Planning for Your Next Campaign: Checking Alignment

With each planning cycle, new consumer and business attitudes and a new economic climate must be considered. For marketers, this means a fresh look at each campaign – whether it’s one you’ve run once or a thousand times.

In addition to the usual process of identifying goals and tactics, take time to put yourself in the marketplace. What’s going on now that has your customer’s attention? What’s happening in pop culture, in politics (especially important this year), in consumer confidence? What are your peers doing especially well … and particularly poorly? Where can your message be amplified by what is happening in your market area?

Immersing yourself in the world of your customer helps you appreciate not only their wants and needs, but their pain points, barriers and distractions as well. Create a strategy that cuts through these, and your campaign will have a far better foundation for success. Even better, you will have aligned your brand with your customers.

REI’s #OptOutside (Holiday 2015) is a great example of a campaign that leveraged customer alignment. The company announced plans to close all locations on Black Friday, and invited customers to join with their employees in taking the day off and enjoying the outdoors. In this way, they aligned themselves with customers weary of Black Friday shenanigans, and reinforced their core brand – outdoor recreation. Brilliant and memorable!

Whether you are planning for a sustained, integrated, multichannel campaign, or a single print ad, this approach will help you connect with your customer more effectively – hopefully achieving great results. And if you’re wondering about the results REI experienced, just Google it! The internet is crawling with data about the overwhelming success as measured by social engagement, literal participation, hashtag usage, and yes…sales.