So … business is picking up and you’re looking at adding back some of things you had to cut the last couple of years. (If you’re thinking of adding a consultant, I’m available, and reasonable!:)
If marketing is on the agenda let’s look at some things to consider that may be basic to you, and some things that may not.
What’s the campaign’s goal? If you don’t know what you are looking to accomplish, don’t spend the money!
Is the goal reachable? It’s OK if it’s a bit of a stretch, but it should be reasonable.
Is the goal based in an area that will cause your cash register to ring or continue to ring? If not, revisit the goal.
Do you have enough money in the budget to accomplish the goal? If you don’t, conserve your cash until you do. The worst thing you can do is underfund in marketing. It sours the milk for future use. (Forgive the old Country saying but, after all, Country is my specialty.)
Do you have a clearly defined target in mind to achieve your goal? Remember this is not just a demographic and gender decision. Carefully analyze Arbitron’s diary or meter placement habits in your market. How does your campaign match up to these areas?
Should it be a reach or frequency campaign? Actually this is a trick question in my opinion. Reach without frequency is a waste of time and money. Remember the law of threes.
What message should you deliver? This will obviously differ depending on the situation. Regardless, make sure it is focused in an area meaningful to the target. For instance, a campaign focused on playing more music to an audience that has no issue with the amount of music you or your competitor is playing is a waste of money.
What vehicle should you use? Again, this will vary depending on the message and how targeted it needs to be. Obviously direct marketing allows the most finite targeting. Should it be telemarketing? Direct mail? E-mail blasts? Television? Boards? All good choices for different reasons. Not all are going to be necessarily the answer for your campaign.
How do you assess value? That can be a tough one if you’re not in a metered market that gives you instant analysis. The best you can do is break it down to cost per impression. However, don’t be fooled by impressions. An impression can be nothing more than a glance. What you’re looking for is the kind of focused attention that will cause action on your behalf. That usually takes lots of frequency in our marketing message-crowded world, or something that is so targeted to the recipient that you will get their immediate attention. Yeah, it’s hard to do.