PROMOTION CAMPAIGN GUIDELINES
genius of managing the marketing communications program is acquired only
through its practice, relying on a system of learned skills and
The general objectives of the project focus on providing an opportunity
for students to design a comprehensive integrated marketing communications (IMC)
plan, enabling you to achieve a keen awareness and understanding of the
decisions, issues, and activities involved in developing such a plan.
Specifically, the project is designed so you will: (1) achieve an
understanding of the major elements comprising the marketing communications mix;
(2) fully comprehend the meaning and relevance of integrated marketing
communications; (3) appreciate the complexity of designing a complete IMC plan;
(4) achieve a high proficiency in locating, understanding, and using information
sources for marketing communications program design, execution, and measurement;
and (5) enhance your ability to communicate logically and persuasively in
spoken, written, and visual language. In short, the fundamental objective of the project is to
learn how to create a first-rate integrated marketing communications plan.
The Promotion Plan
"The guy came here two years ago promising to build a
team in his own image. Now we're
A promotion plan is a blueprint of the complete marketing communications
program for a brand. It is a formal
document that evaluates the background of the brand and presents a set of
guidelines and an action program for the brand’s promotion campaign.
The promotion plan for this project will be for the New England market
and will cover one calendar year.
of Agency Teams
"Gettin' the players ain't the tough part, it's getting 'em
to play together."
Client and the Product
the factory we make baseball mitts. In the store we sell dreams."
The product will be an existing brand with an established track record. Each agency team should submit a list of five products it would like to work on, and then meet with Prof. G for final selection. Products for some previous campaign plans are listed at the end of this document.
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." Lawrence
Each agency team will submit a budget request in response to the client’s directive to create a new promotion campaign that promises an improved market position in New England. Once you determine the budget needed to achieve that end, you should submit it according to the status report deadlines established. Final approval rests with the client.
Reports and Meetings
"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nuthin'."
Jay Hanna Dean
A series of Status Reports will be issued during the campaign planning
period. Each report should be a
maximum of five pages in length (not counting exhibits) and should be in bullet
form, detailing your findings and/or current thinking on a particular part of
the campaign plan. To guide you in
preparation of each report, imagine that the client’s product manager has
called and said: “You’ve been working on the competitive analysis [e.g.] for
some time now. We wonder what you’ve found and what you make of the findings.
Please give us a report.” The
Status Report represents your best thinking at the moment and is subject to
change. At a minimum it should show
clearly that you have been working diligently and productively on the campaign
and have put a good deal of thought into matters, because this is “the most
important promotion plan for your most important client.”
Please keep in mind that issuance
of a Status Report does not signal completion of that particular phase of the
The Status Reports will be read and kept by your instructor.
They will not be graded, but will serve as checkpoints for monitoring
your progress on the plan. Each
Status Report will provide an indication of the extent and quality of the work
on a particular stage of the plan. Any
questions or concerns about the content of a Status Report will be addressed to
the agency team no later than the day after it is submitted.
Should you not be contacted, assume the Status Report is fine.
However, you are welcome to discuss the report with me at any time.
Status Reports are not substitutes for meetings with Prof. G. You are encouraged to schedule periodic meetings with me to discuss any aspect of your campaign. Scheduling such meetings is the responsibility of the agency team, and there is no limit to the number of meetings. Meeting early and often is advisable.
A description of the industry in which your product competes, its size,
growth, current trends and developments, and any key factors necessary for an
understanding of the setting. Also,
a snapshot of your company, including a very brief history, the firm’s
development to its present status, product lines, sales history, target markets,
current marketing mix, and other factors making the company what it is today.
Product Review/Buyer Analysis
A description of the product that is the focus of your campaign plan.
Emphasis should be on the product’s sales history, market share,
strengths, weaknesses, key benefits, brand image, and other factors important
for an understanding of the product’s performance and place among its category
competitors. In addition, there
should be identification of the various market segments and the user profile for
the product, as well as a description of the consumer decision process for the
product and the important factors influencing brand selection. Who buys our
product? Who is the decider?
