The objective of any marketing campaign should be to sell more goods, to more people, more often, and more efficiently, by reducing the cost of customer acquisition as you move along. To achieve your marketing objectives, here are some basic tips for young marketers.
1. Keep it simple, do it well: The six golden words of marketing. Keep your communication and message succinct. Don’t try to over-complicate things or try to deliver too many messages. Ask yourself - What is that one single message that I’d like my creative to deliver? What’s that consumer benefit that I wish to communicate? Remember, you are working in a large, complex, and a highly fragmented market, and your customers have a very little attention span. How often have we seen a print advertisement replicated on an outdoor hoarding, or a commercial for television reproduced on digital? Communication needs to be adapted based on the media platform.
2. Superior execution: It’s not just about planning, but all about superior execution. Most campaigns fail to deliver because of poor execution. Several great ideas haven’t achieved its desired outcome because the ideators failed to communicate it with the teams who were supposed to execute them. It just remained a well-kept secret. Excitement and passion levels differ across the organisation, so it’s important for the person at the ‘moment of truth’ to be equally excited as you are, as the creator of the idea. So trust your team members and keep them engaged at all times, and take them along with you on the journey.
3. Small is BIG. Less is MORE: Give preference for ‘quality’ over quantity. Create campaigns that have a high PTAT (People Talking About That), and one that creates a lasting impression. Rather than conceptualising smaller, multiple campaigns, remember to do that one high-impact activity that creates waves. That does not mean that you put all your eggs in one basket, but during the course of the year, launch that one or two high-impact projects, that helps you to drive awareness and reach. Well, it may also help you in winning some awards!
4. Copy with pride (from your counterparts or even competitors): It’s absolutely fine and acceptable to adapt what others have done. Build on their hard work and investment, and outperform them based on their mistakes and learnings. Capitalise on things that have worked for your brand, optimise them to deliver higher results, and keep raising the bar.
5. Media threshold and creative fatigue: How often do we get bored seeing our own campaign images and commercials? Remember, it’s you and not the customer who encounters creative fatigue, as 3+ OTS for most brands deliver less than 10 per cent reach within your TG. Most brands hardly manage to reach their media thresholds, so it’s ok even if you have to use the same creative assets over a longer term, and I mean even over a two or a three-year period. Spend on media buy and delivering the message, rather than on production. Most brands end up spending so much on production, that there’s very little budget left to achieve media thresholds and to amplify your communication.
6. Capitalise on existing platforms, rather than creating new opportunities: Leverage the popularity of existing shows and advocates, rather than investing on newer projects or platforms. It’s always a safer option, and easier to predict results when you are working with a known devil.
7. No contests, and no logo presence please: How often have you participated in a contest to win something? There’s a select audience who only participate in contests and research activities, and in most cases they are not the intended TG. Advertisers often feel happy by just seeing their logo as presenting or associate sponsor. I’d always recommend investing on communicating the product benefits, rather than just seeing your brand or corporate logo as a part of your media campaigns. Remember, if you are working in a particular category, it’s just those relevant stakeholders who are associated with the product, including the competition and advertising agencies, who tend to notice the communication. What’s important is to inspire and talk to those who are intended to purchase your product.
8. Ask two key questions: One - is my communication helping me to build brand awareness and differentiate my product offering? And two,is it offering a compelling reason to buy and drive conversions? Ensure that you tick atleast one, if not both these questions, before you invest on any marketing opportunity.
9. Leverage the ecosystem: Campaigns should be run like a musical concert, wherein all media platforms, public relations, partnerships, and distribution teams work in an integrated manner to create a symphony. It’s often difficult to predict the real reason for purchase. And even more difficult to achieve media thresholds given the budgetary constraints. So to maximise impact ensure that all media channels and vehicles help you to achieve your business objectives.
10. Get all agencies aligned: Media buying, creative, research, event and public relations agencies usually work in silos. Bring them together atleast each quarter so that each agency is aware of what the other agency is doing, and possibly help you in amplifying your media efforts. At the beginning of the year, develop a clear marketing brief for your agencies, articulating your key objectives (just one or two please, and not a laundry list!). Define how would success look like, and your expectations from each agency to meet and exceed them.
11. Let common sense prevail: Lastly, research and data is all fine. Keep your eyes and ears at the moment of truth. Don’t unnecessarily spend on validating something that you already know. Most researches do not reveal anything new, but helps you to reinforce your own belief. Spot newer trends, societal changes, and shifts in consumer behavior, and accordingly amend your comms.
(The author is country manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia)