The lifecycle of a marketing campaign

A marketing campaign is crucial to the success of every business. Recent statistics reveal global marketing spending was estimated at $350bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $786.2bn by 2026. Another study estimates 63% of businesses have increased their marketing budgets in the past year. A well-planned marketing campaign positively impacts your brand marketing, sales strategy and overall business goals. When implemented properly, your marketing campaigns will secure impressive returns on investment, high profits and increased customer loyalty. The goal of any campaign should be to make your brand memorable while persuading your customers to take the desired action.

This blog provides a step-by-step guide on how marketing campaigns are brought to life, from inception to launch and measurement.

What are marketing campaigns?

A marketing campaign is an organized and strategized effort to promote a specific company goal, such as increasing brand visibility and awareness, increasing awareness of a new product or service or collecting customer feedback. An effective campaign strives to reach the target audience via a combination of various mediums, including email marketing, TV and radio advertising, print advertising, social media marketing, e-marketing and pay-per-click marketing.

The stages of creating a successful marketing campaign 

Creating a solid marketing campaign is a big undertaking with several steps to follow. Before you create an impressive campaign, you must figure out your end goal, including what you want your audience to see and the specific actions you want them to take. The following are some steps to get you started:

Step 1: Planning your marketing campaign

The planning stage is crucial to the effectiveness and success of your campaign. A good marketing campaign plan provides direction regarding what to do, how and when to do it. The following steps will help you plan your marketing campaign:

Identify your target audience

It doesn’t make sense to waste all your time and effort on an audience that isn’t interested in your products and services. Before creating a plan, you need to determine the target audience to whom your product or service matters. Determine the specific audience and find out what they are interested in. To do this, examine your current customer base and listen to what people are saying on social media and other communication platforms. Here are a few traits to consider when identifying a target audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income bracket
  • Job title
  • Education level
  • Interest and hobbies
  • Buying habits
  • Biggest challenges

Set a goal

One crucial step when creating an effective marketing campaign plan is to set a clear goal and purpose for your campaign. Determine the reason for running the campaign and what you hope to accomplish for your business. Common goals include promoting a new product or service, increasing brand awareness, driving leads, gathering customer feedback, generating revenue and boosting engagement. Whatever your goal, ensure it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART).

Generate marketing campaign ideas

Once you have identified your target audience and created a specific goal for your campaign, the next step is to brainstorm innovative and value-driven ideas to build your campaign. Review your previous campaigns and determine which ones worked and the reason for that. You may also need to study your competitors’ campaigns to identify new trends in the market and determine how to make yours better.

Choose marketing channels

Now that you have solid campaign ideas, the next step is to choose the ideal media channels for your campaign. Choose a channel based on your target audience and where they spend most of their time. There are several options when it comes to marketing channels, including:

  • Internet marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Paid ads

Combining different marketing channels is an excellent way to achieve better results.

Develop an offer

The right marketing campaign plan should attract your target audience to your brand and your services or products. To achieve this, ensure your campaign has a key message, an attractive incentive or a call to action that resonates well with your target audience. Depending on your product or service, you could offer any of the following:

  • A free trial
  • A limited discount
  • An e-book
  • A free webinar

Ensure that whatever you offer your audience is in line with the action you want them to take.

Determine the marketing resources

When creating a marketing campaign plan, it is prudent that you determine all the resources you will need to achieve your goals. For example, you need to decide whether you will use an in-house team, outside agency or freelancers to create and manage your campaign. You also need to create a list of all the assets, such as equipment, tools, materials, files and videos, you require for your campaign, including where to source them. When creating your team, ensure you include trained and experienced marketing professionals with exceptional communication skills. Hiring marketers with a Master’s Degree in Communications Online can be an added advantage. The master’s in communication program at St. Bonaventure University provides an exceptional online curriculum that empowers students to specialize in integrated marketing communication or content marketing, equipping them with the essential skills to create effective communication campaigns and experiences.