The influencer? What are the demographic, geographic, psychographic, and
behavioristic factors that influence the buying decision?
Is buying behavior characterized by extended or limited problem solving?
Is the product/brand a high-involvement or low-involvement purchase?
In short, what are the key factors that influence buyer behavior for this
Identification of the important direct and indirect competitors faced by
our product. For each competitor, focus should be on factors such as
sales, market share, growth, key benefits, positioning, advertising and
promotion budget, promotion program mix, message and media strategies, and an
overall assessment of strengths and weaknesses.
S-T-O-P & Budget Request
What are the objectives of
our campaign? Which of the market
segments will be the target market for this campaign? What will be our positioning strategy? How much money do we need to spend to achieve our campaign
objectives? (The budget number
at this point is a single aggregate figure, not broken down by individual
promotion program element.)
Identification of the major
elements of the promotion campaign, the relative emphasis to be placed on each (including
a tentative allocation of the budget),
the specific objectives for each element, and the rationale for the recommended
Identification of the reach, frequency, and message weight we expect to
achieve. What will be the geographical allocation of the media budget
and why? What media will be used
and why? [At this point, it is not necessary to identify specific media vehicles,
just the medium, e.g., you do not have to yet identify the specific television
program (6:00pm news) and magazine title (Newsweek) … just
that television and magazines will
be used.] What sort of
scheduling pattern do we envision and why?
All this should be accompanied by a concise media rationale statement as
to the potential efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed media plan.
Creative Strategy Statement
A one-page statement of your copy platform, including the following components making up your message strategy: target audience, objectives, key benefit, support, claims and promises, reassurance, and tone.
The Final Presentation "I never really said most of the things I said." Lawrence Peter Berra
The final presentation,
thirty minutes in length, should contain whatever the agency team believes
necessary to evoke favorable action on the proposed plan by the client.
The team’s basic mission is to convince the client to accept the
campaign proposal. How you attempt
to do that is an important part of the process.
While substance is crucial, style is important, too.
Please keep in mind that you are also selling your agency, its people,
and its capabilities.
The Written Report
"Hey, big mouth, how do you spell triple?"
Joseph Jefferson Jackson
The written report is Exhibit A and should show beyond question that the
promotion plan was prepared by a totally professional agency.
As to the format and content of the written report, please see the
section entitled Promotion Campaign Plan later in this document.
Please keep in mind that the final written report becomes the permanent
record of your effort. To that end,
it should reflect the care and attention that merit the document bearing your
good name. Both content
and style (to include all aspects of
grammar and mechanics) are of supreme importance. The written report, even one that is outstanding
content-wise, will be downgraded severely if it fails to show excellent grammar
and mechanics. Opportunities to
submit your work for review prior to delivery of the final edition will be
discussed in class.
Two copies of the final report should be submitted -- the original and a
photocopy. The original should be in the exact form as you would present
to the client. The photocopy should
be unbound, and does not have to contain color artwork, pages that are larger
than standard size, or the Appendix material that may be in the original.
The photocopy will be used for marking.
"I knew the record would stand until it was
broken." Lawrence Peter Berra
Performance on the campaign project constitutes a significant part of
your semester grade in the course. The
report will be evaluated as a single unit, with each team member receiving the
same grade. A good result depends on each team member doing his/her share
of the work to the fullest extent. The
project will be evaluated as a three-month effort, which means that an explosive
push out of the starting block is essential for a first-rate final product to be
a reality. In advertising and promotion campaign planning, you simply cannot
make up for lost time.
"I couldna done without my players."
Charles Dillon Stengel
"I got players with bad watches -- they can't tell
midnight from noon." Charles Dillon Stengel
Assume that late work will not be accepted, so it makes good sense to
observe each and every deadline. Any
alternative to this policy is at your instructor’s discretion; however, you
should know that if your late work is accepted, it will gain a spot on one of
the world's all-time shortest lists.
