Marketing campaigns speak directly to your target audience, its needs, and the specific challenges it faces. No matter how great your product or service is, without a well-researched plan, your campaign will struggle to attract new leads. You won’t be able to connect with your audience unless you effectively communicate your story and value propositions.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of building an effective marketing campaign and measuring its results. Through real-life examples, you'll gain the understanding you need to prepare your next campaign.
What is a Marketing Campaign?
A marketing campaign is a strategic sequence of steps and activities that promote your company's product or service, with a specific goal in mind. Campaign efforts may involve a range of media, such as radio, television, in-person events, and digital media. You must select and vet the marketing approach that will work best for your campaign.
Consider your target audience and what you want to accomplish. You should have one clear objective that drives your messaging and vision. It's common for large companies with many product lines to have more than one active marketing campaign. For example, a company may have a nationwide brand awareness campaign while its affiliate stores are focused on promoting an upcoming seasonal sale.
Understanding marketing campaign media
There are many different media to choose from when developing your marketing campaign strategy. A campaign may use a combination of different media or a single medium. The key is to pick media that your target audience favors.
An email marketing campaign is one of the best ways to connect with potential and current customers. Each email is a part of an overall marketing strategy with one common goal: to get your prospects to take action. The difference between emails that subscribers open and those that get trashed is personalization. To create a successful email marketing campaign, speak directly to your audience, not at them. You want them to connect with your brand from the subject line to the call to action.
Customers may engage with your social media channels at various stages of their buying process. Social media can be a vehicle that pushes your customers further down your sales funnel or as a way for you to gather quantitative and qualitative customer feedback.
Social media marketing strategies generally include a combination of organic and paid methods that work together to promote, educate, and engage your customers. It's best to focus on the platforms that align with the campaign's objectives.
With direct mail, you can provide an interactive experience with samples or promotional materials that place your company at your customers’ doorstep. The infinite creative possibilities and novelty make direct mail memorable, earning the third-highest ROI as a campaign medium behind social media and email. Both local and online businesses can reap the benefits of direct mail by using coupons, contests, and offers that drive people to their platforms.
Pay-per-click (PPC) uses online advertisements that accrue costs each time a potential lead clicks on your ad. Ad placement on services like Google and Bing is determined through a bidding process, where you choose an amount that you are willing to pay per keyword. Businesses that have a clear understanding of their target audience and how they interact online will get the most out of PPC. The more you know about your customers, the easier it will be to attract quality leads from people who are already searching for your product or service.
Events & Trade Shows
Event marketing opens your business to a variety of opportunities to engage with potential customers and partners. By hosting a workshop, purchasing a table to demo your products, or presenting a series of seminars, you will build relationships that have both short and long-term earning potential. Trade shows, especially, are uncharted territory for many businesses. Once seen as a place for gun enthusiasts and video gamers, trade shows made 13.2 billion dollars in revenue in 2017 alone.
Publicity creates brand awareness and social proof through media news stories and references. During the early stages of growth, you likely won't have the capacity to pitch to media outlets. But as your business grows, you might consider hiring a publicist.
How to set up a successful marketing campaign
A marketing campaign isn't dependent on one task or person. Identifying your goals, audience, and messaging, as well as other aspects of your marketing strategy, will ensure a successful campaign.
Understand the scope of your marketing plan
Your marketing plan provides your campaign with direction. It allows you to map your activities, strategies, budgets, resources, and KPIs. Creating a plan keeps your team accountable, which will help ensure that each part of the campaign is done well and delivered on time.
Set clear campaign objectives & goals
What do you hope to accomplish? When determining the objective of your campaign, be sure to aim for achievable, concrete goals. While marketing campaign objectives generally involve an increase in profits, brand awareness, and market engagement, your individual business goals should be specific, measurable, time-sensitive, and realistic.
Identify a target audience
Your target audience is the “who” of your marketing campaign. New business owners may want to target everyone. However, marketing to the wrong audience is costly and ineffective. To avoid wasting money, be specific about the age, gender, economic status, and location of your target audience. You must also go beyond demographics to create buyer personas that take into account your audience's behavior, interests, and needs.
