Everybody loves a good promotion, especially those that give freebies or discounts to customers upon a product launch. However, promotional campaigns are more than that.

Marketers know better than to think that giveaways will be enough to win customers over to your side, especially with so many brands offering the same promotional gifts.

To stand out from the crowd, you need a good strategy that takes into account everything—from the messaging to the target audience, and the channels to be utilised.

Finally, it’s also important for you to be able to assess whether or not you’re achieving your goal. This in turn will enable you to keep in place the strategies that work and alter the ones that are not working.

Here’s what makes up an effective campaign for any promotional activity:


1. Study different marketing communication strategies

Planning a Promotional Campaign Here Are 7 Essential Steps

There’s no shortage of actionable ideas when it comes to market your product or service, but it’s important to pick what will resonate best in your industry and target market whether it’s PR, email, content, or event marketing, among others.

If you’re a sports brand, for example, you could get more marketing mileage sponsoring a health and fitness event in your community. It’s a perfect opportunity to drive sales for your business as you get to attract prospective customers, showcase unique products, and touch base with existing customers. It’s also a way for you to enhance your brand image as you promote the value of being fit through sports.


2. Set objectives

Setting objectives is an all-too-familiar catchphrase among marketing teams, but this is where all marketing plans start. Marketing schools often prescribe the SMART way, referring to goals being specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-oriented. The SMART way helps to avoid the too generalized “to increase sales” mantra as it’s not translated into or expressed in numbers.

For your sales goals, some of the key performance indicators that you would like to plot may include the ROI or how much of the market share you gained for a specified period.


3. Determine your promotional materials

Promotional materials are any tool you use to reach out to your customers and influence them to make a purchase. Your choice of promotional materials will depend on some factors such as the type of product or service you’re promoting, your niche market, and the communication channels you will use.

Some of the most popular promo materials you could use include promotional merchandise, point-of-purchase advertising materials like flyers, brochures, or posters, and other print or broadcast advertising materials.


4. Develop your promotional message

Promotional campaigns are all about communicating a message to your prospects or customers, which goes without saying that you should know what to say and how to say it best to get a positive response. From your headline to keywords and the main idea, make sure these are stated using power words and other attention-grabbing techniques.

When crafting your promotional message, you should know your audience well enough, specifically the kinds of people who might be interested in using your product or service. This familiarity with your audience can help you highlight how they might benefit from what you’re offering.


5. Set a budget

Your budget should be an honest assessment of how much you can afford to reach your goal. To help you determine what a reasonable budget is, you could make projections about ROI, percentage of sales, and the number of customers you will be able to convert.

The idea is that breaking down all these numbers can help you figure out how much money you can make from a customer at any given time so that you don’t end up losing money on new clients.


6. Determine how you’ll measure results or success

Planning a Promotional Campaign Here Are 7 Essential Steps

Measuring the outcome of your promotional efforts can give you valuable insights such as which medium or channel is the most cost-effective or which draws the most number of customers.

Equally important is to have a tool or system that you can use to keep track of your goals and conversion rates such as the widely used Google Analytics or other marketing software products.

You could even gauge the effectiveness of your campaign by surveying customers on what they recall about a particular advertising message, how they felt about it, or if it contributed to a change in perception toward your brand.


7. Tweak and repeat

The nice thing about promotional campaigns is that you can extend their shelf life. At the end of each campaign, it’s a good practice to gather your team and discuss the outcome of that promotion.

What are the hits and misses of the campaign, and how could you turn things around based on your most successful promotion model? From these insights, you could then plan for your next campaign and improve it based on your findings.


Promotional campaigns are neither a random nor a low-value marketing endeavour. Rather, it’s a series of processes that involve goal setting and goal tracking, allocation of resources, and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of your campaign—all of which contribute to strengthening your presence in the market.