The 3 Major Types of Digital Marketing Campaigns - dummies

The 3 Major Types of Digital Marketing Campaigns

By Ryan Deiss, Russ Henneberry

Although you may have many business goals that you want to affect through your digital marketing, you’ll find that you can meet most objectives with three broad categories of digital marketing campaign: Acquisition, Monetization, and Engagement.

Each of these types of digital marketing campaign has a very specific role to play in your business, as follows:

  • Acquisition campaigns acquire new prospects and customers.
  • Monetization campaigns generate revenue from existing leads and customers.
  • Engagement campaigns create communities of brand advocates and promoters.

Campaigns that generate new leads and customers

If your goal is to raise awareness for the problems you solve or the solutions you provide, or if you’re just looking to acquire new leads and customers, you need an Acquisition campaign.

The role of your marketing is to help move a prospect, lead, or customer from the awareness stage of the customer journey to brand promoter. You deploy Acquisition campaigns to do the work on the front end of this journey, taking the prospect from Aware to Converted.

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Acquisition campaigns move prospects from the Aware to Converted stages.

The stages of the customer journey that Acquisition campaigns complete are the following:

  • Make Aware: To bring in new leads and customers, you need to reach out to what amounts to complete strangers. You should structure Acquisition campaigns to reach prospects who are completely unaware of the problem you solve or the solutions you provide.
  • Engage: The movement from Make Aware to Engage is often accomplished by providing value to the prospect, usually in the form of entertainment, inspiration, or educational content, before asking her to buy something or commit a significant amount of time. This is known as content marketing, a strategic marketing method focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent material designed to attract, retain, and ultimately drive a customer to a profitable action. Content marketing consists of a broad spectrum of activities and types of content, including blogging, videos, social media updates, images, and more.
  • Subscribe: At this stage, the prospect has given you permission to market to him. At the very least, he has connected with you on social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, and others) or, ideally, has become an email subscriber. The Subscribe state is a critical stage to reach in the relationship because you can now continue the conversation with more content and offers.
  • Convert: The transformation of a prospect from being merely interested and subscribed to converted is the final stage of an Acquisition campaign. At this point, the prospect has placed trust in your organization by giving you either money or a significant amount of her time. Don’t forget that your marketing should be gradual and seamless, particularly online, where you must often build trust with someone you’ve never actually met. If this final stage of your Acquisition campaign involves a sale, it shouldn’t be a risky (think expensive or complex) purchase. The goal here is to simply transform the relationship from prospect to customer.

Note that Acquisition campaigns are not about profit. Although you might be making sales at the Convert stage, the goal of those sales is not return on investment (ROI) but on acquiring leads and buyers. This idea can seem counterintuitive, but keep in mind that customer and lead acquisition is different from monetization. These two campaign types have different goals, tactics, and metrics.

Most of the campaigns that you create to acquire new leads and customers can also work to activate leads and buyers who have never purchased from you, or haven’t purchased from you in a while. Campaigns like this are referred to as Activation campaigns. A healthy business has a large number of recent and, if applicable, frequent buyers. Deploying campaigns to activate dormant subscribers and buyers is a good use of time and effort.

Campaigns that monetize existing leads and customers

If your business objective is to sell more to the customers you already have or to sell high-dollar, more complex products and services and profit maximizers, you need a Monetization campaign. In short, the goal of a Monetization campaign is to make profitable sales offers to the leads and customers you acquired with your Acquisition campaigns.

Don’t build a Monetization campaign first if your business has no leads, subscribers, or existing customers. Monetization campaigns are meant to sell more, or more often, to those who already know, like, and trust your business.

The stages of the customer journey completed by Monetization campaigns are the following:

  • Excite: You target Monetization campaigns at customers who have already spent time learning something from you, or have already purchased something from your business. Savvy digital marketers build campaigns that encourage prospects or customers to get value from the interactions they’ve already had with your business.
  • Cause customers to ascend: For every group of people who purchase something, some percentage of them would have bought more, or more often, if given the chance. For example, for every buyer of a Rolex watch, some percentage would buy a second (or third or fourth!) watch, or would buy the most expensive Rolex watch if presented with the opportunity. This concept is critical not only to digital marketing but also to your business goals. Your Monetization campaigns should capitalize on this concept by making offers that increase the value of your existing leads and customers.
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Monetization campaigns create excitement and cause existing leads and customers to ascend to a higher level of purchasing.

Campaigns that build engagement

If your business objective is to successfully get new customers on board and move new leads and customers from being prospects to fans of your brand, or to build a community around your company, brand, or offers, you need an Engagement campaign. The most beloved companies create online opportunities for customers and prospects to interact with each other and with the brand. Companies that build engagement into their marketing enjoy the benefits of customer interactions that go beyond the simple transaction of buying goods and services.

The stages of the customer journey completed by Engagement campaigns are the following:

  • Advocate: You can create marketing campaigns to give your best customers the ability to recommend your business through testimonials and customer stories. These advocates defend your brand on social media and recommend your products and services to their friends and family when prompted.
  • Promote: Customers who actively seek to promote your business are worth their weight in gold. These are the customers who create blogs and YouTube videos about your products and services. They tell the story of your brand and their success with it on social channels, and do everything they can to spread the good word about the value you provide. These people are your brand advocates.
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Engagement campaigns create brand advocates and brand promoters.

Creating brand advocates and promoters begins with having a superior product or service, coupled with a customer service experience to match. Word travels fast in the digital world, and if you aren’t providing value, you find that your marketing creates the exact opposite of advocates and promoters. Instead, your marketing only speeds the spread of information about the poor experiences your customers have had. Before attempting to build engagement and community, optimize the amount of value you bring to your customer.

When done right, Acquisition, Monetization, and Engagement campaigns seamlessly move people through the customer journey. These three strategies help people go from their “Before” state in which they have a problem to their desired “After” state of having gained a positive outcome through your product or service. Check out all the stages a person goes through, ideally, in the customer journey.

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Use Acquisition, Monetization, and Engagement campaigns to move people through the customer journey.