Our association clients often ask us what our process is for developing digital campaigns that will deliver the best results, whether that’s awareness for their brand or attendance for their conferences and events. Top marketing firms understand that a strong, repeatable process is key to getting the right messages and creative to the right audiences at the right time. They also know that analyzing results on a continual basis is the only way to optimize performance by revising and adjusting when needed.
At Bluetext, we take a disciplined approach to every campaign, and that begins with discovery. We start by asking three questions:
- What is the goal of the campaign?
- Who are the target audiences?
- What do you want them to do?
These might sound like simple questions, but you might be surprised at the discussion that follows within the association world to get to an agreement on each of those. Top marketing firms like Bluetext know that we have to act as both a facilitator and as a honest broker who can push each stakeholder to reach that agreement. The reason is that at most membership and trade associations, there are different “clients” who have different goals for each campaign. In some cases, it might be membership renewal, while for others in the same organization it might be registration for an event that drives revenue. For others, it might be awareness of the services that the association provides.
But it’s not until that decision is made that we can move on to the next question: Who are you targeting? Again, that might sound simple, but we’ve witnessed our share of knock-down, dragged-out fights inside organizations where stakeholders have a different opinion of the audience. In some cases, part of the client team might be focused on entry-level IT professionals for their particular association, while their colleagues might believe that the true target is the mid-level professional seeking to move up in their career.
But the most difficult question seems to always come down to, What do you want them to do? The easiest response might be to do something that drives revenue, whether it is to become a member of the organization, or to renew their membership. It might also be to attend an event or purchase a service. But it might also be simple awareness of the value of the trade association and the services it brings to its members.
For each of these possible answers, there might be a multi-step process to take the action. We don’t expect, for example, a new prospect to commit to attending an annual conference just because they receive an email or see a banner ad or paid social post. It may take a sophisticated email “drip” campaign that methodically delivers different types of information that drives them down through the sales funnel before they click on a landing-page for registration. Each step of the process requires clear messaging and strong creative. And each step requires effective analytics to measure performance of the subject line (for an email) or headline (for a banner ad). We are always A/B testing subject and headlines to see which are performing the best so we can adjust accordingly.
Top marketing firms will provide detailed methodologies and analytic tools before the campaign is launched so that organizations understand exactly how the campaign will run and achieve the desired results.