For the last several years, I’ve been a judge at the IAPD/IPRA annual conference Agency Showcase Awards, which highlights marketing and communications from parks and recreation agencies in Illinois.
This year my category was Marketing Campaigns, which ranged from event marketing to promoting special programs and initiatives. While I was reviewing the competition entries, I noticed several common threads in the most effective campaigns.
The agencies that saw the best returns created SMART goals. Most importantly, their goals were measurable (the M in SMART) and trackable.
Rather than tracking anything and everything, agencies tracked the data that was most relevant to them, such as website visits, social media reach, response to events, discount redemptions, visibility of out of home advertising, email campaign clicks and opens, and increase in email list size.
The campaigns that were most successful in their outreach used data to inform their campaigns. For example, one agency saw a decline in attendance in their events, so they launched a campaign specifically to increase event participation and it worked—attendance increased by 30%.
Are you utilizing these techniques in your marketing campaigns? Are there any other characteristics that effective campaigns share?