Marketing campaigns

Marketing campaigns if planned and implemented effectively can make a real difference for your organization whether you are trying to attract new customers or roll out a new service line.

Defined as a “typical course of action to promote and sell a product or service,” marketing campaigns usually have a specific goal, budget and start and end time. Campaigns are separate from your other marketing efforts and use a variety of tactics to get the message out.

Many believe that since campaigns are a smaller part of an organization’s marketing effort, that they are less work. Quite the contrary. They require a solid strategy and assessment and much more in between. Below is a mini overview of the best practices required to run an effective marketing campaign.

Set measurable goals

The very first step is to define the goal of your campaign. Some campaign goals are more general such as building brand awareness. It can also be very specific such as selling 600 more of a specific product over the previous year. Either way, decide on your goal and communicate the goal to your entire team.

Involve stakeholders

Work with project stakeholders to turn your goals into SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) and set up milestones to track your progress. You will be glad you took this step later as you assess your campaign. Make sure your team in all on the same page as you continue planning and implementing your campaign.

Define your audience

Based on your measurable goals, you must determine who you will be targeting during your campaign. It may be the same audience you target in your day-to-day marketing efforts, but if you are focusing on something very specific such as a new product, your target market may be different. Depending on your budget you may also decide to create customer personas and conduct other customer research such as surveys, telephone interviews or direct observation.

Determine your budget

It’s important to set a budget for your marketing campaign because they can quickly become very expensive. Work with your finance team to analyze your organization’s data. What percentage of your overall marketing budget should you set aside for this initiative?

Select your concept

This is the fun part! With your goal, audience and budget defined, the next step is brainstorming your message and the supporting creative. No idea is a bad idea. Some of the ideas we laughed at until we cried ended up being the catalyst for the final idea.

Incorporate a variety of tactics

Today, there are so many tactics to choose from and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide what vehicles to use to share your campaign and message. What you decide to do here comes down to one thing — your audience. What marketing tactics will reach them?

Be ready for launch

Launching a campaign is a big deal. If you know your audience members and come at them from many different angles, you will generate a buzz and get people talking about your new product or service. Don’t be afraid to come out heavy and spend more of your marketing dollars at the onset of your campaign. Leave your audience with no other option than to see what your new product or service is all about by using relatable success stories or a clear and strong call to action.

Assess

By measuring and analyzing data, you are able to see what strategies and tactics worked and which ones didn’t and make adjustments for the future. In addition to comparing your data against your SMART goals to determine which goals were met, develop a list of questions you may want to answer as it relates to your campaign.

Next time your organization is planning a campaign, use these best practices to ensure a successful one.