There are several aspects that contribute to a campaign’s success. In order to determine if a campaign is successful, success itself needs to be somewhat defined. It can be a goal that’s direct, such as wanting to increase membership by 3% or specific product sales by 2%. That said, success can often leave itself to be broad, in the sense end results are not defined or comparable to a previous quarter. For example, a brand awareness campaign may not aim for immediate sales but something else for a future push.
No matter what, success should be defined before going in. If it isn’t, a campaign could have no direction and essentially be left shooting in the dark, and like Steuart Henderson Britt once said, “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”
One of the most important aspects to getting started is laying the foundation. This starts by discussing the specific offer being promoted in the campaign. If it’s an umbrella campaign, what are the offers directly under it? A campaign can have room for multiple products, but an ad has room for two at most. If you’re producing an ad with multiple, it has a tendency to get murky. The last thing anyone wants is your offer for a credit card that allows the borrower a chance to win a vehicle for opening an account, tickets to a ball game for every swipe, with a grand prize family vacation to go over anyone’s head. It’s a lot to swallow in one moment and very easy to overlook. Keep it simple.
Perhaps there’s a level of fear with the next one, but setting a budget is crucial to every party involved. Media buys are dependent on what the budget allows. You want to maximize reach and frequency, but if someone from your team is pulling numbers for radio or television placement, and the budget realistically doesn’t fit production cost, then their time is wasted. Knowing your budget from the get-go is crucial. Think of a campaign as a wagon, your wheels are the budget. Your wagon can only go so far on a set of wheels. Planning for a trip further than those wheels can take you, will lead to some major issues.
Knowing the difference between response and results is key. Solely basing your success on the feedback from colleagues and or creative critics isn’t wise. Just because your ad made someone laugh, cry, or think about something, doesn’t mean your ad produced a purchase. Appealing to emotion is fundamental to advertising, but only aiming for a response isn’t what ultimately defines a successful campaign (unless success was defined as getting attention or causing controversy).
Your campaign is your campaign. Sometimes, bending or even breaking the written and unwritten rules is the best decision you can make. Although, we promised three keys, here’s a fourth. Don’t be afraid to explore outside the norm. Sometimes, a wheel needs to break to let the wagon fly.