A marketing campaign is a strategic plan to help your business meet a goal. To run a campaign, you need to define the goal, pick your audience, and craft your message.
Up ‘till now, most of our articles have described marketing principles. Today, we want to talk about how to put those principles into action by creating and running a marketing campaign.
In our experience, marketing campaigns can be a lot of fun . . but they’re also a lot of work. Keep reading and we’ll tell you how to do the work and lean into the fun.
In marketing, a “campaign” is a strategic marketing plan with a specific goal. In our opinion, campaigns are a lot of fun because there are hundreds of different strategies, tactics, and platforms to choose from. The creative possibilities are endless.
Here are a few types of marketing campaigns to consider:
Generally, it’s better to spend your marketing capital online because it’s more cost-effective and it’s easier to target a specific audience. But sometimes it’s helpful to run a short campaign via traditional media as well.
You could, for example, run a few ads in your local newspaper to broadcast an upcoming sale. Keep in mind that the success of a traditional media campaign will likely depend on your industry and the demographics of your target audience.
Depending on your industry, people may be more likely to buy your product/service at a specific time of year. For example, if you sell backpacks, you might want to run a special campaign right before the school year starts.
You might also consider running a campaign during the holiday season. It’s a great time to speak to the emotions of your customers and make your brand more personable.
If you are about to launch a new product or open a new location, you probably want to advertise that fact. This will help existing customers become aware of the change and can even entice new customers to your business as well.
Technically, most marketing campaigns are brand awareness campaigns because they help to spread awareness of your business. But it’s never a bad idea to run a campaign with this being the one and only goal.
People are more likely to buy from a brand they recognize. So if you want to stand out from the crowd, you should run the occasional brand awareness campaign and get your name out there. (But before you run an awareness campaign, make sure your brand guidelines are already defined.)
Email marketing campaigns are ones that take place via—you guessed it—email. When you’re targeting your email list for a campaign, the goals are usually a little different.
That’s because your email list is full of people who already know all about you. This allows you to bypass the need for explaining who you are and what you do. Instead, you can get right to the point of what you’re trying to accomplish. (Does this sound familiar? We’ve written about email marketing campaigns before.)
This is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding the many different types of campaigns you can choose to run. If you have an idea of something that might help you achieve your marketing goals, we think it’s always worth a try. Above all, marketing campaigns give you the chance to get creative and think outside the box.
Ultimately, the goal of every marketing campaign is to sell more products and/or services. You can’t do that spontaneously.
To run a successful marketing campaign, you need to be thoughtful and strategic in your preparation. Here are the steps we recommend:
Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm ideas and create a strategy. For example, we held our first meeting for our Christmas 2024 campaign in July of 2023. We used this time to brainstorm ideas and discuss what did/didn’t work for past campaigns.
There are a lot of different goals you might try to accomplish with your campaign. Here are a few:
Once you know what you want to accomplish, you’ll be able to direct your thoughts and strategies in a more effective direction.
Are you advertising to your existing customers or trying to reach a new audience? The answer to this question will determine which platforms and strategies you use to deploy the campaign. You can learn more about identifying your target audience here.
Now that you know your target audience, you’ll be able to choose the best platform for your campaign. When you’re speaking to existing clients, your social media accounts and/or email list are great places to start. If you want to reach new audiences, it might be time to try paying for ads on Google or social media.
At this point, you should have most of the logistics of your campaign figured out. That means it’s time to sit down and craft your message.
Consider your target audience and the goal of your campaign. Then, brainstorm different ideas to achieve that purpose . . . and ask for feedback from your team. If you need a refresher on how to create good content, we recommend this article. Or, you can make the process even easier on yourself and hire a copywriter.
With all of your ducks in a row, you’re finally ready to deploy the campaign!
Monitor the results of the campaign and take note of what works and what doesn’t. Then, use this information to get a leg up on your next campaign. (If you don’t know how to monitor your marketing results, we recommend this article on Key Performance Indicators.)
For many, the most difficult part of running a campaign is the part where you have to get creative. And listen, we get it: creativity requires a certain level of vulnerability. You’ll have to get past that. Once you do, things get a lot more fun.
At Myriad, we always start our campaigns with a team meeting. At this meeting, we throw out any and every idea that comes to mind. Then, we build upon one another’s creativity. Some of the ideas that come out of this initial meeting are laughably bad. But we always leave with at least a few winners.
If you’re struggling to brainstorm a creative idea, try:
Not to sound like a broken record, but we think that the best way to run a successful campaign is to start early. Give yourself plenty of time to come up with ideas and we know you’ll produce a winner.
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