One of the keys to a successful marketing campaign is to come up with a unique idea that will grab the attention of your intended audience and make them want to act and follow up. However, if you dont do the legwork and planning in advance any great idea can fall flat on its face and end up wasting your organisation time and money – not to mention credibility.
Ive recently been exposed to two such marketing campaigns that failed in exactly this way. Each example really highlights the importance of planning and timing when executing marketing campaigns:
Last week I began to receive a national newspaper delivered along with my regular local Vancouver one (which I subscribe to mainly for local content). Obviously, the marketing folks at the newspaper in question had singled my household out for a trial of the national paper in the hope that their promotion would result in me becoming a subscriber. I didnt order the paper and dont necessarily need it but on receipt, I was open to evaluating it: especially from a work perspective as I am always interested in new sources of information to give me ideas for this blog. On the second day of delivery, being a hockey fan, I opened the sports section in anticipation of reading about the Vancouver Canucks play-off game the previous night only to see a great big splashy headline and article about the Calgary game instead.
I was disappointed to say the least and my perception of the paper was immediately put into question as it appeared to me to be an eastern publication and not local at all. I am canceling the trial today and will not likely consider it as a potential source of information in the future and whats more I am cynically questioning their reasoning behind sending me more unwanted paper right around Earth Day, so my overall perception of the paper has fallen as a result of the attempt and I am less likely to subscribe at any time in the future. This, I am sure, is exactly the opposite effect the newspapers marketing team had wanted when they sent me the promo: had the timing of the execution of the campaign been taken into account and had sufficient thought and planning been done up front, I may have judged the paper less critically and may actually have evaluated the paper and subscribed.
Another example and perhaps a more poignant one was a recent promo I received from the manufacturer of my car. In order to encourage me to go on-line to their website (to introduce me to new models and increase my loyalty) the car company in question sent me a set of 3D glasses in the mail with a link to their website. Intrigued, I went to their website at the first opportunity only to find a â€œcome back later were under construction messageâ€. Talk about bad timing! I tried again a few days later then again couple of weeks and then I forgot all about it until now. The website is finally working and the 3D effects and message are great BUT had it not been for this blog piece, the chances of me remembering and going to the site would have been zero (even if I could find the glasses) and their great promotional idea would have been to no end. Again, the marketing people in charge of the campaign failed to do appropriate planning up front. Had they waited to send the promotional glasses once the website was up and running, the effect would have been much stronger. I wonder how pairs of glasses went straight in the garbage and how much marketing budget went to waste on that one.
Next time youre planning a marketing promotion or campaign, remember not to get to carried away or blinded by your magnificent promotional idea and always do the due diligence necessary to make sure all the pieces are in place to optimise campaign timing and thus effectiveness. Check, check and check again and in that way, your promo will have more likelihood of success.