voices

An­nie Hall re­veals her top tips to turn your brand strat­egy into ef­fec­tive cam­paigns

net magazine - - CONTENTS - An­nie is a pas­sion­ate ac­count plan­ner and client lead at Salad (@Sal­adCreative) who spe­cialises in craft­ing con­tent, chan­nel and dig­i­tal strate­gies.

An­nie Hall re­veals her top tips to turn brand strat­egy into ef­fec­tive cam­paigns

As a strate­gic agency, we work with clients to sup­port their mar­ket­ing in var­i­ous ways; from brand plan­ning and con­cept ideation, to ad­ver­tis­ing and ac­ti­va­tion, right through to un­der­stand­ing per­for­mance. How­ever, we’ve no­ticed that a reg­u­lar stum­bling block oc­curs when­ever it’s time to take the leap from strat­egy into ef­fec­tive cam­paigns. The brand has been de­con­structed and re­built with the most crit­i­cal au­di­ence per­sonas in mind, re­sult­ing in a beau­ti­fully ef­fec­tive brand line that el­e­gantly sum­marises the value propo­si­tion. And the newly de­signed web­site is live and wait­ing pa­tiently half way down Google search re­sults, just beg­ging to be found. Now what? ‘Ac­ti­va­tion paral­y­sis’ – no one knows how to ac­ti­vate the brand.

brand is cen­tral

The best way to over­come ac­ti­va­tion paral­y­sis is to start think­ing in

com­mer­cial terms. Mar­ket­ing de­part­ments have long been un­der pres­sure to up their game and demon­strate ROI and busi­ness value in every de­ci­sion. Chris Daly of the CIM ar­gues “mar­ket­ing now has a wider def­i­ni­tion… It’s about rep­re­sent­ing the cus­tomer’s voice within the busi­ness and an­tic­i­pat­ing and sat­is­fy­ing their re­quire­ments.” The true value of brand strat­egy lies in how it’s ap­plied to meet both short-term com­mer­cial goals and long-term busi­ness ob­jec­tives. Ask yourself: how can we take this brand to mar­ket with a con­ver­sa­tion that demon­strates we are sat­is­fy­ing the needs of our most im­por­tant prospects?

Cre­ate con­ver­sa­tions

So many brands make the mis­take of think­ing col­lat­eral-first, in­stead of cus­tomer or even con­tent-first. The goal with any mar­ket­ing cam­paign is to cre­ate a con­ver­sa­tion, not to cre­ate an­other e-shot. Con­tent must be fit for pur­pose. Con­sider a po­ten­tial cus­tomer’s jour­ney, from the mo­ment they be­come aware of the need your brand ful­fils, right through to the ex­pe­ri­ence after pur­chase. How do they feel? What in­for­ma­tion are they look­ing for? Where are they look­ing? What al­ter­na­tives might they en­counter?

Fo­cus on ex­pe­ri­ence

The dig­i­tal mar­ket­place, the in­for­ma­tion age, the ad-savvy con­sumer, mar­ket­ing to mil­len­ni­als – they’re all top­ics born from the fact that cus­tomers sim­ply have more choice on what, when and how they buy a prod­uct, as well as who they buy from. The re­al­ity this cre­ates, is a need for data. En­sur­ing your com­mu­ni­ca­tions are rel­e­vant and per­sonal re­quires a cer­tain level of in­sight and in­for­ma­tion about your cus­tomers. Per­sonal data is some­thing cus­tomers are be­com­ing more re­luc­tant to share so be use­ful or at least be in­ter­est­ing and make data col­lec­tion part of the goal – not just sales.

De­fine suc­cess

Set­ting ap­pro­pri­ate per­for­mance met­rics for your cam­paigns is crit­i­cal. Is it get­ting the brand seen and heard in the right places? Is this ac­tiv­ity gen­er­at­ing leads and/ or en­quiries? It is pre­sent­ing us with more rea­sons to talk to our au­di­ence? Do we un­der­stand our au­di­ence bet­ter as a re­sult? It’s im­por­tant to ex­pect some de­gree of trial and er­ror. Learn­ing what works and what doesn’t is key to im­prov­ing mar­ket­ing strat­egy. An­swer­ing yes to as many of these ques­tions as pos­si­ble is likely to be a great start.

Plan your route

Cam­paigns will fall at the first hur­dle if your brand mes­sages aren’t pub­lished in the right chan­nels. In­tel­li­gent distri­bu­tion is as im­por­tant as cre­at­ing the right con­tent. But you don’t need to in­vest in ex­pen­sive or un­fa­mil­iar dig­i­tal plat­forms just be­cause they feel in­no­va­tive. Again, distri­bu­tion strat­egy should be cus­tomer and con­tent-first. Se­lect chan­nels based on where your au­di­ence will be most re­cep­tive to in­for­ma­tion and con­sider a bal­ance of bud­get and en­gag­ing con­tent for­mats.

Qual­ify and nur­ture

Fi­nally, lead gen­er­a­tion is one of the most di­rect ways in which mar­ket­ing can demon­strate sales sup­port and mea­sur­able con­tri­bu­tion to com­mer­cial pipe­lines. How­ever, scor­ing, qual­i­fy­ing and nur­tur­ing leads are of­ten af­ter­thoughts. Even FMCG brands with short sale cy­cles need to in­vest in build­ing long-term re­la­tion­ships. In­vest­ing time in nur­ture map­ping, as part of cam­paign plan­ning, gives the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore how in­tel­li­gent lead scor­ing can be ap­plied or im­proved to en­sure the mar­ket­ing con­tent ef­fec­tively qual­i­fies leads at each touch-point of a cus­tomer’s jour­ney. This en­sures that valu­able time is only in­vested by the sales team when a prospect is ready to buy.

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