How much revenue do you need to generate off a campaign just to break even? What is break even? How many impressions do you need to even make one sale? How do you know whether your latest promotional campaign “worked”? While the creative side of a marketing campaign can feel like the essential piece, marketing campaign analysis is something we need to check in with before we even get to the “fun” stage. When we have a way to analyze something, it can help guide us on where the best places to spend our time are. Also, having a process for evaluating gives us a baseline idea to track against, which we can replace with real data, and continue to improve on down the line.
Step 1: What Is My Goal?
Yes, it always comes back to this. And lets face it, most of our goals are revenue based when you dig deep enough. You want to sell more of X. For example: We want to grow sales of our new product line, as we’ve noticed that our core product growth is slowing and we think social media or a promotional campaign, or some mix might help us achieve that.
Step 2: What is the Idea?
In the previous goal we stated that we are considering social media or a promotional campaign. The next step is to dig a little deeper into what the idea and channel is, and define the idea of what the campaign might look like. Note: It’s important to try not to get too bogged down yet with creative and logistics of “how” it would work. Another example: A social media idea/campaign is to create a baseline presence online for our new product so that over the next 6-12 months we can see what impact that has on adding more people into the top end of our prospect funnel.
Step 3: What is the Desired Action (or Call to Action)?
Now that we have a general idea of what’s going on, do we know what we want “them” do? If there was one thing that they did because of this campaign, what do we hope that is? For a promotional campaign, the idea would be to send your prospect(s) something creative and original to spark their interest in your new product, and follow it up. For social media, the idea would be to connect with us – specifically to “opt-in” to hearing from us again, via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Ultimately to be able to see these channels as touch points on the “trail” to buying. We don’t expect them to immediately buy our product from us after seeing us for the first time on Facebook.
Step 4: Can I Define “Success”?
How is this different than a goal? Well, let’s start with the opposite pair of success/failure. If it isn’t a failure is at least on the road to success? Let’s define what success (or failure) would be – in broad terms or more detailed if we know what that would look like. For a promotional campaign, let’s define success as any return on investment (ROI) better than ad spend or break-even. (For our new product line we’ll define b/e as a success because then it’s essentially free marketing. We’re not losing money, but we’re staying busy and growing our business since it’s a new product line). For a social media campaign, let’s define success as social media impacting our sales funnel in anyway (whether that’s the first, last or somewhere along the way) 6 and 12 months from now. We can analyze break-even on the invested hours (of setup and management) of these social channels at that point as well.
Step 5: How Will We Measure Success?
After we know what success would look like, it’s important to know how we’ll track that success. Do we have the systems in place to do this? If not, it’s important that we find a way to know this first. Even if there’s a more manual way to track and evaluate – that’s a good place to start. Try not to design new projects/work around measurement, but we do need to know if we’re making any progress, so we can analyze and then iterate.
And that’s it! Now there are a ton of variables that can impact our marketing campaigns and stats. That doesn’t mean we just shouldn’t track anything though. It means we should track these initial tests as our “baseline.” Then, as we try new things along the way, we’ll have something to measure and compare our new efforts to.