Is your marketing activity 'joined up'?

The all important factors to consider to ensure your campaign doesn't fail due to lack of 'response activity'. Working with a new client recently, it brought home to me the importance of ensuring that all your marketing activityconnected is joined up.

For many, there's still a key focus on 'marketing' being the promotional part of a brand or business – largely concentrating around the communications or campaigns that are either pushed out to audiences - push activities, or attract audiences - pull activities, (also referred to as outbound and inbound marketing, respectively).

And indeed, they would be right to 'label' these activities under the tab of 'marketing'.  However, in order for marketing activity to be truly effective – there are other important faces of marketing to consider to ensure the entire 'process' of marketing is 'slick' and efficient.  Every marketing 'touch point' needs to be considered and planned for.  Ensuring all the operational boxes are also well and truly ticked.

I've experienced a number of scenarios where a  significant budget has been allocated to a campaign – promotional materials created, data lists purchased, online and offline advertising engaged – radio etc – however, regardless of how much has been 'spent' and how much 'activity' has been put out there, the campaign hasn't generated the required results.

There are many reasons why a campaign could fail – bad planning, wrong message, poor targeting, poor execution etc however, the success factors behind these are far more commonplace.  Marketers and marketing planners and creatives get excited about the 'communication' side of a campaign – messaging, segmenting and targeting is usually well determined.

One key and fundamental element of a marketing campaign that, from my experience, often gets overlooked ,is the all critical  internal marketing part – the part I refer to as 'response activity'.

So let's take a quick look at  'response activity' ...

The campaign has been created, all the creative is in place, key messaging and call to actions agreed, materials scheduled, audience segmented and ready to target – radio campaigns planned, event(s) scheduled – everything is in place and ready to go.  By now – a significant amount of resources (budget, people, etc) have been deployed.  It's the exciting time – the campaign is about to launch - the ball about to start rolling.

Your audience is now going to get the opportunity to meet, greet and embrace your message – so what happens next is the big deciding factor as to whether or not the campaign is a success...

To simplify things – let's call the visible elements of the activity such as the planning, materials, communications, audiences, advertising etc – front end marketing.

Response activity therefore sits in the back end marketing – the all important internal delivery of what you are pushing out there.

For example:  You've revised your website, including a new landing page to focus on a new service /  product.  This promotion is supported by radio advertising, pay per click online advertising campaigns, as well as an offline direct mail piece to customers – together with response mechanism.  The landing page and mailing piece promote a 'request a sample / brochure.

It's all looking very positive.  The campaign launches... and the following happens:

  • Requests for brochures are received via the landing page – however, there's no 'process' in place for turning these requests around quickly and efficiently.  For the user the experience is negative - the brochure, after 7 days, still doesn't arrive, the request for a call isn’t followed up effectively.
  • The onsite confirmation message when a user requests a brochure has a typo.  (Not a great first impression – was this area thoroughly proof read just as the push materials were?).
  • An automated email isn't sent to the user's inbox – advising them that their brochure is on its way – and signposting them to other resources eg: in the meantime, take a look at the following links for more information.
  • Telephone calls are received, but front line team aren't fully aware of the promotion – sorry, I don't know anything about that, can I just put you on hold whilst I find out more about this for you...
  • Data which is captured online for the brochure requests isn't fed through into the prospect database, and tagged accordingly.  Therefore, no scheduled, automated follow up can be scheduled enabling the ongoing nurture of the prospect.
  • l  No measurement resources have been put in place to monitor and measure activity / responses. Therefore, often poor reaching campaigns are repeated again and again – a waste of time, money and effort.

Some of the above examples may appear to be rather extreme – ‘of course we’ve got that covered’ – I hear you chant.  However, from personal experience over the years, I can advise you that many haven’t!

So the message here is simple – ensure that all your marketing activity is totally ‘joined up’.

5 Quick Checks to Take

  1. Test, test and test again. If you have an online request or online call to action – ensure that all the processes to enable that request are in place – checked, proofed and working.
  2. Internal team awareness – ensure everyone who needs to be aware of the campaign is aware of the campaign – don’t just launch externally – launch internally so that everyone knows where to direct enquiries to.
  3. Understand what you need to measure – get measurement resources in place – analytics engaged for online, call responses – ensure mechanisms for monitoring are in place and ready to roll.
  4. Capture information.  If you’ve gone to the effort of getting people to respond and provide details – make that information work.  Collect, extract and ensure that it’s added to your prospect database.
  5. And the follow up? Plan how you are going to respond to those that are interacting with your campaign – not just immediately, but what’s the follow up plan – this is a marketing campaign in itself – so be sure it’s in place.

Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.