The three core departments of a business are administration, accounting/finance, and marketing. Every department has its own processes and objectives. Typically, marketing departments focus on running various marketing campaigns aimed at completing an objective.

However, if you run a smaller business, you might not have a marketing department. Perhaps you are your marketing department!

If that’s the case, we want to equip you to run a marketing campaign successfully and effectively.

Here are the core components that a marketing campaign needs to be successful.

The “Big Idea”

Some people refer to this concept of a marketing campaign as the “theme” or “message”. Essentially, it is the unifying idea that is consistent throughout your coordinated marketing efforts. A playwright would refer to it as your campaign’s “through line”.

A good example of a brand’s big idea is found in Nike’s “Just Do It”. The theme of perseverance and going after “it” are present in almost any Nike campaign.

Include a big idea in your marketing campaign to tie everything together.

Target Audience

Another aspect of your marketing campaign is your target audience. It can also be argued that this should be the first piece you focus on, as it will dictate many other campaign aspects.

Regardless, you need to identify who you want to focus your campaign’s efforts on.

When identifying the target audience, be sure to list of its demographics and psychographics. Be as specific as possible as this will help you with targeting on various channels.

It is also helpful to create a “buyer persona” as this will personalize your marketing efforts. It will sound like your talking to your audience rather than advertising to them.

Campaign Objectives

We cannot stress this enough – every campaign needs an objective. If a campaign doesn’t have an objective, then it’s not a campaign. It’s simply an assortment of disjointed marketing tasks.

The three main objectives that we’ve focused our campaigns around are brand awareness, lead generation, and sales. If you don’t know what kind of objective to choose for your campaign, start with one of these objectives.

Also, when selecting an objective, make sure you lay out your campaign objective(s) in S.M.A.R.T. goal format. If you don’t know what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is, check out this quick description here. The point is, get as specific as possible with your campaign goals.

Marketing Channels

You’ve identified the campaign’s big idea, audience, and objectives, now it’s time to determine which channels you will use to reach your audience.

Most of the channels that you will choose will be determined by the audience you’ve targeted. For example, if you’re trying to target Gen Z, Instagram or Snapchat would be a more effective advertising channel than LinkedIn. Analyze your audience and determine where they’re at. Then select the channels that will reach them.

Some common channels include:

  • Social media
  • Google search and display ads
  • Email
  • Trade shows and events
  • Print
  • Word-of-mouth


Every marketing communication piece that you push through your campaign needs to include some sort of offer or call-to-action. The offer/CTA will drive your marketing campaign.

A campaign offer doesn’t need to be extravagant. For example, it could be as simple as “check out our website” or “click the like button”. The point is you need to solicit your campaign’s desired action from your target audience in some shape or fashion. People will not see your ad and instinctively know what to do. They must be told.

Campaign Budget

The final aspect of any campaign is the budget. “How much is this going to cost?” Once you get down to the numbers, you might realize that certain channels aren’t financially feasible. That’s okay. That’s why we think through our campaign budget! The point is you need to take some time and think through what it’s going to cost to execute your campaign and if it’s feasible or not.

What we like to do to determine a campaign budget is either start with the budget or start with the campaign timeline. These two aspects of a marketing campaign directly affect one another. For example, if you want to complete your campaign in 30 days but you only have $100 to spend, then you will need to spread your budget out over the 30 days. Alternatively, if you have $10,000 to spend you will want to determine when your campaign will end so you can allocate your budget evenly.

Timeline and budget affect each other.


An excellent marketing campaign is made of a big idea, a target audience, objectives, various marketing channels, a compelling offer, and a budget. If you neglect one of these areas, you’ll be kicking yourself down the road.

When you put all these campaign pieces together you will have a cohesive and effective marketing campaign.

Now it’s up to you to execute on it.

Download our free Marketing Campaign template below to get started crafting your next marketing campaign.

Marketing Campaign Template

Download our free Marketing Campaign template that will walk you through the six components of a comprehensive campaign.