A marketing campaign is the most effective strategy that a business can have for improving visibility, increasing customer loyalty and improving conversions and sales. Building a marketing campaign can take a lot of work, but without a plan in place, your marketing may be nothing more than a waste of money. We will be covering the marketing campaign in this article, including how to create one for your own company.
The Definition of a Marketing Campaign
A marketing campaign is a series of specific actions that are intended to promote a brand, product, service or event. There is always at least one goal of a marketing campaign, and most have several goals. A marketing campaign and a marketing plan are not the same thing. A marketing plan is what a business creates to steer their overall marketing efforts towards the goal of improvement. A marketing campaign is a specific strategy within that marketing plan that is usually intended to be short term and accomplish something that is determined at the campaign planning stages.
What is Marketing?
The first question that must be answered is what exactly is marketing? Marketing is the method or plan that is used to get consumers to buy a product or service. For example, a television advertisement is just one example of marketing. Another example that is completely across the spectrum is the observance by the PR department to keep the company looking good in the press. After all, when negative stories run about a company in the media, sales can often suffer.
Why You Need a Marketing Campaign
No matter what kind of business you are in, you have to have a planned-out marketing campaign if you want to be successful in selling your product or service. Your marketing campaign should fit within your overall marketing plan, and new business owners should keep in mind that on average, marketing plans cost around 30% of total business revenue the first year. If you do not have a series of well-planned campaigns within your marketing strategy, then you're going to be wasting a great deal of money.
Basically, you need a marketing campaign because of all the usual suspects: the increased visibility of your brand and the development of your reputation as a leader in your industry, your company's increased sales and the respect and notice you get from your competition. But most of all, the reason you need a well-planned marketing campaign is to build up a loyal customer base that will be the foundation of your company success for years or decades to come.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Setting up A Marketing Campaign
Just like any long journey, your marketing campaign will begin with the very first step. We will cover all of those steps below.
First, you need to be able to identity your target audience. Who is most likely to buy your products and services? The answer is almost never “everyone.” If you have not identified your target audience, then you have made your job a great deal harder. This is because the more narrow you can make your demographic, the easier it will be to create a marketing campaign that speaks to them. Second, you need to create a marketing campaign that speaks to your target audience. As an example, if you owned a computer retail business, what features of a computer would you be more likely to emphasize for the casual user? What features would you be more likely to highlight for the gamer? These are questions that will allow you to create a customized campaign that speaks to your audience, even if your product or service is very different.
Make sure that you define your goals the same way that you would any other goals. In other words, they must be specific, they must have a definite time frame and they need to be realistic.
You also need to know who your target audience is going to be. If you do not know who you are marketing to then you will have no idea how to create a marketing campaign to reach them. You need to know who your customers are, what demographic factors apply to them, what needs they have and why are you are the best company to fill them.
Next you must research the competition. There are businesses who have invested great deal of money in there startup without researching a single competitor on the market - often because they believe that their product is so good that no one would ever dream of going to a competitor. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work like that. Even Harry Potter had a solid marketing campaign behind it. If it hadn't, the odds are very good the no one would even know who the boy wizard was today.
- Compare yourself with the competition next. You should do an SWOT analysis on yourself and all your competitors so that you can see a side-by-side comparison end determine the best approach to your marketing campaign. Identify each company's strengths, list your weaknesses as well as theirs, list opportunities outside of each company that affects how it performs in the marketplace and identify threats to each brand, product line and market position.
- Take all of the financial factors into account and determine your marketing budget. Part of this process is figuring out what your consumers buying power is. If you are marketing to a demographic that simply cannot afford your product then you're going to have problems bringing in revenue. But you also need to look at the amount of money that you will be spending on this particular campaign and project returns in both the best and the worst case scenarios.
- Now, you need to identify your marketing methods. You have many different choices when it comes to how you are going to work this campaign. You may be considering using traditional media such as television, radio and newspaper, and you should definitely be looking at online advertising such as pay-per-click, social media advertising and mobile. You can also look at other methods of spreading the message; like word-of-mouth from one customer to another.
- Create your message and make it personal. Since you have identified your market, you should have an idea of what will speak to them. You should create a customized message for each segment of the market that you're going to try to reach, as well as what message you're going to use to reach that particular segment.
- Finally, you need to measure your campaign results as soon after launch as possible and frequently thereafter. It is impossible to plan out every marketing campaign completely, so you may have to make some adjustments on the fly once you actually get the campaign launched.
When it comes to creating a marketing campaign, there are a lot of things to consider. Obviously, the first one is to consider whether or not you're going to do a marketing campaign at all. Many businesses feel as if marketing is not something they can afford and others think that they don't need it. In most cases, it is not only necessary, but you cannot afford not to do a marketing campaign. A marketing campaign may be the most vital thing that you do for your company, and you probably will not be able to be successful without implementing at least one.