Big promotional pushes are the primary engine that consumer-product companies employ to compel customers to buy. As a result, the skills and discipline required to run an effective marketing campaign are usually well honed at these companies.
In the capital equipment world, however, mass marketing alone almost never drives a purchase decision. Therefore, capital equipment marketers spend most of their time equipping the sales force to promote their products face-to-face, one customer at a time.
This has two implications for broad-based marketing campaigns at capital equipment companies. First, they are different. Second, they are not a routine, well-practiced event.
Capital Equipment Marketing Campaigns
The capital equipment sales process is one-to- one in nature. As a result, “Buy Now” style promotional campaigns are not effective. However, there are at least two instances where capital equipment companies do want to darken the skies with their marketing messages. They are to establish:
1. Brand trust
2. Competitive issues
Neither of these campaign types makes an offer to buy as in consumer product promotions. Instead, the capital equipment marketing campaign is designed to prepare the battlefield for your sales force.
A “Brand Trust” campaign is designed to establish credibility and trust in your company. Since the customer-supplier relationship in the capital equipment world is one of mutual long-term dependency, your customers want to know they are dealing with a trustworthy, dependable entity.
An “Issues” campaign, on the other hand, educates the market about the benefits of looking at the buying criteria for products like yours in a way that favors the way your product delivers value.
When both are done well, customers will be more inclined to buy from your company and accept your value proposition.
2 Rules and 5 Steps for Effective Marketing Campaigns
Your customers are bombarded with marketing messages from moment their eyes open in the morning until they close them again at the end of the day. Random press releases, one-off advertisements, and sporadic article placements in trade publications aren’t going to result in a message that sticks.
To get through to your customers, you must ensure multiple exposures to your message over an extended period of time. To do this, you’ll need to follow the two golden rules of effective marketing campaigns:
1. Be persistent
2. Be consistent
To design a campaign that is both persistent and consistent, follow these five steps:
1. Define your objective.
Every campaign must have a clear objective. Write down exactly what you want to accomplish as a result of your marketing campaign.
2. Summarize your situation.
As it relates to your objective, summarize your market and competitive situation. This will help you get your mind around the environment in which you must execute your campaign.
3. Outline your strategy.
Here define your target market, key messages, and marketing mix. Don’t forget that the best marketing tools for capital equipment makers are those that create an exclusive environment for you and your customer.
4. Create a detailed plan.
Define every deliverable in your campaign, who is responsible for it, and when it will be completed. Check that every deliverable aligns perfectly to the key messages and target marketing mix that you defined in step three. Your plan is complete if it adds up to persistent exposure to a consistent message over an extended period of time.
5. Track progress and measure results.
It’s easy for entropy to prevail in a marketing campaign. Use the plan in step four as a campaign management tool to ensure everything stays on track. Finally, take a second look at your objective and figure out how you will measure whether or not it has been achieved.