The right duration for a modern marketing campaign does not exist

The ideal duration of a modern marketing campaign does not exist

As marketers we are used to working toward a certain date or a certain moment in time. We have scheduled deadlines, events or launches. The same applies to the kick-off of new campaigns; these also have a start date on our timeline, so that we know when the campaign will go live. However, something that is harder to schedule, is lead time. Because what is the ideal duration of a modern marketing campaign? How can you determine where a campaign starts and when you can expect results? What happens after? Do you take down the campaign completely? in this blog article you discover the right duration of a marketing campaign and how you can remain patient during the process. 

Preparing a campaign also takes time

Before actually starting a campaign, there are a lot of things that need to be thought out with your project team. What will be the campaign subject? To what target group, or better, buyer persona do you cater your campaign? Which objectives do you want to attain? You start thinking about the steps the buyer persona is going to take, playing with the lead nurturing workflow to ensure that they get the right information at the right time. So, creating content for the campaign is going to take time. A lot of time. Next to writing a whitepaper, lead nurturing articles and blog articles, you also need to invest a lot of time in the technical set up and coordination. 

Once the campaign is ready, and you can start the promotion, you need to consider the next scheduling question. Until what moment in time do you let your campaign run? When can you expect to yield results? 

Let the magic happen! 

Of course, everyone hopes that people quickly go through the steps of your workflow so that you can delight Sales with new leads. But let's be honest, that's often not how it goes in reality. B2B buying processes take time, and you need to take that into account. This is primarily due to the decision-making at B2B companies; multiple decision-makers are involved, and therefore, more time is required. This makes the process more complex. Therefore, it is advisable to behave as if you're in a pub: attract the attention of an interesting person but take it easy. Buy them a drink occasionally (=send a follow-up email) and otherwise, keep quiet. A relationship needs to grow, and that applies to customer relationships as well.

Put yourself in the shoes of, um...every person.

It is common for marketers to put themselves in the shoes of their buyer persona, whom they are trying to reach with their campaign. Strangely enough, this done less often when setting goals. Marketers generally want quick results, usually a nice list of leads. But imagine for a moment, what it is like for the customer: you requested a whitepaper and you then receive a series of emails in your inbox. Chances are you would overlook them because you are busy, on holiday, or "fill in the blanks." The likelihood of you accepting an offer, such as a consultation, is very small because you are simply not ready for it. What is even more bothersome is when you subsequently receive a series of emails on a related topic because the company launched a new campaign. 

Campaigns should not follow the organization's agenda. Campaigns should fit the agenda of the buyer persona. Multiple short campaigns are not customer-friendly; I would strongly discourage you from implementing them. Ensure that your campaign does not fall into this trap and give recipients time. Also, thoroughly research in advance which elements play a role in the ‘decision stage’ of your buyer persona. After all, this is the stage where you can directly engage with each other.

Without patience real love does not get the chance

You invest time and effort into a campaign, and you need to have patience. Patience that you, your manager and sales colleagues often do not have. But do not be disappointed, the effect of your campaign is maybe not always visible, but campaigns do have a cumulative effect. They are online and do their job, which means that you can let them run for years to come! Over time, campaigns will give you more trust in your organization and the created content will pay off.  A campaign also contributes to the branding of your organization, which is important when you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

From a practical point of view you also need to have patience. Google needs some time before it picks up your content. When your campaign is running, you can fine-tune and redirect it at any time. Set up a dashboard to monitor your results and make use of the knowledge you gain there. Try, if you can, to not only focus on short-term effects of sessions and downloads when setting up your campaign KPI’s, but also focus on having KPI’s that reach further down the line. Look again, half a year later whether the leads from you campaign are now customers that contribute to your revenue. In any case, take into account that a campaign needs at least 3 to 6 months before you can evaluate results. The content that you create for the campaign, remains existent and can still yield qualified leads over the years.

Change in mindset

In conclusion, the traditional idea of setting up a campaign so that you can lead prospects as quickly as possible through a marketing funnel is outdated. The best approach requires a lot of patience, the right mindset and a lot of marketing automation. This way, it becomes easier to let things grow and give attention at the right moment in time. You will see that after 6 months, or better, a year, your campaign will yield results. 

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