All Posts by Ben Hunt

Channels

We have more channels for reaching prospects at our disposal than ever before. However that brings its own risks. Choosing the wrong channel could waste resources, potentially ruining a good campaign.

In this section, we’ll explore all the available options and consider which channels will be appropriate in which circumstances.

Videos to follow…

  • Content marketing
  • YouTube
  • Facebook Groups (third-party)
  • Facebook Pages (third-party)
  • Facebook Pay to inbox
  • Facebook PPC
  • Twitter organic
  • Pinterest
  • AdWords PPC Content network
  • Display ads
  • Direct mail
  • PR
  • 3rd-party postcast/vodcast
  • Speaking events
  • Books
  • Ebooks
  • Kindle books
  • Print books
  • List buying / renting
  • Twitter ads
  • Facebook Group (Own)
  • 3rd-party Forums
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Affiliates
  • Guest blogging
  • LinkedIn Organic
  • Networking events
  • Lunch groups
  • Business briefing events
  • Meetup group
  • Facebook Page (Own page)
  • Broadcast to your own list
  • Telephone (outbound)
  • Your own postcast/vodcast
  • E-magazine (e.g. Apple Newsstand)
  • SEO
  • AdWords PPC (Search network)
  • Webinars
  • Conference calls (Teleseminar)
  • Follow-up sequences
  • Live chat
  • Ebay

Objectives

Major Objectives

These are the essential Objectives, which every complete campaign ought to deliver.

Sure, you can just go to the market with, “Here’s our product, here are its features, here’s what it costs, buy now?” But, in doing that, you would risk losing your prospect into one of several holes, such as not realising why they need it, or that your solution is the right one for them.

These major Objectives are steps that you can arrange to help get your prospect from whatever Awareness Step they’re at now to the point of being ready to buy (Step 5).

  • REACH THE PROSPECT (may need to happen multiple times, which is why it’s ideal to…)
  • Enlist the prospect (capture contact details)
  • Emphasise the problem and its cost
  • Visualise the outcome in their life
  • Present or acknowledge other existing solutions
  • Gather objections
  • Discredit alternatives
  • Set up criteria for best solution
  • Introduce better solution
  • Communicate who the offer is for (and not for)
  • Reinforce the positives / benefits
  • Evidence of why your proposition is ideal (ideally by demonstrating or proving how it works)
  • Resolve the negatives / Handle objections
  • Prove value (particularly value for money)
  • Risk reversal
  • Add scarcity & urgency
  • Final call to action
  • Follow up with non-buyers (again and again)
  • Reassure about purchase

Our job in Campaign Design is twofold:

  1. To select which Channels to use to reach our prospects (at their currentAwareness Step);
  2. And then to design the communications that will safely bring them from their starting Awareness Step to being ready to buy.

The Channel selection will depend very much on whom you’re trying to reach, where they congregate, and the nature of the offering.

The rest of the communications should be built to deliver the other Objectives as efficiently as possible. Some Tactics will be appropriate in some situations. Others may be inappropriate, and could waste your budget.

The BAMM (Big-Ass Marketing Matrix) spreadsheet is my working document where I’m breaking down the various Channels and Tactics, to help us to filter in/out what might work best in various situations. (Eventually, my goal is to build a Wizard to help automate this process, using the responses to the Circuit Questionnaire to accelerate the Campaign Design process.)

To help with actual Campaign Design, we also have this spreadsheet that arranges the Major Objectives against their respective Awareness Steps. You can make your own copy of this to add notes for your campaign designs (select “File > Make a copy” in Google Drive).

Personally, I prefer to use a whiteboard or pen & paper to help me visualise all the steps I have to cover. I’ll draw sections for all the awareness steps I need to cover (the example below is dealing with a Step Zero market, so we go from 0-5) and then map out what needs to be done (the Major Objectives)… then HOW we might achieve those.

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Here’s the bottom line. If you’ve done the Circuit Interview, and Circuit Analysis, and then go through the Campaign Design process, which really just means being able to say, “This is what we’re going to do to make sure we achieve all these objectives,” you will have a stronger campaign than at least 90% of marketing out there in the wild today – even if you think you have little marketing, copywriting or design skill!

