Campaign outcomes are difficult to predict. There are so many variables which affect any campaign’s final result:
- The quality of the campaign concept
- The list quality or audience targeting
- The value of the offer
- The impact of the message and the creative
- The quality of the fulfillment
- The timing
- Sales follow-up and conversion
Sophisticated marketers gain an understanding of how all these work together through experience and have a good feel for how to design a high-performing campaign.
To gain this experience, create a detailed campaign plan before running any marketing campaign. Thinking through all these key elements and putting numbers into spreadsheets to project campaign ROI will give you a greater probability of running a successful campaign.
Define Campaign Strategy
Every marketing campaign should tie into defined business goals. By now almost everyone’s jumped into social media, but how many do so with a clear understanding of how these activities will impact their top and bottom lines?
Instead of trying the marketing “trend of the day” and hoping for success, clearly define your business goals and match them to your campaign strategy before building out your campaign plan.
Create Your Campaign Plan
Your campaign plan ensures that you’ve thought through all of the tough questions. Whether you’re using search marketing, social media, traditional media, online media, email marketing, events, publicity, telemarketing or direct mail, in your campaign plan you’ll outline your:
- Campaign Objective
- Target Audience
- Creative Concepts
- Campaign Goals
- Response Rate Estimates
- Total Targeted Impressions
- Metrics to Track
- Preliminary Budget
- Testing Criteria
Project Your Return on Investment
Projecting your campaign ROI forces you to think through the costs of all campaign elements and the net results they’ll produce – the number of customers, total revenue and profit generated. Projecting your return on investment is never 100% accurate, and sometimes very difficult, but simply conducting the exercise enables you to understand the key components of the campaign and the targets you need to hit.
The more often you project campaign ROI, the better you’ll get at projecting realistic results.
Test Before Launching
For most types of campaigns, you can test different elements on a smaller scale before launching the entire campaign. Testing enables you to make sure fulfillment and technology works, and also allows you to gain feedback on key components such as:
- Your list
- The offer
- The impact of creative and messaging
Sophisticated marketers know that testing is an important part of optimizing any campaign.
Measure Your Actual Return on Investment
If you projected your ROI BEFORE running your campaign, then measuring your actual ROI after the campaign completion isn’t difficult. Simply track down the actual numbers for each line item, add any additional costs, and see how well you performed.
It’s not uncommon to have large variances between your projected ROI and actual ROI. To reduce this over time, research the key areas that created the variance and seek to understand what caused them.
This understanding will improve your future ROI projections.
Understand Results and Seek to Improve
After your campaign is complete, review each of the elements to see how well they performed. Was your response lower than you expected? Seek to understand why. Was it your list or target audience? Your timing? The offer? Your fulfillment?
Or maybe your campaign strategy wasn’t strong to begin with. Either way, reviewing campaign results and understanding what affected each campaign metric is the key to creating better-performing campaigns in the future.
Next: See how to use the app to refine your marketing strategy.