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What should you think about when planning a marketing campaign?

This has always been one of our stock interview questions, so if you’re ever looking to work with us, it’s worth having a read! 

The reason we always ask it, is because this question cuts right to the heart of what marketing is all about. Understand what you need to think about when planning a campaign, and you’ll pretty much understand everything you need to about marketing in general. 


What is your audience?

The single most important thing you can do in marketing is realise one thing: your marketing isn’t for you. It’s for the group of people you want to appeal to. 


To some this sounds obvious. But you would be surprised how many business people fall into the trap of thinking they are their own target audience, and how many marketers find themselves creating campaigns to get them signed off in a board room, rather than delivering in reality. 

It’s also easy to simply say ‘well, anyone’ is your target audience. Theoretically that may be so, but what sort of person is most likely to buy from you? The more you can narrow it down, the better chance you have of getting in front of someone who might buy, without having to spend a fortune in the process. 


Where do your potential customers hang out? 

Once you’ve worked out who your audience is, it’s relatively easy to answer this question. One of the first things our Director Dale's first ever boss at Mindshare told him was that marketing is really about generalisations - and he wasn’t wrong! 


If you’re marketing a service for a certain type of business, they will probably have some sort of trade magazine or event that you can use to get in front of them. 


Looking to get in front of parents? Think about where they will take their kids or what resources they will be accessing online. 

And if you’re looking at social media, consider your audience and which sites they will use. TikTok might be a lot of fun, but there isn’t much point in posting super fun content on there if you’re looking to target the over 60s!


What are they interested in achieving?

This is very different from asking what you want them to know, let alone what you are interested in. It’s all about the audience. 


Putting your campaign material together, it needs to use the right language and focus on the right things in order to appeal to the right audience. 

Your potential customer will have a problem they want to solve. It could be a business issue that your product can overcome, or it could simply be that they want to be seen as someone who wears the coolest trainers. Whatever it is, your marketing should help them to see that your business is the one to let them achieve it. 


Your marketing might need to work a little harder than that, revealing the problem as well as solving it. But ultimately is still comes down to delivering a need that those potential customers have, or have developed. 


What are your goals?

Lastly, you need to put all of the above through a final filter, asking yourself what you want to achieve with this campaign. 


If you’re a new business, or marketing yourself to a new audience, you’ll need to build awareness. There’s no point in banging people over the head asking them to buy from you if they don’t know you or trust your business. 


To do that, you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd, and also demonstrate that you’re a credible alternative to the businesses those customers have used to solve their problems previously. 

That’s how your awareness can grow into consideration: becoming an option for your potential customers. At this stage, you will want to stay in their minds so that they will think of you the next time they need to solve the problem. If you’re a tyre shop, you want to be the business they think of first when they get a puncture. 

And if you already have that awareness and want to drive sales, your campaign will need to be action-focussed and direct, and ideally pop up at exactly the right time. If you run a car dealership, you will have a bank of previous customers and know when their leases are up for renewal. Dropping them an email as the rental period comes to a close can help make sure that they use you and not a competitor when they’re signing up for their next car. 

So that’s it. Really all you need to do is work out who your customers are, and what they want to achieve by working with you. Of course you need to find the time and headspace to go and do that, but following those steps will make sure the time and money you spend is as cost effective as it can be. And if you’re stuck, feel free to give us a bell. 

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