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Why Every Great Marketing Campaign Begins At The End

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Massa & Company: Measure MarketingIt’s about time marketing analytics became trendy. More and more marketers are keeping an eye on what’s known as “marketing metrics,” or data that helps them track the success of campaigns, accurately determine ROI, and spend less money by talking to the right people.

But are your marketing campaigns truly set up for success? Do you have the right tools in place to measure the right results? How will you know if your campaign has been a success?

Taking advantage of marketing metrics goes much deeper than glimpsing at Google Analytics or glancing at your social media numbers once in a while.

When data is tracked correctly, it can be used to create successful marketing campaigns that have….

  • Clearly established goals
  • A measurable way to track those goals
  • An answer to the question “How will I know if this worked?”

Begin at the End

Before beginning a marketing campaign, you need to know what you’ll be reporting on when the campaign ends. What does success look like? Does it mean a certain dollar amount has been generated, a certain percent increase in sales, or a certain level of engagement on social media?

If stakeholders come to you for proof their money was well spent, you’d better be able to show them how that money was used, and whether or not it was spent wisely. In order to do this, you must first be able to clearly state what a successful campaign outcome looks like.

Determine the Cost of your Campaign

Let’s say you’re developing an email marketing campaign in order to sell a product. The cost of building the campaign, cleaning up your list(s), creating the artwork, writing the copy, and automating the communications comes to $10,000.

Massa & Company_Marketing CampaignOnce that cost is determined, make sure it’s less than 10% of what you expect to get back from the campaign. In the above example, a $10,000 campaign should generate at least $100,000 or more to justify the marketing expense.

So how can you be sure of your ROI? Look at analytics from the past. Check purchasing behavior by segments and buyer personas. If you can confidently say that spending $10,000 will generate $100,000, why are you so sure? Has that happened in the past? Is it realistic to expect that to happen again in the future?

All of your answers to these questions should be based on data.

3 Steps to Campaign Success

1. Clearly articulate what you’re trying to accomplish

Before beginning your campaign, you should know what has to happen in order for that campaign to be considered a success. Know what you’re measuring and what has to happen in order for your goal to be met.

If you’re selling something, how much money are you trying to make? If you’re doing an awareness campaign, how will you measure the results and the outcome?

Begin at the end by imagining what a successful outcome would look like, then reverse-engineer the steps it will take to get you there.

2. Do a reality check

Once you know what you’re trying to do, ask yourself “Is this realistic?”

  • Is the cost of your campaign likely to be less than 10% of what that campaign will generate in profits?
  • Is it realistic to ask this particular customer segment to make a purchase at this time?
  • Are your goals for an awareness campaign realistic? Can they be measured? If so, how?

3. Get buy-in with stakeholders

Once you have clearly-defined, realistic goals that are based on data, it’s time to get approval for your project. Luckily, it’s much easier to get the money you need when you can predict the success of your campaign using hard numbers, instead of just having a “feeling” it will do well.

Before beginning any marketing campaign, ask yourself “What am I going to report on when this campaign is finished?” The answer to that question will guide you through a crucial preparatory process that will guarantee you’re set up for success.

Food for Thought: Cherry Bourbon Ice Cream

Now that I have the Master Ice Cream base recipe, I look for great flavor combinations to add to it. Here in Chicago, we get the most beautiful cherries from Michigan in the summer! Last summer I stood in the produce section of the grocery store and stared at these beautiful bags of cherries and wondered what I could make with so many of them!

It’s funny, we often think of the ‘cherry on top’ as an afterthought on an ice cream sundae, but in this case the cherries were the base for the recipe. Instead of finishing with a cherry, you had to start with the cherries. The end and the beginning were flipped. It reminds me of how every great marketing campaign begins at the end. Often the things we think of as afterthoughts or mundane details (articulating goals, determining campaign costs) are the very ingredients we need for marketing success.

But I digress. Here are the proportions for Cherry Bourbon ice cream on Epicurious. It will make your brains fall out!

Do you want to guarantee the success of your next marketing campaign? Massa & Company can help! Contact Bonnie at (312) 463-1050 or click here now to find out more.

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About the Author:

Bonnie Massa is Founder and President of Chicago-based Massa & Company, Inc. She works with companies and nonprofits to make the best use of their information about customers, partners, donors and sponsors. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and predictive analytics, Bonnie is passionate about helping clients make informed, data-driven decisions to increase the value of their customer base. She works with organizations of all types to attract new customers and constituents, segment existing customers and analyze customer behavior to predict future behaviors. She speaks fluent “geek” and is an effective translator between business executives and technology experts. Bonnie currently serves as President of American Marketing Association Chicago Chapter, a volunteer position leading the best marketers in the city. She strongly believes that making pasta and ice cream from scratch are worth the effort, and she spends much of her free time testing and re-testing that theory.