A couple of weeks ago, I became the pack mule for Kia. I was given the task of contacting, coordinating and delivering 20,000 school newspaper inserts to over 10 local high schools. The job wasn’t that difficult, it involved several phone calls, emails and follow-ups and a lot of driving.
During the 2-3 days I spent driving these inserts to their final locations, I thought a bit about marketing and advertising. I wondered about the effectiveness of this particular marketing piece.
As I was driving and thinking, it dawned on me (again) that this one piece was not the linchpin for a successful senior season or month. It was just a piece of the puzzle. Here are 3 conclusions I came to about the most successful marketing.
1. A successful marketing campaign starts with a story.
Everything you create wants to sell an emotion or feeling. High school seniors regularly interact with this sense of emotion through the different types of media they digest.
As you create your marketing campaign, figure out what you want to sell emotionally. Here are some ideas:
Whatever concept you develop, you may not use that exact word when creating your pieces, but you should have that concept in the back of your mind.
In this particular case, Kia featured twin sisters. She played on the sense of sharing secrets between 2 close people. She sold it with an image of the sisters “sharing a secret” with one another.
2. A successful marketing campaign includes a strong call to action.
Every great marketing spot (print, web, radio, TV) asks you to do something. A call to action is short, sweet and to the point. It needs to be very clear. I know exactly what I’m supposed to do after seeing this (whatever you have created to market with).
In this case, Kia asked the potential client to do 1 of 4 things:
- Book a session.
- Be a senior model.
- Watch a video on upcoming fashion.
- Win a free session via Facebook.
It also included a specific time to book the session – via a 3 day sale on the session fee. Ultimately this is the strongest of the 4 calls to action. It give a reason to act (and not wait).
3. A successful marketing campaign is not limited to 1 channel.
A few years ago, the trend began to focus your marketing energy online – specifically through Facebook. While this seemed like a good idea, the tide has shifted. While Facebook should be a part of your marketing strategy, in the long run it will hurt you to make this the ONLY way your market.
The printed piece Kia inserted into school newspapers was one of 6 ways she marketed this campaign.
- School newspaper insert (20,000 pieces to over 10 schools).
- Mailed postcard (5,000 pieces to 2013 seniors).
- Studio e-Newsletter.
- Mall Display.
- Studio website.
Throughout this article you’ve seen examples of what this looks like.
The thing to remember is not everyone is everywhere, and some people engage better with certain mediums. Also the more times anyone sees your name and brand, the more chance there is for them to associate your brand when there is a need for your service.
Cost is the reason people give to NOT market through traditional channels, and they are right. It does cost more to market via print, displays or mailing as opposed to Facebook or web alone. There are ways to do it less expensively:
- Print postcards as opposed to catalogs or brochures.
- Trade for display space (in a boutique or store as opposed to a mall).
- Insert cards into school newspapers or leave at displays instead of mailing.
- Mail enough cards for a “bulk” mail.
Pull it all together.
If you want the best chance to see success in your marketing plan, you need to…
- Sell a story (emotion).
- Use a strong call to action.
- Broadcast over multiple channels.
Will this make sure you rake in the dough this year? No. Will this get you down the road to be more successful in 2012? Yes.