Simple Objective of a Marketing Campaign
by: Jeffrey Dobkin
of marketing is to present goods and services to people who need or want
them, and entice them to buy. This includes alerting people that your
product is available, showing prospects its features and benefits, and
making them an offer they won't want to refuse.
In a broad sense, marketing is one of the three phases of any business,
the other two being operations and finance. Sales is a part of the marketing
arm, as is advertising. Advertising is knowing what to say, marketing
is knowing where to say it. Sales in not marketing. The sales manager
does not become the vice-president of marketing, he becomes the vice-president
A part of marketing is determining the industry entrance barriers, investigating
the industry pricing strategies and setting prices. It's also examining
the media and its costs and relative effectiveness. Marketing is also
finding and analyzing the competition, discovering the scope and depth
of the number of people who wish to buy your goods, the saturation level
of people who already own it, and the maturity of how long your product
has been around. Marketing includes the function of the selection of additional
products to sell, along with the selection of distribution channels in
which to sell them. All the while the marketing department is keeping
an eye on making a profit.
Most importantly it's the marketer's job to satisfy customers enough for
them to purchase, then to come back and purchase again; and finally to
earn the privilege and the trust of having customers refer other customers
and their friends. If your customers don't come back, or you don't get
good referrals, your product - or your marketing - stinks. This one fact
separates the good marketeers from the great marketeers. Getting repeat
business and getting referrals are two of the lowest cost, most effective
ways to market both goods and services.
The objective of a marketing campaign is to correctly identify the individuals
or groups of people who are the most likely to purchase your goods or
services - so you can promote your brands to them. The better you define
your best potential customers, and separate them from everyone else, the
more effective your marketing campaign can be.
Let me put it this way: the better you are at defining your target group,
the more effective you will be at reaching them. Consequently, you'll
waste less money on the expense of advertising - and trying to sell to
people who aren't interested in purchasing your goods and services. Thus,
the better your marketing, the lower your marketing costs.
This "market research" phase of investigative marketing is where
we separate the "not interested" and the "can't afford
it" along with the "not quite ready" and the "unsure"
and cast them into one group called "expense". Then we take
the "we'd like to purchase" group and put them in a holding
pattern, dousing them with constant reminders of our brand, our offer
and good will and keep them close at hand, while we actively turn our
immediate attention to the "We're ready to buy, here's our money!"
group. Then we sell the last group something, as our first priority. Cash
flow is the first name of any good marketing campaign.
But the party's not over, yet. If the campaign is a good one, the marketing
plan should focus on the best places to find more - clones - of these
"most likely to purchase," folks and the "We're ready to
buy, here's our money!" groups and assess how they can be reached
most effectively (i.e.: at the least cost.)
For example, if I was introducing a new product and found that the local
sheet metal workers here in Philadelphia were purchasing it in good quantity,
the first place I'd look for more of the same would be in the magazines
that serve the sheet metal industry. "Sheet Metal Working Today,"
and "Modern Sheet Metal Times" magazines would make my job a
lot easier, faster and cheaper.
If the market is fragmented, individual buyers may be scattered across
the country, or across many industries, without a way to reach them as
a group through a selected set of magazines, trade shows or other mass-media
avenues. In this case, perhaps they can be defined by a SIC code, or targeted
and reached through a direct mail list. Thus they can be reached individually
at their doorstep through a mailing. Now we look for the most focused
and targeted mailing lists, custom designed and further enhanced to the
specific defined criteria of our target group.
It is through the medium of direct mail that we can really tighten the
selection criteria parameters that defines our best and most focused target
niche from the entire marketing universe. So if we were looking for people
with diabetes we might be able to reach them through "Diabetes Today"
magazine. But if we were looking for people with Type II Diabetes in their
early stages, we might be able to find a mailing list of people with Diabetes
with an overlay for "Type II" and an additional selection overlay
of "early stage." Depending on our product usage parameters
we may wish to select even more overlays such as gender, or if our products
were expensive, income.
Direct mail, when executed correctly, can be used with the precision of
a surgeons knife to extract perfect prospect models from the masses, who
often range from the pick of the litter to the vague and disinterested.
Direct mail is an example of one of the hundreds of ways to get the message
out to viable prospects-and if selected carelessly, others.
It's the marketing department of a company that selects the medium in
which to contact and acquire customers. Common ways of mass media advertising
include TV, radio and newspapers - which are used mainly for consumer
offers because of their broad reach across many industries, age groups,
income levels and types of positions. A great advantage of newspapers
is their high density geographic base of coverage.
Magazines - one of my favorite ways to dredge for marketing data as well
as to place advertising - may be used for both trade and consumer products.
Industrial magazines, and specialty consumer magazines have a unique ability
to penetrate a specific industry or market niche with broad reach, albeit
little depth. For example, there are about 50 publications that go the
motorcycle industry, about half are trade magazines going to dealers,
accessory shops, manufacturers and so forth.
