15 Experts Share Their Top Tips for Planning a Marketing Campaign

It’s March 2018 already, and it’s time to really kick-start your marketing plan for industry domination.

As more and more businesses turn to direct mail to reach their audience, marketing experts can help steer you to success. Only recently, The Drum shared a survey that stated 70% of consumers think better of brands that send mail. Pair that with record highs for emails and you’ve got yourself a foot in the door to communicate with your audience.

Marketing Strategy

Direct mail has been around for years and, as a UK mailing house, we have plenty of direct mail ideas up our sleeves. But, sometimes, we like to read direct mail marketing tips from some other marketing experts – such as the ones below. We’ve rounded-up the biggest marketing experts in the biz and their best direct marketing ideas to ensure you produce successful direct mail. These direct mail marketing tips will allow you to place your message, or product, directly into the hands of your consumers.

The Best Marketing Plan Steps

You’ve heard our ideas before, but we’re bringing in industry insiders to help you plan your marketing campaign.

Dan Barton, Marketing & Innovation Manager: Fagron

“If you’re pitching a product or service to a defined audience, give your marketing the best chance by using the assets around you to ensure your messages get as close to your target audience as possible. Build your customer profiles and make sure you engage with them in the right place, at the right time and with the right message. The introduction of big data means customers and prospects are now more accessible than ever (subject to GDPR, of course!) which means you can be really sophisticated when targeting your marketing messages.”


Dale Jones, Marketing Strategist: Hedgehog Lab
“For me, there’s no major secret to marketing, provided the focus of your team is on generating content which provides a genuine value to your audience. I prefer to focus on the impact of campaigns – the feelings that the team are aiming to generate and the actions they’re aiming to invoke, and measuring those instead. It can be easy to fall into a trap of becoming obsessed with open rates and patting yourself on the back for raising them, getting lost in the idea that you’re increasing your reach. There always has to be a focus on how to engage the audience you do reach, no matter its size.”


Kelsey Leonard, Marketing Programmes Manager: Communicator
“We’ve all heard the age-old saying ‘perfect planning prevents poor performance’. In the case of marketing automation, this rings even more true. The success of a campaign rests heavily on the data you use to power it. In light of GDPR, data is something that should already be top of a marketer’s agenda. Get your foundations right and you’ll reap the benefits. Good quality, clearly segmented data, categorised based on your identified target audiences will ensure success not only with automated campaigns but across all channels, both on and offline.”


Justina Rimkeviciute, Digital Marketing Manager: ProForecast
“Start with creating a market analysis and then predict a forecast for your market. No marketing department has unlimited budget or time, so estimating your potential reach and your predicted ROI’s will help you allocate your time and efforts in the best way possible. For a campaign, look at your previous sales predictions. If it is already ready, have a look at your sales forecast and how can you help improve sales? If you have a new product, look at what your competitors are doing, the times they are most active. Try to get market reports and audience size where you can. Get the best data you can and adapt for predicted market changes.”


Charlotte Morgan, Marketing Manager: Tealium
“GDPR will increase the need for preparation and many marketers will have to revise automation strategies. While short term, the new legislation may negatively impact contact lists and response rates, this is arguably the greatest opportunity marketers have had; putting customer data at the centre of their business. Transparency holds the key; clearly defining the data you wish to collect, how it is being used and where it is being stored to build customer confidence in your brand. Ultimately, enabling marketers to provide extremely personalised cross-campaign experiences.”

Political Mail

Becca Jay Sharples, Marketing and Campaign Manager: Viddyoze
“Successful marketing is about constant assessment of the content and marketing strands being actioned, and also reviewing responses of historic campaigns and techniques. There’s huge problems with the starting points and ‘light bulb moments’ in campaign planning. To tackle this, we need to be asking questions constantly. Do our audience know who we are (awareness)? Do they like how we sound (brand tone)? Do they trust us (brand loyalty and reputation)? Would they buy from us (UX to purchase, and price)? We can then change layers of marketing to fix the problems that may arise from asking these questions. The answers are with your customers – if you take the time to listen you’ll have the key to success in the data you collect.”


Peter Bennett, Digital Marketing Manager: Pantheon Macroeconomics
“My experiences in direct marketing have mainly centred upon sending direct email to individuals based in all corners of the world. Whilst content, subject lines and good data are and will remain key, one thing some marketers neglect is timing. Segmenting your data by region/time zone and staggering deliveries has worked very well and has a big impact on response rates. I also suggest to have a clear call to action. What are you trying to achieve? Finally, respect the end user and their data, especially with GDPR coming into play later this year.”


Helen Marshall, Broker Marketing Manager: Norton Broker Services
“In my experience, the key to successful marketing is planning & research. I believe research plays such a pivotal role. If you’re a good marketer, you can slot into any business, even if it’s not a field you would necessarily be interested in. By doing in-depth and relevant research, you can help the business, your colleagues and your clients. Research provides a solid base for all things marketing; from blog posts, to emails, to direct marketing. Everything requires you investing time in research. Research new marketing ideas, as it can help you grow and develop new ideas for your marketing. Research competitors, see what they’re doing that could inspire a thought or idea for your business. Research your target audience, they might not appreciate the tongue-in-cheek twitter posts, or they might find your in-depth articles boring.”


