Definition of Campaign

15 Dec 2019 » Marketing Team

Like all guilds, digital marketeers have their own jargon. People outside the group may find it difficult to understand what certain words mean. One such word is campaign. Different people, teams or companies in digital marketing use it in different ways, often excluding others’ meaning.

Campaigns at Adobe

It does not help either if one Adobe tool is called Adobe Campaign. When I speak with Adobe Campaign users or consultants, only what they do are campaigns. Even better, when you talk with them about multi-channel campaigns, these multiple channels are only those that Adobe Campaign supports: email, direct mail, mobile push, SMS…

But that is not all. In the past, when Adobe Target was called Omniture Test&Target, what today we call activities, were then called campaigns. And if you speak with any AdCloud expert, they will also call campaigns to what they do. In all cases, their campaigns were the only true campaigns and nothing else was.

So, who is right?

Campaigns everywhere

Well, in my view, nobody is right and everybody is right. How can this be?

Let’s start going back to the basic. If you are reading this blog it is highly probable that you are working in digital marketing. So, military or harvest campaigns are not something you are familiar with (neither am I, by the way).

With this in mind, consider the following aspects of a digital marketing campaign:

  • Theme. During the course of a year, the digital marketing department will create many activities. You can group this activities in themes. For example, the summer campaign will be different of the Christmas campaign, which will also be different from the Chinese New Year campaign.
  • Cost. Campaigns do not come free: your salary, the tools you use, the agencies involved, the assets you may need to buy, the publisher… are all costs. In other words, in order for a digital marketing activity to be considered a campaign, it has to have a cost. This broadens the concept of campaign, as now you can include a wider set of activities related to digital marketing:
    • Email
    • SEO
    • SEM
    • On-site personalisation
    • Display advertising
    • SMS
    • Social ads
    • And many more
  • Goal. This is probably the most important part, usually the starting point. We do not create a campaign just to have fun. Although the ultimate goal is to sell more of something, there may be other short term goals that help the long term goal:
    • Make your brand more popular
    • Attract new customers
    • Offer samples of your products
    • Tell your customers about new features or products
    • Make your customers feel comfortable with your website
  • Measurable. I am tempted to say that this point is optional, but it should not be. All your marketing activities should be measurable, to evaluate the success.

You will have noticed that I have not mentioned the channel or the tool. So, all Adobe tools I mentioned above create campaigns, each one for a different set of channels, but none of these tools have the monopoly of the word campaign. The same should apply to the users of the tools. In fact, a single campaign may encompass multiple activities in multiple channels using different tools. For example, a Black Friday campaign can include email, on-site personalisation, display advertising, SEM…

If you ask me for a definition, I would say:

A group of trackable digital marketing activities with a common theme, created to ultimately sell a product or service.

Do not take it as a fully accepted definition, it is just my first try at it. Remember I do not have a major in English. You can also create your own definition considering the 4 points above. If you have a better definition, please, share it in the comments!


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