Create a campaign message and strategy
Determine what you want to say to your audience and the best way to deliver your message. Remember that businesses don't sell products or services—they sell solutions and peace of mind. Establish a persuasive voice that pushes through the noise to reach your audience. Provide them with solutions that take into account their lifestyle and address their pain points.
Pick a marketing medium—or media—for delivery
Every few years, a new marketing medium emerges on the scene. It can be overwhelming to try and manage multiple channels at once, so don't spread yourself thin. Focus on the media that will best support your goals. Choose the channels your target audience prefers, and also consider your budget and the type of content that will attract your audience.
Set a campaign timeline
A campaign timeline allows you to dedicate resources, hold team members responsible, and most of all, establish a finish line. Develop a schedule that allocates enough time to reach and measure your goals. Take into consideration potential changes and your team's workload when identifying which deliverables to execute each week, as each activity builds upon the last.
Develop a marketing campaign budget
A campaign budget gives you an idea of how much money you will need to implement your plan. But it shouldn't limit your goals. With the many available marketing tools and channels, you can find creative and cost-effective ways to reach your audience.
Establish metrics to measure campaign success
Measuring KPIs for your campaign provides you with the insights you need to adjust your approach and determine ROI. Marketing metrics and analytics are essential because they enable you to track your campaign's performance from start to finish. For instance, at the beginning of a lead’s buying process, you may aim to create brand awareness and choose to measure the number of social media likes, follows, and shares.
Other relevant KPIs may include click-through rates, the percentage of leads converted to customers, or the number of sales coming from a specific channel. By capturing your results and comparing them against your goals at each stage of your funnel, you'll be able to determine where your leads are falling off and develop effective retargeting strategies.
Review, revise, and improve
Review campaign data periodically and make strategy revisions as needed. You might find that it's necessary to revise your message or invest in new channels. Companies that don't measure and review their data are likely to keep making the same mistakes.
How to launch your marketing campaign
After you've successfully set up your marketing campaign, it's time to launch. Launching a campaign can be intimidating when limited to one day or week. Instead, break your launch into phases: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch campaign activities. Applying this technique will ensure that the first time your customers hear about your product isn't launch day and provides your leads with follow up actions to move them throughout the funnel.
3 marketing campaign examples
Now that you understand the essentials of creating a marketing campaign that drives success, let us take a look at how brands have applied these steps to develop and improve marketing strategies.
Panasonic, a household electronics and technology brand, merged product groups that previously operated as independent businesses. But different product sales and marketing teams had trouble achieving collective market engagement. Adopting a complete B2B marketing solution helped drive marketing campaigns and audience engagement strategies across product groups.
In less than four years, the results were incredible: an improvement in marketing’s contribution to the company’s total revenue from under 10 percent to 26 percent, and a five-fold increase in the output of their marketing campaigns without any further investment in budget or resources.
As a leading telecom company, Centurylink found themselves needing to automate their marketing campaign activities to create consistency throughout their funnel. It adopted a digital marketing platform that allowed them to segment their message by audience and streamline data collection and reporting. Centurylink then implemented effective lead nurturing email campaigns that resulted in significant conversion growth. Within five years, CenturyLink went from 100 to 2000 qualified leads per month.
Fujitsu is a global technology equipment and services company with over 80 years of experience. Fujitsu needed to start the lead nurturing process as early as possible—over 94 percent of leads research their company before engaging in business. Using a vetted engagement platform, Fujitsu created campaigns that reached and engaged new prospects, delivering meaningful experience seamlessly across all digital channels.
Launch your next successful marketing campaign today
A successful marketing campaign is a multi-layered process that requires significant planning and research. Whether it’s your first or fortieth campaign, each is different, requiring strategic thought around choosing media, establishing a timeline, and finding a budget that fits your goals and objectives.
Marketo Engage experts are well-versed in developing marketing campaigns that transform your message and put your business in a position to earn maximum results. Learn how Marketo Engage can increase your campaign's effectiveness and improve lead conversions.