A Guide to Get Started with Campaign Planning
[Free Takeaway Inside – Affinity Audience Segments for Customer Acquisition]
A vision without a strategy remains an illusion
A sound digital marketing strategy is no longer an option but a vital necessity.
The foundation of nearly every successful media marketing campaign comes down to a well-conceived plan. Without a solid strategy in place, brands will have a hard time creating high-quality campaigns.
Besides, now that the online space is cluttered with thousands of ad campaigns, there’s no way you can cut through the noise without a well-defined strategy.
The marketing campaign strategy sets the stage for success by articulating objectives and laying the groundwork to translate those goals into action.
While there is no single framework for formulating a robust strategy, the vital components of any campaign management plan must include the following:
1. Marketing Goals and Objectives
The first step of planning a campaign is to set the goals and objectives that you want to achieve. In turn, this will help you define the specific marketing action that you want to drive through your campaigns.
For example, an impetus to increase profit could translate into a business objective of increasing customer lifetime value. A resulting marketing action might be to drive customer engagement or cross-sell/upsell to existing customers.
You can use the SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely goals framework to set concrete targets that you aim to achieve over a certain period.
2. Target Audience
Probably the most overlooked, yet important step in the process of planning a marketing campaign is the definition of your target audience. Identify the right target audience that resonates well with your offerings and focus your marketing efforts on them. Segmenting your customer base into different clusters can help you identify specific customer groups so that you can channelize and streamline your offers towards each segment.
Turns out that 76% of marketers failed to use behavioural ad targeting, according to a survey. It’s recommended to divide your target audience into micro-segments based on granular behavioural and psychographic variables. This will help you design hyper-targeted campaigns at scale by customizing relevant content for each target segment based on their needs and interests.
Here’s a free download of 13 affinity audience segments for customer acquisition campaigns for banking products.
3. Offer or Value Proposition
Once you have identified your target audience and relevant customer segments for your marketing campaign, it’s time to fine-tune your offers and communication. Instead of making a direct sales promotion, offer your customers a differentiated value proposition that will solve their current problems. When you provide tangible value to your customers, your marketing campaigns will stand out from the competition.
4. Ad Creative
Determine what kind of creative or content you require to design the campaign. It’s common for marketers to include multiple content formats in a singular campaign such as video, imagery, logo, text, etc. Ensure that the ad creatives you deploy are high-quality, relevant, consistent and reinforce your positioning and brand experience. You can consider building a repository of creative assets which can then be reused, recycled and revamped for subsequent campaigns instead of designing them from scratch.
5. Call to Action
A marketing campaign without a call-to-action is like using a fish pole without a lure. Having a compelling call-to-action (CTA) in your campaign will enable audiences to click and take action. Whether you’re looking to increase traffic, conversions, leads, or sales - CTAs are the gateways to the next best action. In fact, an Unbounce study revealed that more than 90% of visitors who read the headline also read the CTA copy.
6. Communication Channels
Depending on your target audience, choose the right delivery channel or a combination of channels to launch your campaigns. You have a wide variety of channels through which you can orchestrate your campaigns – including email, social media, call centre, SMS, search ads and more. The important thing here is to focus on one channel at a time and not spread yourself too thin. If an offer works well in one channel, chances are you can scale that to fit other channels. On the contrary, if an offer fails everywhere, you need to tweak your messaging until you find what resonates with your audience.
7. Campaign Timeline
Based on the allocated resources and budget, decide how often you want to post and promote your campaign content on various channels. With this information, you can create a promotional calendar for each channel. Determine a communication cadence, frequency or number of exposures for each channel and map out your scheduled email, posts, etc. on your calendar. Visually mapping your marketing campaign will help you evenly disperse your promotions and publish equally on each medium.
You cannot leave campaigns on a ‘set and forget’ mode. You still need to evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns and track the overall response. Measuring and analyzing your campaign response data can provide unique insights into your audience, marketing channels and offers. It can also enable you to optimize your subsequent campaigns based on the response received from previous campaigns. Moreover, you can understand whether or not your campaigns met the initial goals outlined in the first step and keep sharpening your strategy until your objectives are fulfilled.
Planning is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. Whether it’s identifying your audience, choosing your channels, or coming up with creatives, data should be at the heart of every decision you make. After all, you cannot expect your marketing automation or campaign management system to deliver the intended marketing velocity without a sound plan of action in the first place.
Are there any tips you have to share when it comes to creating a great marketing campaign plan? Please let us know in the comments below!