For the past few years, I had the privilege to head up the Adobe Campaign marketing organization and direct many marketing campaigns. Although each effort was unique (and of course brilliant), I have discovered that there are three common tenents to making your campaign a success. So here they are, my three secrets to a successful campaign.

Establish an Emotional Connection

Whether you have a B2B or B2C marketing campaign, it is important to remember that people don’t just buy what you do, but why you do it (Simon Sinek’s golden circle). That means that in order for customers to embrace your brand you have to connect with them on an emotional, and not just pragmatic, level. When marketing tech, it is easy for companies to focus on speeds and feeds—what your product does—and forget that in order to break through you need to make people feel something. Jim Stengel, former CMO and global marketing officer at Procter & Gamble, has identified five core intrinsic human values that stimulate an emotional bond between customers and a brand:

  1. Inspiring joy
  2. Making a connection
  3. Encouraging exploration
  4. Promoting pride
  5. Changing the world

According to Stengel, at the core of every single company’s success is its ability to deliver on at least one of those five intrinsic human values. I have to concur; in my experience every successful campaign I have ever done has delivered on one of the above values.

Create a Seamless Customer Experience

Once you’ve chosen your emotional hook, you need a great creative idea to bring your campaign to life. Great creative cannot be underestimated; it is what gets you noticed and allows you to break through. But just having a great creative concept is not enough.  You need to surround your customer and ensure that through all touch points and channels you deliver a near ideal experience that delights your customer.

This is not easy, and one thing that has worked for us is developing customer journey walls. We literally go old school for this, and pin up each of our touch points on a wall so we can get a holistic view of what the customer sees as they interact with our campaign. It is the only way that we can get a complete view of what we are putting the customer through (and trust me it is not always pretty). This allows us to make sure that the customer experience is straightforward, integrated, and frankly makes sense.

Embrace Big Data

Our mantra at Adobe is “Marketing by the Numbers,” and we have adopted a rigorous three-step process of how we do this:

1. During the planning stage, we use econometric modeling to forecast how much we should spend to reach a given revenue target. This goes hand in hand with Mix optimization to determine how to allocate marketing dollars to specific activities such as PR, social, search, display, event, etc. to achieve the most efficient and effective marketing mix.

2. Once we launch, we can measure everything and anything. At this stage it is important to set your goals carefully, however, or you will be overwhelmed by data. Spend extra time defining your KPIs, and since most of us manage what we measure, you can ensure you are optimizing the right things to hit your KPIs and achieve the most for the dollar.

3. Once the campaign is hitting its stride, we are able to move beyond in-process metrics (such as traffic, conversion, etc.) and quantify our impact on business results such as the percent of pipeline sourced, or the contribution to revenue, and prove the ROI we are driving for the company.

Establishing an emotional connection, delivering an integrated and seamless customer experience, and “marketing by the numbers” have been my secrets to a successful campaign. What has worked for you? I would love to hear from you and be let in on your secret.