It is important to organize your activities into thematic campaigns with defined audiences, messages, and offers. This will help implement those campaigns over the right mix of channels. A channel-first approach - vs campaign-first - will likely yield less successful campaign outcomes.
Build comprehensive campaigns to execute strategies and achieve goals
A campaign is a message or set of messages to be communicated to a specific audience through a variety of communication channels in order to achieve a goal. When you build your campaign plan, you need to start with what you are trying to accomplish and who you want to reach. If you don’t know what you want to get out of the campaign and you don’t understand the audience and their needs or have a goal, then what is failure?
In an effort to understand what a campaign is in familiar terms, we turn to politics. No, we are not going to get political here, but we just want to use a presidential election as an illustration. A presidential campaign is basically one big, long, very expensive marketing campaign. Let’s use the 2020 campaign as a modern example. The candidates have a goal, they both want to be president of the United States. Their target audience is the American people. There are a set of messages that they want to communicate to the American people regarding issues such as healthcare, homeland security, and jobs. They both have a campaign theme. Then they will use a variety of marketing channels to push their messages and theme out to the American people. Those marketing channels include press, events, advertising, social media, direct mail, telemarketing, bumper stickers, billboards, word of mouth, etc. They have a clearly defined timeline of November 2020. They both have marketing budgets in the hundreds of millions to work with to get their word out (marketers imagine the damage we could all do with that budget). And lastly, they have a measurement of success, votes.
We’ve only included the campaign plan essentials in order to simplify the presidential campaign example above. That said, there is a lot more detail you can add to a marketing campaign plan that will organize your strategy and tactics to ensure success.
Before you start writing your campaign plan, ask yourself or your team the following five questions:
If you can answer these questions first, then you can test the feasibility and determine the best approach. Once you do that, you are ready to build out your campaign plan.
If you are interested in downloading the ULTIMATE campaign template you can do so here.
Dan Faulkner is co-author of The Next CMO: a guide to operational marketing excellence, and the CTO of Plannuh, where he is responsible for the technical strategy and delivery of the world’s first AI-powered marketing management platform. Dan has 25 years of high-tech experience, spanning research and development, product management, strategy, and general management. He has deep international experience, having led businesses in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, delivering complex AI solutions at scale to numerous industries. Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, and Masters degrees in Speech & Language Processing, and Marketing. He has completed studies in Strategy Implementation at Wharton.