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How to Manage a Marketing Campaign: a Step-by-step Guide

Whether you want to promote a product launch or drive brand awareness, a good marketing campaign can make all the difference in boosting your company’s sales.

Depending on your marketing strategy, your marketing campaign can include digital or print media or a mix of the two. Both can broaden your company’s reach and improve brand awareness.

In this article, we’ll talk about the steps involved in managing a marketing campaign and how to improve your chances of hitting your goals.

What is a marketing campaign?

A marketing campaign is a planned and coordinated series of activities, like promotions or social media posts. Marketers use them to promote products, services, or brands to a specific audience within an agreed timeframe.

When your marketing campaign is well-executed and planned, you can measure its effectiveness based on the key performance indicators (marketing KPIs) you’ve set before you launched your campaign.

What are the benefits of marketing campaigns?

Since marketing may not always be your company’s top priority, you need to have a management structure that is supportive and aligned with your campaign’s objectives.

According to a recent survey by McKinsey & Company, CEOs who prioritise marketing strategies are twice as likely to have more than 5% annual growth compared to other companies that don’t value marketing initiatives.

To ensure successful marketing campaigns, you need to plan, manage, and execute them effectively. Here are some main reasons why effective campaign management is crucial in marketing campaigns:

1. Improved conversion rates

A lot can go wrong with marketing campaigns, considering how many moving parts there are in today’s digital marketing space.

But with proper marketing campaign management, you can give enough time for the subject matter experts on your team to execute your vision. This means you’re more likely to follow your marketing strategies to a tee while improving your conversion rates.

2. Increased transparency and accountability

Effective marketing campaign management can get your team on board with your campaign’s vision. These are the things to communicate early on:

  • You need to get the timing right to make sure everything is released synchronously.
  • Your team needs to be trusted with embargoed collateral.
  • Your IT department should be able to handle any issues with your promo codes and so on.

Proper management gives you transparency and accountability regarding the campaign tasks and any sensitive information in your campaign assets.

3. Seamless management of the campaign

Depending on how involved your team’s leadership is in your marketing campaigns, you can assign them roles such as marketing campaign manager, owner, and lead. This will help identify who you need to inform and consult on the campaign performance.

At the same time, this can help you understand who is responsible and accountable for the campaign’s success.

4. Better resource allocation

With structured management on your side, you can expect sufficient budget, time, and resource allocation to meet your campaign goals.

It’s not always easy for marketing managers to get their campaign budget requests approved, so you need effective management to get your campaign sponsors on board.

The marketing campaign management process: 4 steps

1. Plan your campaign

It takes a lot to get your campaign from the conceptual stage to the approval stage. Proper planning will ensure you have a marketing campaign management strategy you can present to your project sponsor before allocating more time and resources.

Here are the steps involved in planning a campaign:

Consult with your team

Begin by consulting with the subject matter experts (SMEs) on your team about your marketing goals.

SMEs can include your sales team, product managers, the CEO, external advisors, or anyone who is familiar with the products or services about to be launched.

Define objectives

After you find out what you need to promote, you need to determine clear and measurable goals for the campaign.

You can do this by consulting your leadership team about what they want to achieve. For instance, they may be looking for a 10% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) within a specific timeframe.

These business goals need to be specific enough so you can have a benchmark for your campaign’s success.

Research and analyse

Make sure you thoroughly research your target audience, potential customers, their preferences, current market trends, and what your competitors are currently doing.

You can do this through surveys, social media listening, and even checking your data from old campaigns. Leverage any existing data you currently have before deciding to invest time and resources into new data collection.

Choose the right marketing channel

Align your choice of channels with your campaign goal.

For instance, if your objective is to increase brand awareness, channels like social media platforms and display advertising might be effective for reaching a broad audience.

On the other hand, if you’re focused on generating leads or sales, channels like email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising could be more suitable.

Consider the unique advantages and limitations of each channel, as well as your budget and resources. It’s also beneficial to conduct tests and experiments to determine which channels yield the best results for your specific campaign.

By combining data-driven insights with a clear understanding of your goals, target audience, and available resources, you can make informed decisions about the right mix of marketing channels to maximise effective campaign management.

Stay within budget

Establish a comprehensive marketing campaign budget that allocates resources to various campaign components, such as advertising, content creation, and promotional materials.

This marketing campaign budget should be regularly reviewed and adjusted as necessary; this prevents overspending while maximising the impact of allocated resources.

Prepare a campaign timeline

Develop a rollout plan with clear milestones and deadlines. This will guide the execution of your marketing campaign.

Regularly monitor your team’s progress against this timeline to identify potential delays or bottlenecks early on. Ensure to take corrective action to keep the campaign on track.

Effective communication among team members and stakeholders is paramount; that way, you’ll address any challenges promptly and ensure alignment with your marketing goals.

2. Develop your strategy

Once you get the go-signal to allocate more time and resources to your marketing campaign, you can develop a more detailed marketing campaign management strategy.

Here’s what you need to do:

Craft the message

Develop the messaging and brand positioning you want to convey once the campaign has landed.

It’s a good idea to perform some A/B testing early on to see which one resonates best with your target audience.

Create a good content marketing campaign

Your campaign story needs to match the trends on your chosen channels. Each channel has a different purpose.

For example, you can use a LinkedIn post to establish your company as a thought leader in the industry and attract B2B leads.

On the other hand, you can use Instagram reels to target smaller businesses and potential customers.

