What makes a successful marketing campaign?


Undoubtedly, there has been a moment when you have seen a marketing campaign and been pretty impressed, but some tend to ‘wow’ us slightly more than others.

Whether it’s the striking imagery portrayed within or the moralistic message that you receive in return, there are particular aspects that help aid a campaign to success.

Although most of us visually know what a marketing campaign is, not many realise it is more than just a message, image or sound. Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘an organised course of action to promote a product or service’ and companies do this in a variety of ways.

Often you find, particularly with television marketing campaigns, that a product or brand is promoted by using something else that people are likely to be engaged in. For example, there are a lot of campaigns that involve family – in-particularly children, as well as pets/animals – simply because it means that audiences can relate to what they are witnessing.

A lot of campaigns also play on traditions, like a well known fairy tale or renowned character like Santa Claus – this engages the audience because a twist on something they are familiar with is viewed as interesting and unique. You will find that some of your favourite campaigns are likely to include some of these features, which is probably why they contributed to gaining your appreciation.

For example, Comparethemarket.com uses the ubiquitous meerkat as part of its marketing campaign to ensure that people remember the brand and associate the meerkats with the name. The meerkat family have become such iconic characters for the company that customers now receive a free meerkat toy when they use the service.

As well as this, by offering customers a two for one cinema deal, they have used the meerkats’ interaction with celebrities to promote this additional benefit of using the company’s service. It is not uncommon for businesses to include some sort of incentive within a marketing campaign to help drive engagement.

A marketing campaign is vital to get correct in order for your business to be successful. With a good marketing campaign, you will definitely see the positive impact on your business and the benefits that come with successful marketing.

Sharon Stevens-Cash, Director of Derby-based digital marketing company Gravity Digital, says: “Marketing isn’t a project that just ‘gets done’ so you move on. Marketing is something that is constantly changing, evolving and needs developing.”

It is important to keep a close eye on your marketing, in order to make sure it’s doing what you intend it to.

Stevens-Cash commented on keeping on top of your website: “This is your most important marketing tool so don’t just ‘launch and leave’. Make it a habit to look at your website at least once a week and make sure everything is working as it should. Get people involved and ask for feedback, it’s amazing what great tips you can get from customers, staff and suppliers if you just ask.”

After asking three digital marketing professionals about their top tips to make a successful marketing campaign successful, all responded that having a plan is definitely a priority and something that has to be strategic and thoroughly clear.

Stevens-Cash stated: “Have a plan and stick to it. All you need is a blank piece of paper, wipe board or Word document. Keep your plan simple so down the side have the week number 1-6 initially then along the top have task columns that you want to focus on for example – Website – PR – Promotion – Product – Events – Social Media. Then layout regular tasks such as – write monthly blog, post on social media every day, attend ‘The Conference’ etc.”

Mark Wright, Director of Climb Online also offered his view on planning your marketing campaign: “Businesses can be so caught up in thinking about how best to spend a marketing budget that they fail to properly plan their campaigns, and as a result they cannot fully measure their success.

“Thankfully, with platforms like Google Analytics and measurable stats from digital advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google AdWords, planning and measuring marketing campaigns has never been so easy, as long as you set KPIs in place at the start.

“Measurable KPIs include an increase in website traffic, or a target number of online conversions – such as email sign ups, contact submission forms or e-Commerce sales.”

Mark Clisby, Marketing Director of Yell Business stated: “Before planning a marketing campaign of any shape or size, it’s essential that you have your overarching marketing plan in place. Any marketing campaign should fit directly into this, so everything is cohesive and to ensure you haven’t just devised an idea that looks good on paper, but doesn’t tie in with any other activity. Your marketing plan should include insight into your targeted audience types, peak times of year and other data that will provide the foundation needed to plan a more successful marketing campaign.”

The three professionals stated their other tips on how to make a marketing campaign successful.

Stevens-Cash highlighted the importance of being pro-active: “Keep talking and looking around you. Most SMEs get their work through word of mouth and recommendations which is great, but we should also make sure we reach out through marketing. When someone comes across your company it’s always better if they have already heard of you, read an article or already follow you on social media, it makes that recommendation work even better.”

Clisby asks, is it relatable – is it relevant?: “Tying into my previous comment is the need for any marketing campaign activity to relate to the wider picture. This could be a time of year, a national holiday or something you know is going on in your targeted audience’s lives (for example, an ongoing industry-related problem that needs solving). Giving your marketing campaign a relatable and relevant hook, that people can identify with, will give it a much greater chance of success. A large aspect of this feeds into the distribution phase of your campaign, because whoever your audience, journalists to e-mail marketing recipients, the message is much more likely to grab them if it’s timely and relevant.”

Stressing the importance of testing, Clisby continues: “A crucial and fundamental element of any marketing campaign is extensive testing. If a landing page is broken, or a social sharing function doesn’t work, it will affect the success rate of your campaign. During the planning of your campaign timeline, be sure to factor in a good amount of time to test every aspect of it. You’ll then be able to launch with confidence.”

Understanding the latest digital trends is an important tip from Wright, as well as integration: “One big question to consider is: ‘Have you incorporated the latest digital trends within your marketing campaign?’ Right now, the digital marketing sector is talking about the power of written and video content, an increase in voice search, A.I applications and mobile usage. It is, therefore, vital to make sure you’re keeping up to date with the latest consumer trends, whilst knowing exactly what platforms your target audiences are using and when to engage with both your business and your competitors.

“A marketing campaign should integrate a number of key channels for maximum impact and results. For example, where one member of your target audience may engage with your brand via paid search, another may engage with your latest blog post promoted via Facebook. Plan across multiple channels and where relevant replicate marketing activity across each one.”