Integrated marketing campaigns don’t just go from idea to rollout in one fell swoop. All stakeholders need to get on board, teams must collaborate, and there needs to be a detailed marketing plan to ensure that each element is created on point and on time. Then, once the campaign launches, the focus shifts to distribution, promotion, and constant monitoring. Lastly, the team will have to measure and report on the results to determine successes, challenges, and iterations for future campaigns.
Though it is a complex process, and often involves many stakeholders, using an integrated campaign template and other campaign management tools can help guide the process. Here’s everything you need to know about executing an integrated marketing campaign from start to finish.
Start with your free integrated marketing campaign template
Marketing campaigns can vary depending on their scope, but typically, they will follow the same basic structure. That’s why having an integrated campaign template can be a big time-saver — while still allowing you to be agile — and will also ensure that you don’t leave out any important details. Here are the 8 elements you should be prepared to elaborate on in your marketing plan:
- Goal– What is the actual purpose of your campaign? Are you trying to generate leads, build awareness, strengthen brand affinity, retain customers, or make sales? Maybe you have more than one goal. What’s important is that you keep that goal in mind as you move forward and never lose sight of it.
- Audience – Who are you creating your campaign for? Which audience do you want to reach? Some campaigns are very targeted. Others have a broader audience, such as if you’re doing a social media campaign during March Madness or trying to connect with allergy sufferers. Or you might only want to reach a small segment of your business, like customers who haven’t engaged with your content for six months.
- Message – What is the story you want to tell? If you had to summarize your marketing campaign, how would you do it? Come up with a few lines to describe the key message of your campaign, and how it will help promote your product, service, or brand.
- Channel – What channels will be most relevant for your integrated campaign? Consider online and offline tactics including traditional advertising, television, content marketing, mobile, print, social media, out of home, cinema, and third-party partners.
- Content – Here’s where you get into the details, describing the assets and deliverables that will drive the campaign, and the supporting content. One campaign might have a number of elements from an ebook, whitepapers, webinars, and a series of blog posts, to infographics, slideshows, videos, and social media posts. Or, consider a sponsored/hosted event. These require a documented, integrated strategy involving design, demand gen, event coordination, and various types of content.
- The team – Once you know all of the assets that your campaign will need, you have to decide who is doing the creating. Do you have in-house content and design teams to work on them? Will you be outsourcing any part of your campaign content? Who needs to be involved to ensure each part of the campaign is executed properly and delivered on time?
- The timeline – This part is twofold: When is each asset/deliverable due? Are the deliverables going to be rolled out simultaneously, or staggered?
- The budget – When you’re using a number of resources, you’ll need to have a detailed budget so you can allocate the funds accordingly. This is especially important if you’re hiring freelancers.
- Workflow – Determine the workflow that’s required to execute your integrated campaign from ideation through to execution and post-campaign assessment. Ensure that your campaign planning and management tool is configured to reflect the way you work (thinking about maximizing collaboration and reducing waste.)
- Measurement – Which key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to measure success? When do you expect to see the results of the campaign? Is there an ROI goal? Once the campaign has gone live, how will you track performance, and know you’ve been successful?
How to ensure your marketing campaign is successful
So now that you have an idea of what an entire marketing campaign template entails, let’s go a little deeper into the framework of a successful campaign. These are the essential concepts that can greatly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of a campaign:
The campaign brief
The campaign brief should be created after building out your campaign plan template. The brief offers an overview of your purpose, your plan, a projected timeline, and the desired results. Think of it as the high-level master document that sums up all of the parts of your campaign strategy, which will be shared with the members of your team to keep everyone working toward the same goal.
Or put another way: “A brief shortens the learning curve and allows your team to hit the ground running in the right direction,” says Brafton’s blog.
The brief should also contain a breakdown of the tone, voice, and types of imagery that are appropriate for the target audience and the types of channels being used. Stating these guidelines at the outset will ensure a seamless, multi-channel campaign.
Integrated marketing campaign short-cut: Check out our Content Marketing Strategy template for inspiration.
Team responsibilities and workflow
This is a must to ensure operational efficiency and to give management clear visibility into what your marketing org is working on. Create a list of everyone involved in the project, their contact information, and a brief description of their role, so everyone knows each team members’ responsibilities. This will also help with communication and make clear who each person reports to.
Once a team is in place, you should provide them with the marketing brief and campaign plan built from your template. This will ensure that your internal team and any external agencies (if applicable) understand what’s required to execute the campaign successfully.
It’s also important to have a communication plan in place. Will you collaborate using project management tools like BaseCamp, Trello, or a content management platform? You might also designate a set check-in time or recurring meeting for everyone to share status updates or ask questions.
Integrated marketing campaign short-cut: Consider incorporating other tools, such as editorial and social distribution calendars, which will allow team members to get an overview of when campaign content is set to publish.
Campaign measurement and action items
Once a campaign is off and running, the work doesn’t end there. It’s important to measure campaigns in real time and be ready to make adjustments if the results aren’t meeting expectations. Or, if a certain aspect of the campaign is performing particularly well, you might want to capitalize on it or tweak other assets before they go live. Your marketing campaign plan will come in handy here — refer to measurement goals (KPIs) you set in the beginning and iterate if needed.
While measuring the business impact of your campaign is an obvious step of the process, the second part of measuring the success of a marketing campaign is to determine how efficient your team was throughout the implementation process. This means taking a look at how long each task took to complete, whether any items were finished past their original deadline (and why), and whether there were any roadblocks that can be avoided in future campaigns.
Integrated marketing campaign short-cut: Learn how to create a measurement framework for your marketing campaign.
A successful integrated marketing campaign starts with detailed planning. By figuring out the who, what, when, how, and why of your marketing campaign strategy, and breaking it down and documenting it for your team, you’ll have a better handle on all of the moving parts. At the same time, everyone will have a clear understanding of the campaign goals and the business outcomes they are working together to achieve.
Use our marketing plan template as inspiration for laying out each element of your campaign strategy in detail. Take it to the next level by customizing it to fit your campaign goals, deadlines, and KPIs.
Interested in a complete technology solution that can help to facilitate marketing campaign collaboration, management, and measurement? Request a demo of NewsCred’s CMP.