Top content creation tip:

Keep your marketing content curated and change it as needed based on the channel it’s set to be released on. For instance, if you need to promote a fast track social work degree online, you could consider establishing credibility through testimonials from students on Instagram reels.

Develop promotional tactics

Aside from social media posts, you can also develop a plan for print ads and your website. You can have special offers, discounts, or other incentives that can help boost your company’s sales.

Identify performance metrics

You can also refine your campaign KPIs at this stage, as you should have a detailed, play-by-play marketing plan.

Establish your marketing KPIs early on to measure campaign success and benchmark your progress later in the campaign.

Check out Cognism’s framework for managing a marketing campaign - press ▶️ to watch the tutorial!

3. Execute your strategy

With an established and approved marketing campaign, you should now be ready to execute your strategy. Here’s how:

Coordinate and collaborate

Team collaboration is vital for campaign success. Work with your marketing team, IT department, strategic partnerships manager, and other key stakeholders to deliver on the campaign plan you’ve developed.

For example, when working with the IT team, make sure your brief is clear and that there’s enough lead time for them to deliver on any implementations you request. A promo code can include multiple levels of implementation; you need to make sure their team delivers before the marketing team can promote the promo code. You want to avoid a nightmare with your sales team!

Employing marketing automation tools and software can streamline workflow processes, facilitate collaboration, and provide real-time insights into budget and timeline performance.

Top tip: check out Cognism’s tools for marketing teams.

Monitoring and adjustment

Continuously monitor campaign progress and make necessary adjustments in real-time.

You can keep track of how everyone is doing with their parts of the campaign through collaborative online tools that can be edited in real-time by campaign managers. Set daily or weekly check-ins to identify any obstacles or milestones and ensure everyone stays aligned with the campaign.

Remember, communication is a vital part of executing your marketing campaign! As the campaign rolls out, you need to communicate effectively with your team.

Stay consistent

Do your best to stay on your planned schedule. Try to avoid delays. You can use scheduling software for social media posts, scheduled IT updates for promo codes, or any built-in scheduling feature in email marketing tools.

Automating key aspects of your campaign can help ensure that it stays consistent, on track, and synchronous across the different channels.

Top tip: leverage your email signature to promote content via banners, maximise engagement, and extend your reach with every correspondence.

Feedback incorporation

Gather and incorporate feedback from your target audience to improve campaign effectiveness.

For example, the learning stage of your ads can be a helpful guide to what your audience wants to see. This can help inform your decisions to fine-tune your social media campaigns.

4. Evaluate and optimise

It’s important to evaluate and optimise your campaign throughout. Why?

So you can stop ineffective strategies and invest more resources into campaigns that work. The results of your marketing campaign are often the most relevant part of the entire project to your key stakeholders. The campaign sponsor, usually the CEO, will be keen to know if they’ve had any returns on their investment.

Here’s what you need to do to evaluate and optimise your marketing campaign:

Performance measurement

Although leads or sales through marketing aren’t always quantifiable, you can use the key metrics you’ve set early on to check if you’ve hit or missed the targets.

Top tip: regularly monitor these metrics throughout the campaign’s duration and compare them against predefined benchmarks or industry averages:

  • ROI (Return on Investment): Calculate the revenue generated relative to the cost of the campaign to determine its profitability.
  • Conversion Rates: Measure the percentage of potential buyers who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form.
  • Engagement Metrics: Track indicators like likes, shares, comments, click-through rates, and time spent on your website or landing pages to gauge audience engagement and interaction with your content.
  • Brand Awareness: Assess changes in brand recognition, recall, and perception through surveys, brand sentiment analysis, or common metrics like brand mentions and social media reach.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): Determine the long-term value of customers acquired through the campaign, considering factors like repeat purchases and referrals.
  • Data Analysis. Use Google Analytics or in-built business suites from Meta and LinkedIn to help analyse the data in the form of impressions, growth in the number of likes, followers, and so on. If you already have an e-commerce set-up in Meta’s or Google’s platforms, you can also find ROAS values or sales from your campaigns. It would be best to work with a marketing data analyst or paid ads specialist for this information because interpreting the data without prior experience can be challenging. Usually, a 4:1 ROAS indicates a successful campaign, but this ultimately depends on your company’s goals.

Testing and optimisation

It’s important to understand which parts of your email marketing campaign are working and which parts aren’t performing as well as you need them to.

Only then can you develop more strategies to implement in the learning stage for future social media marketing campaigns.

Top tip: conduct A/B testing to refine your digital or print content. Remember, valuable content is always best!

Learning for future campaigns

Document what you learn from the campaign; this will help you improve future campaigns.

Reporting

You should also have a comprehensive post-campaign report to summarise the results so you can keep your sponsor informed. You can discuss a readjustment of the budget if needed.

Marketing campaign management: the last word

Managing a marketing campaign is both an art and a science.

You need to exercise creativity and spontaneity in promoting products and services as well as carefully planning the campaign’s technical aspects. By taking the time to identify your objectives, assess your audience segments, and map out a campaign schedule, you will yield high success rates!

Hopefully, this marketing roadmap we provided will help you better navigate your marketing campaign project.

If you’re looking to take your campaign to the next level, you can also consider leveraging sales intelligence tools like Cognism to reinforce your marketing initiatives. Doing so can give you better insights into your campaign’s performance, empowering you to make informed marketing decisions.

Learn more about marketing the Cognism way - click 👇 to access our free demand generation course!

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