To quote Elle Woods: What? Like It’s hard?, and who am I to argue with one of the greatest legal minds of our generation.
In any marketing activity from one targeted ad, all the way to creating a full-blown marketing campaign, you can easily get bogged down in the details.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Marketing campaign templates are about the BIG picture, and almost every single one, from multi-million dollar companies to the small business in your neighborhood can be outlined using an easy short and sweet process.
Real Talk About Marketing and Advertising Campaigns
As awesome and amazing as your service or product(s) are, if you are only talking about yourself in your marketing campaign:
No one is listening
Instead, create a marketing and advertising plan to tell the story of how your product(s) will solve the problems your customers face.
Whether you have an entire marketing department or are a jack of all trades, your campaign execution should be simple and transparent to increase brand awareness.
Learning Marketing Campaign Lessons From My Past Life
I didn't start my career in marketing, my background is actually as a photojournalist for local news affiliates.
I was a storyteller.
I told stories about Northwest Ohio and learned how to shoot video and tell beautiful stories from seasoned veteran photogs (our nickname). I moved on and into various marketing roles and two things always stuck with me:
- Learn from others by working smarter, not harder.
- Keep It Simple Stupid - and under a minute twenty if you want your producer to be happy.
I’m not the first person to ever introduce a simple marketing plan template, but my method is clear and straightforward, and I know it works for me, so maybe, it can work for you.
Is it the end all be all of marketing campaign templates?
Everyone’s goals and ideals are different. However, it’s a great way to get started on creating a transparent and effective marketing campaign template for your team.
This marketing template will help you navigate your next marketing campaign game plan and help align your marketing campaign with your advertising goals.
Create SMART Goals For Your Marketing Campaign
Before you create your marketing campaign template outline, it’s time to set SMART campaign goals.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
For your marketing campaign to be successful and generate leads, you need to measure it and define it by setting goals.
Specific: We are going to do X.
Measurable: We will measure our success by doing X.
Achievable: We will utilize X to achieve this goal.
Relevant: This is your why. Why are you doing the goal and how does it help your organization?
Time-Bound: Set a date or timeline for your campaign.
Before you do anything, close your eyes and envision your perfect new customer. The one you wish every customer was like.
Are they male or female? What is their current occupation?
Create a story in your mind (don’t worry we are going to write this all down) of that perfect customer.
This will be the basis of your target audience.
- What are the challenges they face?
- How does your product or service address their challenges?
- What kind of marketing message would get through to them?
- Can you sell them on your company or company product in a short concise elevator pitch?
A lot of marketing campaigns make the mistake of talking way too much about their own products or services.
As a consumer/buyer, I don’t care about that. I want to know how it’s going to help me.
Your marketing strategy should focus on:
What is your product going to do for me and the challenges I face?
You’ll want to create a set of questions and maybe take the pulse of some of your current customers. Ask them about the challenges they faced and why they like your product/service?
You may find that you don’t have the right message just from your interviews. Your message and offer need to resonate with your potential buyers.
If you’re managing the marketing campaign for a local childcare center, you’re probably going to try and market to parents with kids.
Now think deeper, who makes the decision in that “parental unit”, mom or dad?
- How old is “Mom”?
- Does she work outside the home or is she a stay at home?
- What’s her story?
- Does she have one child or two? Or three?
- Do all of them need childcare or is one older and already in school? What was her previous solution for childcare?
- Why doesn’t she want that anymore?
- What is she looking for in a childcare center?
Enter your childcare center. What can you do to solve her challenges?
Think about real things your persona would say.
Something like “I wish I could find a childcare center that had extended hours”.
Or “I really need for the daycare to be centrally located, so both my partner and I can pick up the kids”.
What are some common objections your buyer persona might have to your product or service? Put it down in real quotes. Have your marketing team really think about their messaging and how they are talking to prospective clients.
Create your marketing message and elevator pitch for your marketing campaign planning.
