You can't hurry

good marketing

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Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

Years ago, before the digital era, marketing campaigns could take many months from conception to implementation. Add into that preparation and follow up and you could have been talking about an 18 month or even two-year lead in as you sourced an enticing offer, ordered paper from Poland and battled with Cromalin proofs.

Nowadays things are quite different. You can do a quick emailing to your prospective customers in 30 minutes using Mail Chimp. But is speed a good indicator of quality, or are there other things that need to be considered?

It’s all in the planning

Many of you will know that in 2022, we delivered an innovative marketing campaign. Aimed at promoting Pixooma’s magazine service, it was an interesting and complicated process, which involved thinking and planning, input from other parties and of course money.

The original idea came during lunch with my marketing partner (Vicky Boulton of Fuel) in February 2022. What followed was eight months of activity behind the scenes. It started with a plan, a month-by-month guide to what needed to happen and why, details of pre-campaign and post-campaign activities, a lengthy list of tasks, and of course clear responsibilities with flexible timelines.

Right from the word go, it was important to establish the type and objectives of the campaign. From there we needed to understand more about the target audience before carefully selecting who were the right contacts. Then the focus moved onto nailing down the various elements involved and deciding if they were adding value or merely providing a distraction. We ordered various things, divvied up responsibilities, uploaded a new campaign related website page and agreed the wording, format and timings.

Some might say my approach was bordering on obsessive, but I wanted everything to be right. Because after all you only get a few seconds to make a great first impression.

Look carefully at costs

And then there were the costs, it was important we could afford everything and of course this led onto looking at ROI. Having done lots of calculations, I was hopeful that the campaign would not only pay for itself but generate a chunk more besides.

So, I liaised with suppliers, narrowed down the messaging, decided what the branded items should look like and tested samples to ensure that they worked as I hoped they would and were fit for purpose. I looked around for the best prices and reconsidered quantities. I reviewed how things were made and studied whether they would work.

I developed an interest in wax seals, sturdy envelopes, postage options and of course branded bits of paper that would hold everything together. I refined and questioned everything. Some might say my approach was bordering on obsessive, but I wanted everything to be right. Because after all you only get a few seconds to make a great first impression.

Flexibility is critical

To put this in context, it was September and still nothing had been sent out. But I wasn’t worried, the campaign delivery date had always been flexible, and we were in no rush. However, in October, everything was finally ready. Pre-campaign messaging started the ball rolling, both on social media platforms and via word of mouth. What followed was the mailing of the beautifully branded items using Royal Mail’s Signed for postage and the launch of an associated competition online.

Things went to plan; all feedback was logged, and I started to follow up with everyone who had received their pack. Eventually I managed to speak to everyone that I needed to – but once again this took longer than I initially thought. Before Christmas the competition winner was announced and in January 2023, runners up were notified, and I started work on designing the winning magazine – 11 months after the idea was first mooted.

Was it worth it?

Has it all been a success you might ask? Worth all the time and resources? It’s still early days, and there is another phase of the campaign yet to come, but from comments received and contacts from people not related to the campaign but who had seen it, things are looking very positive indeed.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you’re thinking of undertaking a complex marketing campaign yourself, you will need oodles of time primarily. After that a bucket load of patience, an ability to question your own decisions, act strategically and more importantly objectively, and of course a determination to succeed. And I’d advise getting help from experts and trusted contacts as it is a lot easier if you aren’t trying to do every part yourself.

If you require help with this just drop me a line, we can provide advice, support and even project manage your marketing efforts. For more information, please get in touch.

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