Are you one of those lucky shopping centre marketers that is required to prepare a quarterly campaign audit for your General Manager? It can be daunting unless you know the key factors to consider. And even then, different campaigns, fulfilling different roles under different circumstances will produce different effects. The reality, according to Don Cowley in How to Plan Advertising is that the way communications affect consumers is never a “neat, sequential system, but a muddled, irrational and entirely human process.”
Here are seven factors to help you review your communications campaigns, and glean insight into “what happened?”
- What was your objective? Set specific and measurable objectives for your communications in terms of what you want to have happen, by whom, by how much and by when.
- What were the results? What happened and did the communications meet the objectives? Recognize that some results are quantifiable, some qualitative and some are cumulative over time (i.e. a shift in awareness). Use your marketing metrics dashboard, if appropriate, to help identify a pattern of learning.
- What was the communications strategy? What mix of media and communications channels was used, and why, in an attempt to meet or surpass the objective?
- Did the communications materials deliver on your brand strategy and meet the criteria set up in RETAIL? Ideally, yes, as these are key to ensuring your centre has distinct, relevant and compelling communications.
- What is your evaluation of the program? This is the heart of a campaign audit. If objectives were met, was that success—or was the goal too low? And if the objectives were not met, was that failure—or was the goal unrealistic, affected by market factors or other (i.e. media buy was too small, brand name was not clear enough, offer was not relevant)?
- Were the resources required (time, financial, labour) appropriate relative to the outcome?
- Finally, what would you do differently if you had to do it over again and why?
Developing the discipline to work through these considerations and summarizing the thinking will help you prepare to share information with your supervisor, and ensure that you have the learning you need for even better results next time!