Marketing Planning

Effective Promotional Campaign Planning

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

The campaign concept is the best platform on which a business can launch an effective promotional program. A promotional campaign comprises several sub-campaigns including advertising, personal selling, publicity and more. It is these separate aspects that must be strategically planned for to ensure success.

In planning for an effective promotional campaign the management has to adeptly combine a series of single-themed promotional efforts that are intended to achieve a single predetermined goal.

The use of the term 'campaign' in this context assumes that the entire promotional effort is addressed as opposed to the advertising component for which the term is normally reserved. The promotional campaign's individual components in effect form several sub campaigns which must be planned for and then expertly combined.

There are different approaches that can be embraced in actualizing a promotional campaign and these are dependent on the funds available and the objectives set. In planning for an effective promotional campaign based on a geographical approach, a business may have localized, regional and then national campaigns. Another business may design promotional campaigns targeting wholesalers, retailers and consumers. Yet another promotional campaign may be designed to be penetrative or competitive depending on what stage a product is in its lifecycle.

In planning for an effective promotional campaign a business will first want to determine the goal of the exercise. It is this goal and the purchasing motives of the consumers that will help the management settle on the most effective sales appeals to be stressed upon. Having identified these sales appeals clearly the onus will be on the management to structure the personal selling effort and the advertising effort etc on the same.

The next element required in planning for an effective promotional campaign is to adopt a focal point or theme which will actually serve as the unification agenda for the entire campaign. In this context, the theme can be defined as the attention-grabbing form that captures everything that the promotional campaign appeals intend to achieve. Most businesses and companies will tend to create a slogan of sorts and if this proves to be popular with the consumers it can be used for subsequent promotional campaigns. A good example is 'let your fingers do the walking', the theme-based slogan used for the Yellow Pages.

When planning for an effective promotional campaign it is essential to have all the components being coordinated seamlessly. The advertising program must be composed of ads that are carefully designed, timed and placed to complement the sales promotion and personal selling efforts. The sales promotion gadgets and devices created must reflect what is contained in the ads and the personal selling effort must stress the benefits indicated in the ads. All these separate efforts can only be successful if the product distribution network is well prepared in terms of adequately stocking the various outlets in anticipation of the expected demand from the consumers.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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