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Keys to Starting a Successful Marketing Campaign

Marketing campaigns can be a scary prospect for entrepreneurs, especially if you don’t have a marketing background, but there are a few things that you can do to get your campaign off on the right foot. It’s also important that you realize that even experts aren’t successful all of the time, and even some of the best campaigns can fail. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to get a successful campaign started, you just need a little guidance in doing it. Following these steps will ensure that your efforts—whether it’s in social media, print, video, or any other medium—will maximize the return on investment for your new strategy.

Working SMART: The Best Way to Start Your Strategy

Making sure that your campaign meets its goals starts with the SMART strategy. This simple acronym can be used for many types of goals, and isn’t limited only to marketing.

  • Specific: Goals should not be general. They should be clearly defined, and there must be no ambiguity in order to avoid misinterpretation. Saying, “I want to add subscribers to my blog,” gives no definition for success. Instead, say, “I want to add 100 subscribers to my blog in the next month.” This gives a specific number of subscribers along with an exact time frame to achieve the goal.
  • Measurable: Not knowing if you reached your goals means not knowing if your plans have been a success. Continually collect and evaluate the data that matters to your campaign: page clicks, phone calls, dollars sold, or other information that can show which strategies are working. Don’t just measure your goals at the end of a campaign, but do it throughout. This lets you react to changes, and allows you to see what methods are either successful or not.
  • Attainable: Unattainable goals can be deflating and lead to risky behavior. The goals that you set out for your marketing strategy should be something that can be attained by you and your team. Setting unachievable targets can demoralize everyone involved in the campaign
  • Relevant: The goals that you set for your campaign need to be relevant to the business you’re in. If your customer base is made up of older professionals, then it’s likely irrelevant for you to want to increase your Instagram followers, which is primarily a much younger demographic. Making relevant goals will keep your business from chasing the wrong targets, ensuring you work toward something that will benefit your business.
  • Timely: Goals need to have a timeframe attached to them. If they don’t, and you leave your goals open, you may not feel the pressure of a deadline, and your goals can fall by the wayside.

Making sure that your marketing goals are aligned with the SMART method will ensure that you end up with goals that will actually benefit your business, and that you can analyse to ensure that it meets all your needs. Using SMART is not the only way to set up a successful marketing campaign, though.

Doing Your Homework Pays Off

In order for any marketing campaign to be effective, research is the key to your business success. Knowing your audience will tell you the best media to advertise your products or services, and will also inform you about the type of voice your campaign needs to have.

Doing a little research into your target market will help your small business compete with larger ones, and will make your marketing efforts more efficient. Many aspects of a target audience can be evaluated, making decisions easier for your campaign. Take, for example, Instagram, where 90% of its 150 million users are under the age of 35, and where video is found to attract much more engagement over images. If your ad campaign was focused on women over 35, and used images, it would be more beneficial for you to know that 42% of females on the Internet use Pinterest. You are then able to focus your efforts on posting images to Pinterest, where your target market is much more likely to see it.

It would also be beneficial to you to look into what your competitors are doing. Looking at successful (or even unsuccessful) campaigns from other businesses with the same target market can help you define what does or doesn’t work. Is it better to use videos for similar products? What hashtags are popular on Twitter? Are case studies more effective than white papers? What kind of headlines get attention? All of these things should be researched and their effectiveness measured by your business.

Don’t Overdo the Analysis

At some point, you just have to stop researching and analyzing and just go for it. This is where the “relevant” part of the SMART program comes in. Looking at all types of data for a marketing campaign can overburden you or your marketing team, causing more time to be spent on data analytics than on actual marketing. Determining key performance indicators (KPI) at the beginning of a campaign, can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and paralyzed with data.

Large companies can fall victim to data paralysis just as easily as entrepreneurs can. Teams can lose sight of what’s important, and get stuck on even the smallest details that are actually irrelevant to the overall marketing strategy. Knowing when to stop analyzing and just start campaigning will keep your campaign on track.

If you feel like you’re becoming paralyzed with all the data, take a step back and breathe. Figure out what is important to your campaign, and what data has actual relevance to your business.

While running email campaigns, for example, you need to look at things like open rates, and click rates to make things a success. Looking at your increase or decrease in Twitter followers likely has nothing to do with email, and should be put aside until it becomes important. Simply knowing what is important to your marketing success will keep you on track and moving forward.

A Final Word

Setting up a marketing campaign for success is a tricky prospect, and even marketing professionals sometimes get it wrong. Sticking to SMART principles, researching your target markets and the best media to reach them, and then simply moving forward with the campaign is the first step.

