Constructing a successful marketing campaign is not easy. If it were, every Fred, Bob, and Terence would be masterful marketing managers; they aren’t.

Finding a formula that piques the interest of its targets, that compels said targets to go and find out more about your service or product, or that simply makes an impact of any sort, is a tricky task.

Here, we’ll detail an approach that condenses the steps that every successful marketing campaign has taken.

There are, of course, certain approaches to avoid.

A foreword on what not to do

Remember when Kendall Jenner and Pepsi co-opted the Black Lives Matter campaign to try and sell their brand? Or in the UK, where McDonald’s told us a story about how a young boy only needed a Filet O’ Fish to really connect with his deceased father?

Though it boggles the mind that both of these ads were able to go through several levels of marketing hierarchy and for each level to say “yes, I think this is a good idea”, it still happens.

Before you set out on any marketing campaign and decide how you will advertise your brand, think long and hard about whether the material that will offend, upset, or generally get your brand into trouble.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to begin on the points below.

1. Always consider your eventual aims

Marketing campaigns only work when you know who you’re out to reach and why you want to reach them. And this should be known to you already. Marketing campaigns are a weapon in the armory of the marketing plan.

Every business should have a general marketing plan. Regardless of budget, some form of marketing is needed to be done to promote your company and let people know you exist! Of course, when you’re handling bottomless budgets then your marketing possibilities widen significantly. Most companies aren’t, so they have to work with what they have.

Research should be carried out to find your ideal target market. Who visits your Facebook website? Where do customers tend to live? What are their ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds? What do they want from your service?

A marketing campaign can help you reach a certain segment of your target audience. But it’s only a few steps along an ongoing journey. Make sure it works under the umbrella of your overall marketing plan and to help in achieving your wider aims.

2. Choose your medium of attack

Deciding upon the route that best suits your overall aim can be difficult. If you’re not a major company then budget constraints are likely to remove many avenues such as television or radio. But well placed online marketing ads can really have an impact. That’s not to mention free spaces to advertise.

For online businesses, email marketing is a popular option. Email marketing is so useful because you’re targeting people you already know have an interest in your business, as after all, they have given you their contact details.

Advertising via social media is another fantastic form of attack, as we have discussed before. The data that social media platforms hold on their users allows businesses to launch campaigns that can be customized to your exact customer profile.

Google Ads is an additional and brilliant marketing choice.

But each of these, and the million other marketing campaign routes, all have their good and bada and are better suited to some companies than others.

Choosing is down to your particular position.

3. Know what you have to offer and how long you’ve got

Marketing campaigns are often the grand opening to some sort of exciting new announcement a business has to make. Perhaps the company has launched a new product, has rebranded, or is offering a limited period deal.

Know what you have to offer as this can shape the way you decide to have your campaign unfold.

You must also decide on how long you want the campaign to run for. Budgetary circumstances will affect the length of your campaign to a large extent so consider how much you’re willing to spend before you set off.

While some campaigns have an obvious sell-by-date – for example, if you’re offering a limited period deal – while others do not.

4. Know your budget

This is a vital part of the marketing campaign decision. Knowing your budget before you start paying for ads will allow you to know when to stop spending. This is important because, like a craps table in a buzzing casino, it isn’t always easy to realize when it’s better to walk away from the table. One last roll of the dice is always alluring.

Have a budget and stick to it. Stop when you’ve hit that monetary boundary, regardless of whether your campaign is a success or failing.

If your campaign went well then great: you can review which aspects performed well and take them into future campaigns.

On the other hand, if it’s been a disaster then review it, talk about what you could have changed so that it could have performed better, and take what you learn into your next campaign.

But how to measure success?

5. Know how you’ll measure your return on investment

This connects back to understanding the reasons behind your marketing campaign. If you chose to launch one, then what did you hope for in return? What are the routes that you will take to decide upon its success?

When advertising a single product, there are fairly simple ways to question success. Has the product sold and in numbers how large? Likewise, how many clients have been in touch about your limited period discount? This is fairly straightforward.

But when you’re just telling an audience about your rebranding, how do you decide on a campaign’s effectiveness?

One way would be to use analytics tools. Google Analytics is one such tool and is ideal for tracking the number, location, and frequency of users’ visits to your website, among other metrics.

If you launched an email marketing campaign then the lead generation is one suggested measurement. How many clients enquired further about your services or the products you offer?

Regardless of your end goal, make sure you know how to measure your return on investment before you begin a marketing campaign.

Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble.

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About Patrick Appleby

Patrick is a British journalist and content creator now based in Mexico City. When not searching for a scoop or trying to memorise Spanish verb conjugations, he enjoys cycling, reading, and wandering through the vast streets of the Distrito Federal.