This is the third in a series of blog posts to help mid-sized businesses with marketing strategy. In it, we describe marketing strategy and campaigns within a greater business strategy. Read Part I and Part II.
Ring Four: Campaigns
Most mid-sized businesses have never run a campaign outside of perhaps a Google Ads campaign to boost brand visibility. What is a campaign? Think of it as a branch of the marketing plan: it’s structured like a marketing strategy in that it has tactics and measurable objectives, but it’s smaller in scope because it’s constrained in at least one of the following ways:
- Limited duration
- Limited geography
- Limited audience
Example campaigns are an initiative targeted at older women; a 50-year anniversary initiative, and a project to support the opening of a satellite office. In all of these instances, the contained nature of the campaign allows the marketing team to maintain a narrow focus. Campaigns have the added benefit of being scalable or repeatable; for example, you can take a campaign targeted at one market and replicate parts of it to build a campaign for another market. You can also increase the scope or duration of a campaign based on learnings.
In larger or well-funded marketing programs, campaigns can also be used to test new marketing tactics, such as whether one message is more effective than another.
As indicated in the ring graphic, a campaign should always “nest” within the overall marketing strategy—it should serve the overall marketing objectives. This is where a marketing agency can be invaluable; a 50-year anniversary campaign, for example, is only worth your time, effort, and budget if it serves your overall objectives. An agency can help put the structure in place and manage the additional juggling required to ensure your foundational marketing and your campaign remain active rather than detract from one another.
Understanding where the work you’ve done fits within an overall marketing plan will help you recognize how many marketing tactics need to be active simultaneously. It will also help you evaluate whether the agency you’d like to contract with understands the best approach to help your bottom line.