How do you plan an effective sales campaign using the SMART method?
There is no single method that provides an answer to a question How to plan an effective sales campaign. The reason is simple: every business is different and different campaigns require a slightly different approach to planning. No matter what industry your company operates in, it is possible to list some key points without which it is difficult to achieve success. That’s why we go back to the basics at the beginning. Because in the dynamically developing world, we often think about success and forget the foundation.
Sales campaign primarily means brand performance marketing activities to achieve a particular objective. The goal can be, for example, in-store sales, but also the number of users in your newsletter, the creation of leads for contact, or an initial insurance account. It could also be an increase in the number of mobile app downloads or the number of appointments for a test drive.
Regardless of the sector, the sales campaign should have a clearly defined goal, which is the answer to the question “What do you want to achieve?” There are many proven methods for target setting. Whichever you choose, be sure to start with it. It will be the first sign of your campaign. One example of goal setting is the SMART method. It states that the goal should be: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
Another sign is your target audience. Initially, you should answer the question “Who is my product’s audience?” or “Who might be interested in my service and why?”. An accurate answer to this question will not only save you money. It will also save you time and nerves. Targeting your campaign to people who are or may be interested in your offer will definitely increase the chances of reaching your goal.
The next step is to determine the budget available to you. This will determine the scope of your campaign and the types of channels involved in your marketing efforts.
In CPS campaigns, the budget can be flexible because it is directly related to the value of the generated sales. In other words, the higher the sales value generated by a particular channel, the higher the invoice amount. Regardless of the invoice amount, these costs will always be at a fixed percentage level, such as 10%.
In other models such as CPC/FF/CPM, it is a good idea to set the target level of spending on a particular channel initially. During the campaign, you can decide on the reallocation of funds between channels, taking into account the analysis of the results.
Choice of media channels
With the goal, target group, and budget set, you can start deciding which channels you want to involve in your sales campaign. At this point, you can also decide which creatives you’ll need to use.
Regardless of your final choices, you should stick to the rule that a good sales campaign is one with a variety of sources/channels. Relying on one media channel is not a good method, as it greatly increases the risk of failure. If your chosen media channel fails, you won’t have other options installed at your fingertips. Therefore, a good option is to launch an affiliate program where you can engage in multiple types of activities: email marketing, influencer marketing, loyalty, cashback, coupons, smart shoppers, price comparison sites, offer aggregators, and more.
Pay attention to billing forms when planning media. At this point, you need to refer to your assumptions generated by the campaign budget. If you have decided on a goal that includes reaching a certain level of ROAS, you may prefer a secure CPS payment model in your view. You can be sure that you will not pay more than a certain percentage of the value of each sale. The downside to this solution may be the limited targeting capabilities.
Hint: Therefore, I encourage you to extend this model to a hybrid model, for example, CPS + CPC, or to implement campaigns based on an open set of payment models (CPC / FF / CPM / CPS) while optimizing the level of expected ROAS.
Measuring and optimizing effects
You also need to know that there is no sales campaign without measuring its effects. If you have an affiliate program, you will have an easier job because the technology will take care of the job for you. If you’re not working with an agency, you need to take a moment to code your campaign to monitor and finally summarize. This is the part of the technology you choose that measures the effectiveness of your marketing activities.
At the implementation stage, you should not forget about the continuous improvement and analysis of the results achieved. Don’t get hung up on your media plan. If one channel achieves better results than others during campaign implementation, you need to divert resources from less effective channels. Keep a record of your results, as this will allow you to build on your experiences in the future. A well-described and summarized campaign can be a good start to the next campaign.
Now an example. Imagine that you are responsible for the development of sales in the online channel of the amusement park “Dwarfland”. The park has the highest and fastest roller coaster in Poland and a modern and spacious children’s area. In addition, it is located in the southern part of the country, not far from the border with the Czech Republic. You are about to plan a sales campaign with your team.
I set a goal: “Achieve 500% ROAS in Q2 2022”
s (specific)– indicates the specified ROAS of 500%
M (Measurable)– Based on the conversion measurement technology, I will know the degree of conversion
a (Realizable)– I have experience running similar campaigns, and based on historical data I know the goal is achievable
s (relevant)Achieving the goal will help achieve budget goals
T (time-limited)Set a specific deadline for achieving the goal
You define a specific target audience:
· The campaign targets women and men aged 25-40, with children aged 4-10, living in Poland, within a 120-kilometre radius of the park.”
· “I target women and men aged 18-24, online shoppers and interest-ad-renaline, who live in the Czech Republic, 120 km from the park.”
You choose specific channels to achieve your goal:
· Affiliate Marketing Using publishers from the following categories: Cashback / Loyalty / Coupons / Smart Shoppers / Content / Remarketing (Payment model: CPS, PL, CZ Markets)
· Email Marketing Using heat maps for detailed analysis of results and with specific target groups (Payment model: CPC with optimization of ECOSM; PL and CZ Markets)
· Metapic – Influencer Marketing An Instagram Stories campaign is powered by selected creators. Profiles that create parenting content that gets noticed by moms and dads (Payment model: CPC with optimization for ROAS, PL and CZ markets)
· Google Ads using the Google search engine. Search for users looking for phrases directly related to, for example, amusement parks or the broader entertainment industry with adrenaline rushes (payment model: CPC markets, even CZ)
The example above is just a suggestion of how to plan a sales campaign. As said in the introduction, every campaign is different, and each time you need to go through the preparation cycle from the beginning, even if you are planning activities within the same brand. Regardless, items such as: goal, objective, budget, channel selection, ad creative selection, optimization, and summary are the foundations that should always appear.
Mikhail Mrugic, Director of Customer Development and Operations at Tradedoubler Poland
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