Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Can your business cope with a successful marketing campaign?

Silo alert! 10 Stages and questions to help you deliver better campaigns this season.  

What does success look like for your next online retail campaign? If your business is organised in silos, your successful campaign can show up weaknesses in other departments. Not ideal for team morale... it can create negative views of your campaign and hamper future campaigns.

Whatever your sector, here is a useful set of 10 key stages with questions to help you identify silo risk points and build  a successful online marketing campaign this season.

1. What will success look like? 

Increased revenue? Profit? Volume? To be better than last year?
How will you measure it?
Do you have systems in place to measure the impact of your campaign across the silos?
How will colleagues learn about your plan?
Is your internal communication going to support you or let you down?

2. What products are you offering?

Is your range ready?
What are the hero products?
What are your messages?
Does your warehouse have stock?
What are your low-stock trigger levels?
Can you restock within the right time frame?
Does the warehouse know what the heroes are?
What are your stress-test limits online and in fulfilment?
Does fulfilment need to change any processes to deal with increased sales?
Will your delivery system  / carrier cope with increased orders of particular products?
Any issues with contract parameters or service levels?

3. If you have bricks and mortar 

Are you promoting across physical channels as well as online?
Do you have collateral ready for an in-store campaign?
When will it go live - is it planned with your merchandisers? Any issues?
What incentives are you using off-line? How are they being communicated?

4. Are you running consistent messages across all your channels?

Is you off line marketing booked, ready and relevant?

5. Is your direct marketing ready?

Who will you be contacting? How? What message?
Is your data ready - lists clean?
Is your artwork good to go and your hero product imagery consistent?
Incentives in place?
Delivery scheduled?

6. Imagine someone wants a red dress - one of your hero products

Do you know your keywords?
Are you visible online in relation to your chosen bid words?
Anything you can add to your content now that will help your SEO?
Is your online merchandising the best it can be? Photography, zoom, descriptions, pricing and terms all good?
Do you need to improve website features?
What are the priorities that will make a difference if you are up against time?
Is you budget set and your campaign ready to run?
How are your campaign limits triggered?
Who is responsible for monitoring spend and interpreting unexpected negative words and competitor activity?
Do you have a training gap in online advert management?
Do you have time resource in your calendar to deal with changing your bids?
Have you got parameters agreed for any budget changes?
Are your landing pages designed and the URLs linked up with your adverts?

7. That shopper keeps searching for a red dress

Do you have a wish-list feature?
Is your re-marketing campaign set up?
What channels will you re-market through? Display / Search / Mobile / Social Media?
Is your re-marketing budget in line with end goals, or are you chasing unprofitable sales?
Have you looked at historical data to see what your re-marketing success points are?
If you offer online or telephone help, do your service team have good product knowledge?

8. Customer buys your red dress

What happens online - do you offer bundles, related products and free delivery?
Guest check-out?
Email validation?
Is your merchandising good enough to overcome risk concerns about key product characteristics?
Do you have enough stock of your support products if you are bundling goods, or will you have to split despatch and erode profits?
Will goods arrive quickly and in good condition?
Will your auto-emails make related product suggestions and remember anniversaries?

9. Customer returns the dress

Are you a no quibble company?
Will your refunds work?
Do you have auto-emails to get in touch with relevant messages?
Will you send voucher incentives to encourage more shopping?
How will you learn from the return?

10. Relationship building

How do you stay in touch?
How often?
How do you measure engagement?
How will you capture ideas and data this season to guide your campaign in 2018?

These ten stage questions might have made you spot a gap in your campaign this season. If you're all on target and have time to spare for a quiet read with a coffee, here are a couple of interesting articles.

For a recent look at the economic impact of Black Friday on seasonal trading in the USA, this article from The Balance might surprise you. Seasonal trading statistics for the USA.

A UK daily paper, The Guardian gives insight into the effect of Black Friday on the UK high street in 2015.  Black Friday - The Guardian

From the same source, this article explains why one high street retailer failed to deliver a successful campaign - because demand outstripped delivery capability. Argos - The Bad Black Friday story. Don't let it happen to you!

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