5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS
Congratulations! It’s the start of a new financial year. Here’s a final check list before you start actioning your marketing and communications plans for the upcoming year…
What are your desired outcomes and are they realistic?
It’s an obvious point but an important one. Some campaigns can take several weeks or months before they demonstrate tangible benefits. What are the short term outcomes that are expected v. the longer term outcomes and have you communicated these with different stakeholder groups? If an objective is ROI or impact on sales, be clear on the process to measure this impact. A sales team that is aware of the marketing or comms plans in flight can not only help amplify your campaign but will also support in providing specific examples of successful wins that have been influenced by or are a result of your work.
Have you thought through all stages of your campaigns?
You’ve received your budgets. So what are the other variables you need to consider to action your plan? If you are organising a series of events, have you enough resources to execute these as well as the other programs you have in your calendar? If you rely on other speakers or teams to support your initiative, have they bought into your plan and do they have the time to support it? And have you considered every stage of the campaign journey? Your call to action and follow up is critical. Make sure that you’ve factored in time and budget to brief relevant teams with information and resources they can use to action at different stages during the campaign.
Don’t re-invent the wheel every planning cycle
Does every planning cycle feel like a series of new projects and one-off events? A plan should include programs that you can develop which can be fine-tuned and honed over time to meet objectives. Flexibility to experiment with new projects should be built in to keep campaigns fresh and introduce new ideas. Operating solely on this basis however can mean that resources can become overstretched and that you’re dealing with an ever-changing set of activities.
Give new programs time to settle into a rhythm
New programs very often take time to establish and become successful. If you’re introducing a content strategy for your business, there are several areas that will need to be tweaked over time such as the content style that’s right for your audiences or audience and community development. Factor in a realistic timeframe to allow you to build successful outcomes.
But…don’t be afraid to cut programs if they aren’t working
Long established programs can often provide a sense of security. Work for work’s sake is no good though if the campaigns aren’t achieving the outcomes you expect, despite adjustments. Gather together a stakeholder group from across the business (as well as clients or industry when you can) to help assess the perception and effectiveness of your campaigns. This way you can gather new insights and ensure that your programs are working well, not holding you back from a more effective approach.
By Emily Baxter, marketing and communications expert with over 15 years’ experience in senior roles at global organisations, especially in the technology industry. She has a proven record in creating centres of excellence for specialist areas of marketing.
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