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3 Keys To A Successful Marketing Campaign - Guest Post from Concept Marketing
Who cares what the client wants to say. The ad is not about them. And that’s where most companies get advertising wrong—they talk to and about themselves.

The ad is first and foremost about the customer.

Successful ad campaigns join the conversation that’s already going on inside their customer’s heads.
“How am I going to heat my home on a budget?” “What do I do about that clanging noise that happens every time I turn on my AC unit?” “I’d hate to replace my heater… I wonder if it can be fixed?”

Your customer doesn’t care about you. Or your products. They only care about themselves. And their problems.
End of story.

Or more correctly, that’s the beginning of the story.

Here are 3 important keys to a successful marketing campaign.

1. Define the goals.

Instead of asking clients in campaign kick-off meetings, “What do you want to say?” I guide clients to reverse engineer success. I ask, “When this TV spot is successful, what changes?”

Because there’s a reason the client has come to us to do their advertising. They want something to change. Usually that means increasing sales. Sometimes it’s about awareness or to change behavior.

For example, one time I was working on an account for the Indiana Governor’s Council on Dangerous and Impaired Driving. They wanted to do a refresh of the seatbelt poster that hangs in every DMV.

“When this campaign is successful, what do you actually want to have happen?” I asked. “We want parents to buckle up. Right now they’re buckling their kids but not using seat belts themselves.” Doing a poster that someone will see once for 20 minutes while they’re waiting in line to renew their license or license plate will not change anything. They don’t need a one-time behavioral change. They needed to form a habit.

We sold them on the idea of doing a billboard campaign along commuter roads. That way when they saw the sign each day it would remind them to buckle up. After three weeks they’ve formed a habit and would feel naked if they started driving without the feel of the belt across their shoulder.

The ad simply read, “Mommy, where do orphans come from?” And showed unattached ends of a seat belt.
Boom. Problem solved.

2. Identify your audience
You are not selling to everyone. In fact, the more people you try to sell to, the less your message will be received.

They say “The riches are in the niches.” Don’t be the one-stop HVAC shop for all of Ohio. Be the favorite AC-tune up specialist of Ohio State Professors. You may think that niche is too small, but you’ll find a solid audience who would like to work with someone trusted by this group.

Look through your current customers and dig deep to find patterns. What commonalities do they have? Are there similar age groups? Nationalities? Church memberships? Locations? Political affiliations? Do many have the same hobbies?

Be clear on your audience. The best way to do this is to write out who your ideal customer is (hint: They’re probably not the coupon-cutting Joe looking for the cheapest deal). Look through your invoices and find a customer who loved you and who you loved working with. Build your campaigns around that ideal customer.

3. Join the conversation already going on inside your customer’s head
There’s a reason your ideal customer is wanting to work with you. They’ve got a problem. You’ve got the solution to whatever is causing them pain or discomfort. Rather than push your agenda on your client, simply join the conversation that’s already going on inside their head.

Are they worried about rising electrical costs? Nervous about what kind of warranty will keep them protected? Are they confused by the offers they hear about a “free furnace.” Whatever conversations are already going on inside their heads, join them. Become part of that discussion. Be a part of their team. You’re in this together.
The best sales conversations are ones that are gently guided.

“Would you like fries with that?”

And that easily you’ve got another happy customer.

Scott Wilhite is a creative director at Concept Marketing in Salt Lake City, UT. Concept Marketing handles advertising campaigns customers of The Gustave A. Larson Company. If you would like to see how Concept Marketing can help your company, please contact Scott at 435-615-1758.