Starting your own business is exciting, but getting your first customers (and continuing to grow your audience) is where the real fun begins. As part of your business planning process, you’ve no doubt included a marketing plan, and now it’s time to think about how to launch a marketing campaign.
Within your marketing plan, you should have created marketing campaigns that you intend to launch at various points throughout the year - whether to introduce new products, encourage people to take advantage of promotions, or simply to raise awareness of your brand.
Your work is not done once you’ve planned out the campaign itself, you actually also need a well-organized plan for the campaign launch to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck and see the results you are after.
So, what’s involved when you are ready to launch a marketing campaign? Read on to find out!
Choose a Marketing Campaign Type
First, you need to be clear on what type of marketing campaign you are launching, as this will help make sure you have your eyes on the final goal throughout the process. Take a moment to consider which of the following campaigns is the is most relevant to you:
- Product marketing
- Brand development/awareness
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- User-generated content/testimonials
- Public relations
- Direct mail
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media
- Acquisition marketing
- Advertising (paid)
Create a Marketing Campaign Plan
Once you know that you are going to launch a marketing campaign and what type of campaign it will be, you need to make sure that you have created a comprehensive marketing campaign plan. If you have not done this yet, then go back and do it first!
A quick review of what goes into a marketing campaign plan: it must start with your overall goals, include the tactics you plan to use to reach those goals, and end with the metrics you will measure to make sure that your plan was effective.
Your plan should be written down - either in a simple Word document or in a more complex project management system - so that you can continually check back in and make sure you are on track.
Plan the Launch
The better you plan the way you will launch a marketing campaign, the better the chance of success. The key elements necessary for a marketing campaign launch include:
- A content calendar that maps out what you are going to post and on what platforms and when
- Clear description of the target audience
- Recap of goals
- Email templates
- Key personnel who will be involved in the campaign launch
- A plan for what will be done pre-launch, during the launch and post-launch.
Follow Your Action or/and Campaign Plan
For your marketing campaign to be a success, you must stick to the plan - once you’ve spent all that time researching and planning out what you need to do, do not forget to go back and look at the plan and make sure you are following it!
A key part of your plan that you’ll want to be especially sure to follow when you launch a marketing campaign are your promotion strategies. This refers to the way you will let your audience know about your campaign. If your target audience spends a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter, for example, then posting on those platforms will be a focus of your launch. If you know that your target audience responds well to contests, your time would be well spent planning one for them to enter.
Create a Marketing Launch Calendar
Because there are so many different components involved when you launch a marketing campaign, it’s important to create a calendar that will help you keep track of what needs to be done just before the launch, during it and immediately after. Include as many details as possible in this calendar so that all you have to do is look at each day and know exactly what tasks must be done.
Build a Budget
Your marketing campaign in general will have a budget, but you should also include a separate budget line for the launch itself. The last thing you want is to have a great idea for an exciting launch and then realize that you can’t actually afford to pay for it.
If you are unsure how much you can afford, start with working out how much income you expect to generate from the average customer and then calculate how many customers you expect your campaign to bring in. That should give you a good starting point.
An alternative method of building your budget can be based on the profit margin you wish to earn. The simple calculation of profit margin is to divide your gross profit (which equals your revenue minus the cost of goods sold) by total revenue.
Gross Profit/Total Revenue = Profit Margin
If you know how much money you expect to bring in from your marketing campaign (total revenue) and the profit margin you wish to earn, you simply multiply revenue amount by profit margin and that will tell you how much profit you need to earn on your launch campaign.
Total Revenue * Profit Margin = Gross Profit
Subtract the amount of revenue you expect to earn and the remaining number is your “cost of goods sold” which, in this case, is what you can spend on the marketing campaign launch.
Gross Profit - Total Revenue = Cost of Goods Sold
Choose an Authorized Payment Provider
You’re obviously going to need a way to process all the sales and your payments online that will come flooding in as a result of your fabulous marketing campaign! So do not forget the very important step of putting in place an authorized payment provider and a simple and seamless way for customers to purchase from you. This is where Pay.com can help you with the payment infrastructure that you need to offer your customers an easy and frictionless checkout experience!
Set and Track KPIs
Throughout the launch period, you will want to be sure that you’ve set KPIs that you plan to track to make sure that your launch is meeting the goals. Don’t get these KPIs confused with the ones you’ve set for your marketing campaign in general. Just as a reminder, some of those KPIs would likely include:
- Promotion of a new product
- Increased sales
- Increased number of customers
- Improved retention rate
The above are good metrics to track for how effective an entire campaign has been. But when it comes to the launch, the KPIs that you should be tracking are more specific to the platforms that you are focusing on when you launch a marketing campaign.
Following are examples of the metrics to track for each marketing channel you may use: