Foundations in Advertising Campaign Planning

Foundations in Advertising Campaign Planning

The secret to a successful Digital Advertising Campaign Plan isn’t really that much of a secret.  In fact, it may be simpler than you think — like following 7 foundation steps. Here they are, we’ll hit the first 3 in detail right now.

  1. “Be” your target audience. 
  2. Know your marketing goals.
  3. Set your budget (as best you can).
  4. Answer the media question.
  5. Perfect your message.
  6. Jump!
  7. Measure, measure, measure.

1. Target Audience
“Be” your target audience. While laying out the future of digital advertising in an article for Forbes.com, Daniel Newman predicts that “Brands will own their audience”.
As social media and digital tools grow increasingly customizable, interaction with your target market becomes increasingly direct. This direct communication involves the audience in an intimate way, allowing the marketing plan to hone its message to create exceptional brand loyalists. 
Tailoring a digital advertising campaign in this way requires not only answering basic questions about your target audience, but also knowing what to do with those answers. Who does your product or service benefit? What problem does it solve? Answering these questions guides the next step as well. 
2. Target Goals
Step Number 2 requires you to know your marketing goals. Nothing too magical there, except that without this foundation, a marketing campaign — especially digital — can spin off into orbit around the wrong planet or around no planet at all. 
Digital marketing is such a rapidly expanding universe, the possibilities often seem overwhelming. That’s why every advertisement placed must have a specific goal — not just the campaign in general. By giving each ad a single objective and strategy they become ultra-focused on their target audience. 
But don’t stop at individual advertisements. Align the entire campaign under one marketing objective and strategy (which is different than an advertising objective) to ensure a cohesive culture to the effort. Of course, this is marketing 101, but it sounds a lot easier than it is!
Target Budget
Let’s take a quick look at Number 3 — Budgeting. Before you turn and run, let’s concede that a marketing budget is a notoriously difficult concept to get right. But it doesn’t have to be painful.
Here are a few principles to keep in mind when considering an accurate and sufficient marketing budget:

  • Know your business stage and plan accordingly. For example, different needs — and different budgets — exist in the brand-building stage than exist in a mature business model. 
  • Know your numbers. Revenue determines budgets in many cases, and a good rule of thumb is to allocate 7-10 percent of revenue for growth to marketing for a business pulling in less than $5 million.
  • Know your results. Constantly monitor and revise your marketing plan to maintain optimal effectiveness. Nothing drains a budget quicker than ineffective advertising.

4. Answer the media question
This is where you identify the best venues to meet your target. 
Most textbooks outline for media planning follow these steps:

  • State media objectives (e.g., drive 3k downloads of $1 off coupon)
  • Develop media strategy, be SMART:
    S: Specific
    M: Measurable
    A: Achievable
    R: Realistic
    T: Time-bound
  • Evaluate media: where is most of your target spending time? How are they using these venues (entertainment, promotions, info, etc)?
  • Select most appropriate media
  • Determine the budget – media choices will dictate where your money goes

While this provides a process, the most fundamental facet of media planning requires an understanding of where your target audience accesses your creative content. Therefore, be careful to follow these steps only with the framework of access point information to ensure you don’t hinder the process.  

5. Perfect the message
There’s a lot to be said about crafting the elusive “perfect pitch,” but for now let’s keep it to the essentials:

  • Highlight your target audience’s wants and needs
  • Keep it simple. What is the single most important thing to say?
  • Always differentiate your product/service/company. Show the consumer how your product is unique or solves a problem in a unique way.
  • Keep it fresh and new.
  • Capitalize on your target audience’s emotional triggers.

Following these steps will provide you an effective message, but it’s best to entrust this craft to those who make a living doing just that.

6. Jump!
Take the leap! Put your plan into action. This is where you carry out all the prior steps and watch your diligent planning pay off.  Mobilize the various departments, get the moving parts rolling and monitor the results. 
Utilize all your tools — Blog, email, pay-per-click, social media — and ensure the plan is rolling on all fronts by maintaining timely and comprehensive reporting tools. These reports will pay huge dividends in the next step.

7. Measure everything…then measure again
This is the last step, but it never ends. You can’t over-measure your marketing campaign, but choosing what to measure can be confusing. So we’ve compiled a short list of the most important metrics to follow in digital advertising: 

  • Total visits
  • Unique visitors
  • Direct, referral, organic or social visitors
  • Bounce rates
  • Total conversions
  • Customer value
  • Cost per lead
  • ROI

There are many additional metrics to drive your research team, but start with these to get an adequate grasp on where and when to tweak your campaign.
To talk about creating an effective digital marketing campaign, contact us. Thanks for reading!

​To talk more about this, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks.

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