By Oleg K. Temple, June 2014.
In Part one of this article we examined the logic behind your campaign, now let us review execution. A meticulously designed campaign can still ‘fall flat on its face’, if the execution is not timely and well-coordinated.
Tailor the campaign to your audience:
Good, now you know who your target audience is. The next thing to do is to understand their needs and ensure that your campaign speaks to them—get inside their heads! This is advertising 101. Do NOT skip this step. If you are advertising in a business directory, ensure that your advertisement is well-positioned, very informative, easy to read and links to your website—people visit business directories in search of serious business information, without all the personal deluge and cat pictures of social sites. If you are running a campaign on a social media website, ensure that your advertisement is really interesting and entertaining—people go on these sites to be entertained, not shop. Essentially, by maintaining a steady presence in business directories, you can expect your advertising dollars to precipitate into click-throughs and sales all around. Whereas by advertising on a social media site, you can expect your financial output to net you statistics and, if done right, some interaction with your audience—great for Q&A or feedback soundboard. However, by virtue of requiring constant, fresh AND entertaining content all the time, most businesses resort to reposting ancient gags and seldom get the chance to get serious feedback on their actual business.
The adverts that work best stand apart from the crowd by being memorable: humorous, relevant and best of all, surprising. Keep an eye on current events, well-executed parodies and throwbacks are great ways to speak to various target generations. The trouble with such campaigns is the cost of real quality—a business usually needs to enlist the services of an advertising agency think-tank for optimum placement and consistency. There are many advertising agencies out there, but their services do not come at a bargain price. Just like when you search for a recruitment company or search for a real estate agency, you must understand that you are essentially outsourcing the job to a department of people and expect to pay accordingly. Do not always agree to pay top-dollar, but keep in mind that you very often get what you pay for, so avoid rock-bottom desperados, as they could do irreversible damage to the image of your company and putting ‘Humpty’ back together again… Well, you know how that goes. This, of course, is a common-sense approach and that’s the title of this piece.
So be different, do not ignore trends, but avoid following them blindly—followers are never leaders.
Don’t bet on one horse:
Let’s face it, most online campaigns are ‘virtual, viral-wannabes’, but only a miniscule percentage ever break through, resonating with the human psyche and truly replicate through exponential, voluntary shares. So disseminate your information over a larger audience, rather than put all your ‘eggs into one basket’. I am not suggesting that you crush your marketing budget into dust and sprinkle it evenly all around the web. No, cherry-pick and prioritise by all means, but instead of expending 100% of your resources on a couple of social media giants, spend 80% on your primary goals and buttress your investment by spending the remaining 20% to place your business with links and logos into local and international business directories (e.g. The Cornerstones of WORLD Business provides you with great value for money), invest in articles by experts (i.e. quality content) and free trials or samples of your good or service. These three pillars (awareness, quality and value) will be the foundations upon which to build a public image capable of withstanding the tests of time and will keep your company safe from ‘Googlequakes’ that will inevitably take down those who hurriedly built their reputation skyscrapers on fake ‘Likes’ and patch-work SEO.
Amat Victoria Curam:
That is Latin for “Success Loves Preparation”. Despite your best efforts to reach the right individuals and not show up at the wrong place and/or time, things might go ‘pear-shaped’ and then belly-up. There are so many factors and variables (breaking news stories, the public mood, the weather, etc.) that are completely out of your control and can run aground the most-carefully designed plans.
Do not relent—you are not alone and streaks of misfortune happen to the best of us. Take a breather and reengage your audience—finesse and dedication, not force, will get you through in the end and if you will prevail if you persist.
The thing to remember in such circumstances is that there are ‘many ways to brew a cuppa’. When one door closes, another opens, so while making progress in the right direction, do not waste energy on trying to dislodge every obstacle in your way—circumvent whenever possible. As Bruce Lee said: “be water, my friend”. The essence of a successful strategy is not rigidity, rather it is formlessness—the ability to adapt, manoeuvre around obstacles, all the while closing in on your goal. In business, if you are not vying—you are not trying! So Keep Calm and Press On.