From quick competitions and one-off promotions through to often needed brand overhauls, this checklist should form the launchpad to your marketing campaigns.
1. Get Your House in Order
Taking your business to market is truly putting yourself out there. Having a presence and persona in the wider world and online is a necessity of modern business, but it also leaves you exposed to negative feedback and can broadcast all your shortcomings. Take pride in your organisation and do your due diligence to ensure your product, cleanliness and service are up to scratch. You want to put your best foot forward when launching your campaign.
2. Conduct a Brand Audit
Before building the vision for your promotion or campaign, it pays to have a good, hard look at your brand. An entire industry of consultants is dedicated to
brand audits, but there’s no reason why you can’t conduct your own with resources you already have at your disposal. It can be simply broken down into three parts. Start internally – defining your purpose and culture. Speak with your employees; how do they describe your business, its purpose and its vision? What do they notice from working closely with your customers, that you may not?
Second, go external, which should include things like your logo, aesthetic, marketing and reputation. This stage will also entail your website and social media presence. The final part is customer experience. Take a look at your processes, customer engagement and hospitality.
A good brand audit will help you define your goals and voice and, when combined with a sound knowledge of your target customers, should form the backbone of all your marketing efforts.
3. Know Your Audience
If the aim of your campaign is to get existing customers in the door more often or for longer durations, you’ll be able to gather knowledge on your current clientele: what they like, what they buy, and when and why they visit your establishment. You could even ask them to complete a survey (always a good thing to incentivise with freebies or discounts). If your goal is to attract new customers, you’ll have to look outside and conduct some research to see what it is they want that your venue can offer. Have they heard of you? Why or why not?
4. Know Your Goal
What do you really want to achieve with your campaign? A marketing campaign can have a number of goals and while all tie into the success of your business, a boost in revenue, some coverage in the local press, increased purchases of a specific item and new sign-ups to loyalty programs are all examples of different goals, each with their own challenges and solutions. A clear goal will help you effectively create, plan and execute any campaign. Furthermore, setting clear and easy-to-measure goals will help you do another very important thing: demonstrate success and share your wins with your employees.
5. Monitor Your Performance
Measure your results against your set goals. What performed well? What left room for improvement? Keep an eye on the performance of your campaign while it’s underway so you can tweak and moderate where necessary to ensure the best result. At the end, look back at the campaign and apply what you’ve learned for future campaigns.
This article was first published in State of Play, Issue 7, 2020