10 questions you should ask yourself when planning an advertising campaign

For an advertising campaign to be successful, good preparation is essential. Answer the following questions to get a solid basic framework for planning the campaign.


What should be the aim of the campaign?

An advertising campaign always pursues a concrete goal. At the beginning it is therefore important to define this goal quantitatively in order to choose the appropriate measures later on, but also to be able to check the success of the advertising campaign afterward.

Examples of targets of an advertising campaign:

  • 20.000 USD additional turnover with product XY
  • Increase awareness of the product in the target group from 12% to 45%.
  • Generate 50 new customers by the end of June
  • 11,000 website visitors generated in the next 2 months
  • 5,000 trial subscriptions by the end of the year
  • 500 registrations for the contest

Who do I want to reach with the advertising campaign?

Every advertising campaign should have a clearly defined target group. The target group defines the group of people you want to address with your offer. The more precisely you can define this target group, the better you can choose your advertising message and advertising channels.

You can define your target group using the following criteria, among others:
Age, gender, place of residence, country, income, profession, interest

Examples of advertising target groups:

  • People between 30 and 65 years
  • Pensioners from Berlin
  • Expecting parents
  • Owners of companies with more than 50 employees
  • Car-savvy men with an annual income of over € 50,000
  • Women over 30 who go on holiday at least twice a year
  • Men who are interested in cosmetic products

What should be communicated to the target group?
What does the concrete advertising message look like?

Once you have defined what the aim of the campaign is and who you want to address, you can start thinking about the advertising message. An advertising message ultimately has the task of activating the recipient. It is all well and good if the message is creative – but if you leave the recipient in the dark about what it is all about and do not create enough incentive, you will not achieve anything with your campaign. Therefore, when defining the advertising message, you should ask yourself: What information is needed to activate the recipient with the advertising campaign?

Examples of what the contents of the advertising message can be:

  • This weekend 50% discount on all upholstered furniture in our Manchester branch
  • The new Tablet XY has a battery life of 12 hours and is practically indestructible
  • Our accounting office offers cost-effective solutions especially for small entrepreneurs
  • Convince yourself without obligation with a free trial subscription to our new health magazine

Additional tip: You can test different advertising messages in advertising campaigns on the Internet. In the statistics you can see during the campaign which advertising message is better to reach your goal. You can then use this information to carry out optimisations even during the campaign.


Which communication channel is best suited to get the message across to the target group?

The next step is to define where exactly you want to reach your target group. To answer this question it is important to know what media usage behaviour your target group has or what other contacts with advertising are possible (e.g. outdoor advertising, POS, etc.).

If you cannot answer this question yourself, you can also ask your agency for a proposal. Media agencies are often the specialists when it comes to this type of target group analysis.

It is also important that the advertising channel is suitable to get your advertising message across to the people. For example, if you want to communicate the design of a new car model, radio advertising is rather unsuitable because the listeners cannot see the car. However, if you want to advertise a -20% special offer in your car dealership, radio advertising may well be a suitable channel.


What advertising budget is available?

The advertising budget defines how much budget you want to invest in the campaign. This budget includes all costs in connection with the advertising campaign, from the cost of placement to the cost of advertising material production or distribution.

In most cases, a fixed sum is called the advertising budget. But there are also alternatives. For example, if your advertising campaign is aimed at selling a specific product in an online shop, maximum advertising costs per sale can also be defined and the total budget remains unlimited as long as these maximum advertising costs per sale are not exceeded.


When should the advertising campaign launch?

In order to create a concrete project plan for the campaign and also to evaluate the availability of advertising placements, it is important that you define at the beginning when exactly the advertising campaign should run. Several campaign waves with breaks in between are also possible.


What personal, internal and external resources can I use to implement the advertising campaign?

There are many different ways to implement an advertising campaign:

  • Complete outsourcing to an external advertising agency/media agency
  • Internal handling of the campaign
  • Hybrid model (e.g. marketing department buys advertising space, external graphic designer designs advertising material)

Which of the three options you choose depends on your internal time resources, your budget, but also on your company’s internal knowledge.


How will I measure whether the campaign has been successful?

When planning your advertising campaign, you should already consider how you want to measure the success of the campaign later on. If you do not deal with the measurement of success already in this phase, it may not be possible to measure success later on.

How you can measure the success of the campaign depends very much on the objectives of your campaign. Here are a few examples to illustrate how you can measure the success of an advertising campaign:

Examples of success measurements for advertising campaigns:

  • Aim of the campaign: Increase awareness of the product in the target group from 20% to 40%.
    Measuring success: Survey of brand awareness with survey before and after the campaign
  • Goal of the campaign: Generate 400 registrations for contest on landing page with online campaign
    Measurement of success: Measurement of the contest participations caused by online campaigns through conversion tracking
  • Goal of the campaign: Generate at least 200 interested people with an advertising mailing by post
    Measuring success: setting up a special telephone number, e-mail address and website for the mailing. In addition, integration of a reply coupon in the mailing. At the end of the campaign, evaluation of calls, incoming e-mails, mailings and website form submissions

What measures are necessary to best support the advertising campaign?

In many cases it is not enough to fill only advertising slots in order to achieve the desired advertising goal. Of course, the exact measures to be taken depend strongly on the advertising campaign in question.

Here are a few examples:

  • Creation of a landing page to inform users from online campaigns about the offer without distraction and to motivate them to take further action
  • Increase the internal staff to ensure that the increased number of enquiries or orders can be dealt with in a timely manner
  • Provide additional information about the advertising campaign on the company’s website, so that people who have been reached by poster advertising, for example, can obtain additional information

Final advice:

The more you deal with the planning of your advertising campaign, the higher are the chances of success, to reach your set goal. But you shouldn’t overplan either, as many details only become apparent in the concrete implementation phase. It is important, however, that no matter in which phase of the campaign you are in, you always have your goal in mind. Because the goal is your guide!

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Christian Wagner
Christian Wagner
Founder RiskPlayWin | Owner & Founder of the digital marketing agencies morethandigital.com & PEAKFOCUS.agency