Your marketing message can be a few sentences that globally appeals to your buyer persona. Your elevator pitch is your short sweet and to the point way of telling them that your services and products are the best.
How To Create A Buyer Persona For Your Marketing Campaign
Like a pink scented resume, a buyer persona gives your marketing campaign outline that little something extra.
Utilizing a buyer persona in your marketing plan helps you narrow in specifically on your ideal customer, address the problems they face, and create a focused message targeted to your customers.
You can create brand awareness while also gaining their trust as an authority in the field by using your buyer persona to guide you.
Free Buyer Persona Template Alert
If you’re looking for some guidance, here’s the buyer persona template we use at Neon Goldfish. You want to make sure in every marketing message you create, you are speaking directly to your ideal customer.
Now that we understand exactly who we are marketing to, we can hit the other 5 steps.
Step 1: Your Customers Have 99 Problems, But You’ve Got The Solution
Your customers have a big problem.
You need to address their problem and make it better - this is where your marketing campaign outline starts.
You can do this by figuring out exactly what the challenges are that your customers face.
Using the daycare example from above, you’ll find that your customer faces all kinds of challenges.
Part of creating your marketing campaign might be to address many of those problems and challenges.
However, you want to tackle the main one first.
Figure out the main challenge your customer is facing. How does your service or product speak to that?
Now, you can look at secondary challenges - using the daycare example from above:
- What is more important safety or cost?
- What about ratings and reputation?
- What are the things about your daycare that set it apart from others?
- Do you offer a wide range of hours to meet the needs of working families?
- Do all your employees have degrees in early childhood education?
These are all ways you can create content and messaging around your central marketing theme.
Step 2: Giving Your Marketing Campaign Outline Teeth
Elle Woods has done her research. She’s knowledgeable about pricing and knows she knows what brings her joy - shout out to Marie Kondo.
How is your creative concept and messaging going to resonate with your potential buyers? What kind of incentives, messaging, and content are you going to use in your advertising to market your products?
How can you move your potential customers from strangers to leads?
Are you marketing to the public or is your campaign more B2B - or business to business, or are you B2C - business to consumer?
Is your product or service a one and done?
Do you need to put your leads into a marketing funnel and do an email sequence to gain their favor? Consider nurturing your prospective leads with a white paper or other offers that gain their trust and establish you as an expert/authority in your field.
Time to start thinking about your marketing campaign media and ideas.
Below are some examples of lead generation to consider for your marketing projects.
Video continues to dominate messaging when it comes to marketing campaigns. However, there are considerations:
- Do you have someone on your team who is familiar with video production or will you farm it out to a third party?
- How long will the video be?
- What platform(s) will you utilize to showcase your video for your online marketing efforts? You need to make sure it's a platform where your target market is.
Content marketing can take many forms and helps you gain the trust of your potential customer. Your digital marketing campaign might include examples of:
- Email newsletters and email sequences
- Active blogging
- Social media campaign - Is your target marketing on Facebook or LinkedIn? Your social media posts will need to focus where your buyer persona frequents. You’ll also need to find the best social networks and marketing channels for your potential buyers or clients.
- Link building and paid placement
- White papers and eBooks
- Case studies
Make sure to utilize an editorial calendar or keep an excel spreadsheet that can help you stay on track for your media plan and content marketing campaign goals. You can always start small and add more channels and segments throughout your planning process.
Think about your buyer persona again.
What are the words they will search when looking for your company or service?
In your marketing campaign, you should outline a possible combination of paid search and on-site SEO to boost your current digital presence and enhance your lead generation.
Step 3: The Bend And Snap Marketing Campaign Planning Template
You gotta get noticed, so how are you going to let your audience know that you’ve arrived?
Consider your next step.
Again, back to the buyer persona.
Where are your people?
Are they on social media?
Looking for your type of product or service on google?
Maybe they are driving down the street and looking at billboards. Establishing where your people are is key to finding your ideal customers, which is why creating a buyer persona of your ideal customer is essential to getting noticed, nurturing leads, and closing sales.
