What Is a Strategic Campaign Plan?

A strategic campaign plan is a comprehensive plan that aims to influence and bring awareness to other people- regardless if it is a targeted group or not. A strategic campaign plan can be used for a variety of objectives, from social media marketing to political purposes. 

According to an online article published by Redmond Channel Partner, there are six key elements of a successful campaign. The campaign must have a target, list, value proposition, offer or a call to action, delivery method and finally, the follow-up for any marketing campaign to be considered successful.

Tips for Developing Strategic Campaigns

Creating a strategic campaign plan is not a simple task. Since it ought to be a comprehensive plan, you and your team would need to actually sit down and brainstorm all kinds of tactics and strategies to develop an effective campaign plan. The examples below are some tips on how to make the best of your strategic campaign planning and brainstorming.

Do extensive research. Any effective plan, whether business plan, action plan or campaign plan, requires the right research. In strategic campaign plans, research is critical so the campaign message and tactics are able to reach the desired recipient. For instance, if you are running a branding and marketing campaign to launch a new product, you want to know everything there is to know about your target market. Thus, compiling customer profiles and doing extensive market research is needed before you can fully implement your strategic campaign plan. There are several ways to achieve this. Surveys and focused group discussions are common ways to conduct qualitative research. Doing the groundwork and necessary research will ultimately save you a ton of energy and time in the future. Messaging is key. A key element in any campaign is the right messaging. It can basically be considered the core of it all. The purpose of a campaign is to convey a message, inform people or get people to understand and consider a certain product, service or even behavior. Thus, how you wrap and present your message is of utmost importance. The underlying meaning for every message is what ultimately matters. What does your message mean to people? How will it affect their psyche or behavior? Will it elicit a positive or negative response? These types of questions ought to propel you to craft your campaign messaging clearly and carefully. Use engaging content. Another important aspect of impactful messaging is employing the right content. Companies, teams and strategic planners use various strategies and tactics to boost engagement with their chosen markets. Today, content is even more emphasized because of the digitization of everything from retail, commerce and even to connection. What type of content will catch an individual’s eye? And more importantly, what kind of content will retain their attention? With attention spans getting narrower and narrower, it has become all the more crucial to come up with original, compelling and interesting content to keep people engaged. This notion cannot be more true for social media influencers. With their relevance dependent on their followers and online engagement, they are compelled to constantly come up with the kind of content that will garner reactions, comments and shares. Review different tactics. An important thing to consider when mapping out your strategic campaign plan is that not all tactics and activities work for all. One campaign may have success employing a certain strategy; but then that same strategy may not deliver the same kind of results for another campaign. The idea that one size fits all rarely applies in this case. Which is why you need to be able to filter your strategies and tactics based on what actually works for you and your campaign objectives and goals. For example, you need a sound campaign strategy and decide to use one that is based on another team’s experience. This is not necessarily wrong, but you need to make sure that you have adequately reviewed the tactic or strategy, weighed its benefits and risks and studied how it will work for your own campaign. Anticipate roadblocks. Any plan is not always 100% foolproof. Thus, it is wise to anticipate and prepare for unexpected obstacles that may threaten your plan. It is important to plan ahead for contingencies or backup strategies in the event that your original plan is compromised. Strategic campaign plans are no exception to this. If, for example, you planned for a certain outcome to happen and yet that does not make you immune from unexpected problems and issues. So if you want to lower your chances of losing total control of a campaign, it might be best to incorporate contingency plans into your strategies.

What Areas are Strategic Campaign Plans Useful?

A strategic campaign plan can be applied in many different areas and fields. Depending on the objective of the campaign plan, these may be similar in format but its content may vary. The most common areas where effective campaigns are needed are listed below. 

