What’s a Marketing Campaign?

In order to understand what a marketing campaign is, here are a couple of key definitions you need to know before we get started. Both definitions are essential to moving forward in creating a successful effort.

Definition of Marketing

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
(Approved July 2013) by AMA

Is the definition not as clear as you thought? I know. What you need to understand is that marketing is a vehicle to make a decision on a purchase. Ultimately, the decision is to buy or commit.

A novice looks at marketing as a billboard, commercial or flyer. The expert’s perspective is much different. The goal is to invoke action.

The author of the definition comes from one of the biggest member-based associations for business, AMA (aka, American Marketing Association). From research to curated content, a marketing connoisseur keeps AMA in their back pocket for quickly needed emergencies.

Target Marketing

Marketing directed toward those groups (market segments) an organization decides it can serve profitably.
McGraw Hill, Understanding Business 11th Ed

Every campaign has a specific target. Each target represents a segmentation. The market segmentation can consist of anything. Most common are geographic, demographic, and psychographics. Within the geographic, the segment continues to be refined with more commonalities (such as gender, race, and income). Once the target market is created for the right specification, a specific audience is created for a marketing campaign.

A Marketing Campaign

Marketing campaigns are all around. Some of the best marketing campaigns to follow are during big events. You may have experienced it without even batting an eyelash at it. Fast food restaurants are probably the best at using campaigns to drive business.

Recently, Taco Bell released its Beefy Crunch Burrito. For a limited time–which is another marketing strategy, but we’re sticking to just word of mouth right now–the Beefy Crunch Burrito can be purchased. Typically, this is around the NBA playoff timeframe. Since Taco Bell is a sponsor of the NBA, they’re using this airtime to target all basketball enthusiasts to head to their restaurants before or after the game for a quick bite to eat.

Throughout the playoff season, multiple ads will be aired on television and radio. All Taco Bells will display giant size burritos and Frito Lay chips. Billboards can depend on the city. But all restaurants will display the Beefy Crunch Burrito on the menu. The goal is to make you see Taco Bell ads at least “x” amount of times during the NBA season.

Taco Bell will be featured prominently on NBA national game telecasts and have comprehensive television and online advertising exposure through NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League media platforms. This agreement includes Taco Bell continuing as the title partner of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during NBA All-Star, with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens™ as the beneficiary, as well as continuing as an associate sponsor of the NBA All-Star Jam session.

No marketing space or airtime will be wasted. All will be calculated. I’m sure within a week of launching the menu item, Taco Bell has marketed the product several times to the NBA customer base. Whether or not you’re a Taco Bell customer, you’re now aware of a menu item for a limited time.

The Purpose of a Marketing Campaign

As previously stated, all efforts are attempted to motivate customer’s buying decisions. The company also wants to create more customers while retaining their consumer base. Again, the goal is to invoke action.

The goal of any great marketer is to see an ROI (aka, return on investment) for your work. No work is done in vain. Every successful business owner knows this is what separates good from great companies. From an operations’ perspective, this understanding how inputs create the desired outputs.

Your outputs are results. Results are the sustainable pieces vital to your stability. Not all efforts will yield to sales. That doesn’t mean the marketing campaign was a bust. You now know what doesn’t work.

Small Business Encyclopedia: Marketing Campaign
How to Define Your Target Market
About AMA

I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.

Nathan A. Webster, MBA

Author: nathanwebster
From a US Marine to nonprofit executive director, I've been fortunate to do a lot of stuff. My quick history is I’m a brand marketer with a background in social good. In the process of running a small educational nonprofit, I learned the value of storytelling and digital branding. That’s how I got involve in marketing, websites, consulting via my podcast as well, and being an adjunct business professor at the local community college.
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