Important Marketing Theories to Help Your Campaign
Your marketing campaign should be driven by the needs of your business and the identity of your customer base find out which marketing theories are essential for this.
Those should be the main points that guide it and theory should be used to inform your campaign as opposed to directing it. However, theory can still play an important role: here are some marketing theories that can bring significant value to a campaign.
Firstly, it should be noted that you need to have a systematic strategy; these theories shouldn’t inform your intuitive marketing approach, they should be used at various points throughout your campaign creation process to improve its performance. For example, look at the marketing and comms process used by The Gist People:
- Idea – what does the organization need from this campaign? Conduct a SWOT analysis to find out.
- Concept – at what stage is the idea relevant? Consult the consumer decision making process to inform the concept that you are developing
- Design – at the design stage, you might need to consult a design agency, as many marketing theories are less focused on creativity and more focused on guiding that creativity. Creativity is highly important in a campaign, however, and this should be a major priority.
- Develop – how are you going to communicate your design, let the marketing communications mix theory help out
- Launch – after you launch, you should monitor your campaign. This might be informed by comparing it to the balanced scorecard, which could help to show you how your strategy can be amended to impact your business more holistically.
A SWOT analysis is a simple theory pioneered by Albert Humphrey at Stanford in the 1960’s. It’s a systematic approach to identify an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You simply brainstorm with other company members and seek to list every single SWOT item you can think of. After you complete this analysis, you will have a good idea about how your company is faring and the areas it needs to improve upon. If your weaknesses or threats involve changing technology resulting in customers moving channels, a good campaign would be to capture users’ attention on those new channels. It’s important to be specific: if your competitor is your threat, why is that? Are they encroaching on your demographics? Are they simply spending more money than you?
Consumer Decision Making Process
Depending on the objective of the campaign you identified with your SWOT analysis, you will be targeting a customer or potential customer at a certain stage of their buying process. This will help you to create the concept that you’ll need to capture their attention by informing you about channels and design content. These are the stages a consumer goes through:
- Problem Recognition – the consumer feels like something is missing and needs to address this to get back to normal. E.g. their computer breaks, rendering them unable to write their novel.
- Information search – the consumer looks for solutions, they might ask friends, go to a computer shop or search for new computers on their mobile. Previous expectations inform this.
- Evaluation of Alternatives – once a product has been chosen, they ask themselves if they really need this particular product or if other computers might suit them better. They might even question whether a computer is necessary – they could work at the library or write by hand.
- Purchase – if stage 3 concludes that a purchase is necessary, the customer has assessed enough information and concluded from emotion and fact that they should purchase the computer.
- Post-purchase – after the purchase, how satisfied is the customer? Those who are satisfied will likely recommend to friends, while those who aren’t may tell friends about how dissatisfied they are.
Marketing Communications Mix
The communications mix outlines all the tools you need to communicate with existing or potential customers. These are the elements that you can utilize as part of your comms.
- Advertising – e.g. TV, radio, press, PPC, social media advertising
- Direct/Digital Marketing – email, social media, gamification; cheaper than advertising and can be very tightly targeted
- PR – public relations turns brand messages into stories that the media pick up on.
- Personal Selling – using a person to help sell your product, using influencers, brand ambassadors or even door-to-door salespeople
- Sales Promotion – sales promotions include loyalty cards, coupons, sales, contests, freebies, prizes and product samples. These can be difficult, as you need a good idea of what the promotion will achieve and how you can be sure it’s worth the money.
For a campaign to succeed it needs to be in line with the mission and vision of the business. The company’s overriding vision and strategy are linked to 4 factors and if your marketing campaign is not falling in line with these, you should pick up on it during monitoring and take action to realign the campaign with its own objectives and those of the company.
Your vision and strategy should be guided by the following components of a business:
- Finance – these keep the business going. Your strategy needs to maximize ROI, ensure a healthy cash flow and generate the financial results that shareholders require. If your marketing campaign is getting too expensive or not generating a high enough ROI you need to change things.
- Education and growth – your business needs to create job satisfaction, ideally have a low employee turnover, nurture employees’ knowledge and skills. If your campaign alienates employees then it needs to change
- Internal Processes – how each process in the company aligns itself and automates itself. Your marketing campaign could be draining too many resources or interfering with other processes, in which case you should look for a way of that not happening. Automating the process is also a good idea, one that is more possible with digital marketing.
- Customer relationship – customer satisfaction, customer retention, delivery and quality performance in the customer’s mind. Marketing can impact the customer relationship greatly and in many ways. One such way is if the customer becomes disappointed by the product after the marketing campaign, leading to poor post-purchase sentiment. You should have a way of identifying this and changing either the product or the marketing if need be.