A good marketing campaign knows exactly which direction it is going in. It is based on precise and realistic goals, objectives and budget.
When you launch a marketing campaign, you first need to know what goals you would like to achieve. Do you want to win 100 new customers? Or increase sales by CHF 200,000? It is not always that simple. Sometimes your goal is to boost your image, win new customers or launch a new product. Your goals are defined in several steps:
- Establishing the company's essential purpose. This means its uniqueness, the thing which makes it stand out from the competition, something only the company can provide and why it was set up. In the case of a company like Google, this means “organizing information and making it accessible to everyone”.
- Finding a goal you would like to achieve over a given period of time. Increasing your revenue by 10% by the end of the year, for example.
- Defining your objectives. These are the detailed, measurable results you would like to achieve and which will make it possible to reach your goal. Winning 200 new customers or putting a new product on the market, for example, which will help increase revenue by 10%.
- Developing a strategy. This means all the specific measures you will be implementing to reach your goals. Improving your presence on social networks to make yourself known to a wider public, for example. Or launching a poster campaign to support the marketing of your new product.
The more seriously these various steps are taken, the lower the risk of finding yourself with an advertising campaign that does not reflect your goals. The creative team will be able to rely on this road map to direct its thought processes and avoid being on the wrong track.
These steps can also help detect unrealistic or overly ambitious expectations, and therefore allow for adjustments to be made before the whole process is set in motion. And lastly, these steps help you refocus your message. A good advertising campaign is structured around one central idea and does not try and say everything at once.
Once the battle plan is drawn up, it needs a budget. The budget comprises two variables: the time you will be investing and the money you will be spending. It is sometimes more efficient, particularly for an SME, to spend time on convincing your customers verbally or by email of the effectiveness of your product or to do the rounds of trade fairs, rather than invest in a big poster campaign which is less targeted in terms of your audience.
The financial part of your budget depends on the nature of your company and the environment in which it is operating:
- A mature company operating on an established market and setting moderate targets will allocate between 2% and 5% of annual sales to marketing;
- A start-up aiming at significant growth or seeking to penetrate a new market will invest between 7% and 10% of annual sales in marketing.
This amount includes all costs for:
- Buying advertising space
- Sending material out by post
- Creating a website or updating it
- Developing or changing packaging
- Printing promotional materials (items featuring logo, business cards)
- The salary of the advertising agency or the employees responsible for implementing the marketing strategy
- Any losses caused by an introductory promotion or offer intended to support the marketing of a new product or to win over new customers
- A margin of 10% to cover unexpected costs
Source: Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies, Barbara Findlay Schenck, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2012.