David Milner, International Marketing Manager: Sedbergh School
“Marketing is all about understanding your product, your targets and most importantly your customers. It is about telling a story, highlighting your USPs and making your customers understand why they should invest in your product/service. In the education sector, we now deal with international markets and research into these markets is critical, to produce a campaign that delivers messages they want to hear. Research, research, research… What are your competitors doing? What separates you from the competition? What do your customers want? Do they use Social Media? What has worked in the past? What new innovative ways can you promote your product? These are all questions you should ask yourself.”


Darren Taylor, Digital Marketing Consultant: The Big Marketer
“It’s all about refined customer and prospect segmentation, and how much useful data you can get into your CRM to lead the messaging of your email campaigns. You will be surprised at how many data points you can add to a customer’s email record within a CRM, in order to better tailor your email campaigns, especially if your product is a cloud software / service offering, where you can see user behaviour. Tailor your subject line, content and timing utilising these enhanced data points to increase traffic and conversions via email. Work closely with developers to maximise the amount of data you can insert into your CRM. Marketers are usually not technical enough to implement granular solutions to do this.”


John Bunyan, Marketing Manager: Profound Services
“You need to know and understand two key things before anything else. Who/what you are and who your customers are. If you can’t answer either of those, then you’re dead in the water before you start! Then you can drill down, so you have a clear view of who you are, what you do, the value you offer and how that maps against the who, what and where of your audience. Then it’s about finding where you can add genuine value, so the channel/content/timing questions will virtually answer themselves. Automation can also be a really useful tool when used effectively as part of a mix, but you need a solid plan and remember that automation is an option, not a requirement. However, remember to build in the human element because people relate better to people and don’t really like being sold to, so don’t stress when the engagement of your sales messages gets smashed by your coffee morning post. After all that, make sure you measure what you have done.”


David Ingram, Managing Director: Bring Digital
“My number one tip for boosting campaign success and response rates would be to really get under the hood of customer segmentation. Too many businesses set up campaigns with a single customer view. However, by building granular segments based on customer demographic, point in journey and behavioral data, you can create a much more personalised experience. There are formal segmentation processes such as RFM, which will give you a quantifiable way of creating and managing segments. Although, we’ve still seen campaigns achieve performance increments with much simpler segmentation in place.”


Debora G. Barbosa, Marketing Manager: Golden Egg Recruitment
“Working with Marketing is such a diverse experience. This is my first time having the chance to run the department and my strength lies on digital content creation, as well as publications. I began to gravitate towards marketing as soon as I saw the massive opportunity to get creative. It is important to have an eye for design, the same way it is important to understand the client’s mind. At the company I work for now, I have the chance to create from scratch many things and this makes all the difference.”


Thomas Oben, Digital Marketing Manager: Access Pay
“To me, marketing automation is about clearly defining your target personna, taking that audience on a journey and telling them a story using content – especially true in the B2B space. You have to produce and serve up compelling, personalised and relevant content to ensure that you remain front of mind all the way through the audience’s entire buying journey. Good marketing automation takes a prospect and builds and nurtures a relationship with that prospect, culminating in a lead at the end of the journey. The content must resonate with said audience and answer questions such as; what kind of problem do I have? Are there any tools or services to help me solve that problem? How does this tool or service work?”


Simon Jenkinson, Marketing Manager: Littlefish
“What’s the most powerful piece of direct mail you’ve ever received? If you’re a marketer, chances are you’ll have at least one favourite, or more likely, a collection. Mine was a framed comic strip. The story: a brand offering limited customer service hours, helplessly watching unsatisfied visitors falling into the arms of competitors. There lies the point. You’ve forgotten all the ‘spam’ emails you received today. If you even opened them. When it comes to delivering targeted content – direct mail has a tangible quality arguably impossible for digital channels to match. How can you achieve it? Personas, customer journeys and data. Combine all three, add in personalisation and automation to deploy them at scale, and you’ll be able to deliver the right content, to the right audience, at exactly the right time.”


Steve Mole, Marketing Manager: United Carlton

“As a marketer used to working within tight budgets and resource limitations, the more I can do with automation and behavioural-based profiling and targeting, the more effectively my time is used. With the data collected by analytics platforms and enquiry forms, you’re able to use the pages visited and information submitted to segment prospective customers. Ensuring that you send them messaging tailored to their sector, company size, specific area of interest. The beauty of it is, that despite spending less time proactively chasing individual customers, you’re sending them more relevant and valuable information than you would be with a mass email blast or cold calling. You’re near-enough certain to get a better response rate from sending someone further information on something they’ve already expressed an interest in. It also means you’re sending them the information when they want to see it, rather than when you hoped they might want to see it, eliminating that “right person, wrong time” frustration.”

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