How long should your marketing and advertising campaign last?
It depends on many factors, all of which will rely on your goals and objectives.
This means that you won’t have a clear plan if you don’t have a target in mind. Not being goal-oriented when it comes to your business direction can compromise a lot of things, specifically timing.
You can come up with a campaign without a solid plan, but you don’t have to. You’ll have a hard time quantifying the results and pinpointing the duration of your marketing campaign.
Campaign Types, According to Length
Before we discuss the different factors that affect your marketing campaign duration, here’s the lowdown on different campaign types depending on the duration:
Short campaigns are a part of a more comprehensive marketing plan. They are mostly about advertisements, such as paid social media ads or PPC. You get your money’s worth in short campaigns so long as you’re investing a hefty sum. Your ads can reach many individuals, but you need to keep your eyes peeled for all activities. Because they don’t take a long time to do, things can escalate quickly if you don’t act right away. Since short campaigns require heavy monitoring, it’s best that you hire a marketing firm to take control.
Just be on the lookout for some potential issues, such as changing topics constantly and not having enough time to conduct research. Rushing things won’t get you the results you want, while constant modifications will eat up your time.
A medium-length campaign can last between 6 weeks to 12 weeks. Many experts strongly recommend campaigns that last as long as one quarter so you can better gauge your performance. The marketing cycle intertwines with the business cycle, giving you a clearer view of where you stand.
This type of project gives more freedom when it comes to time, so there’s less tendency to run out of time or rush the work. You’ll get enough time to plan well and properly execute it. During the project, you also have leeway for mild tweaks and alterations.
Aside from ample prep time, you can also measure the results better. You and your team will also have time and energy to curate and carry out supporting strategies with minimal pressure.
When you conduct long-term marketing campaigns, you gather more information that can be beneficial for future projects. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fail or not. Discovering what works and what doesn’t pays off in the long run.
However, long campaigns can be tiresome for everyone. Running a 10-month campaign can be demotivating for everyone because the end feels nowhere in sight. On the other hand, if you cut your campaign short, you’ll lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve. Long campaigns are also more challenging to pivot and require a lot of preparation.
Factors to Consider When Determining Campaign Duration
It’s not exactly rocket science, but there are few things you should bear in mind if you want to estimate how long your campaign will run. These are:
- Differentiating campaign strategies and tactics
- Identifying what kind of marketing you’re conducting.
- Understanding which methods you need to pull off your strategy.
- Having clear objectives.
- Determining the group size, experience, and resources.
We’ll go through each of these points to help you run your campaign better. I’ll also share with you some potential difficulties you might face along the way, as well as help you determine the perfect length of your marketing campaign.
Pinpointing the Difference Between Campaign Strategies and Tactics
Every business employs tactics to help their marketing efforts. Tactics refer to the steps your company has to take to promote your product or reach your business goals. They happen naturally, unlike the marketing strategy, which needs to be defined clearly.
Since determining your marketing strategy requires conscious effort, it’s better to do it at the outset instead of just going through the motions. Your ability to come up with a solid plan from the beginning is what will set your brand apart from the competition.
Understanding the Different Types of Marketing Projects
The marketing project type will largely influence your campaign’s duration as it zeroes in on how you want to run your campaign. Since a marketing strategy or plan is quite comprehensive, it is further broken down into three parts with more specific targeting.
Individual Marketing Strategies refer to detailed plans of what you’re running alongside your other marketing campaign. Examples of which are online SEO and Pay-Per-Click.
Outbound or Inbound Marketing Campaign pertains to your marketing plan spanning a year in which you can really get into the details of what you wish to achieve.
Total Marketing Strategy is a bit broader as it can encompass up to 5 years of planning. Therefore, it’s harder to get into the specific. However, this document is correlated to your business strategy and is the core of your marketing plans.
Laying Down Your Objectives
I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART objectives and their impact on any project or campaign. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.
So you need to define your goals using the four requirements and then plot your schedule.
Let me paint you a picture:
If you’re gunning to close more deals for your project, you need to set a realistic number. Say, 6%. Does it agree with the four elements your objective should have?
Is it Specific? Check. It gives you the amount you want to strive for.
Is it Measurable? Check. Since you have a specific value, you’ll be able to monitor your progress, provided you have the necessary tools.
Is it Attainable and Realistic? Check and Check. It’s a good target for you and your team members and also not far-fetched.
Defining your goal as time-based will need more research on your end. For instance, how long does the lead conversion take place? You can set an ambitious goal of 5%, but you can’t meet that goal within a week. Check with your team and talk about how long the process usually lasts. Aiming for a tight timetable will only pose a challenge that is neither attainable nor realistic.
Moreover, it would help if you considered how each function would work. Closing more leads is the endgame, but how long does it take for you to reach this goal. Does it mean the marketing team needs to generate 15% more leads to ensure they get the 6% conversion?
Remember this: Every arena of your business is interconnected. Your objective should match your marketing goal. You will need to make adjustments and consider the other groups in play and how they will affect the timeframe.
Never Automate the Campaign Duration
Each marketing approach is original. No rules are governing a campaign’s length. Only you and your team are most suitable to pin down the ideal campaign duration depending on your needs, capabilities, and target.
Let’s get back to the earlier example. Suppose your business is selling gadgets directly to customers. It’s quite pointless to strengthen your online presence and aim for ranking high on search engines. Instead, it would help if you boosted your actual presence in the area you’re in by working on your social media pages.
Knowing How Your Team Size, Experience, and Resources Factor In
These factors matter more than you think. Let’s talk about how each one plays a role.
The size of your team
Tight schedules will be a challenge for your workers if there are not enough of them to handle the tasks. Stretching them thin is a risky move you should never take unless you’re willing to pick up the pieces and start over. Give your people some allowance, especially if you know that the workload is too much for the workforce.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that big teams don’t come across any hiccups. If your company has a big group, it means there are more tasks to be responsible for. Most large projects suffer from time management issues, especially when some things are subjected to approval.
Not to rain on a newbie’s parade, but experienced individuals have likely dealt with numerous issues in the past. They are also better equipped to put out so many fires. Therefore, they can sort out problems and perform faster than people who are only learning the ropes.
People with less experience will need some time figuring out how to do things. If you’re willing to stick it out, that’s fine. But you need to consider their needs and give your team more time to carry out the campaign. Also, factor in more time for the learning curve and do not put too much pressure in the beginning, allowing them more time to learn at a comfortable but consistent pace.
Manual marketing takes a longer chunk of your time than automated marketing, for the most part. My best advice is to know when to utilize both functions.
For instance, personal interaction with customers has more significant benefits than chatbots. Therefore, you might want to put up an actual person behind the desk to do the emails and reply to queries. However, for computations and stuff, I’m not going to stop you from taking advantage of software programs and other tools to speed things up.
Campaigns are not one-off jobs. You’ll start to see results little by little over the years. Shorter campaigns allow you to see immediate wins and results, but these contribute to your overall business performance. If there’s one thing I want you to remember is to measure your success. Aside from helping you figure out your campaign duration, you’ll also be able to come up with campaigns that have long-term positive effects on your business.