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Campaigns - The 4 C's of Marketing & Communications

The 4 C's are campaigns, communications, content and community. This week we will look at campaigns.

A woman sitting in a field wearing a turtle neck, sweat pants and sneakers.
Look out world! Here comes Turtle! Photo by Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

What are campaigns?

A campaign is defined as a planned set of activities that people carry out over a period of time to achieve a specific goal. They are consistent in their messaging and branding and often use multiple platforms of communication. An important aspect of the definition is the "planned set of activities". You need a plan to run a successful campaign. Another is that the activities happen over a period of time.

What types of campaigns are there?

In marketing and communications, there are specific types of campaigns that you might see. They could include building awareness, generating sales, promoting events, and fundraising. It all depends on the goal. There are also different channels, platforms and media your campaign can run on. These include social media, blogs, email, newspaper, radio and even live events or webinars. What platforms you use depends on your goals and the audience you want to reach.

How to Get Started

For this blog, we will use a brand awareness campaign as an example.

A new company named Turtle is trying to build brand and product awareness. They have developed a new and exciting sweater that warms your neck and they want the world (or at least the retailers in their city) to know!

First, they need to define the goals of the campaign. They want to build awareness about their new product. As with any goal or set of goals, using the SMART method is a great place to start. They need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. So for Turtle, it could look like this:

  • Specific - The more specific you are, the better you can implement your project. In order to be as specific as possible, you need to ask yourself exactly what you want to achieve. "All the independent clothing retailers in our city will know about Turtle."

  • Measurable - How can you measure your success? If your goal isn’t clearly measurable, it’s hard to evaluate the success of your campaign. "A survey of local clothing retailers will show if they know about Turtle."

  • Achievable - Be realistic about your goal. If you have impossible expectations, your campaign will fail. "Turtle knows who the retailers are and have the budget to connect with all of them."

  • Relevant - Why is your goal important for the campaign? What are you trying to achieve? "Turtle knows from market research that people want to stay warm. They are a new company and no one knows about their amazing product yet."

  • Timely - Set a realistic timeframe with clear deadlines and milestones, in order to track the progress of your campaign timeline. "Winter is coming! Retailers should know about Turtle now so they can get the product in stores by September 1st for winter sales. The campaign should start 3 months before..."

This is a simplified SMART list. Your smart list should be more fleshed out. Here are some tips on writing SMART goals.

Define Your Audience

Do you know exactly who you want to reach with your campaign? If you don't specifically target your audience, you can waste money and time. In Turtle's case, their specific audience is the buyer at a local clothing retailer, sports store or gift shop. It's handy to build a "persona" for your audience so you can speak to them in a way that is super relatable to them. Define their age, gender, location, salary, disposable income, industry, and job title. Maybe even what they would do for fun and how far along they are in their career.

Once you know your audience it will be easier to figure out what mediums and platforms will be the most effective in reaching them. You'll also be able to speak to them in terms they understand and appreciate.

Define Your Media

Using Turtle's audience persona of a 30 something woman who lives in the city, makes $60K a year and does yoga and brunch for fun, they could easily figure out where she could be reached. That persona likely uses Instagram and TikTok for social media so running some ads on Instagram would be smart. They don't read the newspaper or listen to the radio but do read fashion blogs, so having some Google display ads could reach the buyers there. Maybe collaborating with a fashion blogger and generating some earned media would be helpful. One thing Turtle does know is the addresses of all the local retailers, so sending a direct mail piece inviting the buyer to check out their product would be a good bet.

So Turtle will run ads on Instagram and Google Display, send out a postcard and arrange a collaboration with a fashion blogger.

Know Your Budget

Turtles is a new company and have a marketing budget, but not a big one. It's important to be specific about how much you want to spend because if you don't you could spend too much or not enough. Turtle has $1000 to spend on marketing to their local retailers. They could hire a graphic designer to create a postcard, get it printed and then mail it out to the stores. They could invite the buyers to a viewing party at their showroom. So they need funds for the party supplies. The rest of the budget could be split up between a paid Instagram campaign and some Google ads. The arrangement for earned media with the fashion blogger will cost them some products.

Get Ready to Launch

It's important to have all of your campaign media on brand and have the same look and voice. When it comes to building awareness, repetition is key. It's important that your audience is able to recognize the same campaign over a period of time, on multiple platforms and media. What does Turtle need to communicate to the retail buyers about their brand and their product? The advertising copy should highlight their values and mission and the benefits of their product. Once all the media is designed, written and produced, it's time to release it to the world!

Person looking at Google Analytics on a laptop
Check your analytics to measure your results! Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Remember to Measure

It has never been easier to measure the results of your campaigns. All the social media platforms have built-in metrics to see how you engaged your audience. In Turtle's case, they could do an email or phone survey to see their campaign worked and the buyers know who they are and want some Turtles!

By knowing the results of your campaign, you can decide what you did right and what needs improvement. The most important measurement is "Did you achieve your goal?"

Need Help With Your Campaigns?

No problem, I would be happy to manage your next campaign. We could come up with some goals and a plan and make it happen! Contact me if you would like me to assist you with your next campaign!


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