Marketing campaigns that use effective multi-faceted components require extensive planning to execute properly. The process of planning, gathering resources and executing the project can be confusing to business owners who want to scale their business but don’t have the experience or know-how. In this article, we talk about some practical ideas for planning a marketing campaign.

Project Management and Planning

Planning is arguably the most important step in the construction of a marketing campaign. What is this campaign going to accomplish? How will you know if it’s succesful? These elements are defined in this step and used as foundational elements to build the rest of the plan.

For example, let’s say you’re a small business owner in a downtown area selling athletic clothing. You want to begin marketing your new line of high-end running shoes. They’re expensive, so you’ll need to branch out into e-commerce to take advantage of a wider pool of customers because foot traffic alone might not be as reliable to purchase such an expensive product. Your goal is to build this into a viable product offering for your business. “Viable” in this instance could mean anything from just trying to turn a profit to building it into a one of your business’ core competencies.

Using your goal and the product itself will help narrow down other details to your plan. For example, you’re target demographic (most likely people who are serious about running), how to reach your target demographic (Google ads, Social Media, referral websites…etc.) and how to structure your messaging to make the most engaging advertisement.

Resource Allocation

At this point, you’ve determined your goal, you know who you’re targeting, and you know how you’re going to reach them. Now you need to determine the resources necessary to build and execute the campaign.

Resource means more than just what you’re planning for a monthly ad spending budget. You also should consider the amount of time spent building, maintaining, and changing the campaign to keep your ads fresh. But how do you determine whether a potential project is worth executing? Your Return on Investment (ROI) can be a good measure for this.

ROI% = Net Income/Cost of Investment

Let’s say your goal was to turn the expensive running shoes into a major part of your business. You’re looking to sell 100 pairs of shoes at $250 a pair. Cost of inventory is $100 per pair for a total of $10,000. If you sold all 100 pairs at $250, your gross income would be $25,000. Subtract the $10,000 in inventory costs for a hypothetical net income of $15,000.

Currently, without a marketing plan, your cost of investment equals just the cost of inventory. However, these numbers are hypothetical, and we’ve already determined it unlikely that the shoes will be sold without a marketing campaign. With the above example, you could plan to allocate $5000 worth of resources to the campaign and break even, but that’s only if you’re successful in selling all 100 pairs.

Finalizing the Plan

It’s important in this step to play around with the number of units you sell and their price point to account for any potential issues. For instance, perhaps the shoes aren’t in as much demand as you thought, and you must drop the price just to clear your inventory. It’s recommended to add an additional 15% in resources to account for potential problems that could run you over budget but taking the time to plan for different scenarios is a major benefit from the planning process of project management.