6 Top Tips To Ensure You Plan A Successful Marketing Campaign

Before I started my own business, I worked for a number of different larger companies – all of which followed a formality of putting together campaign and strategy documents on a regular basis. Now that I’m my own business, however, I’m a lot more fluid and things can be much easier when it comes to decision making. Although you don’t need to follow the long process that I used to, I want to take the opportunity to talk to you about campaign planning in today’s podcast episode. We’re going to be looking at putting together a campaign plan, how you can structure your campaigns and how to execute them successfully. 

  • One of the first things you need to do is understand your objectives for the year. What is it you want to achieve? What are your targets? Once you know this, you can think about campaigns that will allow you to reach your goals.
  • It’s also important to think about your target audience in the early stages of your planning. If you don’t know who you want as your customer, you’re really going to struggle.
  • Write down ALL of your ideas, no matter how crazy they are. Write down as many as you can.
  • Once you have written down all of your ideas, pick three or four for each objective.
  • Take a look at your calendar and see what may impact when you do your campaigns. Split your year in quarters and put a couple of campaigns into quarters.
  • If your campaign involves social media, you need to think about whether or not you need artwork. This can take some time and if you’re not planning in advance, you may find you’re unable to create what you need.
  • On that note, if you need someone to help you with something, you need to work out when the latest date is you need to let them know by.
  • Whilst planning, you also need to think about your expected outcomes. Make sure you’re realistic, yet optimistic.

Depending on your objectives and the stage you’re at in your business, you may want to limit the number of campaigns you’re doing each quarter. Make sure you’re not doing more than you can manage.

  • #1 Understand Your Objectives for the Year – 07:05
  • #2 Who Are Your Target Audience? – 08:08
  • #3 Start Brainstorming – 08:30
  • #4 Work Out Which Ideas Are Best – 09:50
  • #5 Look at Your Calendar – 11:30
  • #6 Deep Dive into Your Campaigns and Start Planning Them in Detail– 13:46
Transcript below


Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. And honestly, I have so excited that I can now say what on 101 that just seems like so much work and I am so honestly, I'm so proud that I've managed to be consistent all this time because actually I'm not very good at consistency in terms of like, I don't know when I try and start something new and new year's resolutions, obviously we're not far from the new year and I've been pretty bad at them over the years I have to say. And I'm just so pleased that actually I love doing this so, so much and I get such lovely feedback from people and people. It's a Monday today actually when I'm recording this. So the podcast has just gone out for today and I've already had a couple of DM's already of people messaging me and tagging me in and I love it and it really spurs me on to create more good podcasts, bring on more good guests.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Also, I am going to take this moment to have a little cheeky request that if you haven't done a review on iTunes then I would really, really appreciate it. Like I said, I love doing the podcast and I love hearing from you guys. So if you would happily go along to iTunes and give me a lovely five star review and write something, that would just be amazing. So thank you. I feel like this is public service announcements or something. I'm trying to think. Is there anything else I need to say but I don't think so. So we will crack on with today's episode. So I hope you enjoyed last week's episode. I really do. I'm, this is really odd. I'm recording episode 101 before we've recorded episode 100 so I'm recording this thing. I hope you enjoyed it and I have no idea what it's going to be like cause I haven't yet done it, but I'm really excited about the prospect of it so I really hope you enjoyed it. I can't wait to hear your feedback from that.

So yeah, if you haven't listened to it, go back and listen to it. It is a bit different for me, but I think you'll like it. Hopefully. Like I said, I have no idea. I haven't done it yet. It's really weird. It's like I'm in some funny time warp thing where things are done in the wrong order. In fact, if you're in the UK, do you watch Dr. Who? I love Dr. Who. It's a bit of a sad admission. I don't know. You might think it's sad. You might not. My husband thinks I'm particularly sad, but it's a little bit like Dr. Who in the sense of the timelines are all out of sync and it's a bit like that when I'm doing the podcast cause I'm talking to you about things that haven't yet been done. Very strange.

