As recently as Tuesday, I had a discussion with the HR manager about how we could improve our visibility. All this in order to help recruitment. To simplify our efforts, I proposed that we work by campaign. For example, we would have one on promoting our values, another on culture, and a third on internal activities. The manager found the whole thing interesting, while indicating that it would help her brainstorming.
Actually, this way of structuring my reflections as a marketer has quietly inserted itself into my work methods. Thinking in a way that lets you gather ideas under a bigger theme is really a simpler way to function and focus marketing efforts.
In this article, I will cover the reasons why reflection by campaign is an asset to put in place.
What do I mean by the word campaign?
The term campaign comes directly from the world of communication. More precisely, it is the advertising agencies that have used it for a while now. In the same year, a company can set up several advertising campaigns that will cover multiple topics. These can also change each year, depending on the brand’s goals.
Thus, these major themes have different objectives, and therefore require a very different deployment. This makes sense, since an advertising campaign can be televised, mobile, web or graphic (ex: posters) but continues to share a common line of communication.
By remembering that a campaign is a series of different activities in nature, which share the same objective (or objectives), and the same communication axis, we can totally use it for marketing.
Why plan by marketing campaign
Aligned with multichannel thinking
As in advertising, marketing touches on several communication channels. Let’s name emails, social media, webinars, offline events, downloadable resources, forums, and more. In fact, there are so many that the need to set up campaigns becomes paramount.
This way of thinking about marketing communications fits directly into the need to be multichannel (different from omnichannel, which referenced all the business channels at the same time). A campaign can then be deployed on the channels that are most appropriate to it, while keeping a clear line between the other elements of the campaign.
For me, this is the best way I have to evaluate the touchpoint to develop according to the topics that are important to me at different time.
Know how to organize (alone and in a team)
Although the previous point has a lot to do with communication, campaign thinking can happen far upstream, especially in strategic thinking. For example, a marketing exercise could determine 5 focus campaigns for the year.
These 5 campaigns could vary between the visibility of the brand, the development of a new service offer, the increase of sales of a BU, etc. In addition to the communication aspects of it, a strategic campaign has to incorporate other areas, including marketing research, the assignment of resources, the selection of employees who will take charge, etc.
This last aspect seems important for me to develop. Indeed, I find that assigning a campaign to a team or a person is easier. They have the responsibility to develop sub-campaigns that keep the same method explained above. They are the leaders in thinking about deployment, resources, and strategic and tactical choices to be made.
Stay relevant (follow trends)
Working by campaign helps to stay relevant. It is possible to easily adopt the trends that are coming, and not to follow those that leave. It is also a way to insert new elements in a structured way. This is done based on existing efforts (is there an existing place for a new item ?) or by creating a new campaign (should we create a new place for this item ?).
Knowing how to measure (easier to locate)
Having several small projects running at the same time can become difficult to track. It is less so when you look at a ” bigger picture ”. This is actually what campaign planning is all about. In my opinion, the performance evaluation is much simpler.
For example, instead of looking at a channel as a whole, like social media, you look at it in one aspect. Since some channels are useful for some type of actions, but not for others, avoid putting them in the same boat. So we couldn’t say that social media is bad for all communications. We would rather say that a single social media is particularly interesting for recruiting, but not for sale type promotion. These findings are possible only if we target what we want to know!
Orient the progressions (evolve over time)
Finally, a campaign progresses much better in time compared to a list of activities not connected to each other
First, according to the initial schedule, a campaign can be evaluated every week, every month, every quarter, or once a year. Campaigns can also be evaluated together or only one by one. This then includes a frequent analysis of messages (effective communication axis?) and channels (are they relevant for the purpose?)
These elements can also evolve over time. If we go back to the HR objective mentioned before, I do not think a campaign on corporate culture will die. However, it will definitely change over the years. As a result, it is the actions and content inside the campaign that will change, but probably not its overall objectives.
All of this makes it much easier for marketing teams to keep up with the efforts, and to take ownership of the success of the campaigns assigned to them.
Get the tools to simplify marketing campaigns
To plan by campaign, you have to be well organized. There are always several in progress. Some will last a few days, or weeks, while others will be continuous. It is necessary to know how to dose in frequency, and also by channel.
My best advice is to use a marketing calendar that allows you to clearly visualize the actions of the week, and even the month. Although there are several calendar tools available out there, the best alternative would be if it could connect to your marketing tools. No need to enter everything manually, since things are automatically inserted.
This is the project that Dialog Insight has been working on for a couple of months. On October 25, the Calendar feature went live. I have been using it in beta mode for a while now, and I consult it every day. This is to say how much I find it useful for my planning.
What I want to say is that I can easily manage my multichannel campaigns. At a glance, I can see upcoming actions (SMS, web and mobile push notifications, contests, landing pages, etc.). In addition, all these elements are automatically integrated in the calendar, since they are scheduled from Dialog Insight itself. It’s also possible to plan future actions, such as an email, and then edit it at a later time, closer to the sending date.
In parallel, I can also add actions manually, like the events I’m going to participate in. Finally, visual elements can differentiate actions, such as colors and shapes. You can also manage different views of your activities based on criteria available in the platform.
For me, working with such a timely schedule makes it much easier to do the planning work on a monthly basis. I can manage my sending frequencies more easily, and avoid sending too much communication. Thus, it prevents me from falling into the trap of doing silo marketing!
To wrap it up
Campaign thinking is a high-level topic, I know. You may even do it unconsciously. I still hope this article has opened you to a way of structuring marketing in a more orderly way.
If you are a Dialog Insight user, think about your next actions in terms of campaign. First, think about the goals, then the content and channels to select (mobile and web push, emails, interceptors, etc.) now available in the platform. You’ll have much better results, I’m sure!