It happens to the best of us. We plan for months, invest in the right resources and pay excruciatingly close attention to detail. Then the day of the big campaign launch comes. And goes.
A failed marketing campaign can result from bad timing, lack of interest in the specific offer or one of a million other reasons. You may obsess for a little while over the fact that you cleaned your customer lists, monitored competitors and analyzed response rates ad nauseum.
After all that, you still can’t come up with a valid reason for the campaign going awry.
While the reason for a failed marketing campaign provides important insight on a tactical level, there’s more strategic value that you can gain from this wake-up call. Perhaps it’s time to rethink your level of engagement with customers.
In baseball, there’s no crying over spilled milk. If your marketing campaign meets with deafening silence, here’s what to do.
Identify your VIP customers and ask them if they received the offer. If they did, ask why they did or didn’t respond. Provide an incentive for their feedback, and make sure it doesn’t take more than two minutes.
Conduct a wider poll, on Facebook or by e-mail, asking customers for their top three favorite products. Again, attach an incentive for their participation and build a new campaign around their feedback.
Consider the timing of the campaign. Did it arrive in an inbox at 3 a.m. or was it timed to arrive during optimal business hours? Other timing considerations include major holidays, when competition is fierce and your offer may get lost among the noise.
Assess the campaign from the customer’s point of view. Look at whether it’s a truly compelling offer or a way to clear out inventory.
Segment your audience and customize your offers. Once you have more up-to-date information on customer interests, based on ad hoc conversations and polls, cull your lists. Develop offers specific to smaller segments of your audience. You’d be better served to initiate several targeted mini-campaigns with custom offers catering to the interests of customer subgroups than a huge mass-distribution effort.
Balance your offers with content. When an offer comes with compelling content, your customers are more likely to hold onto it and revisit it. This will prompt more responses throughout the life of the campaign.
Track where your customers are most active and appeal to them at their favorite destination. This could be in their e-mail inbox, on Facebook, on Twitter or in person. You can adjust your campaigns accordingly to reach your audience where they’re most active and attentive.
Test the campaign on a smaller scale before sending it out for mass consumption. The initial feedback and response rates give you a good indication of how successful the larger outreach will be.
Continually engage customers and ask for their opinions and feedback. Always create campaigns that appeal to their specific interests.
Nobody ever aims for a failed campaign. However, if it does happen, view it as an opportunity to carefully evaluate your marketing efforts and step up your level of customer engagement.