The Perfect Marketing Campaign Planning Process

Create better campaigns by following these 5 steps for each campaign.

February 14, 2017 Resources

The Perfect Marketing Campaign Planning Process

Marketing campaigns can reinforce your brand positioning, communicate a new message, generate leads and create customers. They’re the lifeblood of many consumer marketers – whether they’re delivered via digital media, traditional media or a combination of both.

The best campaigns use strong creative — targeting a specific audience and creating an emotional response.

And most require an incredible amount of planning.

If you don’t have an agency to handle creative, media buys, distribution and your campaign execution, it’s a good idea to follow a defined marketing campaign planning process. This can help your team ensure that you are designing the right types of campaigns for meeting your business goals, selecting the right media for your target audience, properly evaluating your budget and campaign KPIs and ensuring that you’ve addressed each step of your campaign fulfillment.

Marketing Campaign Planning Process Stages

Stage 1 – Define Your Marketing Campaign Strategy

It’s important to ensure that your campaign creative and tactics are tied to your strategy and business goals, so defining your strategy is the first step.

Have your team define your business goals and list what you are trying to accomplish. Here are some examples:

  • Generating direct sales
  • Building brand awareness
  • Generating leads
  • Qualifying leads
  • Cross-selling to existing customers

Then, brainstorm about creative concepts. Think about campaigns you’ve run in the past. Which ones worked well? Can you modify the creative to extend the life of the campaigns? Can you use a similar theme? Just determine the general creative concept here. Then focus on selecting your campaign media.

Stage 2 – Define Your Creative, Target Audience and Call to Action

When you focus your campaign around a key message and a call-to-action to a defined market segment, you’ll have a better chance of it resonating with your audience. In this stage you’ll define the target step in the buying process for your campaign (which should be aligned with your business goal selected in stage 1), select your target audience, and determine your call-to-action.

And remember to focus on a single message and call-to-action. Simpler is almost always better; if you try to communicate too much, you might lose your audience.

Stage 3 – Establish Your Key Campaign Metrics

Good marketers always focus on metrics. The process of selecting the appropriate metrics to evaluate compels you to think through the key drivers of your campaign success. And the right metrics will help you with the next stage of your marketing campaign planning procedure (your budget and ROI projections).

Your metrics to measure will depend upon your business goals, marketing media and call-to-action. For example, if you’re building brand awareness, you should choose to try to measure how that exposure impacts overall name recognition over a longer period of time. If you’re focusing on generating leads, you can measure impressions, clicks and inquiries.

Initially, your estimates will not be 100% accurate, but over time, your team will improve their forecast accuracy and you’ll run more effective campaigns.

Stage 4 – Create Your Marketing Campaign Budget and Estimate ROI

Every marketer knows how to create a campaign budget. But you can also take your results from stage 3 and use them to also estimate how many customers you’ll obtain, along with an estimate of the return on your marketing investment.

Enlist help of your accountant or finance manager so you can estimate your total gross profit from the campaign. Then subtract your expenses from the gross profit to calculate your net profit and estimate return on investment by subtracting your marketing investment from the net profit and dividing the result by your marketing investment.

Stage 5 – Plan Your Fulfillment

When you invest in generating leads or inquiries, don’t risk losing the momentum by dropping the ball at the fulfillment stage. Fulfillment is critical for your campaign success.

In today’s economy, people are conditioned to an immediate response. Make sure that you carefully define your fulfillment procedures, whether it’s completing an order, handing email requests, handling inbound calls, providing demos, shipping product or transitioning to the sales team.

Having your team follow the above campaign planning process for each campaign, can remove some of the typical chaos in most marketing departments and allow your team to focus on creating a strong message and detailed campaign execution.

Here is the above plan with a more detailed explanation for each stage, task and step:

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