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Essay: Understanding Marketing Criteria: Developing Effective Campaigns

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and process for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large (American Marketing Association). The various factors and aspects of marketing all come together to develop a large campaign that is branded to its intended audience. It involves a large team of marketers consisting of researchers, analysts, ambassadors, influencers, stakeholders, and much more. Each and every individual in a marketing team plays a significant role in producing an effective marketing campaign. These strategies can be developed based on the methods marketers want to brand a product or company. Understanding the marketing criteria and recognizing the applicable strategies for a product or brand makes up the purpose of the campaign. Delivering marketing campaigns through advertisements is the most effective way to reach large populations, however, it is important to understand the benefits, risks, and responses when branding a product. Reviewing the tactics used by both successful and unsuccessful campaigns can support and aid the planning of future campaigns. Furthermore, crafting a solid marketing plan, researching, setting budgets, acknowledging target markets, selecting appropriate communication channels, and defining metric systems are all important factors to consider when developing a marketing campaign
Marketing Criteria
A marketing strategy is essentially a road map with directions. It is controlled by top management which lays out the strategic goals for a given period of time that positions where they want the business to head. The marketing plan provides a blueprint for implementing a marketing strategy. It is a written document consisting of an analysis of the current marketing situation, opportunities and threats faced by the firm, action programs, and financial information such as projected income (Grewal & Levy 33). This plan consists of five steps which include a planning phase, implementation phase, and a control phase.
The first step is defining the business’ mission, which is a summary description of a firm’s fundamental objectives (aims) and values, and the scope of the activities it plans to undertake (Grewal & Levy 34). It explains why a firm exists and what they plan to do to achieve their vision.
Step two conducts a situation analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Strengths demonstrate positive internal attributes of the firm. Weaknesses are negative attributes of the firm. Opportunities are positive aspects of the external environment that can benefit the firm. And threats are negative aspects of the company’s external environment. This analysis can help firms react appropriately; they can anticipate and interpret change, that they can allocate suitable resources to help the firm cope with the changes.
The third step consists of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. In this step, the firm first divides the market place into homogeneous subgroups (segments), decides which segments to pursue or target, and determines how it should position its products to best meet the needs of those targeted segments. After evaluating all the segments in the market for attractiveness, the firm decides which segment to pursue or focus its efforts on, using a process called target marketing. Once this is done, the firm decides on how it wants to be positioned within those segments. The idea is to occupy a clear and distinct position in consumers’ minds, in terms of that the product stands for and how it is distinct from its competitors.
Step four implements the 4 P’s known as the product, price, place, and promotion of a product. The firm identifies and evaluates different growth opportunities by creating, capturing, delivering, and communicating value to its consumers.
The fifth and final step in the marketing planning process involves evaluating the results of the strategy using marketing metrics. A metric is a measuring system that quantifies something and is used to help managers understand why things happened and to project the future. (Grewal and Levy). These results can be compared and determine what was achieved (or not achieved) based on the performance so that managers can make the appropriate adjustments. Commonly used metrics include revenues, profits, relative sales, and metrics from marketing analytics. It is important not to rely on just one metric, as any attempt to maximize one metric may lower another.

EVALUATIONS
Market Research
Marketing research consists of a set of techniques and principles for systematically collecting, recording, analyzing, and interpreting data that can help marketing decision makers (Grewal & Levy 296). In addition, it can also provide valuable information that can help make segmentation, positioning, product place, and promotion decisions. In marketing research, it is important to establish what problems need to be solved because of the heavy costs and time consumption involved. To do so, marketers must clearly define the objectives of their marketing research project by assessing the needs required for their investigations. Secondly, researchers identify the type of data needed and determine the type of research necessary to collect. Third, data collection process is initiated and data can be collected from secondary or primary data source. Secondary data are data that have been collected for some other purpose and that can be used for this project, for example, searching company records, census data. Primary data are data collected specifically to address the problem at hand such as focus groups, in depth interviews, and surveys (Grewal & Levy 302). Once data is collected, researchers make use of the collected data by analyzing and developing insights to generate meaningful information. Data is defined as raw numbers or other information that, on their own, have limited value to marketers (Grewal and Levy 301). When the data are interpreted, they become information; that is, putting the data into a form that is useful to marketing decision-makers. When researchers organize, analyze, and interpret the data, it becomes useful information that aids in marketing decision making. The final phase in the marketing research process, the researcher prepares the results and presents them to the decision-makers who use that information to formulate marketing strategies.
Figures one and two below shows the comparisons between the number of Facebook likes for apparel and shoe companies Nike, Adidas, and New Balance. This is used to gather customer feedback based on brand acceptance and likeness.
Figure 1
Brand
# of Likes on Facebook
Nike
34,424,481
Adidas
37,771,094
New Balance
8,226,450

