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How to Improve Marketing Effectiveness

How to Improve Marketing EffectivenessLast week’s article identified ways to measure marketing effectiveness. Now that you are measuring marketing effectiveness, what do you do about tactics that underperform? Answer these four questions to see if you can improve effectiveness before eliminating them from your marketing plan.

Is the Marketing Tactic Reaching the Target Audience?

If little or no response from the target audience is received, conduct a root cause analysis to determine why. For example:

  • Was the target contact list fresh and properly targeted (e.g., email, direct mail, telemarketing, text messaging)?
  • Was the marketing tactic appropriate for the target audience (e.g., TV program, radio station and daypart, magazine, etc.)?

If the marketing tactic generates a solid response from respondents that do not match the target audience profile, determine whether a potentially profitable new niche of customers has been discovered.

If the marketing tactic is not reaching the target audience and you did not have the good fortune to discover a profitable new niche, then answer the remaining questions. There’s a good chance that this marketing tactic should be eliminated from your marketing plan.

Is the Marketing Tactic Part of the Decision Journey of the Target Audience?

If the marketing tactic possesses little or no influence over the consumer decision journey, or if it isn’t part of the decision journey of your target audience, the tactic should be immediately eliminated from your marketing plan.

How will you know whether a tactic influences the decision journey? Survey a statistically relevant sample of your target audience. It’s easier than you think and can provide crucial insight that will eliminate waste and improve the ROI of the marketing plan.

Does the Target Audience Perceive the Call to Action as Relevant and Compelling?

To stimulate response, a relevant and compelling Call to Action is required. You may reach the correct audience using a marketing tactic that possesses significant influence over the decision journey, and the absence of a Call to Action (or one that doesn’t motivate the target audience) will cause the tactic to underperform.

Does your message contain a Call to Action? Is it relevant to the target audience? Is it likely to motivate them to take the action you desire? If there is no Call to Action, implement one immediately. If it doesn’t seem relevant or motivational, experiment with different Calls to Action to determine which drives the best response.

If you are unable to define a Call to Action that is perceived as relevant, valuable and compelling, it may be a symptom of larger issues that require immediate attention. For instance:

  • The targeted audience has no need or desire for the company/products/services offered
  • The targeted audience has an unfavorable impression of the company/products/services (e.g., negative publicity, past purchase or service experiences, etc.)
  • Abandon the marketing tactic if after experimenting with different Calls to Action the Return on Investment (ROI) of the marketing tactic does not improve.

    Is the Message Effectively Designed?

    The two most important components of your message are:

    • The Call to Action – what you want your target audience to do in response to the message
    • The Compelling Reasons – why your target audience should respond to the Call to Action -- Remember, they are thinking “What’s in it for me?” so make sure the reasons to respond are compelling from the perspective of your target audience.

    Does the Call to Action and Compelling Reasons comprise the majority of the message? Do these components appear at the beginning of the message? Does the target audience perceive the Compelling Reasons to be motivational? Design your messages differently, and then test each to see which delivers the greatest response.

    Optimization is an Ongoing Process

    On a regular basis (monthly or quarterly), review the performance of each marketing tactic in your marketing plan. Calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) and then stack rank them from best to worst by ROI. For each tactic on the list, answer the questions above. You will quickly see how to improve marketing effectiveness.

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