Anyway, I'll stop talking about Dr. Who and get on with today's episode. So you may know by now, obviously I've been in marketing a long, long time, but 15ish years at this point and I've worked for some big companies and worked with huge marketing budgets and some big marketing teams and big marketing agencies. And obviously when I worked at those places I was going to say I had to do things properly. Like I don't do them properly now. And I do. But when you're working with bigger companies, they do like the formality of putting together a big massive strategy documents or a huge campaign plan or the more formal stuff. Whereas now I would say I'm managing smaller business stuff and my own staff, I'm a lot more fluid. And actually what's lovely about working with smaller companies as opposed to, I used to work for Land Rover, so massive, massive company is that you had a million people that you had to speak to.

You had to, everything had to be long and arduous and detailed because it wasn't just you making the decision. And honestly any campaign took forever, not only to discuss, to put together, to plan, to organise, to get all the elements together, but also then to actually go and go ahead and get it approved. So not only if you've never worked with a big marketing department, we would have obviously, you know, people way above me. So I might have to get it past global marketing or retail marketing cause I was corporate marketing. Then once I'd done that, I might have to check the product stuff with the product people, then I'd have to send it to legal and legal wants throughout an entire campaign because they didn't like the headline. And it was just so frustrating. So there was so many hoops that we had to go through and these long arduous like I these massive documents, these big processes that we'd put together in order to show everybody what we were going to be doing, what we expected to get from it and all that sort of thing.

However, I want to talk to you today about some campaign planning. Now I'm not going to go into the long and arduous process of what I used to do, but sometimes it's good to do that more formal side of planning and actually this year I am doing this as I'm recording, this is the sixth of Jan, so like I said, it's a bit early in the year for me. So I'm actually doing my campaign planning now. I should have probably done it towards the end of last year. But anyway, I was really focused on personal and business goals rather than the actual campaigns that were going to help me get those goals. So what I want to talk to you about today is putting together that campaign planning so you know what you're going to be doing going forward in the year and then how you can structure each one of those campaigns in order to them and to execute them successfully.

Because I don't know about you, but sometimes you have really good intentions and think, Oh yeah, I could do this. And then you leave everything to the last minute or not even that. You underestimate what's going to be in that campaign or what you need to do and therefore you start rushing some of those last things. And I, I am guilty of that. I'll happily admit it and I should know better because obviously I do this a lot, but I think we need to sit down and plan a bit. And although sometimes in the bigger companies, I'm not saying this as Land Rover obviously, but they could waste a lot of time and we still have meetings for meeting sakes and forms for forms sakes. And I'm not saying to do that at all, but I am saying a little bit of planning will actually go a long way in terms of helping you with your campaigns for this year.


#1 Understand Your Objectives for the Year


So I'm going to talk you through what kind of what I used to do but in a much more simpler and less arduous process in order for you to then follow along and start planning your campaigns for this year if you haven't already done so. Okay? So the first thing you need to do is you need to understand your objectives for the year. So what is it that you actually want to achieve this year? What are the objectives for your business? And they might be around various different things. So it might be around, I want to, there's inevitably a financial goal for the year for the business. I want to grow it by X amount percent. I want to increase it to X amount of customers. I want to put my prices up, I want to do a get more people on my email list. I want more people signed up for my lead magnet.

Whatever your objective is for the business, I want you to write them down first because if you don't know what you're trying to actually get, then how on earth can you create a campaign to try and get that thing? So you need to understand what are my business objectives for the year and I'm not necessarily talking to crazy, amazing goals that we've talked about before. I'm just talking about what is, what do I really genuinely want to get from my business this year?


#2 Who Are Your Target Audience?


The other thing I want you to plan at this point, or I want you to write down is who is your target audience? Now I go on about this all the time. You're probably sick of hearing it, but obviously again, you need to know that because if you don't know what you want or who you want to sell that to or who you want as your customer, then you're really going to struggle.

So those two things kind of are given that you've already got them in your head, but obviously they're the two things that you're going to start with. What do I want and who am I targeting?


#3 Start Brainstorming


Okay, so once you've done that, the next thing I do is I literally brainstorm as many different ideas as possible and I will scribble them down on a piece of paper and I write down every crazy, amazing, different, boring, interesting idea that comes out in my head. So it's things like, well, I do a competition. Will I do a flash sale? Am I going to launch any new products? Do I do a launch? Am I doing live masterclasses? Shall I do a sales campaign? Shall I do something along the podcast? Shall I? And again, if one of my objectives is to increase podcast downloads, which is, and by now you'll know that we did a little competition to win some stuff at the beginning of the year.

