One of the cornerstones of marketing your business, your non-profit, or almost anything else you want to market is going to be a good marketing campaign strategy. You should always have a marketing strategy and plan that guide your activities over a long period of time, i.e. over a one to three year period. The strategy you'll develop for a campaign has a very specific purpose. For example, you might need a campaign strategy when launching a new product/service, trying to increase sales, raise money for a specific purpose, and/or promoting a seasonal sale.
As a marketing and communications agency, we are frequently asked to develop campaign strategies for clients. They might have some ideas but come to us to see if there is something new or exiting we could suggest for them. Regardless of who the client is, every marketing campaign strategy we develop will have these same basic elements. You can and should use this outline when developing your own marketing campaign strategy.
Goals & Objectives
The first thing you need to figure out is what your goals and objectives are. They are important because they are going to guide almost everything that comes next. Goals are the description of what you hope to get out of the strategy. Don't confuse goals and objectives though, as objectives are much more specific. Goals tend to be things like increase awareness and/or drive foot traffic. Objectives are the measurable things you might want the campaign to achieve, like increase sales by 10% or to raise $10,000 dollars.
When developing campaign strategies, I will often keep these right next to me as I work on the strategy so that I can continually remind myself of where we want to end up. When thinking about the strategies I'm going to use, I want to make sure they support and build towards the goals and objectives for the campaign.
Next, you need to outline who you're trying to reach. Not only do you want to be sure to lay out the demographic elements that help you target them, but also the psychographic elements. These elements describe their personality, values, opinions, attitudes, and interests. It's not uncommon for marketers to lean on psychographics more than demographics, and let these elements be the primary factors that drive their segmentation strategy.
One popular way of getting a clear picture of your target audiences is to develop buyer personas. As a Hubspot partner, much of the work we do in content marketing or inbound marketing is built on the development of robust buyer personas. Some companies end up being obsessed with their buyer personas, and use them as a way to focus everything their company does on their customers.
Here is where you outline not only what it is that you want to say, but how you're going to say it. Essentially, this is where you're going to be positioning your product, service, company, brand and/or organization. You can and will likely tweak your messaging a little bit as you move forward, but this is where you make sure you have your "story" straight.
It's not uncommon to have a set of two or three primary messages that you need to be sure you get across, then you can have two or three secondary messages that you'd also like to get across, if you have the time. Some channels like social media don't really give you the opportunity to say as much as you could in a blog post, so you'll to plan for this when deciding what your messages are going to be. Also make sure you are aware of the language you are using and that it matches with the target audience(s) for the campaign.
Based on everything you've laid out in your strategy to this point, it's time to decide the mix of tactics you're going to use to achieve your goals and objectives. You'll need to figure out the best channels and how you're going to use them to get your messages in front of your target audience at the right time. It's important to be specific when talking about the tactics. Don't just say you're going to use Facebook. Be specific in what types of content you're going to use, and how & when you're going to use them.
Tactics are the boots-on-the-ground activities that are going to bring your campaign to life. You can, and will, often refine them a bit as you move along and in fact, it's probably good to build some testing into your strategy.
Now it's time to start talking turkey. Your budget should be detailed enough that you will allocate a total budget for your campaign by channel and tactic so you have idea of where the money is going to go, and when. You don't have to be specific to the dollar, and you can always adjust your budget during the execution phase, but this is where you can take a step back and figure out if you've got enough money to achieve your goals and objectives.
The last thing you need to do is lay out how the campaign is going to unfold. You need to detail what tactics are going to rolled out, and when. Again, you don't always have to be super-detailed, but what you can do is break your campaign down by week and outline what's going to happen in each week. If you need to, you might also include what kind of budget you're going to spend in each period. This comes in handy particularly if you're going to be doing paid media.
Lee Bolman, the author and instructor on leadership, once said "A vision without a strategy remains an illusion.". So it goes without saying that spending the time to write a marketing campaign strategy will help you achieve your campaign goals and objectives. If you have any questions about developing one, get in touch with us or talk to one of our consultants to set up a free consultation.