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7 Steps to building campaigns that focus on quality

Tony Eades

As our investment increases, the focus is now on quality. So, what are some ways CMOs and their teams can build campaigns that focus on achieving quality leads?

In January, research and consulting firm Forrester announced that US Digital Marketing Spend will near USD120 billion by 2021.

In all, Forrester estimates that investment in paid search, display advertising, social media advertising, online video advertising and email marketing will climb to 46% of all advertising in five years with Millennials as its main target.

“This is now the largest living generation,” says principal analyst with Forrester, Shar VanBoskirk. “It spends collectively $600 billion a year. Brands will grow digital investment in order to connect with these digital natives”.

For Gartner, the rise in spend can be attributed to the decline of organic social in favour of paid social; and the rising importance of video, which is more expensive than other digital techniques.  Even with the disrupting presence of ad-blockers, paid digital advertising is on the march.

As digital accounts for a growing proportion of the advertising and marketing spend, experts are noting a shift in emphasis.


  1. Revisit your brand or product’s value proposition and establish whether your campaign parameters are a match. Maintaining a strong brand focus informs the style of your ad campaign and supporting content and helps train focus on reaching the right people. Apple and Starbucks have both used their value proposition to activate prospects within their fan-base. Apple launched its efforts in response to strong competition from Samsung, while Starbucks fought back on pressure from McDonalds with a campaign based on coffee appreciation. Both aimed their message at customer loyalty and retention as well as attracting new customers.
  1. Assess your position in the social landscape. How much content are you generating and what is the level of engagement? Data suggests that online audiences are becoming more savvy about the way they consume digital media. The 2016 Sensis Social Media Report found that despite consumers embracing social media more deeply in the last year, it appears we are now using it less for shopping research purposes such as finding out about brands and businesses (16% down from 24% in 2015).


    It also found there was more trust towards brands that interact with customers in a positive way on social media, as well as make their content engaging, relevant and keep it regularly updated. One risk identified was excessive content, which was seen as an influential factor for those who stopped following any company or brand. If your marketing is currently skewed to be high on frequency, low on engagement, consider scaling it back.  
  1. Curate your advertising and content. Here the aim is to differentiate your posts from the barrage of daily deals and newsletters. Admittedly there is some debate as to whether social networking audiences respond to or reject highly polished content from brands. My feeling is it depends on your product and audience. Just see the range of approaches used here by the travel industry. You might cringe if some of this content were associated with your brand. Make sure you set the bar.
  1. Pursue narrowcasting rather than broadcasting when it comes to your campaign. Use audience data and the intelligence provided by sales to select an audience or audiences in line with your value proposition and allocate budget toward testing the response from these audiences. With the data you collect, you are able to build out persona documentation, which will help you when producing any content or messaging to align with your audience’s needs. This way you can scale up, confident your message will reach the qualified leads you are looking for.
  1. Use paid distribution channels to target your audience and third-party content to increase awareness and lend credos to your product or brand. If this is new territory for you, don’t hesitate to try this in 2017, particularly when marketing for qualified leads. Promoted tweets, Facebook sponsored posts, LinkedIn sponsored updates, Outbrain, Nativo and others can all provide you with greater reach and better results than organic means alone.
  1. Keep your offer simple. Too many choices or combinations are off-putting for many consumers. And while more work must go into making an offer or message simple, customers have been shown to lap it up. The lesson is this: The single biggest driver of stickiness (or the likelihood customers will carry through and make a purchase) was “decision simplicity” - in other words the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options.
Work with micro-influencers. At times, it seems the only way to reach consumers in the B2C world is to find a Kardashian willing to talk up your brand. But this isn’t the only avenue when it comes to social networking. Micro-influencers, people with a few hundred or thousand followers, can often provide the right exposure. To illustrate this point, I’ll leave you with an interview from Spotify with the founders of e-business edoughble.com which proves encounters with just the right influencer can make big waves.

Felix: I actually want to talk about this Reddit experience that you had. You guys knew some kind of power user, someone that was popular on Reddit. How did you connect with them? Was this somebody that you knew personally?

John: No. We didn’t seek anyone out. Rana can talk to it because she randomly was put in touch with the CMO of some candy store chain, right?

Rana: Yeah. I was setting up a meeting. This was my first week full time for Edoughble and I found a candy store in Glendale. The CMO was visiting from San Francisco so we had set this meeting date. It turns out he’s an influencer on Reddit. I had no idea but he liked the product. It turned out it wasn’t a good fit for the candy store, but that night, all of a sudden, we were getting all these orders. When we went to check traffic on Shopify, we saw they were being referred from Reddit. I didn’t even know what Reddit was. We saw that he posted. Basically he posted my friend started an edible cookie dough company and it’s incredible. Then he posted again and said oh, I should probably tell you the name of it. It’s edoughble.com. Then we had 2,000 orders in 48 hours. It was crazy.

Using these seven tips to build strong, quality campaigns, your company will be able to track ongoing, improved growth in 2017. The main takeaway from these steps is that, at each point, you consider your target audience and how they would like to receive marketing. Chances are if your campaign approach isn't something that you would invite from a brand, you shouldn't be considering it. 

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