Figure 2

The results show that Adidas brand has the competition beat, with Nike coming in second, and New Balance in last.
Advertisements
The purpose of advertising is to create awareness of a product and to generate interest. It is an extremely effective strategy that entails the placement of announcements and persuasive messages purchased in any of the mass media by organizations and individuals who seek to inform and/or persuade audience members about the products (Grewal & Levy 568). In developing an advertising strategy, there are objectives, messages, and media types to choose from in order to generate a method that will sell a product. First, Kotler and Armstrong state that the objective is referred to a specific communication task to be accomplished within a specific target audience during a specific period. Advertising objectives can be classified based on a primary function – inform, persuade, or remind (qtd. In Samson). In a survey conducted on social media, followers were asked what companies they believe have great advertisements. 40 people responded with their thoughts in which figure three below displays.
Figure 3

The message of an advertisement is an integrated marketing component that persuades the consumer. As stated by Machu Samson from the Department of Communication at St. Paul University, the purpose of the message it to make the consumer believe they will benefit from the product being advertised (samson). There are several components that make up the advertising message. Beginning with the slogan, which is a statement that is often repeated throughout the ad campaign to help the audience remember the business, product, or service (Cavallari). Memorable examples of catchy slogans include “Are you in good hands” by All State, “The quicker picker upper” for Bounty, and “I’m lovin’ it” by McDonalds. According to George Mentis, he highlights some important tips for creating effective ads in his article: 11 Simple Tips to Creating an Effective Ad. Some of which include:
1. Stand out from the competition – using unique selling propositions.
2. Use a powerful headline: grab their attention
3. Make them an offer they can’t refuse
4. Talk about the benefits – what’s in it for them?
5. Use exciting graphics
Now that the message has been selected, one should select the appropriate media for advertising, so that the customers can be informed and become consumers. The media channel is based on the type of marketing the campaign requires which depends on the audience preference, budget, and brand engagement levels (Decker). Common media channels include newspapers, magazines, radio, television, directories, outdoor and transit, direct mail, online, and more. The PESO model demonstrated in Ceralytics’ The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Campaigns shows 4 different categories of channels and their means of promoting content which include paid, earned shared, and owned media.
Paid media is a great way to get immediate exposure of content. Some of the pros of this method result in easy measurability and the ability to target specific audiences. It includes pay per click, display ads, sponsorships and paid influencers.
Earned media is an exposure received from other publications or influencers that are not being paid that come from mentions. This results in rapid audience exposure.
Moreover, social media has been a large booming channel for shared media thanks to shares, retweets, and the ability to reach larger audiences for a low cost. This method is perhaps the fastest, most cost effective, and provides immediate results.
Finally, owned media is what is controlled by the company itself such as blogs, website, newsletters, and social profiles. This method targets a specific engaged audience and is also very cost-effective.
Dove Beauty Campaign – A successful strategy
Dove has recently detached itself from its traditional ways of advertising using models and photoshop and instead found a new method to market their product towards the real beauty of imperfections. This switch in 2004 provoked a new strategy in targeting a larger audience by using real women with more comparable roles, such as mother, grandmothers, young women of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds. After such positive feedback for its new campaign, Dove Beauty became Unilever’s most successful brand (Pratap). Dove’s Real Beauty campaign helped break the stereotype and “disconnected the traditional image of beauty from the actresses and models” by redefining beauty. This campaign not only boosted sales for Unilever and offered personal care products to its consumers, it also created empowerment for women, and initiated self-esteem movements – which goes beyond on the applied use of a product. According to Olivia Zed, author of How Dover’s Real Beauty Campaign Won, and Nearly Lost, Its Audience, the campaign caused a jump in sales from $2.5 to $4 billion in the campaign’s first ten years (Zed). Figure 4 below shows the comparison.

Pepsi – Unsuccessful Strategy
Pepsi has had many marketing failures. The most infamous Super Bowl ad featuring the notable super model, Kendall Jenner, where she is seen walking up to an officer in the middle of a protest and hands him a can. During a time when political tensions were high and social injustice movements were going on, Pepsi intended to use unity to achieve and did just the opposite by appropriation of imagery which caused heavy backlash and skepticism (Adams). It was evident that the soft beverage ad was tone-deaf which failed to acknowledge and be aware of the seriousness of what they were portraying.

Effective Campaign Strategies
This leads to the final pieces of advice to suggest to marketers creating a campaign. Some of the takeaways that can be learned from an unsuccessful commercial, such as Pepsi’s, is to have significant oversight over current events and avoid making associations to sensitive and controversial current events. This will avoid putting the product on equal footing with an issue.

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