Regardless of what breed of marketer you are – whether you work for an agency that supports the marketing needs of many, are a one man or one woman show that oversees the marketing efforts of your entire organization, or you work collaboratively on a team with other marketers – it’s imperative that you utilize a proven formula for campaign execution and management. Without one, you leave yourself – and your client or organization – open to uncoordinated and siloed campaign execution, ineffective performance tracking, and an unclear return on investment.
Although there are infinite ways to approach marketing campaign management, there are 4 factors that should always be considered; goal setting and tracking, strategy mapping and a plan for execution, team alignment, and reporting and analysis.
Attempting to execute any sort of campaign without established, clearly defined, and measurable goals in place is a losing game. You may see an uptick in overall marketing performance, but if you can’t track campaign successes [or failures] back to a specific activity or channel, it has been a wasted effort. Marketing isn’t a ‘sure thing’ – it’s a hypothesis-fueled function. It requires trial and error, and a leans heavily on data to support or deny its findings, and to dictate how future marketing campaigns are approached.
To get the goal setting process started simply ask yourself ‘what’s the point? what do I hope to get out of this campaign?’ Regardless of if you answered increased website traffic, more leads, or more social followers – your answer should be clear.
Once you’ve wrapped your head around the ultimate goal of your campaign, it’s time to establish a performance baseline to measure your efforts against. Reference past campaign performance to better understand what worked, what didn’t and why, and leverage historical data to help you determine realistic goals. As you’re going through this process, stay mindful of your campaign budget and resource allocation to ensure that your monetary and time investment does not outweigh campaign output.Check out this great SMART goals worksheet template from HubSpot to help you get started.
Strategy Mapping & Execution
Establishing goals for your campaign is one thing, but actually hitting those goals is an entirely different story. To execute a successful campaign, you must first develop a roadmap that outlines the job to be done and the activities that will help you reach those goals. This roadmap should highlight:
- The purpose and overarching goal of the campaign
- The departments and teams that are going to be involved
- The marketing channels that you’re going to leverage
- The specific strategies and tactics that you’re going to deploy in order to hit goal
- The timeline for execution
- The mechanisms and systems that are going to be used to track activity and gauge performance
In an effort to draw on the expertise and experience of other team members and key stakeholders, strategy mapping should be a collaborative effort whenever possible. Work closely with your team to reference past and current strategy documents, and make sure that your campaign works in support of the overarching marketing goals you’ve established. Place an emphasis on cohesion; without a connected strategy in-place you run the risk of operating in a vacuum – leading to redundancies or inefficiencies with campaign execution and creating holes in your performance tracking and reporting efforts.
Align & Conquer
Alignment is the key ingredient for success. You can perform all of the goal setting and strategy mapping activities that you want, but if you aren’t in full alignment with your internal team or the client resources that are going to be involved, you don’t stand a chance. To ensure success, reference the strategy map you’ve developed and make sure that everyone is on the same page with what has been outlined. Specifically, make sure that everyone understands what the purpose of the campaign is, what they need to do – when – and to what capacity, and what needs to be done in order to properly track activity and performance. Establish consequences for failure, create a system for accountability, and get documented sign-off from all parties involved before moving forward.
Reporting & Analysis
Frankly, it’s just silly to attempt to execute or manage any sort of marketing campaign if you don’t properly track your KPIs and analyze performance after-the-fact. As previously mentioned, marketing is based on hypotheses; if you’re not keeping score, you’re just spinning your wheels. Before kicking off your campaign, make sure that all activity is being tracked under the same umbrella and in a centralized and standardized format. If you don’t, you won’t have the visibility or insight needed to properly evaluate campaign performance or to dictate future activity.
No two marketing campaigns are the same, but the approach and structure you apply should remain relatively consistent from campaign to campaign. Regardless of the type of organization you work for or the type of client you serve, it's critical that you in consider how the 4 aforementioned factors will impact your marketing efforts.
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