Marketing. One of the foremost campaigns are marketing campaigns. Essentially all campaigns are promotional in nature; however, strategic marketing campaigns are mainly used for products, events, services, organizations and even self-promotion. Advertising agencies launch all kinds of awareness drives and publicity stunts to promote anything from cosmetics to hotels to herbal medicines. How a product is presented to the public undoubtedly has an effect on how that product is consumed and perceived. It can often, but not always, translate to sales and greater brand recognition. In sum, a marketing campaign plan should be carefully crafted and targeted right from the start so as to prevent a recklessly aimed campaign plan. Politics. When people hear the word campaign, a lot of them immediately associate it with politicians or elections. People picture political candidates on tarps and posters and on every form of media. Election season attracts all kinds of strategies and tactics in order to win a government seat and position. Usually, teams even take months to prepare- brainstorming, strategizing, researching and related activities. Running a campaign is tremendous work and requires substantial resources, effort and support. However, political campaigns are not only reserved for election season. In the realm of democratic governance, there is also the reality of lobbying and crafting policies and laws. Various groups and sectors may also draft strategic campaign plans to push for a particular policy or ordinance. In doing so, they are basically seeking government endorsement or federal support for their interests and concerns. Advocacy. Another important area where strategic campaign plans are usually used is in the field of advocacy work. Those who dedicate their lives to a particular cause or advocacy know that it takes a lot of time and effort to garner support and build momentum to actually make a tangible difference. Strategic campaign planning comes into play when those who work in advocacy seek external support for their different projects and programs. For instance, a non-profit organization may work to solicit sponsorships or seek the help of outside donors and benefactors to push for their advocacies. To do this, a strategy must be put in place with the right plans and directions to compel other people to support the organization’s cause. Another critical example would be the issue of climate change. Advocates for environmental conservation would need a strong and dynamic campaign plan in order to push the agenda for broader awareness and more drastic response to climate change. Public Relations. In the field of public relations or PR, image and the right communication is everything. How you present a product, a service, an issue, a response or even yourself is absolutely critical. Public relations takes this to heart and helps companies and organizations navigate the challenging world of public perception and approval. But more than just damage control and looking good for the camera, public relations is essentially fostering strong relationships with stakeholders and developing a sound communication plan. Just like marketing, PR professionals also need a strategic campaign plan that can boost positive reception and sustain interest as well as influence.

How to Create a Strategic Campaign Plan

Creating a strategic campaign plan is anything but simple. It usually comes with an exchange of ideas and a lot of research and consultation. However, by using a predesigned template, you are able to cut short the time spent on format and structure and thus, are able to focus more on the content. Once you have selected a sample template that suits your needs, you just need to keep in mind the following steps:   

Step 1: Set Realistic Goals

To start off any strategic campaign plan, you need to first set big yet attainable goals. You need to set realistic goals because that will be your measure of success post-campaign. You want to be able to go back to the “why” or purpose of creating a campaign plan in the first place. Doing this can help organize your thoughts and needs so it is much easier to move forward with plans and strategies. Whether it is a political campaign or a social media campaign, you need to establish the right objectives first before venturing into tactics and action plans. Keep this section brief and if you prefer to use bullet points to enumerate your goals, then do so. 

Step 2: Do the Research

The next step is to conduct the proper research. You cannot run a campaign blind or with no ammunition. An important aspect of any successful campaign is the research to back up claims and arguments. To illustrate, if you are launching a product and claim it has potential benefits and low risks, consumers and prospective buyers will want to know that these claims are true and have the proper studies to support it. If you are a political candidate running for an electoral seat, you want to do enough research to know who your voters and constituents are. Before actually meeting with your constituents, you would naturally want to know their beliefs, inclinations and predicted behaviors in addition to their demographics.   

Step 3: Assess the Resources

Once you have done the proper research, the next step is assessing the resources you have at your disposal. This is a vital step because you need to have an idea of what your assets are as well as your liabilities. Running a campaign costs money and time. Having an accurate assessment of your resources will help you decide whether or not to seek external funding or support for your campaign. Further, it will also serve as a basis for crafting your budget. A detailed budget or breakdown of costs should be an essential part of your campaign plan.    

Step 4: Track the Progress 

Lastly, you need to develop an effective monitoring tool that will enable you to track your progress as you begin implementing your campaign. It is important to measure your activity as this will also help you determine if your tactics and strategies are working or if there is need for modification or improvement. In any strategic plan or action plan, there are always hits and misses. Having a proper tracking tool in place allows you to capitalize on the hits and learn from the misses.   


What is a strategic campaign?

A strategic campaign is a deliberate and concerted effort to bring awareness to a targeted group of people in order to influence a desired outcome.

What should a campaign strategy include?

Typically, a campaign strategy ought to include a list of campaign goals and objectives, extensive research, evaluation of resources and assets, action plans and strategies, and finally, a progress monitoring tool.

How do you strategize a campaign?

To effectively strategize a campaign you need to make sure that you have proper coordination with all your team members. You need to assess your strengths, weaknesses and assets. Doing enough research and knowing your target market are key as well.

A strategic campaign plan not only needs research and support, vision and teamwork are equally important as well. Whether you are in the field of advertising, politics, or even advocacy and development, a sound campaign plan is essential. Browse the sample templates above to get started on your own campaign now!