7 Questions That Lead to Incredibly Effective Marketing Campaigns

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If you’re launching a new product, designing a sale or getting your business ready now for your version of Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, there are series of steps that you need to include in the planning process in order to create the most effective campaign.

photo credit: khalid almasoud via photo pin cc
As you design a new campaign, brainstorm these questions with your staff and use the answers you come up with to create a series of launch action items.

1) What do we want our customer to do 30 days after the purchase?

This is such a great place to start because it lets you begin with the end in mind. So often all we think about is how to get the sale. This question forces you to think about how you get the result, the next sale or the referral and puts the emphasis squarely on creating a total customer experience.

2) What message will create the most interest?

For the most part no one really wants to buy what you sell, but they do want to achieve a result, save money, vanquish a demon, make money and feel more in control. How will you tell the story that helps them understand that’s what you’re selling? Get your messaging right, focus it on a narrowly defined ideal customer and start the process of education.

3) How many formats and delivery vehicles can we create for the message?

Would your message benefit from a series of supporting video messages, an eBook, blog posts, an online seminar? These days prospects have grown to expect a full suite of educational information to accompany a sales message. How will you let your prospect sample the results or the process they are considering?

4) What are the ways our message can intersect with our prospects?

Now it’s time to put your message in front of the prospect. How will you employ advertising, public relations, referral generation, email, partners and social networks to create the greatest amount of awareness, repetition and consistency of message aimed at your ideal target customer?

5) What is the ultimate pathway we want our prospect to travel?

Go through the precise “ideal” way you want a prospect to become aware of your campaign and then design how you intend them to move from know, like and trust to try and buy. What small steps do you intend them to take to move closer to the decision to buy.

6) What is our call to action mechanism at each point along the way?

How are you going to motivate your prospects to take each progressive step? What words, buttons, links and value exchanges will you employ to keep your prospect engaged?

7) What is the next thing we intend to sell?

Some might find this last step a bit crass at this point, but you don’t have to think about it that way. If your products and services deliver a positive result, you should always be thinking about new ways to do that. Your campaigns should always have an integrated product or service suite element that automatically upsells, introduces additional options and even downsells when a prospect decides they aren’t ready to make a decision on your current campaign.

For example, as you offer a new consulting service, you could either offer some additional “done for you” add ons for those that decide to buy or a $79 DIY program for those that pass on your initial offer.

I think the point here is that you adopt a routine and process that makes you stop and consider this holistic approach to campaign design. Often, by simply stopping for moment to consider these powerful questions you’ll find ways to make any offer much stronger and much more customer focused.


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  1. Great post John. I was actually just using 5-7 last week to spur some thinking in a marketing discussion. I really like #1 as well and agree its a great starting point.

    I wonder if #3 should be worded slightly differently however, more along the lines of “Which formats and delivery vehicles should we test the messaging on?” since some products messaging will work better in certain channels than others do. Regardless a content strategy that supports the messaging is definitely a key in this day and age.

  2. By being diligent in your marketing and creating an easy strategy such as holding yourself accountable to contact ten customers or potential customers daily five days a week you will see your business grow at an exceptional rate. The great thing is it will not take a large marketing budget to make it happen.

  3. I like points 1 and 7 John. The follow up after the sale (like a review request for eCommerce sites. Amazon does this). And the upsell for incremental revenue.

  4. Great questions.

    I like reversing #5 from “What is the ultimate pathway we want our prospect to travel?” to “What is the natural pathway prospects follow when making this kind of buying decision — can we mirror it?”

  5. These are excellent questions, and a great place to start. Another
    aspect to launching a product is considering your competitors’
    positioning in the market as well. Some of these questions could be
    easily tailored to your competitors’ placement – ie. #2 might end up
    being, “What message will create the most interest, how is our
    competitor capitalizing on similar messaging, and how can we
    differentiate ourselves from such messaging?” It’s probably the next
    step in the brainstorming process, but cannot be overlooked before going
    to market.

    1. Thanks Jose – there are always more questions that can be added – I’ve long stopped worrying about competitors though, I think it’s very easy to get caught up in trying to out do them and lose sight of the real goal.

  6. I like this post John. I often challenge my students to write a 7 sentence marketing plan, much along these lines. Try it! It really makes you think succinctly to get it down to 7 sentences.

  7. Thanks for this informative article. I am glad that I am reading this as I wanted some guidelines. I personally like # 7. We should always have innovations.

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  26. This post describes the client management process in a unique way.Something which every company needs to follow for acquiring new clients and retaining old ones.Along with these pointers well known for effective marketing campaigns, certain core values, we at Synechron have developed which lead to better execution of processes. these values are customer satisfaction, execution, agility, excellence and integrity.

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