To add a little more context before we start, it isn’t some magic formula we’ve devised. It’s not rocket science, and there’s tons more info out there on the same.
But over the years following this framework has helped us follow a process that has achieved results across different channels and industries.
1 – Goal setting
Most brands usually have this box ticked, but it’s always good to get your marketing and financial objectives down on paper and make sure all stakeholders are aligned.
I always follow the old school SMART methodology – specific / measurable / attainable / relevant / time-bound. Picked up at the IDM (Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing) in the days of yore, but there are loads of options here around the same ideas.
2 – Auditing
Once you’ve worked our your objectives, look at what you’ve been doing and ask:
It’s easy for emotion to play a role here – we like a campaign, or a channel, so we push it. But it doesn’t mean your audience necessarily does.
That brings us to audience…
3 – Audience profiling
Understanding and defining VERY specific audience sets. This doesn’t mean ‘we want to target China’. It means we want to target 18-21 year olds, in China, actively searching for X, in Y region’.
4 – Channel strategy
Now you know your audience, you can work out what channels they’re engaging with, and when.
Set the channel for each target audience. Dig out as much research and data as possible to inform your strategy.
5 – Content strategy
Once you have your channel strategy, then work on the content strategy. Two audiences can engage very differently with content on the same platform. A 45-year-old mum and a 25-year-old single guy probably use Facebook very differently and engage with content very differently too.
This is where we’d brief in the creative team – it’s easy to do it before, but for me this is where you can easily fall in love with campaign concepts and then end up retrofitting these to audiences and platforms, rather than the other way around.
6 – Actively engage
This one works best on digital and social tbh, but reach out and listen to people.
There are loads of tools and techniques for this:
Use them to understand how your audience is connecting to your plan, your channels, and your content.
7 – Test, evaluate & adjust
The most important, and it’s crazy how often it’s not done – get someone in the team who loves numbers and crunching data and give them ownership of this.
Create one tracking sheet and measure everything using as many shared metrics as possible. It’s the quickest and easiest way to make comparisons and decisions.
Super easy to become emotionally attached to channels / campaigns / ideas. But this data is what you should be using to make your decisions, nothing else.
Be ruthless, don’t get too attached to what’s been done.
I think that’s it. Give us a shout if you have any questions, we have a few of the tools and templates floating about too and we’re more than happy to share with anyone they can help out.
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