This past week during a client meeting I was asked why some marketing campaigns work so well while others fail. If you have worked in the marketing area for printing, packaging and converting for any length of time you know how true this can be. Many marketing campaigns fail even when marketers do many things right.

From metal to digital some principles remain unchanged.

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They had a specific marketing campaign in mind. They cut out unnecessary verbiage from their brand messaging. They purchased clean lists and media buys, print and online. They created interesting creative designs. That leaves timing and pricing, and they were done well, too. About this time the marketing head was ready to throw the whole campaign out the window!

How about strategy and tactics? These are two major areas often ignored that can yield a huge return on investment (ROI). Let’s quickly look at them:

1. Tactics answers: How, What, On a Micro basis. Look at an integrated marketing campaign that has timed a series of E-mailings, direct print mailings and has a strong web presence. Sounds great doesn’t it? Not if there wasn’t any forethought to the strategy step below.

2. Strategy answers: Why, Who, On a Macro (big picture) basis. Knowing why prospects need and want your products and services represents a major advantage to building your campaign. Knowing who are the influencers versus the decision makers is essential for making the sale.

Face it, some campaigns fail no matter what, but most of the time for very good reasons. The key is to establish the strategy before you start the campaign and then build the tactics. It really can mean the difference between success and failure.