When developing a new campaign (or refreshing an old one) it’s critical to have a strategy in place to guide all aspects of the campaign so that they align with your community’s goals.
It’s important to remember that not all leads are created equally. In the high-tech world we’re living in, chances are many of your leads are coming in digitally. These leads require more nurturing through the stages the sales funnel compared to leads coming through more direct means, such as a referral source.
With this in mind, creating a strategy for your campaign based on your goals and audience will yield the best results and will save you a lot of time, money and aggravation. By following these four steps, you’ll get a better understanding of how to develop a marketing campaign roadmap that will help you navigate your road to success.
1. Identify the Goals of the Overall Campaign
The first step in any campaign strategy is identifying what your needs are and determining your goals based on those needs. For example, you may need “X” amount of sales (deposits) by a certain date to address occupancy benchmarks. Or, you might need to reposition your community based on new additions to your service line that differentiate you from competitors in your market.
Once you determine your needs you can set your goals. For example, first determine how many leads you will need to generate to achieve the desired amount of deposits. Then break it down even further and determine how many leads each tactic should generate and at what rate. We find that needs and goals vary by client but determining these elements from the beginning are vital to running a successful campaign.
2. Identify the Target Audience and Market You are Trying to Attract
Once you outline the needs and goals of the campaign you should identify who the members of your target market are and where they receive their information. What channels do members of your target market use to consume media? What are the demographics of your target market?
In addition to demographics, be sure to identify what your target market’s interests, behaviors and preferences are and select the ones that best align with what your community has to offer. If your community has a heavy religious affiliation, you may find success targeting prospects that are similarly affiliated. If you’re community offers more luxurious amenities and upscale living options, you’ll would want to target a more affluent prospect who will appreciate and find value in your community’s higher-quality features.
3. Identify All the Initiatives and Tactics for Your Campaign and the Goals of Each
If your goal is to increase awareness of your community, some of the strategies you could use include targeted display advertising (ads served to your target market on the websites they visit) and pay per click ads (served to those searching specific keywords into search engines). For optimal effect, the messaging in these ads should educate the prospect about the value your product offers them.
If your goal is to generate new leads, you might decide to purchase a targeted mailing list with specifications tailored towards the type of prospects you’re trying to attract (i.e. age, location, household income, etc.) and send a direct mail promoting a fun lifestyle event at your community. This is an informal way of bringing in new leads to experience the lifestyle your community offers.
Maybe your community already has a healthy database of active leads and you need help nurturing them further down the sales funnel. In this scenario, you can implement display remarketing ads (online ads served to prospects who have already visited your website) that offer a new piece of enticing information or an incentive (such as pre-construction savings). You could also deploy lifestyle and event invitation emails to try to generate foot traffic and give prospects a reason — other than a tour — to visit your community.
Here at Creating Results, we believe in a fully integrated approach, so we recommend tactics that support both top and mid funnel initiatives to nurture leads at every phase of the funnel.
4. Craft Messaging that Best Supports Each Initiative
At this step you should identify and promote your unique selling propositions (USPs), special offers or incentives, and any other assets that could nurture the prospect further down the buyer journey.
Softer messaging and calls to action typically work best for top of funnel. Initiatives closer to the top of the sales funnel are centered around awareness (who and what you are) and interest (generating new leads) for your community. Calls to actions need to be less committal; This is where you should promote aspirational aspects of your community and declare your community (or your marketing) as the source of truth.
Providing more educational information around the market or even pain points of the sale will solidify you as a trusted resource not just a potential decision for them to make down the road. The most effective strategies for top of funnel tactics are focused around lifestyle. Sparked interest in your community’s lifestyle and playing into your target market’s aspirations can help move the prospect further down the sales funnel.
More direct messaging and calls to action typically perform best when used in the mid funnel stages. This is where you should provide more information on your product, pricing and availability. This is also a good time to push incentives and special offers.
Once a prospect gets to the middle of the sales funnel, they are usually feeling more comfortable and getting closer to taking action. At this point, you want to entice them with something that wasn’t available at the top of funnel. Keep in mind, prospects receiving mid funnel tactics have already raised their hand and expressed interest in some way, so they aren’t as put off by more direct sales messaging.
Developing a successful campaign strategy becomes easier once you have identified what your community’s needs and goals are. From there, you have a basis from which to determine who is best to address those needs, the tactics you’ll use to attract prospects and how to position the messaging in your marketing, so it speaks to prospects at every stage of the sales funnel.
Use a campaign roadmap to document your campaign strategy and guide your team in every stage of implementation. This kind of tool provides insights so other people (or departments) working on the campaign can make decisions that will best serve the overall strategy.
For example, having a campaign roadmap will help guide image selections or drive certain media placements for your campaign. A roadmap can also be helpful when planning and tracking campaign milestones. Campaign roadmaps are most impactful when they are being updated and monitored regularly because needs and goals are always subject to change.