Guides and Templates

Marketing campaign planning guide

A guide to creating and running effective integrated campaigns

How will this campaign planning guide help me and my business?

How do you approach planning for a marketing campaign? Perhaps you have a ‘tried and trusted’, structured process to create and run marketing campaigns which is now dated given developments in digital marketing. Perhaps you use a more ad hoc approach depending on what you’re looking to achieve in a campaign, reusing approaches from previous campaign plans. We find the approach used varies a lot depending on the culture and structure of the business we’re working with. It also depends on how well businesses have updated their marketing campaign process to integrate modern, inbound marketing campaign techniques like digital marketing and content marketing into your campaigns.

We find the approach used varies a lot depending on the culture and structure of the business we’re working with. It also depends on how well businesses have updated their marketing campaign process to integrate modern, inbound marketing campaign techniques like digital marketing and content marketing into their campaigns.

Whichever approach you currently use, the aim of this guide is similar – it’s to enable Smart Insights members to review and refresh their existing approach in order to develop a more structured process which integrates the latest digital marketing techniques better.

This guide and the companion Campaign planning template (Word) are designed to enable Smart Insights members to review and refresh their existing approach to campaign planning in order to develop a more structured process which integrates the latest digital marketing techniques better.

Who is this guide for?

This guide is for you if you're looking to review and improve your approach for integrated campaign planning including:

  • CMOs, VPs and Heads of marketing
  • Marketing managers and digital marketing managers
  • Customer acquisition managers

How is the campaign planning guide structured?

The campaign planning guide is structured around these recommended stages for creating marketing campaigns and these key questions:

  • 1. Campaign goals and tracking. What are we trying to achieve through our campaign and how will we know when we achieve it?
  • 2. Campaign insight and targeting. Which audiences are we trying to reach and influence to achieve our goals?
  • 3. Key campaign messages and offers. Which campaign storytelling ideas, content and product-related offers will engage and convert our audience? How are we trying to position our company, products and services?
  • 4. Reach: Campaign media plan and budget. Which media channels will you use to reach and influence your target audience? What will be the sequence and integration of media activities?
  • 5. Act: Audience interaction and participation. How will we encourage interest and engagement in our campaigns using the content assets and creative which we host on campaign landing pages on our sites and seek to share via social networks? How do we generate leads that we can then convert to sale.
  • 6. Convert: Optimise and test. How do we link interaction and engagement with the campaign assets through to purchase intent and sale which may happen online if we have a transactional Ecommerce site or offline through phone, in store or by mail order.
  • 7. Engage: Advocacy and Sharing. How do we encourage engagement for existing customers and advocacy to share the word about the campaign?

Resource Details

About the author

Annmarie Hanlon is the Smart Insights expert commentator on online and offline marketing strategies for business. Annmarie is the MD of Evonomie and author of Quick Win Marketing, and co-author of Quick Win Digital Marketing. She runs social media workshops in the UK and Ireland and shares marketing tips and news in her blog, B2B Marketing.

You can follow Annmarie on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Related expert member resources: Campaign planning template (Word)Social media strategy guideExample social media marketing plan template and social media audit

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