As the new fiscal year is getting closer, it’s time to finalize the budget and the business plan for next year. Defining the new marketing plan and marketing campaigns is the standard exercise every marketing manager needs to walk through and explain to the executive committee. As your performance objectives are defined based on the product line revenue, including the contribution of your marketing activities to the sales pipeline, and the new year is going to start very hard, better be well prepared with a rock-solid plan you are confident with and will be able to follow with no major surprise during the year. In this plan, defining the right marketing campaigns properly is what will help you succeed in generating a lot of business to your sales teams.
What is a marketing campaign ?
“A specific, defined series of coordinated activities designed to help market a product”
“An overarching platform of themes for promotion that guide us internally to create and implement product and industry market programs, and a set of tactics for each.”
The marketing campaign canvas
If you are already used to the lean startup business model canvas, you will recognize the same structure in the following marketing campaign canvas. This helps you put your ideas together and be sure not to forget anything important.
The prospect personas , the pain points , the value proposition , the channels  are in general not very difficult to fill in, that’s something you are used to talk about.
Content materials  are built on a regular basis and assuming you are not new to your business, you already have a large asset portfolio you can leverage for your activities: update your assets with the modern message you want to vehicle for the next year and build the few ones you will need to cover the product updates and the matching value.
The key activities  are usually defined using the previous year as the baseline: reinforce activities that performed well and remove others that didn’t. All activities are federated into a local [country specific] and a global [cross-country] marketing calendar.
Key metrics  will be requiring most of your time when building your marketing campaigns. In large organizations, you will need to work very closely with functional teams for every channel (digital marketing, event marketing, email marketing …) and understand every metric out of your corporate marketing automation tool precisely. For example:
- for the email channel, you will focus on the open and click rate,
- for the PPC channel, you will focus on the ad performance segmentation and your landing pages,
- for the SEO channel, you will focus on your content and linking strategy and your semantic structure,
- for the event channel, you will focus on the number of attendees vs logistics costs.
The cost structure and the budget  will be determined by three main factors:
- your market
- the company ambition in terms of growth
- the propensity of your executive board to spend on marketing
The ROI  is the holy graal of a good marketer. If you manage to have an accurate ROI calculation with no error (meaning no unjustified assumption), you could potentially get no limit to your growth (even though there will always be internal bottlenecks to sustain this growth in your organization). But mastering your ROI is heavily complex and requires a huge maturity of the organization because most metrics are extremely difficult to get – even though they might exist somewhere. Understanding metrics is not just a single exercise, it applies to every channel. You also have other factors influencing your metrics such as the period of the year, organization changes, employee turnover … Understanding the conversion ratio at every stage of the lead/sales generation process is a real endeavor but the benefits are definitely worth the pain. Last but not least, you will definitely need your best management skills to federate people around your initiative.