So we need to create actions that account for all the Objectives, and that make sense in the light of what we learned from the Circuit Interview and Review.

In the photo above, my whiteboard shows…

  • The steps 0-5 as columns.
  • The Major Objectives written on in black, and notes on what I’m recommending be done in blue.
  • Green arrows show where
  • The critical REACH objective says “Affiliates, LinkedIn, Advertising”, as I believe all of these could work, so it may be worth testing them all.
  • Steps 0 through 3 are ALL handled by “INITIAL MESSAGE’. That could take various forms: webinar, magazine article or advertorial, an online video, or possibly a whitepaper.
  • In Step 3 it says “CP #1”, which means “Conversion Point #1”. Generally, we want as few conversion points as possible (steps where we require the prospect to take the next action). The fewer of these points there are, the fewer points there are to lose the prospect.
  • That CP#1 has the notes “Call us?” or “Download PDF”, as two possible ways to engage the prospect further. (In this case, I think a phone call is preferable, because it means we can get contact details.)

This is only the first pass at a Campaign Design, but you should start to get a feel for the principle: making sure we’ve addressed all the Objectives.

General Objectives

I strongly advise you go over your initial Campaign Design and see where you can include these additional minor objectives. They are not so critical, because they may not be necessary to get the prospect to the next Awareness Step. However, they are all helpful and important.

  • Deliver value, inspire and make each communication appealing
  • Embody WHY, story, global proposition
  • Include story and surprise
  • Build trust and authority
  • Show authority and credibility
  • Listen and learn (maybe using comments)
  • Gather social proof (not just about proposition, also problem)
  • Record when prospect moves to next step (e.g. in CRM)
  • Put measures in place to continue the conversation if they don’t
  • Make the next step into an event
  • Congratulate on last step taken

The Circuit Interview

Any campaign strategy should start with the Circuit. If you’re working with a client, this should take the form of an extensive interview. If you’re working on your own project, you’re essentially interviewing yourself.

The purpose of the Circuit Interview is to understand fully the situation or landscape. This is just as important if we’re looking to start a new venture, to make strategic changes to an existing one, or even with a more modest goal like figuring out how best to market an existing product or service.

The phase after the Circuit Interview will be the Circuit Review, which requires that you have asked enough exploratory questions to have a full and accurate picture of “the situation as it is”.

The Circuit consists of five fundamental elements…

  1. You / the Brand
  2. Products / Services
  3. Proposition
  4. Problem
  5. Market

Together, these elements form one entire Circuit, which represents the relationship of a brand to its customers and the overall proposition.

Remember that one business will normally have multiple Circuits: one for each proposition or conversion event that prospects and customers will encounter. Think in terms of having a new Circuit for each commitment we’d ever want a prospect or customer to make.

The Circuit Questionnaire is an evolving set of questions and notes that we’re constantly developing to provide the ultimate comprehensive strategic framework for any marketing campaign or proposition. It has five sections, one for each of the logical elements.

Notes on the Questionnaire

A great Circuit interview is the foundation for a great marketing campaign. You should approach this critical first step with maximum clarity and energy, determined to discover the absolute truth about the present situation, and also to get a vision of what the world would look like if the business were to fulfil its maximum potential.

You do not need to follow the questionnaire in the order shown here. This is just the logical arrangement of the Circuit Elements. I often find I work through in the order: 1 (brand) > 2 (product/service) > 5 (market) > 4 (problem) > 3 (proposition), because the proposition is the keystone that connects us and what we do with the outside world (market).

In many cases, I’ll suggest multiple possible ways of phrasing questions. Just use whatever feels right to you at the time.

No two Circuit Questionnaire interviews will every be the same. You will certainly need to ask additional questions, and there are probably several questions that are either irrelevant or that don’t need to be asked. What’s most important is that you ask the questions that make sense to you and to your client, so that you’re confident that you have understood the strength and alignment of each of the five main Circuit elements.

View/Print the Latest Questionnaire

I maintain the Circuit Questionnaire as an online document using Google Docs.