And that campaign was purely focused around getting people to listen to the podcast and promoting the podcast. So again, try and write down as many different ideas as you can. Think of as many different campaigns that you can do. Like I said, can you focus on a particular area of the business? Can you focus on a particular product? Should you introduce a new product? Are you going to reopen your cart, close your cart, up your prices, all these different things. So try and write down as many different campaign ideas as possible and then literally Google campaign ideas or marketing ideas. And let's just see what's in there. If you're struggling for ideas to come up with.


#4 Work Out Which Ideas Are Best


So once you've written down loads of different ideas, you want start now thinking, okay, which one would be good for which, which would be realistic. What would I like to do?

Because one of those campaign ideas might be, I want to do an event, well I might not be ready this year to do an event. So that's a great idea, but it might need to shelve til next year or it might be that I don't have any new products to launch this year. So it might be that gets shelved as well. So go through those ideas. And ideally what I want you to do is kind of pick, I would say between three and four for each objective. So let's say you've got an objective to build your email list. Let's say you got an objective to build your sales and an objective for me to get more people to listen to the podcast. So those might be my three objectives that I've got for the year. And really I want at least three or four ideas for each of those objectives.

So for instance, the competition I did for the podcast, then I might do an advertising campaign for the podcast and then I also might do a, I don't know, something a bit different. Well the hundred episode is a, is a good one as well cause there's a lot of talk around that. So, so what can I do around those different times in order to help promote that? So two or three, three or four ideas for each of those objectives, that's what I would try and end up with. And I liked it at the moment. You literally just have a campaign idea. So let me, I'm going to use an idea of a flash sale. So at this point. So my flash sale would be for my objective to get more people in the Academy. So okay, that's my campaign idea. I'm going to do that.


#5 Look at Your Calendar


That's one of my three or four ideas for getting more people into the Academy. So then the next thing you need to do is go and look at your calendar and I want you to see what's going on this year that may impact when you do these campaigns. So for instance, for me, obviously I wanted to see when I hit episode a hundred you might have an anniversary and you might do an anniversary sale, you might have something else that has some kind of impact if you are seasonal. So I know a few people that listen, they have products that will sell more up to Christmas. So do they do something in the quiet periods or do they do something in the busy periods? So want you to kind of have a look at when you might have to fit these campaigns in based on what else happens in the year.

Then what I want you to do is split the year into quarters and look at putting a couple of campaigns in each quarter. Now this might be too much for me. I'm okay at this stage. Now you might want, and I've got three main objectives, but you might want to do one or two campaigns a quarter, but I can probably get away with doing about three I think now, because I've done it quite a few times, or they're saying that, you know, it's still a lot of work, so we'll need to see. But I want you to try and write down and go, okay, so in quarter one I'm going to do a competition for the podcast. This is obviously me and I'm going to do a flash sale for the Academy and I'm going to do a new lead magnet to get people on the email list. So those might be my three things that I'm doing in quarter one.

Then quarter two, I might do a live masterclass in order for the Academy. I might do a, I don't know, something for the podcast, but you get my drift. So every quarter I'm putting down what campaign I'm going to do for it. Now you pretty much at this point, ignore quarter two, three and four just because I want you to focus on this first quarter. Now if you can do quarter one, quarter two, great, you've got like half a year all set up, you vaguely know what you're gonna be doing all year, but you've got half a year where you're actually going to go and planning. Now, once I know roughly when and what I'm doing, and you might sort of in your head be deciding, okay, well this will probably take two weeks. So this two weeks of work, well then I'll do this in the next two weeks.


#6 Deep Dive into Your Campaigns and Start Planning Them in Detail


So you might have already got some dates in for it, but you definitely know what quarter it's going to be in. Then what you're going to do is you're going to start deep diving into each of these campaigns and start planning them that, you know, as I was going through this, I was thinking to myself, I should actually put this on a form and do a form for you. So that's what I've done. I wasn't gonna change my mind and I haven't done it yet, but I'll have it done by the time this podcast is gonna get live. So head over to the show notes and you will find the link to this campaign form where I have already filled in and I've put gaps for you to write in. I haven't already done it cause I haven't done it yet.

