Dating and Marketing – Common Campaign Pitfalls (and how to avoid them): Part I

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Are you kicking off a campaign? Ready to mix and mingle in the marketplace and drive some revenue? You might actually know more about launching a campaign than you think because it has a lot in common with dating, including common pitfalls. If your brand is your personality, campaigns are conversations between your product and your audience. But as we know with dating, getting the girl or guy of your dreams isn’t always easy. 

We are unpacking the Top Ten Campaign Pitfalls in this two-part series. Let’s start with Pitfalls #1 through #5:

Pitfall #1 – Your goals are unclear or undefined

What are you looking for as you scan the room? Are you trying to find Mr. or Mrs. Right or just Right Now? Brands and products shouldn’t start a campaign until they have specific goals of what they want to achieve. What does success look like for you? “Driving revenue” is not a specific enough goal any more than “I just want to meet someone nice” is a tangible goal. Discuss with your agency the specific metrics and benchmarks you have to hit (and by when) in order to achieve your revenue goals.

Pitfall #2 – Your goals can’t be measured

Beyoncé sang about wanting to “put a ring on it.” That’s a very specific metric of success.  Before you launch a campaign, discuss how you will be measuring success. Do you have the right reporting tools in place? Who needs to see the campaign results and how often? If you can’t measure it, then it shouldn’t be a goal. Think of ways you can – and should – measure the campaign’s success.

Pitfall #3 – Your audience isn’t clearly defined

Nothing wastes more time and money than not knowing exactly who you want to attract – that’s your tightly defined audience. Once you think you have the right target identified, forecast what you think your engagement and response rate will be. Will it meet your revenue goals? If not, the guy or girl of your dreams may not be the right lead for you, or they may be out of your league. Do you know the best channel and time of day to reach your target audience? Are you wandering around bars when maybe you should be in church? This is where good audience research pays off.  Knowing who will have the highest propensity to engage with your product, and narrowing your focus, will reap richer rewards. 

Pitfall #4 – You underestimated the competition 

Ahhhh, there they are. Your eyes lock from across the room. But as you make your way across the crowded dance floor, someone else has spied your crush as well and has caught their attention. The next thing you know, you’re in a bidding war for the same keyword search terms and battling for share-of-voice! Competitive markets can make campaigns tricky. If you can’t outspend, you’ll have to outsmart the competition.

Pitfall #5 – The campaign isn’t an extension of the brand

Do you have the right pick-up line? Campaign messaging is a fun, creative way to give your brand a voice. Hopefully, you have established a tone and voice for your brand as well as a list of personality attributes. Or better yet, you have identified your brand’s archetype.  (If that doesn’t sound familiar, check out our book review on the groundbreaking brand archetype book, The Hero and The Outlaw). Your campaign headline and call-to-action should be grounded in your brand’s benefit and in your brand’s personality. And if you aren’t sure what to say, that’s OK! Try out a few headlines with A/B testing! (Much easier to execute digitally than on a date.)

As you can see from these common pitfalls, there’s a lot to consider when launching a campaign. Like dating, you want to make sure you’re doing it right: you’re at the right places at the right time, saying the right thing to attract the perfect match. In the next article in this series, we’ll review five more pitfalls to avoid when launching your next marketing campaign.

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