Campaign strategy.

An effective campaign strategy brings together the structure and content of your communications, aligning it with the buyer journey it is designed to initiate and facilitate. Ideally, it will be a deep connection point with your consumer – preferably something new and true about the relationship between your brand and audience.

We’re all very close to what our companies deliver. So it’s natural to believe that our audiences will be excited by the same things we are. Rarely this is true. The best campaign strategies are therefore research aided. That could involve focus groups but, for us it is more likely to be a combination of deep interviews with customers and stakeholders to enable the formation of a series of customer need hypotheses validated by quantitative research. Only this level of diligence will provide the resonant insights that underpin great campaign strategies.

Ideally (but not necessarily) an extension of an overarching communications strategy, developing a coherent and compelling campaign strategy will ensure your investment in changing hearts and minds.

Plan components.

We recommend developing a campaign strategy to cover:

  1. Business challenge
  2. Communications goals
  3. Audience segments and insights
  4. Communications barriers and tasks
  5. Brand positioning
  6. Campaign architecture

The business challenge (or problem).

We like to use research/ consumer insight to distill your business challenge. This way we can illustrate your issues and objectives.

An example may be; IPSOS tracking showed a 10 per cent reduction in unaided brand recall that coincided with a 7% increase in customer cost-to-acquire.

The contributing factors should be expressed objectively, for example:

  • Increased competitor activity
  • A disruptive sector innovation
  • Loss of share-of-voice
  • Delivery or supply issues
  • Uncompetitive UX

Communications goals.

Simply communicating better may be the solution to the problem. But it may also involve communicating about a product or service initiative in response to the challenge.

We like to distill these goals to a maximum of three:

  • Primary goal – campaign core objective.
  • Secondary goal – the outcome that would contribute to the primary goal.
  • Tertiary goal – often about how we expect the audience to respond.

Audiences and insights.

A campaign will rarely have only one audience.

In most instances, there will be a primary and secondary audience as well as an eavesdropper audience.

Primary audience – this is the mission-critical audience. They are the primary campaign respondents and missing them will mean certain failure.

Secondary audience – this is often an enabling audience. They may be key influencers or members of a supply chain or distribution channel you need to engage to facilitate the primary audience’s decisions.

Eavesdropper audience – these people may need to be aware of the campaign initiative for other reasons.

Interaction between these audiences should be addressed in your communications strategy. Think carefully about these audiences’ mutual dependencies and co-dependencies and their ability to influence one another.

In your descriptions of these audiences, be as specific about their characteristics as possible:

  • Demographic information needs to align with media audience segmentation models to ensure accurate reach
  • The life-stage, impacting factors and existing beliefs are covered
  • Test any unproven assumptions about these audiences to remove any subjectivity

Communications barriers and tasks.

Each audience will have its own set of complexities. It may be that there are subgroups within each audience with specific issues. Mapping will ensure you connect effectively with as many people in your target groups as possible. 

Our approach.

Brand positioning.

Your brand strategy is a vital component of developing a coherent campaign plan. If your brand strategy is not current or compelling, it’s worth taking the time to consider the following factors:

  1. Based on your understanding of your audiences, what is the existing consumer truth to your product, service or idea
  2. What is a new consumer truth you’re aiming to respond to
  3. What is the brand truth that meets the true customer need or desire
  4. What needs to happen for your target to embrace your new brand truth

Creative brief.

There’s an advertising adage around creative briefing; When briefing Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, the Pope could have asked him to paint a masterpiece on the ceiling. Instead, the brief was to ‘give the world a vision of heaven.

The quality of your creative brief determines campaign performance. Your brief should cover the basics:

  1. Background to brief
  2. Exact deliverables
  3. Objective or required shift in consumer sentiment
  4. What the audience needs to think feel and believe
  5. Your essential message
  6. The proof that underpins your message

We recommend spending enough time on your brief to get past the tactical requirement to address the strategic shift that will change perceptions. A good agency will coach you on making your creative brief the powerhouse it should be.