Whether you’re starting a small business, introducing a new product line, or entering a new market, it’s essential to take the time to think strategically about supporting your business plan through marketing.
For this five-part series, I’ve used the opening of a Wagamama restaurant in Rome, Italy as a case study for planning a successful marketing campaign. At this point I’ve walked readers through the four major steps in the planning process:
1. Conducting a self-assessment: Analyzing the business or product through SWOT analysis in order to gain a firm understanding of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
2. Establishing communication objectives: Setting goals for the marketing campaign that are realistic, measurable and can be achieved within a specified time frame.
3. Developing a strategic plan: Determining where the business fits within the existing market (positioning) and what differentiates it from the competition (competitive advantage).
4. Identifying key strategies: Determining the business’s target audience, deciding where this audience can be reached, chosing the type of promotions that should be used (vehicle selection) and scheduling when these promotions will appear.
Now, pretend that the marketing campaign launched and has been running as planned for the first year that Wagamama has been open.
How can we determine if the campaign has been a success? How can we evaluate whether the marketing vehicles we selected were effective? How do we find out whether we spent our marketing budget wisely?
Going back to communicative objectives, we emphasized the importance of setting clear goals that were measurable. Our marketing campaign goals were to generate buzz, raise awareness and drive foot traffic.
There are numerous measurable ways we can evaluate whether our marketing campaign (which included newspaper ads, bus stop billboards and event marketing) was successful:
– Year-to-date sales, which we can compare to competitor sales (if available) and our other existing restaurant locations in Europe and the United States
– Daily foot traffic for lunch and dinner (week-to-week and month-to-month)
– Amount of press generated, measured in inches of print or number of mentions
– Website hits and analytics for Wagamama’s Rome restaurant website
– Number of redeemed newspaper coupons
– Survey results comparing consumer awareness of the Wagamama brand and restaurant during the first month of operation and again during the 12th month of operation
Each step we took during our marketing campaign will contribute to the results we achieved. The billboards and newspaper ads with coupons brought customers in. The rickshaw cart with free samples generated free press through newspapers, magazines, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. The measurements from the Wagamama case study should demonstrate that the campaign worked and that the location has proven profitable for the Wagamama company as a whole.
It’s difficult to see a direct correlation between a business’s advertising efforts and its success if marketing managers to fail to measure their results. If you, as a marketing manager, take the time to plan a thoughtful and strategic marketing campaign with measurable results, you can prove the value you added to the business through your efforts.
Jeremy Striffler is a Retail Market Analyst for NorthMarq, which is based in the Twin Cities and provides provides a full range of services for commercial real estate owners, occupiers and investors. Jeremy specializes in commercial real estate and retail and writes the blog, Simply Ask Compendium, which offers advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs. He is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Young Professionals of Twin Cities.