Final reports from previous campaigns are available for inspection in
Prof. G’s office. They are in a
box atop the file cabinet on the left as you enter the office.
You are urged to review them early and often.
The reports are to be used only in Malloy and should be returned to the
box when you are done.
of Presentations "So
I'm ugly. So what? I never saw nobody hit with his face."
Several videotapes of previous presentations are available for you to
take overnight. They are on a
bookshelf behind the office door.
have to get out and work the territory, get out where the feed is fed, ask
A wide range of reference material is set up for you in Malloy 214 on a
bookshelf to the right of the file cabinet holding the previous reports.
The reference material is to be used only in Malloy and should be
returned to the same place on the bookshelf when you are done.
Kits, Media Guides, and Directories
decisions, not intuition-based
Executional Guidelines "When
I looked at the third base coach, he turned his back on me." Bob
Preparation of Materials: All
materials must be created, designed, and executed exclusively by members of the
agency team, except when permission is granted by your instructor.
This includes, but is not limited to, materials such as layouts,
storyboards, audio or video recordings, sales promotion pieces, store displays,
public relations pieces, and direct marketing materials. Professionals may not
critique, correct, or make specific suggestions for any portion of the project.
Contacting Outside Sources: Agency teams may (and, in fact, should) contact any firm for information and materials that do not go against the guidelines set forth in the previous paragraph. For example, for cost estimates, previous advertising, research studies, ratings data, or industry reports, you may want to contact advertising agencies, the media, sales promotion firms, research firms, and other suppliers. Agency teams may utilize any published and commonly available research materials. All sources of information and materials should be listed at the end of the written report.
promotion plan should include the following executions:
The 20 executions are a minimum. You
may go beyond that number. You are
also encouraged to present some unexecuted ideas.
Any departure from the list of required executions must be cleared with
Prof. G. On a project-by-project basis, there will likely be very specific
requirements for executions at the demand of the client.
loved doubleheaders. That way I got to keep my uniform on longer."
You should check the K: drive (Community on File-Campus1) under
“Faculty” and “Govoni” for templates that will help you in preparing
various parts of your campaign. The
following templates are available:
In WORD: companal
Companal is a worksheet organized around several factors that
should be part of your competitive analysis.
Copyplat is an outline of the key components in a creative
In EXCEL: mediaflo
Mediaflo is a template for your media flowchart.
In POWERPOINT: storybrd
Storybrd contains two items: a television storyboard template and
a radio script sheet. Billbord
is a template for a billboard advertisement.
– Follow Directions!
Collecting and organizing information for this project requires time and
ingenuity. The following list of
suggested references is intended solely as a jump-start.
- Previous Campaign Plan
How to Write a
Successful Advertising Plan
are many WorldWideWeb sites that are worth
web site accurately bills itself as “The Ultimate Marketing Communications
Directory.” It is by far the most extensive collection of advertising and
promotion links on the Web. The web site effectively covers all relevant phases
of marketing communications campaign planning. A must-use resource.
to get you started, here are some excellent web sites:
TITLE PAGE "You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church." William Lee
following information should be included (in no special order):
Name of client and product
TABLE OF CONTENTS "Beauty
without substance is the hook without bait." Ralph Waldo Emerson
all major headings in your plan, with page numbers.
AGENCY PHILOSOPHY "My
own little rule was two for one. If one of my teammates got knocked
short statement (maximum: one-half page) that presents the basic principles
underlying the approach used in attacking this assignment.
The agency philosophy statement should clearly indicate the standards and
beliefs that guide the agency in its work.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY "You
can sum up baseball in exactly one word--you never know."
Executive Summary may be arranged in any fashion, but it has to pack a wallop.
Remember, the basic purpose of the Executive Summary is to tell top
officials at the client organization exactly what you are proposing -- in one or
two pages. Be precise.
Be complete. Organizing the
Executive Summary (as well as the other sections of the promotion campaign plan) in
a bullet-type format is one effective way to present your material.
