When “improve marketing campaign” tops your small business to-do list, not only do you need to fix it, but you need to do so fast. An underperforming campaign can set your bottom line back each day it flounders, reducing sales and cutting into profits. Here are five tips you can instantly use to fix your plan and get your marketing on track.
1. Mind Your P’s
You launched your promotion under the assumption you have the right product, price and placement. But perhaps you were mistaken. Before you assume your marketing plan is the problem, do a quick circle back to make sure you got the basics right. A quick market survey will confirm this. For tips on conducting yours, click here.
2. Consider the Creative
Many marketing campaigns miss the mark because the creative doesn’t resonate for some reason. Creative is a broad term for your ads, billboards, landing pages, etc., and the concept they convey in design and tone. For example, let’s say you run an oil change shop and your promotion is based on “old-time” service. While this may seem like a benefit to you, consumers may view it as slow or out of date. A simple way to avoid these types of disconnects is to run the creative by a focus group. Here’s how.
3. Revisit Tactics
Sometimes the creative is spot on but the marketing tactics are off. When this happens, the right message is going to the wrong people. Consider, for instance, a food truck that excels in serving up killer street tacos. Even the coolest brochures and posters will do little to promote it because the truck and its customers are a moving target. A better option would be a social media campaign that highlights where the truck will be and engages customers in a dialogue about a great food experience.
4. Give it Time
Believe it or not, marketers just a decade or so ago had to wait days or even weeks for a promotion to deliver. While the age of instant feedback and social media have compressed timeframes and expectations, patience is one factor that can still pay off. If you don’t see results immediately, give your plan a little time. Set a date a week or two out at which point you can gauge if your promotion is succeeding.
5. Reconsider What Success Means
You launched your campaign a week ago and you have hundreds of leads but zero sales. Whether you’ve succeeded or failed depends on your definition of success. If you’re measuring sales, then your campaign has flopped. However, if you’re looking for leads, you’ve hit the jackpot. Before you decide your plan is broken, go back to the planning stage and revisit goals. It may be that success was simply a matter of definition.
For every marketing plan that fails, there’s a fix that can be implemented. While it may take a little soul searching, the effort is always worth it.