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The purpose of a marketing campaign plan is to identify relevant, integrated, marketing activities and channels to reach campaign objectives as well as influence customers. An effective campaign plan has an engaging, shareable, campaign concept that utilizes both online and offline marketing communications tools and digital media channels.
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A campaign plan is a short-term integrated communications plan to generate lead or sales. Its purpose is to engage audiences, it typically has a content marketing focus and an integrated media schedule.
A solid marketing campaign plan has:
Your marketing campaign plan should be used in order to maximize the reach of online campaigns and acquire new customers. Retention campaigns are used in larger organizations. Campaigns should be used and designed with specific goals in mind, such as:
The stages of marketing campaigns and key issues that need to be included in your campaign plan are:
Across each of these six stages, a campaign plan typically includes defining:
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Although PR Smith’s SOSTAC® framework works best for business and marketing plans, as I show here, it’s a versatile tool that can be applied to campaign planning too.
To make sure your marketing campaign plan has all the essential features, I recommend the SOSTAC® structure developed by PR Smith—Dave Chaffey’s co-author of the printed book Digital Marketing Excellence.
SOSTAC® is a great framework for structuring business, marketing or digital marketing plans since it’s relatively simple and logical, so it’s easy to remember and to explain to colleagues or agencies. SOSTAC® is a strategic planning process framework that gives you a clear structure to work through to create and manage your plan.
Situation analysis means ‘Where are we now?’ For marketing campaign planners, questions include:
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Objectives mean ‘Where do we want to be?’
We recommend you create a conversion-based campaign forecasting model for your campaign so you can be more confident that it will reach the audience needed to give the required levels of business outcomes, i.e. leads and sales.
Strategy means ‘How do we get there?’ Strategy summarizes how to fulfil the objectives. It is the shortest part of the plan, but arguably, the most important, as it gives direction to all the subsequent tactics. It answers questions including:
Tactics are the details of the strategy. They highlight on a marketing campaign plan exactly which tactics occur when. Your chosen tactics should support and adhere to your customer’s journey. Questions include:
To help you plan your campaign tactics effectively, the RACE Planning system will provide you with a simple framework as explained in the next section.
To drive reach online to achieve your campaign goals I recommend you consider these 6 channels defined in this diagram.
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Action is the detailed planning of tactics.
Control identifies what you need to measure when and what happens. The Control section of the plan ensures you know if you are succeeding or failing – and you can make adjustments– before it is too late. How you measure the success of your marketing campaign activities will be based upon the overall marketing objectives detailed in your marketing plan.
RACE is a practical framework to help manage and improve results from your digital marketing. Ultimately, it’s about using best practices across digital marketing techniques to get more commercial value from investments in digital marketing. It will help simplify your approach to reviewing the performance of your marketing campaigns and taking actions to improve their effectiveness.
Although SOSTAC® provides a superb framework for structuring a plan, I recommend that a marketing campaign plan combines it with the Smart Insights RACE planning framework since:
RACE covers the full customer lifecycle or marketing funnel from acquisition to retention as shown in this infographic showing the goals for each part of RACE and how you can measure them.
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Google Analytics is a great, free service, but it contains many, many metrics and many, many reports. The purpose of this ready-made dashboard, which syncs up with your GA account, is to immediately pull through the data in an easy-to-view RACE format.
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(Plan) > Reach > Act > Convert > Engage
There is also an initial phase of Plan involving creating the overall digital strategy, objective setting and plan.
RACE consists of four steps or online marketing activities designed to help brands engage their customers throughout the customer lifecycle.
Marketing campaign planning isn’t just for big marketing departments. Organizations of any size, type and at any stage of existence can utilize a marketing campaign plan in order to achieve an effective campaign. Today, with the wide use of content marketing by businesses, a campaign plan to launch your content makes campaign planning more relevant to all businesses.
A marketing campaign plan does not need to be lengthy or complicated. Creating a simple campaign plan with clear actions can ensure that both small and larger organizations are focusing on their goals and the overall success of the business.
A marketing campaign plan is one small piece of your marketing plan; actions designed to achieve a particular objective. It is not produced regularly as part of an annual cycle, it is project or situation-specific.
In contrast to a business plan, marketing plan, digital marketing plan and multichannel marketing plan, a campaign plan tends to have a limited duration to achieve defined objectives. It should integrate with, for example, your overall marketing plan, digital marketing plan and multichannel marketing plan to ensure full alignment.
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