After 9 years of judging the International ECHO Awards, things still surprise me. Maybe not the things you would expect. Of course I see a lot of wonderful ideas and great marketing, but my surprise boils down more to the missteps good marketers make. These missteps may keep a successful campaign from getting the recognition it deserves. With this in mind, here are 5 things to avoid when setting up and writing about a campaign, whether it’s for a case study or an awards program. Back to basics:
- Plan ahead. Start planning your testing and results with your strategy. What do you want to be able to measure? What does a successful campaign mean to you? Here’s a hint: results that don’t support your objectives aren’t that meaningful. It was obvious in some write-ups that the strategy was pointing in a different direction than the results. For example, the objective, new customers, the results, clicks or social media likes/follows. It’s not relevant.
- Tie the results explicitly back to your strategy. This is the flip side of number one. If you’re trying to increase sales by $xx, note how much sales increased, if you wanted additional customers, note the how many you won, if you were looking for likes and followers, say how many. I know this sounds very basic, but do the math. Example: “Our objective was to increase sales by 30%, this campaign exceeded the goal by 100%”. If your results are something other than sales, I hope you had that strategy laid out from the beginning.
- Tie your campaign into the business need. In judging, I’ve seen fun, expensive campaigns that made a big splash, but didn’t tie back into the business plan/need/objectives. After all, marketing is about improving your business in some way, not being popular. So, keep your business objective close to the promotion, or make prospects look at what you’re trying to promote (short video or landing page) before they get to do the unrelated fun stuff.
- Relate your channels to maximize the results. Make it easy for prospects to respond to your offer. If you want to drive online traffic, don’t forget the landing page to tie online and offline channels and use incentives to drive that traffic where you want it to go. Make sure your channels work together.
- Keep your write-up brief. This is a little selfish. Whether it’s an awards write up or a case study, nobody likes to sort through lots of embellishments to find content. Write it well, get to the point and make it easy to understand the meat of the subject quickly. You may think you have to sell your campaign in a write up, but the reality is it needs to stand on its own merits. Case studies are a great way to showcase your work. People are busy and tend to skim for information, so it helps to lay it out with headlines – such as Challenge, Strategy, Results – to help potential prospects get to the relevant facts quickly.
I hope these insights are helpful and will assist you the next time you create a campaign you’re proud of and need to present in the best light. The good news is that there is a lot of exciting multi-channel marketing going on globally and that’s good for all of us.