In most cases, marketers will tell you that they almost always have a hard time proving to their CFOs that their digital marketing efforts are paying off. Getting sales is one surefire way of showing this and is not that difficult; what’s difficult is pushing online users to an online store.
Challenges occur with pushing online users to brick and mortar stores. Or if you’re creating brand awareness using digital channels and your bosses want to see hardcore results in the real world.
Some of you might argue that you can have systems integrated with your Point Of Sale system to tell you how many sales you are generating through an online campaign. While this may be true, there will always be a large part of your user base that might have seen the marketing message and appreciated it, or made a note of it but have not made a purchase during that particular campaign. Does this mean the campaign is a failure? Of course not! But more often than not, it is the marketing team that seems to take the flack for too few sales.
For one thing, there is no surefire way of measuring the recall of a campaign but rest assured, if the message is memorable, there will be top of mind retention with your potential customers. For another, if you want your marketing to work, there needs to be a holistic approach towards every marketing touchpoint that enables a consistent, concise and memorable customer journey that sooner or later evokes a sale. I have been in the midst of this scenario myself on multiple occasions, and I have to admit, it isn’t very flattering.
My message to all you CEOs and CFOs out there is, If you’ve confident that you’ve hired the right people to handle your marketing, the best thing to do is get out of their way and let them do their job. Too many times, I have seen the efforts of talented marketers either go to waste or go unnoticed because the C-Suite has different plans for the company, and wants to justify the marketing department’s existence in the company based on sales. Or in most cases, the multiple marketing touch-points I mentioned above are either not in place, or weak, resulting in a lackluster and unsuccessful campaign. Metaphorically, it is akin to throwing gasoline on to an unlit flame. No matter how much gasoline you throw, it won’t make a difference. The trick is to infuse some spark into the proverbial fire so that whatever the desired action is, be it likes, impression, calls, downloads, calls, leads etc. can be achieved.
So what can we do to ensure that everything is in place before the start of the campaign?
Disseminate information to all internal stakeholders regarding a campaign before it is launched. This should include your sales teams, public relations teams, C-suite, operations teams, legal teams, contact center and everyone else in the spectrum. Sending out emails with detailed information of the campaign, some samples of the content (either static artworks, copies of the video commercials etc.) can help people visualize the campaign and give them an idea of what to expect. Sending out campaign procedures (in case it is a coupon redemption scheme or exchange scheme) also helps in standardizing the approach in handling customers.
As simple as this may sound, you would be surprised to know how few companies actually carry this out. This exercise ensures that every individual and every team is on the same page and knows about the campaign and the mechanics involved.
Make sure you test everything, before going live. If you’re expecting calls, make sure you give your Contact Center a script to ensure consistency in all communications. If it is an email lead generation campaign on a landing page, make sure the clicks get forwarded to the right landing page and that the data is being cached in the format that you desire. If it is an SMS campaign, ensure that your links are unbroken and that they actually work. The key is to figure out all the gaps in the campaign before it goes live so that you can catch the inconsistencies and get them fixed beforehand.
After your campaign, make sure you evaluate the success (or failure) to help figure out where you can do better. This not only helps you understand what not to do again but on a more positive note, helps you understand what is working for you so that you can focus on that aspect of the campaign in future.
In closing, no matter what you do, there is no other formula for a successful campaign than adapting a holistic approach for its success.
Barry Rodrigues is Head of Marketing & Product Development at Future Communications, Kuwait and founder of NexGen Digital. For comments, please email Barry at [email protected]