Here are six considerations before starting and executing tactics in market
With P.O.E. the goal is instant value recognition, an automatic association of your campaign with a promise of value, that resonates with your audience.
Key considerations for executing P.O.E. -a Paid, Owned and Earned Campaign
In part 1 of P.O.E, we simplified the somewhat “ivory tower” organizing principles into a simple, tangible, effective approach to designing marketing communications campaigns. In this installment, we’ll examine some of the key considerations associated with the P.O.E. approach.
The primary requirement for executing a marketing communications campaign using the Paid, Owned and Earned (P.O.E.) model is a consistent, compelling, benefit-oriented (if possible) promise of value, both visual and textual, that is extensible across all media channels.
The goal is instant value recognition – the automatic association of your campaign with that promise of value – that resonates with your audience.
Instant Value Recognition at the Campaign Level
Instant value recognition simply means that your visual and textual presence in the marketplace is automatically associated with the promise of value that is directly related to your campaign message. That promise of value can be represented by a word, an image, or ideally a combination of the two, and, unlike the ubiquitous promise of value behind your brand, it should tie to a specific campaign or promotion.
Building instant value recognition at the campaign level can be simple or complex, depending on your campaign promise. If the value you’re bringing to your market is a pure dollars and cents promotion (e.g., 20% off all menswear; free product trial; free beer with purchase; etc.) it doesn’t get much simpler. It might be as easy as adding a “snipe” to existing marketing assets with your promotion info.
But let’s say your campaign isn’t tied to a monetary promotion. Instead, it might introduce a new product or service, drive traffic to an event, or promote a specific differentiating characteristic of your brand (e.g., fastest service; friendliest support; 24-7 order fulfillment; most innovative; on-time delivery etc.).
One of the most memorable campaigns I’ve seen (and heard) in recent years was for a local San Francisco Bay Area plumbing service, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. The smart marketers at BFP did some research and found that the primary customer pain point was “waiting for the plumber”.
When water (or some other heinous substance) is spewing all over the house or the yard, customers can get desperate. Even if it’s just a little leak under the sink, customers don’t want to wait around for the plumber all day.
Case Study: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
BFP and their marketing communications partners decided to call the company “The Punctual Plumber”. On top of that they promised that any delay in service would result in a discount: “If there’s any delay, it’s you we pay.” Then they proceeded to write one of the most annoying jingles (which are also the most effective) imaginable.
For years it seemed, there was no escaping their message on paid and owned channels: local TV and radio spots were relentless, there were web banners, print ads in local newspapers and magazines, company Tweeters, Facebookers, Linked-Inners kept up their social presence. Their “earned” Yelp, Diamond Certified, and local service blogs and videos kept pumping the punctuality mantra.
Today you would be hard pressed to find a Bay Area resident who isn’t familiar with “The Punctual Plumber”. Many can even sing the jingle.
Now that’s instant value recognition.
You can probably think of a half dozen local small business campaigns off the top of your head that are equally annoying and probably equally effective. Of course, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing made a significant investment in paid local advertising. But since they had established such an instantly recognizable logo – big-headed Ben with his pipe wrench and the tagline “The Punctual Plumber” – they were able to march old Ben across the owned and earned channels easily.
Once you’ve established your campaign’s instantly recognizable promise of value and you know what tactics and assets, you’ll need to support execution across the paid, owned and earned channels, you’re almost ready to launch.
Here are six additional considerations before you start executing tactics in market:
1. Test your ideas
It’s never been easier to run an informal survey or present your ideas to a select group (just make sure your competitors aren’t included). Take advantage of all the free feedback gathering methods to test your campaign with:
- User groups
- Traditional paid focus groups
2. Get legal clearance, protect your intellectual property
3. Make sure the back end is ready with:
- Lead Development Reps and other lead catchers in place
- Sales Reps armed with supporting collateral.
- Customer service and call center reps up to speed on campaign
- Senior Mgmt. armed with campaign talking points.
- FAQs on web site
- Order fulfillment
- Ensure customers and partners know the media schedule so they can piggyback where relevant.
- Social listeners and comment catchers to monitor and respond to social activity (key for earned media)
4. Optimize all content for search (SOE)
5. Campaign tchotchkes ready (bumper stickers, T-shirts, key chains, pens, mouse pads etc.).Your campaign will never die and may even end up in a museum.
6. Know what you want to measure and how to measure it
You’ll be able to tell quickly which tactics are working or not and where you might want to back off or double down.
In addition to normal sales pipeline management, you’ll want to put systems in place to measure:
- Clicks & click-thrus.
- Page views
To sum up, the most practical way to think of Paid, Owned and Earned is as an organizing principle for your marketing communications campaign. It can help organize your approach to ensure you’ve considered every possible tactic and channel. Then you can determine which channels will provide the best ROI based on your audiences’ communications preferences.
Perseverance is Everything
Finally, remember that instant value recognition at the campaign level doesn’t happen overnight. If your campaign is more than a cost promotion, it will take several months of campaigning to get your promise of value across. Be prepared to stick with it.
As Calvin Coolidge once said:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of humanity.
There’s no faster way to waste marketing dollars than to put a campaign in market, then pull it after the first month because your projections didn’t line up with your results. You can and should evolve and tweak the campaign over time – optimize your channels, hone your messaging, apply market feedback – but stick with your core promise of value. Hopefully you’ve tested the concept and have a good level of confidence.
If you don’t have the time or resources to do it properly, it’s probably best to scale back your goals and focus on what you can accomplish with the resources that you have. Even then, your core promise of value needs to be consistent.
If you’re interested in exploring how the paid, owned and earned campaign approach might work for your business and/or brand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free consultation. You can see examples here.