What Is a Marketing Campaign?

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  • Written By: John Lister
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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A marketing campaign is comprised of a number of activities carried out to accomplish a predetermined goal, most commonly the promotion of a product or service. It differs from ongoing marketing or public relations that is designed to provide a reaction to specific events. An effective marketing campaign may cover a wide variety of media and incorporate both paid and unpaid marketing.

Marketing as a whole is a continuous ongoing process of trying to create awareness of a product, service or company, specifically awareness that is in a positive manner. A marketing campaign is more restricted and usually involves a time limit and a budget, as well as a specific goal. It will often concentrate on one aspect of a business or organization's work, such as a new or revised product.

To be effective, a marketing campaign needs clear quantifiable goals. In its simplest form this could be to reach a certain number of people with a message. A more sophisticated goal would be that a certain proportion of people show awareness of a product, showing the message has gotten through successfully. Arguably the ultimate goal is for this awareness to lead to an increase in sales. Having clear goals not only makes it possible to measure how well the campaign has worked, but also to have a clearer focus in planning the campaign to start off with.


There are three main elements to a marketing campaign. One is direct marketing, which involves communicating directly with consumers, for example through leaflets, e-mail messages, mailed letters or mobile messaging. Another is advertising, which is paying the operators of a communications service such as television, radio or newspapers to carry a message. The third is public relations, which is working to have media outlets mention the product, service or message in their editorial content.

One of the keys to a marketing campaign is determining the intended audience. For a retailer, this will be the people most likely to buy a product. For a non-commercial group such as a campaigning organization, this could be the people with the power to make political decisions. The demographic makeup of the intended audience will not only affect the specific outlets used for marketing, but also the general medium and the specifics of the message. For example, text message marketing is much more likely to be successful for a product aimed at teenagers rather than elderly people.


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Post 3

@ankara-- I'm not sure what you mean by different but marketing campaigns do have to fit in with the goals of a company's overall marketing strategy. If it doesn't, the marketing campaign won't serve its purpose which is to get the company closer to its goals. The difference is that a marketing campaign has more specific goals than the marketing strategy.

The main marketing objective for all companies is to increase its sales. But a marketing campaign will concentrate on a specific product and will set specific goals. For example, company A can start a new marketing campaign where the goal is to increase the sales of its chocolates by at least 15% in the next one year. This marketing campaign fits in with the overall marketing strategy but creates more concrete goals to work towards within a specific time frame.

Does this make sense?

Post 2

If marketing campaign and general marketing are different things, can a marketing campaign be very different from a company's general marketing strategy?

Post 1

I like marketing campaigns where a brand brings in a celebrity to advertise a new product. If I was the head of the marketing department for a company, I would go for this type of marketing campaign.

I think celebrity marketing campaigns attract a lot more attention. Even if the product is completely new and unknown, seeing a familiar face promote it makes me feel that this is a good product. Sometimes I buy things just because my favorite celebrity is promoting it.

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