Monday 11 August 2014

5 things you need to prepare before planning a Digital marketing campaign

Often while making a marketing strategy people often go wrong. And they go wrong for all the wrong reasons. People who are in traditional marketing get it wrong as they think its to easy and measurable so lets just adapt what we have on the offline marketing here.  And this is where most marketers go wrong with Digital marketing.

To make the task of making a Digital marketing strategy easier, we would propose that you keep the following information handy.

1.    Objective

Why are you making a digital marketing strategy? Now this question seems so easy and even naïve to think of here in the list that too the first one. But its this very question which sets us to fail. Now you would say why would I think  that you do not know the objective or why for your strategy? 

The reason is simple most people know what they are looking at from their digital marketing strategy but they are unable to pin point the exact outcome they want? For e.g. say you want to run a marketing campaign on digital to promote a new mobile phone.  Now you would argue that see the objective is “to promote” the mobile phone. And I would say that’s the starting of the objective.  Yes you want to promote the mobile phone but why? Is it that you are looking for people to know about the mobile phone(branding) or are you targeting to reach an X number of potential buyers from the campaign.

Yes, that’s the question you need to be asking are you looking at a specific number of people being reached or sales achieved in other words a performance campaign. Or are you simply looking at reaching some eyeballs for recall or in other words it’s a branding campaign.

How would a strategy be made for each one of them will differ considerably. In our subsequent write ups, we will also take up which objective to choose and why?

2.    Evaluation criteria

Now the second most criteria is how will you evaluate the campaign.  Now this would definitely be answered by the objective you have.

If your objective is performance than the evaluation criteria will be either number of leads you have got from the campaign or number of sales achieved.

On the other hand if your objective is branding than the evaluation criteria can be number of people reached. However this will be the most misleading criteria as these people might not be really you TG(no matter how specific your campaign was). The other criteria can be number of clicks or number of likes and shares(on social media only).

Its important that you know your evaluation criteria and keep it in mind while making your strategy as it will define the way the media you buy and the way you negotiate you media buying.

3.    Time Lines

Now time lines are generally specific but often we have campaigns which are going to be ongoing or last for a long time(more than 5 months). In campaigns where you have a specific time line its easier to plan and strategize. However for campaigns which are longer or ongoing it becomes important that you put in smaller timelines. This will help you in defining the campaign better and adapting it for things not working out 

Moreover while planning for timelines always know that it takes time for a campaign to pick up on digital. Its not a print/radio/TV you fix the slots ans its done.  Here it depends on your ad rank, other ads running at the same time and if you are running a performance campaign then a lot of publishers will not go full throttle before testing the waters.  Also keep time in your timeline for testing and adapting otherwise you might just waste your budget before getting any results.

4.    Analytical tools

Now this might sound a bit out of place here. You would wonder “won’t agencies have their own analytical tools?” Well you would be surprised how many times this will be overlooked or implemented late.  Most of the agencies have a focus of getting your money spent as they make their money when you spend that. And in doing so, they want the campaign to start asap and would implement only basic analytical tool or depend on the publisher report.

Its your campaign and one of the ways you can always be incharge and know how your money is being spent is by putting your analytical tools in place.

Now here the tools might still be the same irrespective of the objective of the campaign but what you look forward to is important. What I mean is say you choose Google Analytics as your tool, then it will tell you both the eye balls as well as visitors. But when you look for a performance campaign, you will set-up goals for conversion.

While in a branding campaign you would focus more on visits, time spent and bounce rate.

Choose the analytical tool which you need, spend some budget here if required as it will also help you to cross check publisher reports and identify any discrepancies thereby saving a lot more than you spent. 

5.    Success

Now, this one seems to be the easiest one but just like the objective this is a tricky one.  Success criteria cannot be vague as it will define the campaign, its media, timeline everything.  Success of the campaign will define have you achieved what you desired from the campaign?

Knowing what will be the criteria which proves the campaign to be a success, will also help your agency/publisher to plan better. It will give them a clear idea as why a campaign is being planned and how will they also prove it to be successful.

Put a number to success criteria whether it’s a branding campaign where success can be number of visitors or page views to the campaign. In case of performance this can be number of leads or sales.

Having a success criteria will also make it easier for monitoring the progress of the campaign and making tweaks/amendments if needed.

Armed with these 5, you can plan a digital marketing campaign and ensure better success rates and value for money.


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