I met “Steve” at a marketing strategy networking event for small manufacturers on a recent trip home to Ohio. Steve is the CEO of a “gear” manufacturing company. When our discussion moved to online advertising, it was clear this struck a nerve with Steve. “AdWords is a total rip-off!” were his words, if I recall correctly.
Since I knew Steve’s company produced quality products and had been successful for years, I was wondering why he had such a negative experience with AdWords. I gave him a call after returning home and he shared the following with me…
“I’d see those ads on the industry blogs I read and thought we should be advertising there,” Steve recounted. “So first off, I helped our designer get AdWords certified. Then she and I worked on some ads together. I liked what we came up with and had her start running them. Well, within a few weeks, my credit card had been charged over a thousand dollars by Google and I had not heard about any good leads coming in!”
After I asked him a few follow-up questions, it was clear to me that Steve jumped into running an AdWords campaign without doing all the necessary planning needed to launch an effective campaign. He really didn’t appreciate the amount of knowledge required to run an effective ad campaign and the amount of planning and positioning that needed to take place beforehand. Steve had to learn the hard way by wasting time and money without even gaining any experience to build on — just his resulting poor opinion of Google AdWords.
How to Plan an Advertising Campaign
As I explained to Steve, each of the following are areas that need to be addressed BEFORE doing any sort of advertising:
- Who do you what to reach?
- Where do you find them — how will you reach them?
- What message do you want to deliver to this audience?
- How are you going to qualify them as buyer prospects?
- How are you going to follow up with them and nurture the lead until it becomes a sale?
- How are you going to track results?
- What important variables (ad copy, landing pages, etc.) are you going to test during the campaign in an effort to improve results?
- How are you going to calculate the ROI or determine if the campaign is successful?
- How soon will you know if the campaign is successful or not?
And this list of questions is far from comprehensive. These areas, and others, must be discussed and decided on as part of a sound marketing strategy and resulting marketing plans.
Is Your Advertising Campaign Consistent with Your Company’s Overall Strategic Plan and Marketing Strategy?
It should be clear by now, if you don’t do a good job of planning your advertising campaign, then chances are, like with Steve, you will be very disappointed with the results. A good advertising plan should answer all the questions above and more.
But let’s step back for a second…
It’s critical for me to point out that proper planning should flow like this:
The company’s Strategic Plan should be the guiding force behind the overall Marketing Strategy.
When getting down to the actual implementation of marketing activities, these are typically guided by Marketing Plans, Campaign Plans, Advertising Plans, etc..
Unfortunately, many manufacturers (and all kinds of other companies) don’t even have a strategic plan and if they do, it’s often not followed. There are many reasons that contribute to poor planning, yet there are ways to get over these roadblocks.
In my next post, I’m going to discuss Why it’s Critical for Small Manufacturers to Conduct Meaningful Strategic Planning. I’ll identify the common issues that often make it difficult for small manufacturers to do proper planning, prioritizing, and implementation. And I’ll give you some ideas to help you overcome the hindrances which many small manufacturers face. Plus, you’ll be able to download a step-by-step guide I’m writing now called: Sensible [Yet Effective] Strategic Planning for Small Manufacturers.
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We’re here to help small manufacturers reach their full potential…
My team and I are dedicated to helping U.S. manufacturers grow and be more successful — especially small manufacturers with great products looking to get to the next level.
This is why I started Marketing 4 Manufacturers and why we keep our fees very affordable.
Please use the form below to get the conversation started. I look forward to to speaking with you soon and learning more about your company. — Jim Gribble