A 4-Step Guide to Launching Marketing Campaigns That Actually Work

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Having worked with hundreds of businesses, I’ve seen too many marketing campaigns that are thrown together at the last minute and launched just because ‘we’re in a time-crunch’. Know the feeling? Before you launch your next shoot-from-the-hip marketing campaign, check out this 4 step process to make sure your marketing campaign actually produces some results.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a quick and easy way to pump out marketing campaigns, it’s meant to give you a system for producing campaigns that convert.

Step 1: Define your audiences

You’ve seen it before; a marketing guru tells you to build your perfect customer profile or ‘buyer persona’. This is a great exercise for the overall marketing direction of a business, but it’s generally not enough to produce results in your next marketing campaign. An effective marketing campaign delivers the right message to the right person at the right time, which requires to you to take your buyer persona and slice it into meaningful segments.

Here’s a good example. I recently met with a non-profit that helps recovering addicts (whom they refer to as potential students) get their life back on track by providing counseling and distraction-free work opportunities on their ranch. Our initial strategy session uncovered at least 3 audiences that needed to be marketed to and each was very different and required a different message. We uncovered that speaking to family members of the potential students produced the best results. We also found that they have other audiences, like local church congregations, past participants in the program and other donors to the program. So we listed the following:

1. Family members
2. Church congregations
3. Past participants

Step 2: Define where each audience is on the pleasure/pain scale

This section is a bit ‘Sigmund Freud’, but it will help craft your marketing content in step 3. Each audience does business with an organization because they are moving away from a pain or towards pleasure, psychologically speaking. In our example above, the family members want to move away from the obvious pain of addiction and loss of the loved one. The church members of local congregations and past participants are asked to donate to further the cause of the non-profit and so are moving toward pleasure and the feelings associated with helping another individual.

Some examples:
1. Family members [Pain] – We want our child back, hopeless feeling. How do I confront my loved-one about their addiction?
2. Church congregations [Pleasure] – Feel inspired by stories of recovery and hope. Feel good about donating to a cause I care about.
3. Past participants [Pleasure] – Excitement about getting life back, feelings of wanting to help others have the same experience.

Once you’ve identified what the pain and/or pleasure is for each audience you’ll be able to start crafting your marketing message (like landing pages, opt-in content and emails). For an in-depth look on marketing principles that really push the effectiveness of your particular campaign, check out Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and the amazing content at Copyblogger.

Step 3: Create a buyer journey for each audience

Use the following 4 steps to create a journey for each audience. Thanks Josh from Root Radius.
1. See: How will my audience know I exist?
2. Think: How will my audience weigh my offering against others in the market?
3. Do: How will my audience decide to buy from me?
4. Refer: How will my audience spread the word about their experience?

There are many terms for this and Infusionsoft promotes lifecycle marketing, which is another way of thinking about it.

1. See
Where will your audience first see you? This step almost always takes place outside of Infusionsoft. Good examples here include advertising, blog articles, events, etc. Instead of promoting your business in this step, think back to your pain/pleasure list and create content that speaks specifically to those points.

2. Think
In this step, your audience is asked to consider doing business with you rather than your competitor or keeping their dollars instead of giving them to you. Dive deep into the pain/pleasure exercise and create content that positions your business as the authority. Good examples here include videos, webinars, white-papers, and other awesome useful material. The organization mentioned above created a guide to help family members have open and real conversations with their loved ones about their addictions. It hit all the points on the pain scale.

3. Do
This one is straight forward, and I’ll usually tackle it first in the buyer journey because it’s easy to think about and is the focal point of the process. ‘Do’ is the point of conversion and where your buyer does the thing you want them to do, like buy the product, join the group, etc. In this stage, you can begin to talk about your business specifically. Use testimonials, promotions and guarantees in your sales information.

4. Refer
Where and how in the process will your buyer know to refer you new business (or leave a great review). Create an effective referral engine by being proactive about it. Great referrals don’t come serendipitously. Check out The Referral Engine by John Jantsch for an in-depth guide on building a business that generates more referrals.

Pro tip: Create quantitative goals at each step to benchmark your campaign against future marketing efforts. For example, how many will see my ad? Of that how many will will take action to become a lead? Of that group, how many will become clients and refer others?

Step 4: Translate into an actionable marketing campaign

The final step is to take what you’ve identified in steps 1,2, and 3 and convert it into an effective marketing campaign. You’ll notice that each step builds on the previous and this step should be a natural progression of step 3.

If you use Infusionsoft and find yourself not understanding how to translate what you’ve identified into an actionable campaign, check out my friend Greg Jenkins’ campaign builder course. If you don’t use Infusionsoft or another marketing tool, I highly recommend that you map out the buyer journey in a tool like Lucid Chart, which will help you identify the steps your buyer will go through.

There you have it. Follow this framework for your next marketing campaign and let me know what you find in the comments below. I’m also looking to improve this marketing process. If you have a process you follow, please share in the comments below!

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