The basics of a successful marketing campaign brief.

Jan 07 2019 | PayPal editorial staff

Launching a successful marketing campaign requires a number of decisions to be made. In fact, there are so many things to consider that it’s virtually impossible to launch a successful campaign without some formal planning.
Fortunately, if you put in the work upfront to complete a marketing campaign brief, it can help ensure you won’t waste your time or marketing budget. 

The elements of a marketing campaign brief.

A marketing campaign brief is a game plan for launching your marketing activities. It helps you focus on what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, how you’re going to execute, and what you can expect to get in return. The following steps are crucial to a successful launch of any marketing campaign.

Objectives and goals: What do you want to accomplish?

To begin, write down the objectives and goals of your campaign. Some examples are:
1. Build brand awareness: Are you trying to establish or strengthen your business or product’s reputation in the marketplace?
2. Keep engagement via a content strategy: Are you keeping your existing customers engaged between purchases? Are you testing an influencer strategy?
3. Generate leads/Develop a nurture strategy: Are you trying to draw in interested buyers who might not be ready to purchase? Are you trying to segment your leads by likelihood to buy?
4. Consider your production strategy: Are you launching a new product or service? Are you running a promotion to address seasonality in your business?

Make sure your objectives and goals are specific, concrete, measurable, and realistic.

Financial impact: What’s the expected revenue, cost, and return on investment?

How much revenue do you expect to generate from this campaign, and how much will you spend to achieve it? In other words, estimate the campaign’s return on investment (ROI).

Calculate ROI.
A simple ROI calculation for an email campaign might look like this:
Now’s also the time to take a look at your cash on hand. Ask yourself if you have sufficient capital to invest in this campaign. If you don’t, take a look around at potential ways to fund it, such as a PayPal Business Loan* or PayPal Working Capital.**

Target customers: Whom are you trying to reach?

The more you’re able to narrow the characteristics of your target audiences (e.g., elderly couples who winter in Florida), the tighter you can hone your sales pitch. List out your audiences and their needs. Ask yourself what motivates your customers to take the action you want them to take? Are there customers that share similar characteristics and/or motivations, so that you can put them in the same marketing campaign?

Here’s an example of a company that sells a line of workwear targeting both DIYers and professional trades. They created a grid based on two main factors their customers consider when buying work clothes: price (ranging from sensitive to insensitive) and utility (ranging from fashion to function). They plot their target customer segments on the scale, so they get a clear picture of the distinctions and similarities among groups. Then, they create distinct campaigns for select groupings.

Marketing message: What pain points do your product/service solve?

What can you say to influence your audiences into taking the action you desire? What are you selling, what need are you filling, how can you make your customers’ lives better?
  1. Start by defining the needs and paint points of each customer segment as they relate to what you’re offering.
  2. Then, articulate the ways in which your product or service addresses or solves those needs and paint points.
  3. Finally, ask for the sale. What’re you asking your customers to do (the call-to-action)? Are you giving them any incentives or discounts for doing so?

Marketing mix: How are you going to get your message to your audience?

How will you reach your customer segments? While using a single-channel is a quick way to get a campaign running, a multi-channel strategy can often provide a better overall ROI. Some potential channels:
  • Social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Ads in circulars
  • Buck slip insertions in coupon packs
  • Calling on potential customers (on the phone, in person)
  • Chat apps on your website
  • Direct radio and television ads
  • Events and trade shows
  • Search engine marketing 

Production: What steps do you take to launch this campaign?

This section includes the steps needed to create the physical or digital asset you’re going to present to your customers, as well as the processes involved in launching those assets in their marketing channels. Depending on your in-house talent, this may or may not be outsourced to a creative agency. Regardless, make sure to develop a production schedule, which details each step in the process, who’s responsible, and how long it’ll take to execute. This’ll help eliminate surprises along the way.

An example of a production schedule for an email campaign could be:

Tracking & reporting: How will you measure your success?

Well ahead of launch, familiarize yourself with the tools you’ll need to have in place in order to analyze the success of your campaign. Tools can range from Google Analytics or a CRM program to a plain-old tick sheet with pencil and paper.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. And it gets easier.

The first time you create a marketing campaign plan might be challenging, but it’ll prove well worth the investment. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create them relatively quickly. Regardless, even the most rudimentary marketing campaign brief will help eliminate uncertainties, alleviate headaches, and help ensure a successful campaign launch.

About PayPal for small businesses. 

For nearly 20 years, PayPal is proud to be a partner and platform for over 19 million merchants as they launch, scale and grow. From access to fast funding to getting paid online, learn how oupayment and credit solutions can also help your business. 
The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

*The lender for PayPal Business Loan and PayPal Working Capital is WebBank, Member FDIC.
** The lender for PayPal Working Capital is WebBank, Member FDIC. To apply for PayPal Working Capital, your business must have a PayPal business or premier account for at least 90 days and process between $15,000 (or for premier accounts $20,000) and $20 million within those 90 days or within any time period less than or equal to 12 months. PayPal sales include processing on PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal Payments Standard, PayPal Payments Pro, and PayPal Here.

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