romotional campaigns are a big part of marketing, and often one of the greatest challenges faced by performance-driven marketers. Many will look to successful campaigns run by other businesses for guidance on best practise or rising trends but still fall short on impact. Even competing companies can run identical campaigns targeting the same audience with the same product/service and achieve very different results. This is because there are a myriad of variables that contributed to the success – not just the medium, the creative, the message, the purpose-driven approach, etc. but also the effort that has gone in to building a strong brand in the years preceding the campaign, and the market positioning and sentiment.
I first introduced the Marketing Value Hierarchy in my book Level Up: Your Strategy to Sustainable Marketing-Driven Growth which states that “no single marketing tactic is more valuable than another but that the maximum value of each tactic will be derived or unlocked when completed in its correct sequence.”
In this context, it means that to achieve high performing campaigns, there are a few other marketing tactics that need to be satisfied (or at least started) first.
One simple example of the Marketing Value Hierarchy is that the full value of a Google AdWords campaign cannot be unlocked unless the business has a high performing, user-centric website, a product/service that buyers want or need, and a strong brand. A website is quick and easy to create, but without having a solid understanding of the audience or a clear brand strategy, it will almost certainly under-perform. Working backwards, it’s clear that the first (but not the only) step to achieving high-performing campaigns lies in the brand.
Put simply, brand is reputation – what the business is understood to do well/ not so well, how cheap/expensive it’s perceived to be, how it compares to alternative solutions, etc. A simple exercise as part of building a brand is to design the branding to align with the price positioning – colours, images, shapes and even font style communicate price without showing how much anything costs.
You can easily find out if your brand is moving in the right direction you want it to by creating two surveys – one for internal stakeholders, and another for your customers.
Internal Brand Survey Questions
- What does our organisation do best compared to the market? And why?
- What does our organisation not do as well in within our market? (This could be an area of improvement or a deliberate strategic decision.) And why?
- Compared to our competitors, our price is lower/similar/higher.
- Compared to our competitors, our goods/services quality is lower/similar/higher.
- Compared to our competitors, our customer support is lower/similar/higher.
If the answers you receive back are not similar or the same, then consider running a workshop internally to determine how to achieve internal alignment.
Customer Brand Survey Questions
- Before you became our customer, what were you using/doing?
- Why wasn’t that working for you anymore?
- What other products/services/solutions did you explore before choosing us?
- Why did you choose us over those other products/services/solutions?
- How can we improve even further?
- How would you rate us in terms of price?
- How would you rate us in terms of quality?
- How would you rate us in terms of service/support?
Make sure to ask only your very best customers. The answers to these questions will uncover your key differentiator which turns prospects into customers, your main position compared to competitors and the priority for your product/solution roadmap. If the answers to these questions are not what you hoped they would be, then this is indicative of an ineffective brand strategy.
This is a simple and effective way to determine one of the variables that will be impacting the performance of your campaigns, but it is only the tip of the strategic marketing iceberg. If your goal is growth, then reach out to our team for advice or if you prefer to DIY then you can buy a copy of Level Up: Your Strategy to Sustainable Marketing-Driven Growth online – available in hardback and electronically through all major online book stores.