How to create a marketing campaign in 12 steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 September 2022

Published 13 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many companies invest considerable time and money developing their marketing materials because a successful marketing effort can help draw in new customers, retain existing customers and increase revenue. A coordinated marketing effort, called a campaign, is one common way companies organise their advertising plan for a particular product, idea or behaviour. Understanding all the various components can be challenging if you have never conducted a marketing campaign. In this article, we explain what a marketing campaign is and outline how you can create a marketing campaign by providing a list of 12 steps.

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What is a marketing campaign?

The purpose of most marketing campaigns is to accomplish a specific goal, such as selling a product, expressing an idea or raising awareness for a cause. A marketing campaign is a coordinated marketing effort that combines many targeted strategies within a cohesive brand. Marketing campaigns often leverage print, web and video marketing materials that display similar content and images. This can help consumers notice and remember a company's product or idea.

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How to create a marketing campaign

Creating an effective marketing campaign requires research and planning. There are many different components to a campaign and various channels to consider. Every marketing campaign is slightly different because they're usually meant to accomplish different goals. The following 12 steps outline the key elements to include in your marketing campaign:

1. Outline your objectives

The first step in creating a successful marketing campaign is to outline clear objectives. Having a clear idea of the goals you want to achieve helps you make further decisions involved in your advertising plan. First, set yourself specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals for the best results. Your objectives could focus on increasing sales, customer satisfaction or profits, but the important thing is that you establish your goals from the start. Consider brainstorming objectives with your team and keeping them visible while you work.

2. Determine your budget

The second step is determining your budget. There are various costs associated with launching a marketing campaign, so it's important to decide how much you're able to spend on it, as this informs your decisions on what strategy, content type and media platform to use. You could also specify how much of your budget you plan to spend on different parts of your campaign in advance. This strategy can be especially useful if you are working with a team.

3. Conduct market research

Market research is key to understanding your target audience and developing a successful marketing campaign. Market research entails studying the groups or individuals you intend on targeting. Traditional market research methods include consumer surveys and focus groups to define the marketing strategies likely to attract the most positive attention. Marketers also invent customer personas to establish their marketing strategy. In addition, you can find information in previously published sources about a particular market segment to help inform your strategy.

4. Create a marketing plan

Once you've found out more about your target audience, you can establish a marketing plan. A marketing plan is a crucial element of a successful campaign. Though the objectives of each marketing campaign vary, the majority include analysis, planning and promotion, before the campaign's publishing phase.

Analysis refers to measuring and understanding the product's customer base. Planning involves determining the kinds of materials to distribute and when to do this. Promotion refers to spreading the word about your marketing campaign. The publishing phase is launching the campaign and sharing the marketing content. This phase typically leads to an analysis of the campaign, and the cycle begins again.

5. Create a campaign schedule

Creating a schedule for your campaign can make it easier to analyse and modify if necessary. Additionally, if there are numerous members of your marketing team contributing to a campaign, having a set schedule for events helps ensure that everyone completes their tasks at the right time. Consider using digital tools, such as project management software, to help coordinate the timing of your marketing campaign across your team.

6. Establish an emotional connection

Most successful marketing campaigns manage to establish some degree of emotional connection with the consumer to communicate their message and achieve their goals. Specifically identifying the kind of emotional connection to develop with your customers and how you can best accomplish this is an important part of your market research process. Be sure to measure your success periodically and make adjustments if necessary.

7. Call to action

Including a clear call to action helps motivate your target audience to perform the action that your marketing campaign is promoting. This action may be purchasing a product, subscribing to a service or engaging in a particular kind of behaviour. Typically, a successful marketing campaign clarifies what the audience can do after hearing or seeing the marketing campaign. Your campaign's most appropriate call to action depends on your marketing objective.

If the purpose of your campaign is to establish consumers' trust in your brand and your product, then you may decide on a content marketing campaign that includes educational or informative material.

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8. Develop engaging content

You can then decide on the type of content you're going to use in your marketing campaigns, such as text, images, video or other forms of media. The campaign's content is vital to success. Your content typically catches and holds the consumer's attention, so it's important to select it carefully. It's a good idea to use the knowledge you obtained about your target segment in market research to help you decide on the most appropriate content for your audience.

You can create the content yourself or within a team. Alternatively, you may wish to outsource some content creation to freelance writers or advertising agencies and allow them to create the content, giving you more time to focus on your marketing strategy. If you decide to create the written content yourself and want to include a video element but have no experience in this area, you could hire a freelancer with experience to create the video element.

9. Outline an online strategy

Developing a specific online strategy is another important element of a marketing campaign. Digital platforms, such as email and social media, can be highly cost-effective avenues for reaching your audience. They perform differently than print or television marketing materials. For example, understanding search engine optimisation can help you achieve higher search engine results for your product type. Knowing best practices in social media engagement can also boost your audience. A successful marketing campaign could include elements such as email marketing, social media, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), customer relationship management (CRM), events and websites.

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10. Develop a conversion strategy

Turning your audience into customers is an important part of most marketing campaigns. It can be beneficial to have an intentional strategy in mind. Consider researching the percentage of leads that turn into customers in your industry. This strategy helps you set ambitious yet attainable conversion goals. Be sure to make it easy for those interested in your marketing campaign to find and purchase your product or act on your ideas.

11. Plan for automation

It can sometimes be helpful to automate parts of your marketing campaign. For instance, you might want social media posts to go live at certain times. In this case, you could use a subscription service to automate those posts. Email management services that gather potential customer contact information and automatically distribute marketing materials are another example of helpful automation. You could use automation as a good strategy to make your campaign more efficient.

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12. Analyse and measure success

After launching your campaign, you can use analytics software to measure campaign performance. For example, you could use various metrics to measure campaign success, such as the number of organic website visits to your content, time spent on each page, email opening and click-through rates, click-throughs and referrals from paid ads and social media engagement. Analysing the success of your campaign helps to inform future marketing strategy and budget planning.

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