Like I said, I'm in this weird time thing anyway. I will have it done by the time you go and hear this, but I'll put down spaces so that you can literally just build this in almost kind of what I would have done when I was working for somebody else in the marketing department. So basically all these things I'm going to talk you through now are going to be on this. So do go and grab that like I said

Okay, so the first thing you're going to do is you're going to write down which objective this is relating to. So you know overall, right this the objective for this. This is why I'm doing this campaign. The next thing you're going to do is you're going to fill in any targeting details. So for instance, let's say, although my Academy can actually serve anybody with a business and anybody in marketing, let's say that I found actually loads of photographers really want to join the Academy.

I might do this particular campaign just to photographers. I'm not going to, but I'm just saying that might be why I put in some more targeting details. So rather than the overarching targeting, I might choose to put a campaign more succinctly to a certain audience. Then I want you to put the dates, so start and finish dates. How long is the campaign going to be? And then obviously that's when you can plan it in your diary. And I've got a wall planner and I would write it on the wall planner. And then I want you to just put a little bit of a text, kind of, there's a text box where you can just sort of brainstorm a little bit about what is this campaign. So if I'm going along my flash sale idea, so this is where I'm going to write down, that it's going to be a flash sale for the Academy.

The price is going to be whatever the flash sale price is going to be. Is it going to be just for one month, is it going to be recurring, is it going to be a dollar for a month, is it going to be half price for a month, 5% off? What is the actual deal going to be? And just write a few notes and anything else that you might need to know almost as if someone said to you, tell me about this campaign. That's where you want to write that bit down. Just so that you remember it in your head because I might think of something today and then two weeks later I think, Oh yeah, I need to do that and think, Oh I can't remember cause I have a terrible memory. So write down bits there that you need. Then you're going to think about how you're going to market this.

So what route to market are you going to use? So if I was going to do a flash sale, am I going to put it on social media? Am I going to send an email to my list? Is it going to be one email or is it going to be multiple emails? Am I going to follow up with people that have already looked at the page and do a remarketing app to them? Am I going to change something on my website or my email signature? Am I going to say something in the podcast? So this is where this forward planning really, really helps because what happens is, because I batch content, so today I'm doing two or three episodes. Obviously this episode is going out more than two weeks away, almost three weeks away from when I'm recording it. The next one I'm doing will be four weeks away.

The next one be five weeks away. So if I'm planning a campaign to start February in time for Valentine's, let's say, I don't know, then I need to know right now because I need to know whether I need to mention it on the podcast or not. Which is why at the beginning I'm a bit like public service announcements cause I'm thinking to myself is there anything I need to be saying at this point that I need to be advertising because of the time this goes out. Does that make sense? Okay. So think about, like I said, where are you going to do it? Are you going to do direct mail? Are you going to do Facebook ads? Where on earth are you going to mention this? And how are you going to promote the campaign in your marketing? So this is just going to be a list of places that you write down and go, this is where I'm going to do it.

So for instance, the podcast competition was aimed around Instagram because that's a really easy place that people can tag me in. So the majority of the focus was there, not on Facebook, not anywhere else. So, okay, that's the next thing you want to do. You want to be writing down where are you going to do it? And also again, notes here about the type of campaign or, so it might be that you're doing the live videos or it might be that you need a video series or something like that. But write down kind of again, a bit more detail around how are you going to promote this. Then in the next section I want you to think about what do you need in order to do this campaign. So this is almost going to relate to your to do list. And this is why often campaigns aren't executed as well as we would perhaps necessarily like because we haven't given this the thought that we need.

So then this section you're going to write down, do I need artwork, i. e. if I'm going to put it on social media, I need a social media post. Is that going to be hitting the image I've got to take? So again, talking about the competition that's already been sat next to me are the prizes and I need to photograph them so that I can put the competition out. So I want you to think about do I need photos? Do I need artwork? Do I need to design them until someone else need to design them? Do I need a landing page? Is there an email sequence? So for instance, if I do a flash sale, do they need to know, should I email them if they've signed up and gone? Okay, so that was your discounted price. But now this month the price is going up to the normal price.

