As we’ve discussed recently, brands can strengthen their hold on customers with a brand identity: this is the combination of characteristics that makes the brand attractive, special and memorable to its customers.
Another part of the experience of doing business with that brand is sharing and interacting with its content, which can take a number of forms. However, the most important thing about this content: it needs to amplify or advance the brand story.
But if identity and content are pillars, there’s a third pillar brands can use to maintain and increase sales. It can also help direct both their content and their identity toward a specific purpose, promotion or incentive.
This is the campaign: a conceptual messaging strategy designed to provoke target prospects to change their behaviors or take a specific action, maybe at a certain place or point in time.
As with other marketing tactics, developing a campaign concept is a task that should happen in stages. When we work with clients, we generally go through a six-step process with the following major components;
- Set Objectives: Here’s where we work with the client to figure out the goal or purpose of the campaign, because it could be developed for one of several reasons. According to the Smart Insights blog, some reasons to use a campaign are to launch a new product or increase sales of an existing product. Some campaigns are based on certain times of the year, seasons, or even production cycles. Others may be based on the company’s desire to build sales among new customers, or to get a competitor’s customers to switch their loyalty.
- Research: Once the organization has settled on the goal of a particular campaign, the next step is gathering insights through research. We do this by working to uncover audience and industry insights for clients that highlight what kinds of messaging motivate prospects depending on the campaign’s purpose. Solid research should be able to show such things as prospect demographics, their interests, industry trends, and other factors that could influence the campaign strategy. Other types of useful research, as described by an AudienceBloom blog, include research on the competition or on specific marketing channels where the campaign could be deployed.
- Create: Understanding buyers’ motives, from research, then contributes inspiration for the conceptual part of campaign development: the stage where the actual idea or campaign concept is conceived. We use the insights we’ve gained to craft designs and messaging approaches to compel target audiences to respond to and interact with brands in the desired ways.
- Streamline & Refine: Once a selection of possible campaign concepts are created, it’s up to the organization and their agency to work together to streamline the list and recommend the very best campaign approaches based on how well they align with the brand identity and the audience’s expected response.
- Recommend: From there we’re often prepared to provide our clients with a recommendation and directional consultation backed by research insights, industry rationale and creative vision.
- Deliver: The final stage of campaign development is building out the entire approach with all details, directions and validations from start to finish. This is the point where the creative campaign concepts get transformed into visual depictions of the message and promise. Examples include a campaign roadmap showing the key messaging points, channels to be used and timelines; or a campaign-specific content marketing strategy where content recommendations are planned out over time according to the campaign concept and goals.