5 Critical Steps for Every Marketing Campaign

critical steps to marketing
Effective marketing is so much more than just “getting the word out” – it is a series of efforts that complement and support each other for the ultimate goal of creating a satisfied, lifelong customer for your business.

By taking the time to understand your potential customers and the psychology behind their buying decisions, you can boost your bottom line significantly.  Include these five must-have marketing steps into your efforts and you will see how your results improve.

Define Who You Are Really Marketing To

While you may feel that you have a product or service that everyone in the world can benefit from, trying to be all things to all people will not help you get the best results from your marketing efforts. When preparing a campaign, you have to get laser focused on the audience you are trying to reach.  Dig deep and determine who you are truly after, down to the demographic details such as age, income level, education level, profession and more.  You’ll likely have categories of people that are very different from each other, but classifying them in this way is key to knowing how to reach each group.

How To Know When You’ve Done It Right: You’ve defined target customers as actual people, literally creating stories, personalities and profiles behind them to help you see who they really are. 

Understand Their True Needs

Many marketers think in terms of their own needs – what they want to achieve with their marketing efforts.  But the key to greater response is to truly understand your customers’ needs, and to sculpt your marketing efforts around them instead.  If you have created your customer profiles, this becomes much easier, as you can get inside the mind of your potential buyers, understanding where they are coming from and how they decide what solution is the right fit for them.  This customer-driven perspective allows you to discern the specific problems your customers need to solve, or the end result they’re after – so you can position your offering as the natural way to meet their needs.

How To Know When You’ve Done It Right: You can close your eyes and walk yourself through the buying process from the customer’s perspective.  You understand what they are thinking when they first consider your product or service, what they focus on when evaluating whether to buy (and from whom), and what causes them to follow through with a purchase.

Eliminate Barriers To Sale

Your potential customers will raise objections throughout the decision-making process, and you need to be sure your marketing efforts defuse each one of them.  Put yourself in the position of your customer and visualize going through the buying process to discover what makes you resist completing the purchase.  Ask yourself how you feel about the price, the packaging, the guarantee, the commitment, the features, and the general experience of owning/using this product or service.  Discover each possible ‘no’ and preemptively frame it in a positive light.  If price is a sticking point, for example, highlight how the exceptional quality or added features you offer more than justify it (and how settling for less would only disappoint the customer in the end).

How To Know When You’ve Done It Right: You have a checklist of all potential objectives and a plan for raising and eliminating each of them before the customer even brings them up.

Provide Relevant Follow Up

Marketing isn’t a one-time monologue – it is an ongoing conversation that helps your potential customers determine if your solution is the right one for their particular situation.  When you follow up with them, whether it be via email, phone, or written materials, you have to do more than simply pitch your product or service to them yet again.  Consider the objections you identified earlier and the needs you gathered when you were building profiles, and deliver relevant information in your follow up efforts.  Your initial message may have been missed due to your customer being distracted by personal issues the first time – reach out and deliver what they need to hear (and not just what you want to say).

How To Know When You’ve Done It Right: You have designed a follow up process that you would value receiving yourself, with information that educates your customers and addresses their objections in a way that makes them feel understood rather than sold to.

Study Results And Improve

No marketing effort is complete unless there are measures in place to measure results and time set aside to analyze the effectiveness of the campaign.  Use every tool you have at your disposal to discover which parts of your process worked well, which didn’t, and then take the time to sit down and ask the tough questions that help you improve for the next campaign.  While the pace of business is such that it can be tempting to jump to the next project and start this process all over again, remember that fortunes are build on small, incremental improvements over time.

How To Know When You’ve Done It Right: You have hard data that tells you which components of your marketing process worked like a charm and which failed miserably – and you have a realistic plan to improve each category for next campaign.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to create an effective marketing campaign – but it does take time, effort, and careful consideration to make sure you are aiming as close to the center of your target as possible.  Ensuring that your next campaign puts these five strategies into practice is a smart way to boost your chances of hitting a bulls-eye on your next big promotion.

Reader Comments

May. 9. 2008 4:52 AM
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Hi Dave,

You’ve done a great job of indicating the importance of market segmentation and target marketing. And I particularly like what you say about follow-up.

I am on many email lists, and I’m constantly amazed at how many don’t attempt to educate or to relate to potential or present customers. They just try to sell, sell, sell.

The most irritating is when I get emails or phone calls encouraging me to purchase what I have already bought. It’s not that difficult to have multiple lists and automatically transfer a person to a purchased list so you don’t try to keep selling them the same thing.

I’m presently in the process of getting off many lists because they just aren’t worth my time.


May. 13. 2008 4:02 AM
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Feb. 3. 2012 3:49 AM
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This article is a great read, it clearly states and gives readers clear signs along their journey of running a marketing campaign. A definite must read for anyone who just got started in marketing.


May. 31. 2012 11:47 AM
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Great.


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Jan. 18. 2014 8:38 AM
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Feb. 27. 2014 8:24 AM
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So many companies skip identifying their customers’ real needs! Good marketing campaigns still exist, but it seems unbelievable that so many small companies invest so little into marketing


May. 28. 2014 11:22 AM
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I think one of the most important steps in creating a marketing campaign that you did not mention here should be “Know your damn product”! Too many companies just use cliche advertising techniques when they could really promote the actual benefits of their products. But they have no way of knowing because they dont even use them!


Jun. 4. 2014 10:51 AM
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I recently started working in a marketing company and in my country the biggest issue with companies is that they don’t properly itendity their target customers, and end up advertising and marketing for the wrong group.


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Aug. 4. 2014 7:48 AM
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Marketing is starting to be less about the product and more about the customer, and I think that’s great since the diversity is getting pretty big in every industry you can think of…


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Aug. 30. 2014 5:35 PM
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Not understanding the true needs of the customers or clients is what keeps most of the companies in hot waters during tough economic conditions. It is a very good advice to read their heart and mind before mapping out your strategy.


Sep. 24. 2014 12:02 PM
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Oct. 4. 2014 6:02 AM
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sorry to interrupt but there are some Key metrics of marketing as well that we should all know for example :

Specific to online content marketing, there are four key content marketing metrics:
1.Consumption metrics: How many people viewed or downloaded the content?
2. Sharing metrics: How often is the content shared with others?
3. Lead generation metrics: How often does the content result in some form of lead for the event?
4. Sales metrics: How often is the content resulting in event registrations?


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Nov. 19. 2014 4:57 PM
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