Five insights for a successful marcoms campaign
When preparing for a new campaign, it is valuable to consider not only what you are trying to achieve but also who you are seeking to influence. There is a characteristic, that many industrial, electronics, and deep tech businesses share, which is a desire to ‘get going’ and not ‘waste time contemplating their navel’. But, this behavior has proved to produce campaigns that are generic and not as effective as they might be. They lack insight and the inside information required to crack the code on buyer behavior and directly influence an action.
Taking the time to build buyer personas and conduct research among your existing customers and the professionals in the niche segments you are targeting will provide a strong foundation for the activity to follow. This enables B2B technology brands to develop the messaging, content, and keywords that are needed to ensure an integrated, multi-channel marcoms campaign is successful.
In this blog, I outline the five key insights to consider before putting together your strategic plan.
1. Build a profile of your ideal buyer
Persona development can be conducted at any point but is most valuable before embarking on a new campaign. By taking the time to consider who your ideal buyer is and what motivates and challenges them, it is a lot easier to create messaging and content that will resonate. The people in your organization who interact with customers regularly are a great source of knowledge and can help identify your personas’ pain points and technical requirements when considering a new supplier.
At Publitek we find an effective way to distill these insights is by holding an interactive workshop with internal stakeholders. Once you have identified what drives your ideal buyer, and the key things they look for when selecting a product or service, the next step is to consider what differentiates your brand. It then becomes possible to develop a value proposition and benefit-led proof points that will form the basis of the key messages you use in a campaign.
2. Increase customer intimacy
Once you have created a ‘picture’ of your ideal buyer, it is worth engaging directly with existing customers to determine if the value proposition you have created is relevant. By speaking to your key accounts, you will either gain validation for the persona development exercise or, crucially, receive the feedback needed to refine your key messages further and ensure they are even more incisive. You can also use the opportunity to get their thoughts on your brand, technology, and the emerging market trends that you plan to speak about as part of your campaign. This form of direct engagement not only helps generate further insights but is also an effective way of fostering greater customer intimacy.
3. Ask the market what it thinks of your brand
In conjunction with speaking to customers, it is worth canvassing the wider market about how your brand and technology are perceived against your major competitors. This can be achieved via a short online survey that should, ideally, target professionals who align with the roles and responsibilities identified as part of the persona development exercise. When conducted the right way, surveys are a great way to cut through the noise and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your brand.
The insights that surveys also generate present opportunities for specific topics to focus on in a campaign. For instance, if the results show that your competitors do not perform well in a particular area that your brand excels in, such as connectivity and remote monitoring, then you can feel confident majoring in that subject. Aside from the immediate insights they provide, surveys also provide benchmarks that can be used to measure your brand presence and the effectiveness of your messaging reach moving forward.
4. Identify the keywords your customers use to find information
When you have an idea of what you want to say, it is essential to check the keywords your target personas use when searching for information online. In many cases, an online search will begin with a question related to the challenge someone faces, for instance, ‘How do I reduce vibration levels at my worksite?’
A keyword mapping exercise will help to identify these types of questions. This information can be used as the starting point to develop original content, such as blogs, that address the pain-points your customers face and position your offering as the solution. It will also determine the short and long-tail keywords that should be considered to ensure your campaign or product-specific webpages are optimized for SEO and will attract visitors.
5. Check your existing content is up to scratch
Before commissioning any new content it is essential to assess what you already have. You would be amazed at how many industrial and electronics businesses have a treasure trove of existing content that can be easily refreshed for a new campaign or audience. For this reason, it’s worth checking if there are any existing internal resources, such as whitepapers or articles, that can be reviewed by a content specialist to determine if they are worth repurposing. These content ‘quick wins’ are a great way to kick-off a campaign and gain momentum, while new and original content is under development.
Use this foundation to shape your strategic marcoms plan
Once armed with the insights from these five stages, it is a case of pulling everything together into a strategic marcoms plan. The good news is that the deliverables – persona profiles, value propositions, customer insights – will have enabled you to develop highly targeted key messages, content, and keywords. This provides a solid jumping-off point for implementing an integrated, multi-channel marcoms campaign encompassing everything from PR to social media, digital marketing, and lead generation.