Estimate metrics for your campaign

Campaign metrics are quantitative assessments used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. When creating a campaign plan, it is advisable that you estimate the campaign metrics you expect to achieve to develop an idea of an appropriate budget and to estimate your ROI. Create estimates for key metrics such as response rate, conversion ratio and the total revenue you expect to generate.

Determine how to measure your campaign

The next step is to establish how you will measure your campaign based on your goals and the channels you are using. If your campaign leverages several marketing channels, define how you will measure your campaign on each channel. Some of the metrics to measure based on your goals include:

  • Product pre-orders
  • Social mentions
  • Press mention
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Blog shares
  • Social shares
  • Email interactions
  • Ticket sales

Create a budget

The budget is a crucial element of your marketing plan. It helps you allocate adequate resources to various marketing strategies. Once you have determined metric campaign estimates, determine the campaign’s financial needs and create an appropriate budget. A reasonable marketing budget should specify the exact amounts to allocate for various aspects, including staff salaries, office space, equipment, ad design, communications and the specific marketing channels to use. An effective budget helps you align your strategies with your business goals so that you direct money into marketing campaigns that deliver the highest ROI.

Create a unique value proposition

A unique value proposition (UVP) is a statement that clearly tells your customers how they can benefit from your product or service and what makes it different from those of your competitors. To develop a unique value proposition, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. Determine their pain points and figure out how your product can help solve these problems. Give actual examples of how your product or service has helped others resolve similar problems.

Design your content 

An essential component of a marketing campaign is the content. The ideal content for your marketing campaign should convey a specific message and resonate with your audience. It must speak to their preferences, needs, interests, experience and problems. Importantly, your campaign content must have a clear and compelling call to action (CTA) that motivates your target audience to take the desired action. Ensure your CTA is specific and obvious to the people you are marketing to. The rule of thumb is to use one CTA per campaign to avoid confusing your prospects or diluting the results. Here are a few helpful tips for designing a compelling message and CTA for your campaign:

  • Be precise by using as few words as possible.
  • Use catchy and impactful images in your messages.
  • Highlight the product or service’s benefits.
  • Where applicable, highlight discounts, promotions and offers.

Distribute and promote your content

Creating fantastic campaign content is not enough. Your content will only boost your marketing efforts if people interact with it. Once you have created content for your marketing campaign, distribute it across your marketing channels and start promoting it. Find out where your customers and leads hang out regularly and promote your campaign content on those platforms. It is advisable that you use more than one channel to achieve the best results.

Step 2: Launching a marketing campaign 

Once you have developed a well-planned marketing campaign, the next step is to implement the plan. Marketing implementation is the process of turning your marketing plan into reality. Doing this requires a solid marketing campaign implementation plan that details the steps and resources required to execute your marketing strategies. Whatever marketing strategies you are implementing, follow the steps outlined below to launch your marketing campaign:

Set realistic expectations: You must set realistic expectations for your marketing strategies. Consult experts and research various marketing plans to define goals, schedules, teams, channels and budgets that are realistic. You should also explore risks likely to impact your campaign and other issues such as team availability, delivery resources and training.

Align your marketing implementation plan: Ensure the marketing implementation plan you are preparing aligns with the overall marketing plan. Make necessary adjustments if there are places where the two don’t meet.

Identify resources: Resources are the things you need to implement your marketing plan. These could include marketing materials, software, equipment and skilled personnel such as content writers, graphic designers, technical workers and project managers. Determine the in-house resources at your disposal and the ones you need to source externally.

Document the marketing strategies: A marketing plan has several strategies. Documenting them ensures you don’t miss anything. It also helps create unity of purpose and smooth workflows. To document your marketing strategies, create a summary that details the who, what, why and how of each strategy in your marketing plan. Make sure you provide that information to the project team.

