Why Does A Campaign Fail Miserably When I Repeat It?
As a marketing advisor I often run into clients who have been frustrated by the inconsistent results that they see from their advertising. They often tell me stories of ad campaigns they ran that gave them terrific results that failed to repeat their past success. They then decide to try a different strategy or a different medium and find random successes again and again.
Some clients have bookshelves with binders from industry specific marketing professionals that guarantee results if you follow their programs. Yet these expensive binders provide the same frustration of limited random success.
What is happening here? Why is it that the exact campaign that worked perfectly once is a complete failure the next time out?
Markets Change. So Should Your Message.
The simple answer is that marketing is a lot like hitting a moving target. The goal of marketing is to understand where the target is situated before you launch your campaign. If you know where the target has moved to, you have a better chance of hitting a bulls eye with your next investment.
This is why a campaign might be good in January and miss in July. The target moved. But what moves the target? Consumer confidence, competitive landscape, consumer changing needs, economic conditions, and more. To make matters even more complicated, no two markets are the same. So it would be all but impossible for a binder on your bookshelf to be just as successful in Nashville Tennessee as it would be in Smithtown, New York. These two markets are inherently different, so how could the same program work equally in both markets?
How Do You Know What Your Message Should Be?
The answer to the problem of inconsistent marketing results is research. The more data you have on where the target is prior to launching your next campaign, the more successful your campaign will be.
Most business owners think they would be wasting money on research because they believe they already know the answers they would get. But if that were the case, they would always have successful campaigns. Most of the time business owners believe that the research will tell them customers want it quicker, cheaper, and better. But these somewhat obvious answers are not the holy grail of data we are looking for.
Let’s say our research tells us that people are afraid of the economy because their 401K has dropped. Our research tells us that this has lead them to consider putting off major purchases. In response we run a campaign focusing on 0% financing for 12 months. It works great.
1 year from now this campaign may bomb because the same target market has seen their 401K recover and they would be more responsive to a product with luxurious accessories they can now afford.
Research Is The Small Investment That Your Competitor Is Not Making
Research doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Most campaigns can invest 5-10% of the overall dollars dedicated to the campaign and get valuable information to make the campaign more effective. So instead of investing $5,000 in your next campaign with no research, put $500 into research and invest the $4,500 more wisely. Over time, you will see more consistent results and improved revenue and profits. Start off with this strategy and eventually budget monthly for continued research so you can stay ahead of the trends.
Aim first and shoot later. It’s that simple. But most folks miss the value and importance of continued research. While we may not have the budget of worldwide companies like McDonald’s or Coke, we can learn from them by doing constant research and applying this valuable knowledge to our next campaign.
Now, let’s get started while our blindfolded competitor launches their next campaign.
Written For You By: Anthony Parenti– President