THE PROMOTION PLAN
INDUSTRY BACKGROUND "The important thing is to not stop questioning." Albert Einstein
COMPANY SNAPSHOT "This team is absolutely amazin' and I mean amazin'." Charles Dillon Stengel
"Look at him. He don't drink, he don't smoke, he don't chew, he don't
COMPETITIVE REVIEW "If
we're gonna win the pennant, we gotta start thinking we're not as good
BUYER ANALYSIS "He was originally born in Michigan, and that's a real great town." Mickey Rivers
THE PRODUCT'S EXISTING PROMOTION PROGRAM
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES "I'm
the world's worst fielder, but I can hit." Dick Stuart
THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES "Age
is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind,
got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you
Marketing goals are what is to be accomplished by the overall marketing program. The situation analysis is the foundation for the marketing goals. They are defined in terms of one or some combination of the following:
goals and promotion objectives are not the same. Marketing goals establish a framework for the determination
of promotion objectives.
TARGET MARKET "See it and hit it." Theodore Samuel Williams
PROMOTION OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
"Ya gotta believe." Tug McGraw
statement of what the total marketing communications program will accomplish –
the role the program will play in the marketing effort.
Promotion objectives involve a desired audience response, which results
from the process of consumer decision making.
Though the particular objectives sought depend heavily on the target
audience’s level of involvement with a product category and perceived
differentiation among different brands, a useful framework for promotion
planners is the hierarchy-of-effects model (Lavidge-Steiner) that shows
different buyer-readiness states.
each objective and strategy with a brief rationale.
POSITIONING AND CAMPAIGN THEME
"Go with the best you got." Thomas Lasorda
CREATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS "It isn't just what you say, but how you say it." Harry Caray
like announcing on the radio better than television, because you can make a
mistake on radio
PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS (CONSUMER)
PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS (TRADE)
DIRECT MARKETING RECOMMENDATIONS
PUBLIC RELATIONS RECOMMENDATIONS
PERSONAL SELLING RECOMMENDATIONS "I am the greatest." Muhammad Ali
RESELLER SUPPORT PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS
CAMPAIGN FLOWCHART "Last
night I neglected to mention something that bears repeating."
A one-page summary diagram
showing the timing of the major elements, events, and activities of the
campaign. Similar to a media
flowchart, but not as detailed, with focus only on the key components of the
campaign. The campaign flowchart
shows at a glance what is to happen when throughout the entire campaign.
MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
Measurement and evaluation
activities occur during the course of the campaign, as well as at the end.
This section of the proposal should contain a description of those
activities and the specific methods that will be used to appraise the individual
components of the campaign, as well as for measuring the overall effectiveness
of the campaign.
BUDGET "Fill in any
figure for that fella's contract. Whatever the figure, it's a deal."
This section is a summary of all
costs of the campaign (e.g., media, production, sales promotion, direct
marketing, public relations, sponsorship, endorsements, measurement and
evaluation expenditures, and more). The
budget should show both dollar and percent-of-total expenditures.
"The Hall of Fame ceremonies this year are on the 31st and 32nd of
July." Ralph Kiner
Summary of key dates for various
activities (e.g., date for client approval of creative strategy, dates for
production materials, dates for tracking studies).
CONCLUSION "Any doubt about his career being over was gone when I homered off him." Gene Mauch
A very brief review of your plan and how well it meets the needs of the client. One page should be sufficient to summarize the factors that make your plan the one that will best get the job done for the client.
APPENDIX "If I didn't
wake up, I'd still be sleeping." Lawrence Peter Berra
In most cases, this is a very
important section of the plan. It
will include information and material which have potential value to your client
and which have not been fully presented in the text of your plan.
Examples: industry data,
market data, questionnaires, competitors’ advertisements. This section can be a valuable resource for your client.
REFERENCES "Thou shalt
not steal. I mean defensively. On offense, thou shall steal and thou must."
A complete list of secondary
sources used for the campaign plan.