existential marketingWhat constitutes a good marketing campaign? This is a big question, and one that can open the doors to tremendous business opportunities. The answer is not necessarily a deep, existential epiphany. Here are some indisputable characteristics of an effective and well-regarded campaign.

Good Marketing is Educational and Helpful

Educational or informative marketing provides answers to a question, need or concern that a prospective customer might have. This is the marketing that is most useful when a prospect is in a research mode and trying to discover specific information. This research phase typically happens at the beginning of their decision-making process. In many cases, these prospects search the web for information, using search engines, review sites and social networks.

In order to attract these prospects, marketers must provide “Top of Funnel” content that answers the questions they have and provides the information they’re looking for. How-to blog posts and step-by-step videos, for example, would fit into this type of marketing. The tone of this content borders on the role of consulting and even customer service.

Good Marketing is Timely & Customized

In order for marketing to be truly helpful, however, it needs to be available to the prospect at the right time. Think about it from the prospect’s point of view. If you are facing a certain challenge and are actively searching for a solution, wouldn’t you love to find it right in your inbox at the moment you needed it most? Let’s say you are manufacturing engineer and need a special tool to produce a part for your project. In your research, you might have visited a few websites of tool and die manufacturers, but the company that follows up with you, acknowledging what you are searching for and offering to help will ultimately win your business.

Good Marketing is Consistent in Language and Message

In order to make marketing that people love, you need to consider the experience of the user across their different lifecycle stages: from the first time they encounter your brand, through their interaction with your website and content, to the point of converting into a customer, as well as their long-term success as one. By making this movement consistent and fluid as the prospect evolves through their different lifecycle stages, you remove hurdles and encourage your audience to become evangelists for your brand. 

How to Make Good Marketing

Now that we’ve covered the key characteristics of marketing that people love, let’s discuss how you can adopt these features in your marketing practices.  Here are a few ways that you can make your marketing campaign educational, helpful, timely, customized and consistent.

From industry best practices and our own experience, there are some key components of a successful marketing campaign:

Produce a Compelling Marketing Offer

Constantly coming up with new content ideas can be overwhelming. To handle the demands of content creation, marketers have been told again and again to “think like a publisher.”

Like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. Once you know who your ideal customers and prospects are, their biggest concerns and interests, and how they like to get information – search engines, social media, blogs – you can develop buyer personas to produce content that speaks to them directly.

Focus on the right stage of your buyer’s decision-making process

Content plays a critical role in every stage of the inbound marketing process, from generating awareness about your company to helping convert leads into customers. But the types of content you should use to achieve each of these goals are often very different from each other. After all, your sales rep would speak differently to a cold-call prospect who is just beginning their product research, than to someone with whom they’ve developed a professional relationship and may now be ready to buy.

In the end, good marketing consists content that is relevant to your prospective customer. It answers their questions and addresses their concerns. It comes to them when they need it and in the format they want to see it. The measure of good marketing is the results it produces to attract and convert strangers into leads and customers.