There's all of these kinds of things that you need to think about in terms of what you might need in order to fulfil this campaign in order for to put it out there. So have think about that? Like I said, do you need changes to your website? Do you need changes to your email signature? Do you need to get something printed? What do you need to organise in order to do this campaign? So write your list there. Almost write your to do list. The other thing I want you to think about here that I've got a section for is who do you need help from? So if you have got a tech person or a designer or a Facebook ads person, are you going to need them to do something? And if so, when do you need to tell them buy or when? What sort of dates they, for instance, let's say I wanted some artwork designed from Matt, my designer, I might need that at least four weeks before the campaign goes live because until I have the artwork I can't do anything else because obviously everything's going to be hinged on that artwork.

So start thinking about how many weeks before do I realistically need it in order to then create all the other stuff I need. Okay. So yeah, think about when they need to be told. The other thing I want you to think about here is are there any obstacles that are in your way? And I'm a real true believer now and it might be, I don't know, all this personal development stuff I've done over the years and the business, but by putting up the obstacles or putting up the things in front, in fact, let me tell you a little story. So like I said, it's the sixth of Jan. Its Monday the sixth of Jan and one of my goals going to regret telling you this because if I don't stick to it, then you can give me a kick. Is that I am attending the gym three times a week now, I think I've mentioned before that I had a personal trainer, Oh, have a personal trainer and we would do something once a week because I travelled so much it and Christmas and everything, it just went out the window.

So I've put in my goal in my full focus planner that I'm going to go every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and I'm going to go at like five or 6:00 AM and I did this morning, which is amazing and I'm very proud of myself. Admittedly it's day one. So let's hold celebrating until I've done it for a few weeks. But one of the things I did, because I knew one of the obstacles I would have would be I'd wake up and go, I don't want to do it. So I actually did some journaling yesterday about what are these obstacles, what might I do, how would I feel? So I and actually tried to define the solutions or think about possible solutions. So for instance, I got all my stuff out last night and I lay it on the floor ready for me to get dressed. I had my trainers by the front door.

I, I also thought about it like if I was getting a flight and I had to get up at 4:45 which is what time the alarm is that I wouldn't have gone. I'm going to snooze through that because if I was getting a flight, I have to get up. So I need to treat it the same way. But hopefully you understand why. I want you to look at the obstacles cause I want you to look at them and think what could cause this campaign from not going as well as possible. And by looking at them at that point you can then try and write some solutions or try and write some things that you would do if it wasn't going particularly well. But it just helps you address those things may be before they've come. Now the more you do these campaigns, the more you do this planning, the more you'll know those obstacles because there might be something with me getting up and go to the gym that I haven't yet thought about.

And then the next time I try and go and do it on Wednesday, I might wake up and go, Oh well I can't because of, and it might be some excuse, I've never thought about it before. And then the next time I journal about it, I can write that obstacle down and what I might do to fix that solution. So hopefully my slight drivel about the gym has helped you understand why we do that bit. Okay. And then I want you to write down any costs that will be associated just so that you can plan. Just that you can think just so they don't run away with you. So are you going to have to pay that tech person to make that amend on the website? Are you going to pay for Facebook ads? Are you going to pay for the designer to come up with some designs?

So just put some of those costs down in terms of what you think it's going to cost of the campaign and obviously what's going to help at the end if you have got the right tracking or if it's a particular campaign. Like I said, if it was a flash sale, I'd know for sure how much I made from that flash sale because obviously they're joining on the flash sale and therefore I could easily equate was it worth it based on what they paid. Okay. And then what we're going to do is we're going to write down or what are the expected outcomes. This can be really tricky because if you're new to doing anything like this, then you might not know what they are. And sometimes we think we know what we're going to get and it doesn't quite work out like that. But do try and write something down here, try and be semi realistic but also optimistic because you don't want to write down, I'm going to get 500 new members and then you get five and then you feel completely gutted.