Step 4: Why Now? Why This Marketing Campaign?
One of the biggest questions in the universe and always on the tip of the tongue for all toddlers...
Why are you doing this marketing campaign now?
Why choose this moment to start your marketing campaign?
This ties back to your SMART goals - Relevant.
At Neon Goldfish we work a lot with landscaping companies. A landscape company located in Maine probably isn’t going to do heavy advertising in January.
They will find the time of year that’s good like April or May, as the weather warms up and people start thinking about their lawns and landscapes.
Knowing when to start your marketing campaign is just as important as the content and messaging outline for your marketing campaign.
What is the timeframe of your advertising and marketing campaign? You’ll want to address this in your marketing campaign outline.
How many days, weeks, or months will your marketing campaign run? Are you going to change the message, do split tests, and/or rotate messages?
Establish how often you’ll target your potential customers.
Make sure to align your marketing goals with your advertising campaigns.
Step 5: You’ve Got This
This is the fun part.
We’re going to pull our outline together and put it all in one place.
This is where you’ll determine how you’re going to piece it together in terms of:
- And of course, budget
Understanding and researching your budget is crucial. Make sure you have your ducks in a row before you spend any money.
Marketing Campaign Template Homework Hustle
Oh did you think we were done?
Before you even think about spending any money, take a quick look at how clients are funneled into your business.
You’ll need to look at how people come into your organization and who follows up, and yes, everyone gets a follow up even if it sounds like they are not your customer.
Establish a lead funnel for every point of contact:
- Phone - What phone number do they dial and who is it connecting to?
- Social - Who follows up on messages?
- Website - Who within your organization gets the contact us forms?
- Email - Who is the best at replying to questions?
- Chat - Who has the availability to handle chat? Would a bot be better?
- Landing Pages - Where do people go after clicking on your CTA's or Call to Action?
Make sure that when people are transferred within your organization, they aren’t going to a dead voicemail box - yes, it’s happened.
Detail out each:
- Engagement - How did the person contact you?
- Response - Who is notified and how.
- Follow up - Timetable with follow up instructions.
I realize this might seem trivial, but if you are spending advertising money, and your front line team members don’t know where to put your customers, you’re wasting precious marketing campaign dollars.
Do yourself a favor and cold call your business to find out how your customers are handled.
With training, you can empower those on the front line to be the greatest asset in your organization.
Measuring Your Marketing Campaign
First, take a baseline of your current marketing efforts. You’ll want to establish what you are currently doing and how it resonates with your potential customers.
Take, for instance, a new email marketing campaign.
What is your current email open rate? How often are you sending emails?
- How long are your subject lines?
- Do you currently have CTA buttons?
- What type of content within your email gets clicked? How often?
- Have you attempted A/B tests before?
These are all questions and data you should look at before you begin your next campaign so that you can measure how your campaign is working.
Look at your data as your campaign runs so that you can tweak your marketing campaign if need be to make sure it aligns with your business goals.
You want to make sure your reporting is simple, straightforward, and easily read. While you may want to dig into all things data, your reports should be simple and cohesive.
Keeping Your Marketing Campaign Outline Stupidly Simple
In one of the last scenes of Legally Blonde, we see Elle Woods who has learned a lot but also stays true to and has faith in herself.
Marketing campaign outlines do not have to be overly complicated. It’s important to think about the big picture and overall goals instead of getting hung up on the nitty-gritty details.
Stay true to your purpose and outline.
By keeping your marketing campaign outline simple, anyone, at any time can look at it and understand exactly what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and how you’re measuring your success.
An intern on your marketing team or the CEO of your organization can both look at the same document and understand your advertising plan and marketing goals.
By keeping it simple, it also stays organized. When someone on your team has an idea or project they want to implement, you can look back at your marketing campaign outline and see if long term it aligns properly in your current marketing efforts.
Best of luck and stay true to yourself.