May 1, 2014

Four Ways to Kill a Campaign Before It Starts

For those who employ marketing strategies over the Internet, the term ‘campaign’ is generally used to denote a particular advertising implementation which utilizes specific components.  The benefit of working with campaigns is that they can be deployed, analyzed, modified, and redeployed.  The concept of working with campaigns is quite simple, but in practice developing a profitable campaign is often the result of long, painstaking work.  Because of this, performance marketers should give themselves and their campaigns every opportunity to succeed, and avoid the following campaign killing mistakes.

Unclear goals – Before you begin a campaign you should clearly determine its goals, the results you intend to achieve, and what criteria will need to be met in order to determine whether or not the campaign was a success.  Often times people begin a campaign solely hoping to make a profit.  While this is certainly overall goal of performance marketing in general, it is not necessary that every campaign to be implemented with profit as its specific goal.  Campaigns may be used to test consumer sentiment, test a particular landing page, gain insight into the algorithms of a particular website, or test any of countless other metrics.  So before you design and launch campaign, be sure to clearly define exactly what you hope to accomplish with it.

Throwing it out there – One of the most common beginner mistakes when developing their first campaign is giving in to the notion that they should simply put something out into the marketplace, that this alone is better than doing nothing.  But this is not usually the case.  The deployment of a campaign costs money in the form of advertising payments, be they pay per click, pay per call, or other pay per action charges.  Hence, it is best to think through even your initial campaigns in order to best design them in such a way as to make them most likely to succeed.

Lack of research – When designing a campaign it is usually not enough to simply consult your previous knowledge for guidance on how to move forward.  The Technological Age has led to a rapid increase in the rate of change occurring among the population, which gives rise to continuously growing and changing sets of demographics and data points.  One of the best ways to kill your campaign before getting started is to neglect to research your targeted customer and what makes him or her tick.  On the other hand, thoroughly investigate your prospective customer if you want to increase your chances of success.

Listening to popular wisdom – So often, in the performance marketing community self-described experts offer page upon page of free advice online, and are often willing to defend their ideas vigorously against anyone who questions their reasoning.  However it is not a good idea to take such declarations to be the infallible true.  This is not to say that the advice is worthless.  But it is to say that what does not work for one person may very well work for you after you apply your unique creativity and problem solving skills to the matter.  Is usually a good idea to consider all free advice in light of that fact, and instead of allowing others to determine for you that which is possible and impossible, make the determination for yourself by testing and verifying.