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How to structure a marketing campaign?

Author's avatar By 23 Sep, 2014
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6 Essential parts of a marketing campaign

In a previous post I gave these examples of 6 common problems which can kill a marketing campaign. This post is a companion to that article and shows what you should include in a marketing campaign plan.

The structure I outline in this post is based on this Smart Insights marketing campaign planning template originally developed by Dave Chaffey when he was a tutor on the Integrated E-marketing campaigns training workshops for the CIM and then updated in his books. More recently, it’s been extended for Smart Insights Expert members in association with First 10 and is used by us on a regular basis on planning client marketing campaigns.

The recommended structure of the campaign and the questions to ask at each step are:

1. Campaign goals and tracking. What are we trying to achieve through our campaign and how will we know when we achieve it?

Here you define whether the focus is on creating brand awareness, customer acquisition or retention and growth? I recommend that you create SMARTER objectives based on a simple funnel model: Keep these tied to measurable KPIs, ideally linking to a monetary value of revenue and profit - it’s far easier to justify spend that way.

It's also time to think about how to track a campaign using Google Analytics. If the parameters aren't specified at this time, they're often forgotten.

2. Campaign insight and targeting. Here we answer the 'Who' question. Who are we trying to reach and influence? Which are the customer personas? Which customer insights are these based upon?

3. Key campaign messages and offers. Next it's the 'How' will we generate response question. So, which campaign or product offers will engage and convert our audience to the goals identified in?

Here you will also define “The Big Idea” for the campaign. This will define how will you connect with and convince your audience using content marketing at the heart of the campaign?

We also have to consider how generally are we trying to position our company, products and services?

4. 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?

A conversion model budget can help make the budget more accurate.

5. Campaign asset production. Managing the assets to form the campaign.

6. Campaign execution. What needs to be tested before the campaign is live and adjusted during the campaign?

So, those are the six areas to include in a campaign plan. For more on the details, see the Smart Insights campaign plan guide.

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