But do try and have a think about, okay, if I have I done anything like this before and if I did, what did I get from it? Or what was the likely outcome of it? So have a think about that. And like I said, this might be a, once you've done a few different things, now you can start better working out what this gives you once you've got some of those results. And then at the last couple of bits is what time do I need for testing? So when do I need everything ready by? So I can test the email sequence so I can test the checkout page. So I can test whatever it is and then plan any post-campaign works. So for instance, do you need to send a survey to the people who didn't buy? Do you need to follow up with people in a certain way?

Do you need to, like I said, remind them that the price is going back to normal cause they only have the discount for one month. Do you need to think about a retention campaign at that point? So okay great, I've got loads of people in on the flash sale but they're getting it cheap for the first month. What am I going to do when that month finishes and how am I going to keep them? So there might be some things for post-campaign and it might be in the post-campaign planning that you just do a, obviously you're going to look at what happened, you're going to review what happened. And you know what? I've literally just thought about it, but I'm on this form. I might actually put some review sort of metrics to write down once the campaign has happened. So I hadn't actually planned to, it's just coming to my head right now as I'm talking to you.

So what I think I'm going to do is that's kind of the end of the form when you're planning and then you've got that document then to work from in terms of, and you can put things in the diary and put things on you to do less than that sort of thing. So you can then actually get the campaign going. But then what I'm going to do is I'm going to put a bit of a section on the form about reviewing how it went. So obviously what were the sales, what were the problems, what went right, what went wrong, all that kind of thing. So do go and get that form. I haven't done it yet, but it's going to be wonderful when I do it. It will be there by the time you're listening to this. So yeah, hopefully that's helped. Like I said, we used to do this a lot.

I would do this big massive spreadsheets and Gantt charts and documents and they were so much work and I don't need to do that now because I'm not reporting to anybody. However, honestly if I do a new lead magnet, if I do any campaign, we do plan it out maybe not on that form cause I've never created that form yet, but we do sit andplan it out and kind of the stuff you don't think about or the stuff that you don't realise until you're writing it down. So I did a campaign you might know just for Christmas where we did the 2020 planning workbook and so the campaign was basically I advertise the workbook to use. So for instance, I would have needed social media graphics. I would have needed the document already created because that appeared in the social media graphics. I would have need to written about what it was and why they wanted it.

Then that social media link went through to a landing page which promoted that so that basically I could explain to them why they wanted to download it. Then once they hit download, they went to a thank you page that was a sales page that then said, why not join me live and let's do this goal planning together. So then once they did that, they then if they signed up for that, they'd get one email. If they didn't sign up for that, they get a different email. So I needed both of those emails writing once they signed up, I needed another thank you page. Say thank you, great. You know, for joining and I've sent you an email. If they didn't sign up and they just went, what followup could I do on that? And I'm just giving you the, the very short headline stuff.

But there was loads more to it. And then of course when the live date passed, I had to change the thank you page cause I couldn't keep that same thank you page up because of course they couldn't buy or they could buy it, but they'd missed the date. So then it had to redirect to another page. And so, like I said, sometimes I'm not saying all this to put the fear of God into you and think, Oh my God. Because obviously, when I do things I kind of feel like I constantly have to do them. Absolutely perfectly. One, that's me. And two, this is what I do for a job. And I do think sometimes people will happily watch to see if I get it right or wrong or whatever. So for me, I like to make sure I've got everything and it's all perfect and in place.

So it is a lot of work. But, if I didn't write it down, I wouldn't know, okay, I haven't written the email for this or I haven't done the followup for this or I haven't created the image I need for this. So that's where planning really, really helps. So like I said, I hope today's been useful. I've really enjoyed it actually. It seems to have like rolled off the tongue, which is lovely. And it seems, I'm really pleased. This one is funny. When I record podcasts sometimes I'm not very pleased with them at the end. And it's interesting to see what other people think, but I, I'm pleased with this one. This is good. Lots of good stuff on there for you. Hopefully. So anyway, make sure you grab that download, and do let me know what you think and if you haven't done a review, please do. Please, I would love you forever. Okay guys, have an amazing week and I will see you next week with an interview. And next week we're going along the personal line again a bit, but next week I'm interviewing one of my team members, my longest team member who is going to talk you through how you get organised in your business because that's what she did for me. And believe me, if she can do it for me, she can do it for anyone. So hopefully, you'll enjoy that one and I will see you next week.