‘The last mile is the longest’. We all know that saying and maybe recognise it in our daily lives. However, this is exactly the case when creating communication campaigns. It automatically makes you think; ‘what is that last mile?’ ‘And if it’s the longest, why not start with it instead, just to get it out of the way?’
This longest mile is the reason why we create campaigns in the first place
Many briefs start by setting out the context. What are we doing? What do we want to say? What do we think our target audience wants to hear? How do we communicate all the benefits? And so on.
But we often forget to mention in briefs what the issue is actually all about: which results are we expecting? And how do we monitor if we achieve those results? What is our strategy (content, inbound, outbound, mechanisms, social etc.) for getting there?
To know all these details and specifics are the longest mile of every campaign. Because do we actually know where our target audiences are? How do we get to them? Which media do we use? And how do we do this in the most effective way? The strange thing is, all these kinds of questions are not answered before starting to develop a campaign. Or when they do get answered, most people forget them along the way…
Sure, I understand. It’s difficult to find all the answers. It’s complicated to put them all together to get an overview that you can work with. Especially in a B2B environment where several DMUs play a key role. However, none of these aspects should be the reason why you don’t do it. The success of a campaign relies on it! So make sure you put extra effort into that last mile, instead of walking away from it.
Start with the last mile
For every new project, we start with the last mile. The first step in this process is what we call our social scan. The key questions here are: where is our target audience? How can we reach out to them in the best way? This social scan provides us with a broader approach than a traditional media plan. The main challenge is in mapping which online (social) media are relevant to connect with the target audience. What is the position of LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Which influencers or bloggers are relevant? Are there any other places where our target audience can be found online?
Answering those question isn’t always easy. Especially when it’s about multiple countries or regions. Very often it turns out to be extremely hard to get the right answers. But not to worry, as this will help you to decide where to put your effort (and money). If it is clear at the end, you’ll have a complete overview and analysis of where your target audience is and how you can reach them in the best possible way. And that will benefit your campaign, which is ultimately the aim in B2B.