A promotional plan is a valuable marketing tool when it comes to launching a new service or product or expanding your market reach into new verticals or demographics. When planning a promotional campaign, keep in mind that a successful campaign achieves all of the following desired outcomes and goals:
- Your promotional message reaches your intended and targeted audience.
- Your audience understands your message.
- Your message stimulates the recipients, and they take action.
The question is how you achieve these outcomes with your campaign. The process is natural, but it takes "planning" time. Here are seven steps that will get your campaign off to the right start.
Assess Marketing Communication Opportunities
It's essential to examine and understand the needs of your target market. Who is your message going out to? Current users, influencers among individuals, decision-makers, groups, or the general public?
What Communication Channels Will You Use?
In the first step of planning, you should have defined the markets, products, and environments. This information will assist you in deciding which communication channels will be most beneficial. Will you use personal communication channels such as face to face meeting, telephone contact, or perhaps a personal sales presentation? Or will the nonpersonal communication such as newspapers, magazines, or direct mail work better?
Determine Your Objectives
Keep in mind that your objectives in a promotional campaign are slightly different from your marketing campaign. Promotional objectives should be stated regarding long or short-term behaviors by people who have been exposed to your promotional communication. These objectives must be stated, measurable, and appropriate to the phase of market development.
Determine Your Promotion Mix
This is where you will need to allocate resources to sales promotion, advertising, publicity, and, of course, personal selling. Don't skimp on either of these areas. You must create awareness among your buyers for your promotional campaign to succeed. A well-rounded promotion will use all these methods in some capacity.
Develop Your Promotional Message
You will need to sit down with your team and focus on the content, appeal, structure, format, and source of the message. Keep in mind that appeal and execution always work together in promotional campaigns.
Develop the Promotion Budget
You must now determine the total promotion budget. This involves determining cost breakdowns per territory and promotional mix elements. Take some time to break down allocations and determine the affordability, percent of sales, and competitive parity. By breaking down these costs, you will get a better idea of gauging the success potential of your campaign.
Determine Campaign Effectiveness
After marketing communications are assigned, the promotional plan must be formally defined in a written document. In this document, you should include situation analysis, copy platform, timetables for effective integration of promotional elements with elements in your marketing mix. You will also need to determine how you will measure the effectiveness once it is implemented. How did the actual performance measure up to planned objectives? You'll need to gather this information by asking your target market whether they recognized or recall specific advertising messages, what they remember about the message, how they felt about the message, and if their attitudes toward the company were affected by the message.