Frightful Marketing Errors to Avoid in 2022

Halloween is upon us and so is 4th quarter . . . have you scared up all the elements for your 2022 marketing campaign yet?

Now is the time to set up timeline for planning and executing your marketing campaign along with setting your marketing budget and target ROI. While we don’t want to give you the jitters over this, the fact is that if you’re planning to advertise in 2022, you should be deep into all of this NOW. At Rapunzel Creative, we believe that successful campaigns are those that are thoughtfully planned out in advance, not rushed.

Here are some frightful errors to avoid—and steps to take to clear your campaign of unwanted spirits—as you head into 2022.

#1: Lack of a campaign timeline
Ghostbuster move: Establish your launch date and work backwards 

This allows time to get all the production details done, like making sure the Facebook page is working, your Google ads account is set up correctly, or having enough time to get materials to a printer.

For example, if you’re doing a multichannel marketing campaign, you need to create your email content, your social media accounts and posts, and your display ads; if you’re doing direct mail, the creative and printing can take weeks to do. What’s most important to think about is that if you want your marketing and advertising done well, you need time to come up with strong concepts and the creative (copywriting and art direction/graphic design) to “sell” those concepts, time for internal review and revisions, and time for the production team time to do their work.

If you’ll be running a digital ad campaign, you’ll need time to build brand awareness as part of your timeline. You need to show up to your consumers many times for them to take action. My colleague Anne Popolizio of Social Squib says that “We are all customers at some point in time. How many times have we seen something and think ‘oh, I really like that, but I can’t do anything about it right now” and then never hear from the brand again and so, no sale happens. You need 13 touches. You want to plan out for those 13 touches and you need to create a timeline. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. This is not something to overthink.”

So, determine your start date, end date, and your sales goals and benchmarks. What are the messages and types of communication happening at various points along that timeline? A simple spreadsheet with dates and marketing activities is adequate. Planning ahead will remove the fear factor—for the marketing agency and client.

#2: Ghosted budgets and return on investment
Ghostbuster move: Determine your budget and ROI. 

Here’s what scares us often—when we ask business owners about their marketing budget and expected return on that investment, and they answer,” I don’t know. Tell me what you think I should spend.” That’s not how it works! A marketing budget should be part of your annual operating budget. Your marketing budget should align with the marketing plan, with various line items that include your cost of acquisition (per customer). This presumes you know or are factoring in your costs to retain your current customers and to acquire new ones. This differs from cost per lead (as we know, leads don’t always turn into new customers).

I recommend you determine the type of sales you are trying to achieve and within what time frame. Then figure out your profit margin and the percentage of that profit you are willing to invest to acquire that customer. I also look at how many sales you need to break even on the marketing campaign. And remember, it’s not just the advertising expense, it’s your fees for creative services if you need ads created, artwork done, or TV spots produced and any project management fees. So, how many sales do you need to make to first break even and then, what’s a number for profitability?

If the client can answer all of that, there will be fewer scary surprises since everything is laid out in advance.

# 3: Failure to follow results
Ghostbuster move: Plan to track what you’ve just planned.

Set up tracking month by month, quarter by quarter, to see how your marketing expenditure, activities, and creative are working. What are your conversion rates? And what do you need to do to meet your benchmarks?

For example, if your total sales are 2% of your email list, that informs how much you need to grow your email list every quarter to retain customers and have repeat sales; if your business is new, these numbers are going to vary for you. If you have historical data, add that to the mix to determine if you’re hitting benchmark, where you need to adjust your campaign, and how to improve your ROI.

Don’t get spooked by all of this—working with a full-service marketing agency to develop a marketing plan, with campaigns that speak to your target customer, can mean the difference from marketing mistakes that haunt you and marketing campaigns that build positive brand awareness and expand your customer base. If you need help laying out your campaign for 2022—or want to refresh your digital marketing or branding in the coming year, contact Rapunzel Creative for a complimentary consultation.