Tag Archives: marketing campaign

One-Minute Marketing Makeover

There can be big gains from small tweaks to your marketing plan.  There are two types of marketing plan audits.  The first is the comprehensive which should occur at least one a year and then there are the “mini” audits which should happen at minimum every quarter.

The “mini” marketing audit is stripped down to the bare essentials and the goal is to create a task list which can be done quickly and easily and yield results right away.

Mini Marketing Audit Questions

1. What initiatives and key messages generated the greatest number of leads, media placements, or sales in the last 2 years?

2. Which marketing channel (website, email, text message, pay-per-click, radio, TV) netted the most revenue for the lowest investment?

3. Who is your target audience (describe them) and has that changed due to economic conditions, pricing considerations, or new product and/or service offerings?

4. Who are your most valuable customers?  How and where do they purchase your product or service offering?

5. What are your competitor’s offerings and are you tasked with increasing market share, stakeholder satisfaction, $ revenue, or all of the above?

6. What are your organization’s short-term and long-term strategic goals?

7. What in-house vs. outsourced resources do you have available?

8. Are you on-target with your marketing budget, over budget, or under budget?  Why?  Do adjustments need to be made?

9. Are there any upcoming deadlines, events, or projects that might require you to alter your marketing plans in the next 3-4 months?

10. Have you taken advantage of trying out new marketing methods (internet advertising, media relations, email newsletters, mobile marketing, website marketing) to gauge their effectiveness?  What percentage of your marketing budget could you set aside to explore new options (usually about 5-10% of a budget)?

Sample Task List

Mini Marketing Audit Answers and Task List

Best Campaigns to do again: Summer 2008, Winter 2009

Best marketing message: Go BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) for the highest redemption rate and increased sales.

Best ROI marketing channels: website, email newsletters, text message campaigns, media relations/press releases & media kit, co-op advertising program, custom loyalty program.

Least ROI channels/not able to track effectiveness: radio, TV, outdoor billboards

Target audience: 25-45 households with kids (families) within a 2 hour radius of our location.  Current economic conditions indicate that this audience may be watching their dollars closer and spending less.  To keep sales up, we should look to expanding our demographic to include the baby boomer age group and expand to web sales

Most valuable customers: local customers looking to support us.  Need to keep them happy and coming back more.

Competitors: offer similar offerings.  We try to differentiate by talking about our expanded service and support, monthly payment plans, and testimonials.

Marketing goals: increase revenue by 5% in the next quarter.

Organization short term goal: reduce overhead by 5%

Organization long term goal: increase profitability by 5%.

In-house vs. outsourced: loss of one staff member means we will need to outsource more marketing functions in the next 1-2 months while we look for another staff member.  Will need to find one or multiple companies to assist us in everyday marketing tasks including: graphic design, ad placement, email newsletter copywriting, design, and sending, press release copyrighting, etc.

Marketing budget: we are under budget because we were not able to complete one of the campaigns from last quarter due to technology set-up issues.  Will try to complete that project this quarter or reallocate the funds to a different campaign.

Upcoming events: within 2 months we will launch a new product that should appeal to a younger more web savvy consumer.  We may need to shuffle some of the budget and timelines to get this launched.

New marketing channel test: would like to start an internet advertising campaign on Google, Yahoo, and MSN.  Need to find a company to help us implement this.  Tie this to the new product launch.  Will try 2-3 months with a budget of $5,000.

Skittles the Un-Website

Ok, for the last month or so I have heard people talking about “what Skittles did” and the huge controversy.  I just figured it was more of the usual website hype.  Until this morning.  Now I understand what the hoopla (who says those words anymore?) is about.

In a nutshell, if you also have not followed the Skittles talk, they replaced their regular website that had content, product information, and the usual company fluff, with a portal atmosphere that brings in many of the big social networks.  That’s right, they got rid of their website and are using YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and other network spaces instead.  WOW.

They have essentially said, “you our customer know how you want to interact with us, so we are handing you the keyboard” (my quote not theirs).  I personally think this is brilliant.  Skittles is going where their customers are.  They are truly “giving power to the people”.  They have however gotten quite a bit of criticism from marketers and business people.  One blog post I read called the move “crazy“.

According to Skittles, their goal was to “consolidate access to all social media around the brand.”  I applaud them.  They are a bit ahead of their time.  What they did is what I consider a stab at web 3.0.  What’s that?  It’s where businesses and brands will be able to harness and make the current social media landscape usable and personal.  Friendster and ping.fm are just a few examples of organizations already trying to do this.

Good or bad, there’s a few things we can learn from this:

1. The first one there owns the game. Skittles will get the most publicity and launch excitement because they tried it first.  Others that follow will have a hard time getting the coverage that Skittles did.  Since they did it first, they also get to create the rules and build the business model.

2. Integrated branding. Skittles is focusing their time on creating their company profiles across the social media channels online and their traditional marketing offline.  They are approaching new media with new thinking.  They are creating an entire brand experience from each part and funneling everything back to their website URL.

3. Optimization. Talk about high ROI.  Skittles will be able to gain higher visibility and link-ability on the web faster and easier than any website before it.  How?  They are letting their customers do it for them.

4. Mistakes happen. Is the Skittles new concept perfect?  No, of course not.  By trying to legally protect themselves with a dialog box asking your age before you can visit the site they seem to be turning off site visitors.  But, this is how they and those that follow behind them will learn.

So, as I wrap up this post for the day,I am left thinking, who else would this concept work for?

Go Ahead, Bug Your Customers

What is a Viral Campaign?

Have you ever visited a website and found an article, a coupon, a special offer, or something else that impressed you so much that you immediately sent an email to a friend about it? If you have, you’ve experienced “viral marketing”.

Viral marketing is a low cost, highly effective way to reach your customers using the internet. This “word of mouse” method is like a bug or flu virus in humans. Instead of replicating and propagating itself to other humans it does it to other computers (in a good way). One minute nobody’s heard of it, next minute, it’s everywhere. Viral marketing is so effective because it lets you capitalize on referrals from an unbiased third party—your consumer! Let just one of your customers catch your “marketing bug” and they will happily spread it to everyone they know.

So what then is a viral campaign? It’s a specific marketing promotion that focuses on something you do, NOT on who you are. It is also not something malicious or under-handed. Viral marketing is used by reputable companies trying to promote reputable products. A viral campaign does not use spam or programs that force people to see or do things they do not want.

Instead, a viral campaign is something that is so cool, so exciting, or so creative that it gets people so excited; they can’t wait to share it with others. It’s subtle, not forceful. It’s uncontrollable. The exposure you get from this MAY raise sales or otherwise help your company name recognition, but that’s actually the by-product. That’s why it’s so effective if done correctly!

With a good viral campaign, people feel compelled to spread your word. They can’t help themselves (just like sneezing when you pass a virus around). The heart of a viral campaign is the content. People don’t spread what you say or do because they love you, they spread it because they can’t help but adore your content. Don’t forget! They are not evangelists serving you, they are self-serving.

So, all successful viral campaigns appeal to any one (or all three) of these basic human motivators: entertainment, greed, or charity.  For an example of a viral campaign, check out SkiHeroes.com.