Computer geeks, who often don't get enough satisfaction from just owning
a computer, generally love to get whipped into a purchasing frenzy to
buy yet the next and latest model by the computer trade magazines. I say
that because there are over 450 different magazines that are sent - each
and every month - to the range of computer industry personnel. Too bad
about their new machine: as it touched their desk for the very first time
it was already obsolete.
Trade shows are usually industry specific, and tend to be industrial in
nature, although a few big shows span several industries. That not-with-standing,
consumer marketing through shows is prevalent in a core of industries.
Who hasn't heard of the Auto Show, the Boat Show or the Home Show. There
are over 10,000 trade shows staged around the U.S. each year. These are
great for face to face information gathering, selling and lead generation.
I've never been to a trade show I didn't like, or didn't learn something
Let's not forget, ugh, telemarketing; while I don't like getting unsolicited
calls - there are types of campaigns for which telemarketing is very effective.
The telephone is an effective instrument and sales tool - generally much
better than a sheet of paper sent in an envelope. But, telephone calls
are more labor intensive - er, expensive, too. While I can mail 5,000
pieces of mail in a few days right from my office, I'd be hard pressed
to have more than 20 to 30 calls an hour from each staff member. One commonality
amongst our staff: we all hate the phone. Some people are good at it,
And of course there's nothing like a personal sales call from your staff,
or rep firms that are common to most industries. As if the previous wasn't
enough, now we have to suffer through fields of e-mail, affiliate marketing
and storms of continually popping-up banner ads on the Internet. By the
way, if you're e-mailing me, I assure you I didn't opt-in for ANY e-mail
program, no matter what anyone told you. While there's a good bit of shake
out, the Internet really has changed the face of marketing.
It is the people in the marketing department who decide which features
and benefits turn-on the people in each distinct market niche. Their interpretation
of data from research, their experience, or sometimes plain old seat-of-the-pants
judgment leads the department heads to judge how best to approach each
group of prospects to make them respond. The marketing department also
selects what the offer is, what size ad should be placed and most importantly...
what to have for lunch. Just kidding. I meant, most importantly in which
magazines to place ads. They also select which mailing lists to rent,
the criteria to judge and rate each list, and how many different lists
In most firms the marketing department directs the PR department, determines
which magazines and newspapers we should send press releases for publication;
and in fact, the structure, nature, scope and depth of the press releases
The company marketing gurus decide how to construct the press release
campaign to get the most response, and whether to cast a tight net to
get more qualified prospects, or a loose net to get more less-qualified
suspects. Then the department devises the offer and what the respondent
gets - whether it's a free sample, call for information, write for information,
bingo card response (ugh), stop in store, buy one get one free or any
of a myriad of ways to make the potential customer speak out in some way
to let us know he may be interested in our products or services. The customer
speaks by alerting us of his interest so that we may give him further
and more detailed information in an effort to induce him to buy. Or the
customer can actually cast his or her vote on our marketing correctness
by purchasing the product.
The marketing function also includes setting price through the use of
various pricing considerations. There are hundreds of ways to set prices,
and thousands of formulae - of which only a short handful are correct.
I personally feel the price should be high enough to generate a profit,
add some cushioning for growth, and still allow the sale of your products
in a competitive marketplace. In direct marketing it is the market that
sets the correct price - and testing will reveal the best sales level
at the most profit.
Price consideration is determined by 1. if the market is price sensitive
or need driven 2. how long the order processing cycle is 3. how long till
we can deliver 4. the repeat buying cycle 5. how often the customer will
purchase 6. what it costs to reach each customer(CPM) 7. the customer
acquisition cost 7. the cost of each inquiry(CPI) 9. the cost of each
sale(CPO) and finally, 10. the lifetime value of a customer. I like to
to find out if customers can get comparable products anywhere else, what
is our perceived image of quality, who is the a price leader and are they
vulnerable to a price attack, and if we can we leverage our market position
to a price advantage.
Keep in mind that the cost of marketing additional products goes down
considerably from the costs associated with your original sale. In fact,
if you market other products, your marketing costs may at times be close
to zero. Most often, your very best prospect for buying additional products
is someone who has just purchased from you, especially if they are happy
with your original products and services. They are my most favorite marketing
target group as they are usually the most likely to immediately purchase
again from us.
So marketing, then, is a system to deliver your message to the maximum
number of interested people, to produce the maximum number of sales at
the lowest possible cost and at the highest amount of fair profit. Then,
the function of marketing is to sell the purchaser something else or establish
him as a repeat buyer by making sure he is a satisfied customer. Hummm,
perhaps all the rest is BS?
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Dobkin, author of How To Market A Product For Under $500!, Uncommon
Marketing Techniques, and Inside Secrets of Direct Marketing,
is a specialist in direct response copywriting. He writes powerful,
response-driven sales letters, TV commercials and scripts; persuasive
catalog copy; and exceptionally hard-hitting direct mail packages
that increase sales. He also analyzes direct marketing packages,
ads, catalogs, and campaigns. Mr. Dobkin is an acclaimed speaker
and a direct marketing consultant. Call him directly at 610-642-1000
for free samples of his work. You can visit his web site at: http://www.dobkin.com
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