“Marketing outreach plans have to create compelling content and intelligent messaging. For a truly effective campaign, a brand needs to embrace the first principles of marketing, which involves brand definition and consistent storytelling,” – Trent Anderson
The domains of advertising and marketing are inextricably combined with the fundamental principles of modern commerce. These disciplines enable commercial organizations to reach customers, broadcast products and services, underline the value proposition offered by a business, compete effectively, and help to boost business bottom lines. We must bear in mind that every publicity exercise begins with campaign planning because this helps an organisation to chalk out the business objectives and the message to be broadcast to customers. Therefore, campaign planning comprises a critical part of the duties entrusted to marketing departments and to the advertising machinery of an organisation.
The first step in the campaign planning process is to envisage and build a cost-effective strategy that is designed to boost sales. The selection of the correct advertising medium and materials is important because the success of the campaign depends on these choices. For instance, a firm that sells biscuits and detergents may choose to foray into the rural hinterland in an attempt to tap virgin markets and to expand its share of the market. The campaign planning process would ideally select radio and television in order to maximise its outreach. Rural areas in many developed countries continue to be sparsely inhabited and thus radio and television represent the ideal medium to reach rural customers. This strategy hinges on the fact, that the rural customer base has access to radio and television devices and therefore a campaign on such media is bound to create a significant marketing impact. That said, the firm could also try to enact brief street performances to attract the attention of rural masses.
Every campaign planner must have a clear idea about the customer segments to be targeted through a publicity campaign. This is an integral part of the actions that attend campaign planning because a targeted campaign stands a much higher chance of directing the marketing message to the appropriate customer segments. For instance, a business that manufactures and markets home improvement products and hardware items should insist on a campaign that targets the relevant consumers. Therefore, the campaign planning should ideally focus on construction sites, super market premises, home improvement conventions, hardware stores, and real estate businesses. The marketing message borne by the campaign thus has a higher chance of reaching the targeted audience and generating an adequate return on investment. An extension of the said campaign can be created in the form of makeshift stalls that enable visitors and customers to experience the products being advertised.
The materials to be used in an advertising campaign should be locked in early in the campaign planning stages. Vinyl, polymer materials, posters, glow signs, and banners can be the cornerstones of a campaign that focuses on in-store advertising. We must note that such a campaign essentially focuses on indoor environments and therefore, the lighting aspects of the campaign should be determined beforehand. The campaign description should underline these facts well in advance so that execution of the campaign strategy is flawless at all levels. For instance, a bookstore can choose to craft a promotional campaign to spotlight new publications in its business premises. In addition to the above mentioned materials, the campaign can choose to invite authors for a book signing and book reading ceremony to enhance the success of said campaign. These actions can ensue inside the business premises and must be tightly orchestrated by the said business. We must bear in mind that the campaign planning of the said strategy should be calibrated minutely so that the outcomes match the envisaged campaign objectives.
The use of multiple media is an exciting aspect of campaign planning because this approach enables a marketing campaign to reach and influence diverse audiences. Businesses need to make a decision about investing significant corporate resources because a multi-media campaign is more expensive than, if we say an exclusively print campaign. Once the decision is taken, campaign planners need to pay special attention to social media platforms since this can help broadcast a campaign to a wide audience, dispersed across multiple geographies. When we examine this aspect of a publicity campaign, we must note that the true flavour of multimedia emerges through a mix of video, animation, audio, on-screen text and graphics, etc. When combined judiciously, these components can work in tandem to help advertisers achieve an outsized impact, generate online conversations, expand the mind share among customers, and create significant returns on investment. We must bear in mind that the details of the multimedia strategy should be clearly defined in the campaign-planning phase so that everyone involved in the project shares a unified vision of key campaign objectives.
Advertising and publicity campaigns should have a sincere buy-in from corporate management groups in order to succeed in competitive markets. Keeping this premise in view, we must note that campaign-planning activities should be regularly communicated to senior management personnel because these individuals have visibility into all aspects of a business enterprise. Alternatively, campaign managers can choose to involve one member of the senior management team in their planning activities so that all members remain on the same page during the planning and execution stages. For instance, the chief operating officer of a business may be requested to attend a one-hour daily meeting to take stock of progress in campaign planning. The officer can choose to offer his inputs into the campaign, steer course corrections as required, examine the efficacy of the key lynchpins of the campaign, and offer a fresh perspective in different aspects of such activities. We must bear in mind that this is important because management buy-in can ensure that a campaign attracts the right talent and the resources required for successful execution.
A successful advertising campaign cannot be executed in a vacuum and therefore, brands and businesses should carefully survey market conditions to launch the campaign at the right moment. This is important from a campaign planning perspective because timing is crucial to boost the success of any publicity campaign. Consider this: a white goods retailer can choose to launch a selling campaign just weeks before the commencement of a major festival. The timing is crucial because market research reveals that customers tend to shop before festivals. A key aspect of the selling campaign can manifest in flat discounts on select merchandise, combined with a points based system that rewards customers that shop for a specified amount of dollars. We must bear in mind that the campaign planning stages should acknowledge customer behaviour and craft the campaign in conjunction with such information. This approach is likely to enable the business to harvest significant sales numbers and can be termed a success.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the key steps that must be negotiated in the creation of a successful marketing campaign. Brands and businesses devote significant corporate resources to such campaigns because they help the enterprise to sell products and services. Keeping this in mind, campaign managers, and other staff members should exert themselves to achieve 100% success and thus enable their employer to create outstanding examples of successful corporate communications.