5 Key Factors to a Successful Marketing Campaign

By Matt Goodwin / December 6, 2018 / Paid Search

Having brought on dozens of new clients throughout my years as a marketer, I’ve heard my fair share of their reasons why they were making the switch away from their existing agency or partner.

Some of the most common reasons for their changes include:

  • The client is unhappy with its performance under the current partner’s guidance
  • The client feels more like a number to the agency rather than a partner
  • Overall lack of communication with the client

I noticed a commonality — the root of these issues tended to stem from an inadequate approach to running a marketing campaign. Below, I’ve identified the five key components that need to be considered to give you the best chance at running a successful marketing campaign, big or small.

1. Clearly Define Your Goals

Defining goals allows you to understand if a campaign’s end result was successful or not, and can serve as an overarching guide to keep the strategy focused on the bigger picture.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many junior marketers making the mistake of heading directly into campaign creation without having a clear picture of what it is they’re trying to achieve. When goals aren’t in place, an effective strategy is impossible to execute.

In order to clearly define your goals, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of what success looks like to the client. Depending on the type of business, this could be a wide range of aspects, from generating a certain volume of monthly leads ore-commerce sales, to growing brand recall among a specific audience.

Secondly, it is important to think about the role of the channel/medium in which you’re running your campaign.

For example, say your client is an automotive dealership that is running a PPC and display campaign. They tell you that their goal is to sell 50 new cars by the end of the month. In order to translate this goal into campaign-specific goals, we need to understand that people can’t buy their cars directly online. Therefore, the goals of each channel will need to be slightly redefined in a way that can be measured, but also influence the end goal.

Our PPC goal might be to generate a specific number of leads within a reasonable cost per lead. On the other hand, since the nature of most display campaigns is more top-of-funnel and less about direct conversion, our goal for this channel might be to serve a set number of viewable impressions at a defined frequency in order to keep the brand top of mind.

2. Map Goals to the Right KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable values that allow you to understand how effectively a campaign is achieving those defined goals. The most common mistake made is that even if the right goals are in place, the wrong KPIs are chosen to measure them.

Choosing the right KPIs is an extremely important step to give you the best chance at running a successful marketing campaign. These are the metrics we optimize for. If we’re optimizing for the wrong metrics, we’re not able to effectively able to reach our goals.

A common symptom of having the wrong KPIs in place is commonly having a disconnect between what you’re seeing and what your client is seeing. For example, if your KPIs seem to be consistently improving but the client’s not seeing any positive trends on their end, you likely need to revisit these.

KPIs (specific to paid marketing) include metrics like:

  • Cost per lead
  • ROI
  • Sales revenue

There have been instances when I’ve reviewed a report from a past agency and saw that the primary KPIs for a PPC campaign were things like Click-Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC). While these metrics are important, they don’t tie directly to the goal.

To illustrate this more, you could have a $1.00 CPC and an 8% CTR, but when people get to your site, they don’t take any action. While another campaign might have a $6.00 CPC and a 2% CTR, however, it constantly generates conversion.

3. Ensure Proper KPI Tracking

While this one may seem like a no-brainer, time and time again I’ve seen poor conversion and analytics tracking, which has stunted effective optimizations.

Once KPIs have been defined, we need to ensure these metrics are things we’re actually capturing, and accurately. It’s also important to make sure conversions aren’t firing prematurely or being double counted.

Most of the error typically happens with forms in lead-generating campaigns. It is common that forms are housed within iFrames or use javascript that doesn’t forward to a “Thank you” page.

For example, when tracking form submissions on a form without a “Thank you” page, make sure the conversion tag does not fire on all submit button clicks, but instead only on successful submissions. Think about how many times you’ve clicked submit on a form and then realized you missed a required field or didn’t complete your email address.

If the form is housed within an iFrame, try to reach out to the company hosting the form and asking about analytics integration. While there are some exceptions to the rule, most of the time all KPIs can be properly tracked, even if it requires some extra research for how to track specific items.

4. Understand Your Target Audience

While the previous items relate more to the upfront thinking prior to even beginning campaign creation, understanding your audience and how to talk to them comes under the microscope as you begin creating your marketing materials.

When writing ads, landing page content, emails, amongst other items, there are two key aspects you should be considering:

  1. The needs of your audience and what they care about
  2. The needs of the business and what you’d like your audience to do after consuming your message

Your messaging should aim to satisfy the interest/intent of your audience, while creating a bridge to influence them to do something that satisfies the goals of the business.

Typically, this can be done by first identifying your key messages that you believe will resonate most for each of your audience segments.

Sticking with the automotive dealership example, our key messages could be:

  • Free oil changes for life
  • Award-winning customer service
  • Will beat any competitor’s offer

Once you’ve identified key messages, create some call-to-action variations that aim to drive consumers to take the brand’s desired actions. These actions could include:

  • See what makes us different
  • Take a virtual test drive
  • Request our best price

We can take these items and piece together different messages to create the most effective results.

5. Consider Implementing A/B Tests

It’s not always easy to know which messages are going to be most effective.

Instead of picking and choosing — potentially the wrong message — and letting that message run indefinitely, set up your campaigns with some A/B tests in place. This will allow you to be much more efficient with optimization. You’ll have data-driven answers to your uncertainties to constantly improve conversion rates.

Here are some ideas of what to A/B test:

  • Key messages
  • Calls to action
  • Landing pages
  • Landing page UX
  • Number of form fields

Using tools like Google Optimize, you can set up your A/B test and define which metric (KPI) you’d like to see improve. Once the data becomes statistically significant, you’ll be notified and can set the winning result to become your primary message/page and can now test it again against something else.

 

Ensuring you tackle these five steps prior to launching a marketing campaign of your own will give you the best chance at success with your own projects. And if you’re looking for information on how we do this, feel free to contact us today.