The P in PARIS

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In our previous blog post on Campaign Best Practice in the PARIS Way using Eloqua, we covered the 5 steps on how to approach a campaign through Eloqua.

What Alan Lakein had to say about the P in PARIS (planning) is that “planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” No good marketing campaign starts without a good plan. With the help of Oracle Marketing Cloud, we can really put what we plan into execution, but it has to start somewhere.

It can be as big as planning for a year, laying out all your major campaigns or simply just planning for one specific campaign that lasts a week. In this article, we will solely focus on the planning for one specific campaign and show how the following steps will benefit you in your preparation.

1. Define your campaign’s rationale

What is your campaign’s primary purpose? Are you promoting a new product? Introducing a holiday sale? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you start to branch out. Jot it down here before you start defining your goals and target audience. Think of it as the goal for the goal. This is where all your campaign ideas start, the root cause for your campaign, and the mother of all your decisions. 

2. Define your goals

There are a lot of goals you may have for a marketing campaign: increase conversions, capture user data, drive web/in-store clicks, expand the audience and so on. But let’s face it, it is really hard to kill all of these birds with one stone. Otherwise, we would be using a different quote on this one. However, we can prioritize our campaign goals and make them more targeted by using the SMART Goals demonstrated below. 

A SMART goal will help you stay laser-focused on your campaign and help set up your reporting more easily than if you had a vague slogan-like goal. There are a lot of goal setting articles that will explain SMART methods better than me, and I am sure you can spot a SMART goal if you see one. 

For example, “Increase the sales this year” is not so SMART, but “Increase the sales in the women’s clothing section by 8% by the end of this quarter, which is 3 months out” is a closer one.

3. Choose your target audience

Whether in the B2C or B2B world, customers are picky nowadays. They want to be addressed by a company on an individual level, or as a unique company. And marketers would like to build tailored and personalized campaigns for each individual. Since that is not always possible, so we come to the next best thing. Find a group of customers who share some similar traits and send out more targeted messages. 

The most important thing to take into consideration when choosing a target audience, is always the balance between size and accuracy. Obviously, these two elements tend to contradict each other. That’s why having a clear goal in the first step is very important so that we know which set of customers is more suitable for any specific campaign.

4. Select your Call-To-Action (Metrics)

This does not necessarily refer to a single “Call-To-Action” button on your email. It usually is the immediate action you anticipate your campaign participants would take and should align closely with your top goals in your first step. Having a clear Call-To-Action will help you further craft your creative copy for your campaign and messaging to your customers. You will know better what incentives to provide, what keywords to use, and what images to stimulate the results when designing the message.

The other reason we need to clarify the Call-To-Action is for future reporting planning. A clear definition of what you would like your target audience to do means marketers will be able to define the right metrics and design the data collection channel for our R in the PARIS way. You probably already noticed, the PARIS steps are related to each other, and having a carefully planned campaign will make our lives much easier and efficient when going to subsequent steps.

5. Articulate your campaign messages

Don’t get me wrong, this is not to tell you to start your creative work and open PhotoShop and all of the other gadgets that go along with that. We all know how fun and daunting it is once we get to the creative part, and that is why articulating your campaign messages in your Planing stage is important.

You need to clearly define some key messages for your audiences, which does not have to be fancy. It can be as plain as, “Come try our new women’s line because they can really bring out your character”, and let your creative team work out the rest of the charm. You can even start putting in tag lines, hashtags that the team can reference when they are excited by all the amazing ideas generated from the brainstorming sessions.

 

When all these have been set, we are ready to move on to the A in PARIS, which is Action. We will introduce a new way to execute your campaign and manage your Eloqua assets so you don’t end up missing some key marketing material or small building blocks when it is already too late. Stay tuned!