sometimes, depending on who is requesting a campaign, the goal of a marketing campaign can be unclear. Its always better to ask and clarify the exact goal upfront during the planning process rather than run a campaign and report on performance that wasn't desired. Many times I have been in planning meetings and the goal is unknown until this question is asked. Upon asking, some campaign ideas have even been scrapped, as it comes to light that a campaign idea was born with no goal or clear directive in mind. Likewise, identifying a goal isn't as simple as either driving sales an seo campaign or brand awareness through a ppc display either. Today, a campaign goal can be anything from driving data capture to fuel an email strategy or to re-educate an audience on a product offering after a refresh.

Who are we targeting?

Always my first go to question, I want to know who we want to expose our communication to and what their specific genetics are. Understanding very clearly the target demographics by age, location, interests and reasons for engaging with an advertiser all help to ensure that any campaign is clearly targeted towards this audience and all messaging and communications speaks to them specifically. Whether its a professional B2B target audience, profiled by job role or sector, or a B2c audience profiled by buying habits, we need to know in order to be successful.

What is the core message or communication?

Being really succinct on the nature of the campaign is critical in making sure that the campaign achieves its objectives. If the message isnt clearly understood internally or by the agency, it wont be accurately represented within the campaign and corresponding results will show this. Be clear on the communication, and dont be afraid to probe further. Ask and clarify to the Nth degree. It will make the campaign even more successful for it.

What do we want to happen next?

Every action has a pre and post action. Like everything in life, marketing campaigns exist as a part of a cycle, and we always need to know what we want to happen after the campaign has executed. What do we want users to do after absorbing our communications? What are we going to do after the campaign has been run? Does this campaign funnel our prospects onto the next stage within the customer lifecycle, and if so, what will happen at the next stage? Lets be clear on where we are headed and try and understand what we expect to happen, so that we can continue to direct users as we want but also manage expectation as we progress.

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