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What is a Campaign: Essential Components for Success

A campaign should be done in an organized and integrated way

A campaign should follow four well-planned phases like the pieces of a puzzle.

A campaign should follow four well-planned phases like the pieces of a puzzle.

A Campaign creates Awareness or facilitates a Sale

What is a campaign? A campaign is usually launched to achieve a specific goal which can range from creating an awareness about a company, product, service, politician, political party or even a social issue or cause to facilitating more sales. A campaign can have an ending, just be for one event, or it can be continuous, for example an Aids awareness campaign. To achieve the goal of a campaign, research and planning should be done in an organized way and messages should be carefully designed and integrated. A campaign typically consists of research, planning, implementation and evaluation phases. Campaigns are launched in various fields, for instance advertising, public relations, marketing, integrated marketing communication (IMC), political communication and are also extended online and in social media. A Google adword campaign, for example, is usually part of an online marketing or advertising campaign to drive traffic for sales. Ads appear in the sponsored links ad sections of Google search results and are based on targeting specific keywords.

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Essential Components of a Campaign

The essential components of a campaign are:

Research (Situation analysis). A campaign is usually launched for a specific reason. It can be to create a favorable image for the company or to generate publicity, or to increase sales for products. Political campaigns are launched before an important election to ensure the public's votes. As it costs a lot of money, careful research should be done on issues such as the reasons for the campaign, who the competitors are, the micro and macro environments, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the company (a SWOT analysis). It is in particular important to know who the target audience for the campaign will be to ensure tailor-made messages. Careful planning should be done on issues such as the objectives and focus of the campaign, the available budget The campaign should reach the right people with the right amount of money. For example, in a Google adword campaign, keyword research is done to ensure that the advertisements reach the right people during specific keyword searches on Google.

Planning: Based on the results of the research, campaign messages are designed and the right media chosen. Messages are designed based on a creative concept and a "Big Idea" that will drive the whole campaign. People and resources are also allocated to do specific tasks for the campaign. Companies that launch an online marketing or advertising campaign may use keyword research to ensure that their advertisements or websites will reach the right people through Google search results. Google adwords are but one strategy that online marketers or advertisers use, but it is also one of the most effective.

Implementation: During this phase tailor-made messages are placed in the different media which can range from traditional (radio and television) to online (websites, Google search results),social media (Facebook and Twitter) and mobile. Media with the greatest frequency, impact and reach are chosen through media selection procedures. Messages are also integrated using both traditional and online tactics to ensure optimum message exposure.

Evaluation: It is always important to know whether a campaign was successful or not. Various methods exist to evaluate the outcome of a campaign. Google adword campaigns, for example, are evaluated through Google Analytics to see where the traffic to the ad came from, who clicked on the ads and also what time they spent on the ads. This information helps to create better targeted advertising. Information obtained during the evaluation phase can be used to create another campaign with better results. If the campaign failed, the information can be used to create a new campaign.

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These are the essential components of a campaign, but the phases can be different for different companies with different goals. Research for and evaluation after a campaign are the most important.

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