Definition: Advertising Campaign Planning refers to the planning of an advertising campaign, which is a combined effort of the advertiser and the advertising agency. The advertiser gives all the information regarding the product, distribution channel, competitors, target audience, company etc. to the agency. However, the advertising agency researches and gathers data from various sources by performing market research, consumer research and product research as well, at their own level.
There are three stages in any advertising campaign – Preparatory, Meridian and Final stage. Advertising campaign planning is a part of the preparatory stage. In other words, it is the foundational stage, as the other two stages rely on it.
Further, in the process of campaign planning, the company follows a number of steps to meet the desired goals of the firm. A well-designed plan helps in the coordination of various advertising efforts and also utilises the resources in the best possible manner.
It is cost-intensive. So, careful planning is the key to getting the intended response from the target audience.
How to plan an advertising campaign?
For advertising to be effective, it must be appealing, eye-opening, refreshing, and unique. It is possible only when there is creative thinking.
In the field of advertising, the job of copywriters, art directors, creative heads, film directors, broadcast producers, etc., comes under the creative side of advertising. So, the ideas and information provided by these people are of great help in planning the advertising campaign.
There are some parameters which the advertising agency primarily works on. These are:
- Target consumer profile
- Total advertising budget
- Campaign period
- Media availability
- Competitors Activities
- Client and the product or service profile
- Timing of campaign
- Distribution set up
- Review of past advertising
- Creative requirements
- Fresh plans
Process of Planning of Advertising Campaign
- Review of the marketing position of the company: Generally, the company looking to introduce an advertising campaign appoints an agency for the purpose of planning and execution. Moreover, the firm and the advertising agency will together review the marketing position of the company presently, considering the product, consumers, competitor’s situation and market analysis.
- Defining Target Market: It is pertinent to know who are the potential buyers and where they live. For this, segmentation of the target market takes place. The segmentation will depend upon demographic, geographic or psychographic factors.
- Ascertaining the objective of the Advertising Campaign: An advertising objective is a motive for running the campaign. This objective must be decided before finalizing other details. These objectives will act as the guidelines for the whole planning process. Generally, the objectives are:
- Introduction of a new product or service
- Expansion of the use of the product
- Increasing consumer loyalty
- Creating brand image
- Persuading customers to buy their product.
- Budget allocation: The advertising budget plays a significant role in an ad campaign. The advertiser sets the advertising budget for whom the campaign is prepared. Hence, it is the limiting factor that decides:
- Selection of advertising media
- Advertising message frequency
- Attractiveness of Advertising
- Message Creation: The message is what the audience sees or hears. So, it has to be created with the intent of getting the desired response from the target audience. Further, an effective message has three main characteristics – meaningful, distinctive and believable. It has two main elements:
- Appeal: It is the cause for accepting the message
- Execution: Converting the appeal into words and visuals
- Media Selection: It is important to choose the media which will convey the message. Advertisers must decide what kind of media and which vehicles are used. The choice of media depends on a number of factors, like the objective of the advertisement, the reach of the audience, message requirements, etc.
- Media Scheduling: The advertising agency and the advertiser should come along to prepare a schedule for each media and placement of an ad in the media. The media schedule generally covers the time and frequency of each advertisement in the media chosen.
- Execution of advertising campaign: Once the planning of the advertising campaign is over; the next step is execution. It will cover the preparation of advertising copy and booking time and space in the concerned media.
- Monitoring of Advertising Campaign: To make the campaign more successful, proper supervision of the execution of the advertising campaign is a must. In case of any discrepancy, necessary steps are taken to correct them. This will ensure the orderly execution of the entire campaign. And with that, the company will get to know the success rate of the advertising campaign.
Also Read: Media Planning
Factors Influencing Planning of Advertising Campaign
- Organization: The company’s market position must be considered at the time of planning the advertising campaign. Also, the agency takes into account the production capacity of the organization, its financial position, sales force, etc.
- Advertising objectives: An advertising campaign is properly executed when the advertising objectives are defined. Therefore, at the time of preparing the campaign, the use of such headlines, slogans, and illustrations takes place, which will help in achieving the advertising objectives.
- Advertising budget: Budget plays a significant role in the planning of advertising campaigns. It will decide the money the advertiser allows for spending on the campaign. On the basis of budget, the agency will choose the media and decide the frequency of advertisements.
- Product: What is to be advertised is the most important or, say, the basis of the whole campaign. The product can be industrial or consumer, perishable or durable, etc. The planning of the campaign should be according to the features of the product.
- Consumers: At the time of planning an ad campaign, the agency takes into account factors like the type of consumers, their buying habits, purchasing power, geographic location etc. Therefore, it will help in finalizing the right theme for the advertising campaign.
- Language: The language of the ad should depend upon the audience to which the advertiser wants to cater. They can go for English, Hindi or any regional language.
- Competitors: Competitors highly influence the advertising campaign. In this regard, the agency considers both positive and negative points of the competitors.
- Media: Media available for advertising is also one of the factors that influence campaign planning. So, the selection of the right media channels which are appropriate for the product, target audience and budget is very important.
A Word from Business Jargons
All in all, developing an advertising campaign encompasses various steps. Further, the campaign must be in line with the advertiser’s strategies, be it corporate or promotional.