Today, we are going to discuss the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing campaign.
The two terms are both a part of an overall approach to marketing. Essentially, a campaign is part of a marketing plan, which is part of your overall marketing strategy.
DEFINING MARKETING STRATEGY
Your marketing strategy is your organization’s overall plan for reaching people and turning them into purchasers. It’s the foundation that your marketing plan will be built upon.
The strategy should take into consideration your company’s target, broad messaging and positioning, and value proposition. It should also speak to the tactical goals of your organization and your mix of products and services.
Let’s break down those elements a bit:
Your value proposition is your competitive advantage. It’s what makes you different from all the rest, and why people should care. For example, the value proposition for MailChimp is simply, “send better email.” For Lyft, it’s “rides in minutes.” It’s a simple, concise statement that expresses the value of your products or services.
From the value proposition comes the key messaging. It’s likely that this messaging will take its rightful spot above-the-fold on your website. You will hold this key messaging up against your value proposition to ensure that it aligns before splashing it all over here there and everywhere. And in fact, every marketing asset should be held up to the lens of the value prop to determine whether it is appropriately aligned with the company’s mission.
To fully flesh out your marketing strategy, it’s imperative to understand your market. Market research can be conducted to provide insight into the size and composition of your target. This will allow you to make informed decisions about how and where to reach your potentials.
Finally, your company’s marketing strategy should spell out your goals for all of your marketing. From the overall strategy, separate marketing plans can be developed to help achieve each individual goal or reach each distinct target.
So, in a nutshell, your marketing strategy is an explanation of how marketing will relate to your business goals. It’s a long-term approach that’s based on a compilation and assessment of your value proposition, key messaging, target market(s), and business goals.
DEFINING MARKETING PLAN
Your marketing plans are your operational documents. This is where you get down to business planning the initiatives that will help you achieve (or make incremental progress toward) your marketing goals dictated by your long-term marketing strategy. If the marketing strategy is the ‘what,’ then the marketing plan is the ‘how.’
And you will most likely have more than one marketing plan.
You will likely have an annual marketing plan for the overall promotion of your products or services, and then you may have subsequent marketing plans to establish guidelines for special projects.
According to Investopedia, “A marketing plan pulls together all the campaigns that will be undertaken over a period with additional information on how they will be measured and monitored.”
So, it’s here that you will consider your targets and budgets, as well as your core products and services and outline exactly what channels you will use to reach them. This information should be aggregated and outlined to be executed and monitored monthly, quarterly, or annually.
DEFINING MARKETING CAMPAIGN
A marketing campaign is focused on one, very specific goal for a preset amount of time. Ultimately, your marketing plan will be made up of a bunch of marketing campaigns. And all will lead back to your overall marketing strategy. Does that make sense?
Your marketing campaigns will be designed to communicate how your organization solves one type of problem.
Practically speaking, your campaign will follow a theme of sorts and will be executed through a series of touches. Typically to make an impact, you’ve got to deploy your message across various channels throughout the life of the campaign. These touches generally include a marketing mix of organic social media, paid social advertising, out of home advertising, print ads, online ads, press, radio, tv, search engine marketing, and more.
Over the predetermined timeline, the messaging will be pushed out through the established mediums, using the approved and outlined budget. The goal of the campaign should be crystal clear, and all efforts should be measured and reported upon.
Your overall marketing strategy should dictate the types of marketing campaigns that you create and execute, and all results should be compared to the benchmarks of your goals for marketing. If you don’t hit your goals, simply adjust and carry on.
So, I hope that the takeaway you’re taking away from this article is that you’ve got to start with a solid strategy, then move into tactical planning, and focused execution. When done properly, marketing is effective in helping you achieve business goals and create brand awareness. If you’re ready to propel your marketing efforts to the next level, give us a call. We’d love to get you on the right track.