Create workflows: This involves turning the marketing plan into actionable tasks. Place the tasks you have identified on a timeline and create a deadline, priority and owner for each of them. Where possible, set notifications to alert teams of pending due dates or changes to the work.

Monitor the project: Ensuring all is going according to plan and that every team member is doing what they need to do requires some monitoring. Leverage a dashboard to track progress and identify issues quickly. This helps keep your implementation plan firmly on track.

Step 3: Measuring campaigns

Your job doesn’t end after launching your marketing campaign. Once your campaign is live, it is equally important to monitor it regularly to determine whether it is achieving your goals and purposes. A solid measurement framework can help generate valuable insights into what is working, what doesn’t work and how to improve your campaign going forward. Establishing and measuring the success of a marketing campaign involves using key performance metrics (KPIs).

Here are a few KPIs that can help you measure the success of your campaign regardless of the medium or channel you use:

Return on investment: Return on investment (ROI) measures how much you invested and spent on marketing compared to how much you earned. For example, if a TikTok campaign for a pair of shoes costs $2,000 and it brings in $6,000 worth of sales, the ROI is $4,000 or 200%. The higher the ROI, the more successful the marketing campaign.

Cost per win: Cost per win measures the expense of each sale versus the total cost of marketing. This metric compares different campaigns and determines the one that performs better. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a social media campaign for a product and it generates five sales, the cost per win is $200.

Cost per lead: Cost per lead measures the effectiveness of a marketing campaign from a financial standpoint. It focuses on the number of leads rather than sales or wins.

Cost per conversion: The cost per conversion is a metric that measures the cost to convert a website visitor into a paying customer. It is an ideal metric for marketers working with direct online sales, where customers place an item in their digital cart.

Customer lifetime value: This metric is used to measure the lifetime value of a customer. To determine the customer lifetime value (CLV), calculate the customer’s average sale amount by the number of times they buy each year by the average number of years they remain a customer. For example, if a customer spends $100 on average per sale and buys five times each year with the expectancy of remaining a paying customer for five years, their CLV will be $2,500.

Cost per acquisition: This metric measures a business’s costs to acquire new customers through marketing and advertising. Knowing your customer’s lifetime helps you calculate the appropriate amount to spend to gain new ones.

Conversion rate: Conversation rate measures the number of visitors to your website who becomes leads or paying customers within a specified campaign time frame. For example, receiving 2,000 visitors on your website during a week of the marketing campaign and generating 200 leads translates to a 10% conversion rate.

Return on ad spend (ROAS): If you are employing advertising campaigns, ROAS tells how much you earned from ads in comparison to how much you spent on them. If you have a low ROAS, it means you need to tweak your ad campaign to improve the results.

Website visits: You should also look at how much traffic increased due to your campaign. Determine the website visits during the campaign period and compare them to traffic from an earlier period. This is a key metric to measure the effectiveness of website-based campaign strategies.

Click-through rate: This metric measures the number of people who clicked your marketing email or ad content. Use the metric to understand how well your messaging and offer resonate with the target audience.

Cost per click: This metric reveals how much it costs each time a visitor clicks on your ad. Use this metric to understand the effectiveness of your audience targeting and CTA. Your goal should be to lower your cost per click as much as possible.

Impressions: Impressions reveal the number of times people saw your ad or content. Use this metric to assess the effectiveness of your marketing channels as well as your targeting strategies.

What is the difference between marketing and advertisement?

Marketing is a process of identifying customer needs and determining the best way to meet those needs. Conversely, advertising is any activity that promotes a company and its products or services through paid platforms or channels.

Leverage marketing campaigns to take your business to the next level

Marketing campaigns play an integral role in how your brand is perceived and remembered. Well-planned and executed marketing campaigns can help businesses and organizations attract new customers, get more sales and generate higher profits. Executing a solid marketing plan takes a lot of planning and forethought, so it is always advisable to work with experts to create an effective marketing campaign that delivers the desired results.

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