It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands when it comes to marketing. We often forget how basic the objectives we learned a long time ago are. So it’s time to review the simple principles presented at the DMA Conference we should always have in mind.

1. Have a Clear and Simple Objective

This is something that can easily get away from people. The objective of any marketing campaign has to be succinct. You can’t have a successful campaign if your goals are not clear and simple. For example, the objective of a lead generation piece is to simply gather prospect contact information. And the objective of a selling piece is to generate sales; you don’t want to try to do too many things.

2. Focus on List and Offer First

You need to figure out who your audience is first and focus on an offer that fits that audience. Make sure that you keep these two points in mind and that they stay in sync. Focus on who your prospects are and what drives them. If you try to determine the copy, creative, and channel before you figure out the audience, you’re putting the cart before the horse.

3. Sell Benefits, Not Features

Why is what you’re selling good for the consumer? Make sure you focus on what your product or service can do for the consumer personally and not just product features.

4. Make it Easy

Choices are good, but too many choices is overwhelming. Pick out the options that will be the most beneficial for your consumer. If your messaging is too complicated, people simply won’t spend their time on it.

5. Focus on Campaigns, not Single Touches

Make sure you stay consistent across all channels, whether it’s email, direct mail, or social like Facebook and Twitter. Don’t think of content as a one-time deal, rather think of it as a series, ensuring the content supports the campaign goals across all channels.

6. Make Promotions Fit Audience

Understand who you are targeting. You probably don’t want to promote diapers to households without children. You need to target the right audience with the right promotion at the right time. There are different ways to message the same product, so make sure your messaging and offers fit the audience.

7. Research & Test

These are some basic ideas, but it’s important to pay attention to both research and testing. Research provides qualitative data: how do your prospects and consumers feel about your product, what do they like or dislike. This information is directional. Testing produces real-life results and provides quantitative data – responses, orders, revenue. Both need to be considered together.

8. Evaluate Success by LTV

Success should be measured by lifetime value rather than a response to any individual campaign. A campaign may have a great initial response, but new customers may not purchase a second time. Take Groupon for example, it offers deep discounts to entice new customer trials. This tends to attract people looking to save money rather than someone that will continue to purchase over time. Take this into consideration and focus on the right customers and the right offers.

We all know the basics, but sometimes we need to be reminded of them. As you create campaigns, be sure to ask yourself “have I satisfied the 8 cardinal principles?”

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