What is a 'Marketing Campaign'

Marketing campaigns promote a product through different media, including television, radio, print and online platforms. Campaigns don't have to rely solely on advertising and can also include demonstrations, word of mouth and other interactive techniques. Businesses operating in highly competitive markets may initiate frequent marketing campaigns and devote significant resources to generating brand awareness and sales.

BREAKING DOWN 'Marketing Campaign'

Marketing campaigns can be designed with different goals in mind, including building a brand image, introducing a new product, increasing sales of a product already on the market, or even reducing the impact of negative news. Defining a campaign's goal usually dictates how much marketing is needed and what media are most effective.

What Activities Are Part of a Marketing Campaign?

Marketing is all about reaching customers, and there are many ways to do that, from a simple postcard to a coordinated social-media blitz. Small companies can email invitations to a special sale and offer a free product to every customer who brings in the invitation. Larger companies can use paid advertising and professional agencies to reach a wider audience.

Whatever the size of the company, it's important that someone is dedicated to handling the influx of traffic a marketing campaign generates. If you are prompting customers to sign up for your email list, you must make sure that the list is managed well and that new customers receive welcoming messages. If visits to your website increase, you must continually update your content to convert this traffic to profitable sales.

What Are Some Examples of Successful Marketing Campaigns?

The long-running AFLAC duck campaign is one example of a campaign that significantly raised brand recognition. The company's brand-recognition rate was just 12% when it launched the campaign in 2000, and more than a decade of advertising boosted recognition to 90%.

Lay's launched its first "Do Us a Flavor" campaign in 2012, asking customers to suggest new potato-chip flavors through texts, Facebook and Twitter. The company's sales increased 12%, and its volume of Facebook followers tripled.

What Is an Example of a Marketing Campaign Designed to Reduce the Effect of Negative Publicity?

Companies that lose sales due to major negative press often use marketing campaigns to rehabilitate their images. One example is Chipotle Mexican Grill, which was investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after dozens of customers became sick in 2015 from food safety issues related to E. coli and norovirus. Chipotle's sales dropped 30%, and to get customers back in the door, Chipotle offered coupons for free food via direct mail and texts. Chipotle also used online video to announce a $10 million grant to support local farmers.

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