I also came across really nasty, bloody crime scenes in marketing departments of big corporations. Even big marketing budgets can’t guarantee success. If activities around a product launch, for example, don’t bring high conversion rates, something clearly went wrong. To my observations, it happens due to time pressure, but sometimes also because of a lack of experience. There is no excuse, for example “that a certain measurement never scores higher in returns anyway”. If a marketer thinks that’s the case, then he or she shouldn’t apply it! It’s a waste of money and of other resources. The ROI must be neutral to positive or else the campaign has failed. Having said this, I have only seen very little companies that calculate their return-on-(marketing) investments!
So how can marketers ensure their marketing projects are successful and no crime will be committed in the first place?
- Step 1: You get an order or a new project, let’s say the launch of a new product.
- Step 2: Get a briefing from your “sponsor”. What are the objectives (in numbers) and the purpose of the launch? What are the features of the product? What does the competitor offer? Who is targeted precisely and why? What are the benefits for the target group? What are the KPI’s? What is the timeline?
- Step 3: Write a concept. If you follow the order above including a SWOT analysis and other necessary analysis, you will be forced to breed over this launch in every single aspect. Even though, personally, I know roughly which instruments and tactics to apply in the beginning, I’m sure at this point I still wouldn’t leverage on the full capacity of the campaign. As far as I’m concerned, only during the concept phase the best combination of tactics and creative ideas pop up into my head. Personally, I can only derive a marketing strategy during the conceptual phase.
- Step 4: Draw up a detailed project plan that you update regularly. This way, you can manage your team easily, are aware of time constraints and can build-in back-up-periods or plans in case something unexpected happens. Plus, you can give feedback on the status of the project easily. And no, a project plan is not some random checklist.
It all takes quite some time, but trust me – it’s really worth it. Make your sponsor aware of it, and the additional time it needs from the start. Not only will you be in control at any time, and you will deliver smart, creative and successful campaigns, it also saves you a lot of stress later on.
Move wisely, and don’t let anyone put you under pressure. The product wasn’t developed in one month either. Ask questions from the beginning right ahead that get you information. Sometimes even the Product Managers don’t know the questions yet. In this case, invite them to do a workshop. I’ve carried out workshops when I realized I had too many stakeholders in a project or my sponsors lost focus on the customer and put the success of the project in the centre of their activities.
If instruments are chosen wisely, they will complement each other and ensure you capture as many addressees of your target group as possible.