For help in writing your marketing materials, contact me today. Case studies, blog posts, customer-facing emails and white papers are all an important part of marketing your business to your customers.

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The Power of Social Media: How a Celeb Post Boosted a Pharma Stock

We all know that social media is used by companies and individuals to reach the masses. It’s a powerful marketing tool that can boost a company’s brand loyalty, convert customers and create brand awareness.

There are companies out there who have benefitted greatly from the power of social media, and this post takes a look at one Instagram post that raised the stock of a drug company.

Diclegis

As medication used to combat morning sickness in pregnant women, Diclegis was approved for use by the FDA in 2013. It’s a combination of dicyclomine and doxylamine, which was originally introduced in 1956. It was eventually removed from the market due to claims that it caused birth defects, even though there was no such evidence.

Once re-approved by the FDA, the drug was marketed as Diclegis and manufactured by Duchesnay Inc. Studies of the drug showed that it was both safe for fetuses, as well as effective when treating morning sickness, when other methods hadn’t worked.

Diclegis and stocks in Duchesnay received a massive boost in social media in 2015. Pop culture icon Kim Kardashian was, at the time, pregnant with her second child and was experiencing morning sickness. In an effort to reduce the morning sickness she used Diclegis, and found that it worked for her.

The Big Boost

In July, 2015, Kardashian uploaded this post to Instagram:

OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, I felt a lot better and most importantly, it’s been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby. I’m so excited and happy with my results that I’m partnering with Duchesnay USA to raise awareness about treating morning sickness. If you have morning sickness, be safe and sure to ask your doctor about the pill with the pregnant woman on it and find out more www.diclegis.com; www.DiclegisImportantSafetyInfo.com

The post was accompanied by a photo of Kardashian holding a bottle of the medication.

Kardashian, at the time, had 42.4 million followers, and the post quickly went viral with 450,000 likes, and causing a 500% increase in digital chatter about the drug in the month of July. The company’s stock jumped, as did brand awareness. Suddenly, 42 million people were now aware of the drug, many whom may never have heard of it otherwise.

The Instagram post was better advertising than the company could ever have dreamed of, and was likely shared and retweeted many more times through the accounts of other users.

A controversy about the post followed, with the FDA warning Duchesnay that it failed to properly warn people about side-effects, even though a link directed people to further information. The company complied with the FDA, and the post was subsequently removed.

Despite what followed, social media boosted a drug company’s brand awareness and stocks with a single post, and the importance of this kind of public relations is not diminishing. In 2014, 92% of marketers told Forbes magazine that social media was important to their business and increased traffic to their websites.

With increased brand awareness, opportunities for conversions, higher conversion rates and improved brand loyalty, every business should be participating in social media marketing.

A Perfect Storm of Motivation

I’m fat.

That’s the verdict, officially delivered by the doctor.  Actually her diagnosis was, “Morbidly Obese.”  I can’t say that I’m surprised, but hearing it made me think, “Ouch!”  It’s something I’ve known for a long time, but only just recently been forced to face.  There have been a few things lately that have made me finally take the plunge into a weight management program.

About a year ago (on pain of permanent exile to the spare room), I was forced to go to a sleep clinic, where I did two sleep studies.  The doctor diagnosed me with sleep apnea and told me that I needed a CPAP machine so that I don’t stop breathing 50 times a night.  My snoring was severe, and my wife, Tina, said it was like a monster truck rally.  So I got the CPAP and started using it.  A year later, I sleep a lot better (because breathing is good) and the snoring has stopped.  Weight is a factor that can cause and/or aggravate sleep apnea.

Two other things created my “Perfect Storm” of motivation.  One was the fact that I play softball in the summer.  I am so out of breath from running bases, that I think people wonder if I will pass out.  I want to be able to get to first without being out of breath.  I’m not the only one who’s out of shape, but it’s kind of embarrassing when I’m breathing so hard that it looks like I just ran a marathon.

The second factor leading to my joining the program was trying to buy clothes.  I’ve found that I’m now generally too big to fit into clothes from the usual places.  My last shopping trip for clothes was an epic fail.  Clothes that were labelled XXL were too small, and jean and pant sizes stopped a couple inches short of where I am.  We were forced to go to the Big and Tall store, spending more money than we wanted to, but not really having a choice.

So, one day, Tina tells me I need a family doctor.  She booked an appointment for herself and for me and I went.  Blood tests were done, and came back basically healthy (How does that happen?), but I’m morbidly obese.  Luckily, Tina had heard of a place called The Wharton Medical Clinic.  Our doctor gave us a referral and we booked an appointment.  This is where the real odyssey begins…