Many of our new clients (or people who aren’t clients yet) ask us:

“What’s wrong with just running an ad and seeing how it does?  Why bother planning advertising campaigns?  I have enough to do!”

I understand where you’re coming from – none of us needs extra things to do to keep us busy!

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who knew a thing or two about planning, and about being busy, said this:

Plans are useless, but planning is everything.

Planning advertising campaigns

Plans are useless, but planning is everything! – Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Obviously, the simplest thing to do is something we call a “random act of marketing.”  An ad salesman from a magazine, trade show, directory,  group discount program, web site or email “blast” company calls and asks something like:

“Wouldn’t you like to get your ad in front of 10,000 people who are looking for just what you offer? We’re running a special this month and you can get a hundred dollars off if you sign right now.”

This sounds good, so you sign up.

Then one of two things happens:

  1. You get lots of calls and visits from “looky lous” and “freebie seekers” who take what you’re offering and move on like a cloud of locusts.
  2. Absolutely nothing. The phone doesn’t ring any more this month than it did last month.

What went wrong?

A failure to plan!  A “random act of marketing” is almost always a waste of time and money!

“Saving time” by jumping into an ad contract without planning an effective campaign is a false economy.

“Saving money” by having someone who is inexperienced or unqualified on your staff plan your campaigns is also false economy. (Even if it’s you!  I know better than to do graphic arts.  Our graphic artist knows better than to plan her own marketing campaigns.)

A great campaign consists of a list, an offer, and the media.

  • The list is ideally some reasonable number of people who are “prequalified” in some way – you have reason to believe they need what you offer.
  • The offer is a specific transaction that you are proposing. “Get your airplane serviced here, and we’ll detail the interior free.”
  • The media or message has to do with how the offer is presented to the list.  This could be in a phone call, a visit, an ad, an email, or a trade show booth.

Both of the problems above can be prevented by planning these three elements well – we look at each circumstance case by case, but can only determine a cause if the campaign is well-designed to begin with.  We need data to diagnose!

  1. “Looky lous” and “freebie seekers” are often the result of too general a list, or too generous an offer.
  2. No response at all to an ad could happen if you’re using the wrong media to reach this audience, or the offer is not attractive enough to your target audience.

Campaigns should make the best possible use of the list of prospects by presenting them with a series of thoughtful, relevant ads in different media, all of which contribute to an overall impression of your company as a trusted provider of the product or service they need.

  • Each step should have realistic expectations of what should happen.
  • Each step should have measurable criteria so that you can clearly determine whether or not “it’s working.”
  • Each step should have decision points to evaluate what to do next based on the results

Few (if any) campaigns go precisely according to plan, but like Gen. Eisenhower, we simply can’t afford to be out there without a plan!

And in case you don’t believe Eisenhower, here’s another one –

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”  – Winston Churchill


More articles about Aviation Marketing Campaigns

AMHF 0156 – Three Business-Building Aviation Marketing Campaigns to Plan for 2019

Three Ways Aviation Professionals Can Use a Retargeting or Recapture Campaign to Sell More Stuff!

Evergreen Content and Reusable Campaigns – Why You Should Invest in Quality Aviation Marketing Materials

AMHF 0010 – Budgeting and Holiday Campaigns

AMHF 002 – Why Bother with Marketing Campaigns?

ABCI’s Marketing Funnel By the Numbers – Direct Marketing Campaign Examples

Is Your Company Too Boring For Campaigns? Try this:

Four Great Holiday Campaigns for Aviation Companies – And One Bad One

Fixing a Broken Marketing Campaign – What Can We Simplify?

The Most Common Reason Marketing Campaigns Fail

Size Matters!  Campaigns for Large and Small Aviation Transactions


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