Why 'Campaign' Is Fast Becoming A Dirty Word

The term “campaign” is outliving its purpose in the advertising and marketing world.  The concept is too linear and implies the brand is on control of the conversation, which is no longer the case.  Lots of brands are coming up with other vernacular to describe the process, and you should as well.

Brands can no longer plan their customers’ journey, nor expect to guide their audience through a funnel.  Linear campaigns simply don’t work – the customer has too much say in the path they take, from awareness to consideration to purchase. I won’t go so far as to say the customer is “in control,” though, because I see a nice balance of power unlike what may have been taking place in recent years.

For marketers, data can be used to identify customers or prospects and recognize where in the customer journey they may be.  This concept of identification and recognition is the basis for a data-driven marketing strategy.



What a marketer can do, rather than planning out a full “campaign,” is create an anticipatory “roadmap.”  A marketing roadmap, like one in the real world, gives you the ability to get from one location to the eventual destination, but it shows numerous ways to get there.  

This roadmap creates an infrastructure that allows you to identify the audience, determine who you should and should not be speaking to, and deliver messages to them based on where they are in their self-selected customer journey.

On the customer side, the balance lies in the fact that consumers are allowing marketers to use their data — with the understanding that this process will not be over-invasive and recognize privacy guidelines.  If marketers were to overstep their boundaries, then the balance would shift.

A roadmap strategy can be planned in advance, much like a campaign.  Think of it as a decision tree, one that can indeed be automated.  There are many technologies that allow you to create these plans, and data is a requirement for them to be implemented accurately.  The data doesn’t have to be deep -- you can create these paths using only a few different attributes -- but is necessary for the identification of your audience, determining whether these are people you want to be speaking to.    

A roadmap strategy will also change as you learn more about your customers.  Just like any real-world map, there are new roads being added and old roads being changed, as traffic patterns evolve along with population size.  The same can be done in your marketing strategy, as you learn more about your audience and they find out more about your brand.  The fair balance will evolve, and the depth of information you have, even the paths you can take across different types of media, will all change over time.

A roadmap is a better analogy for the campaign of today.  Try looking at things through that filter this week. I am guessing the analogy will hold up for you far better than you may think.

4 comments about "Why 'Campaign' Is Fast Becoming A Dirty Word".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Robin Solis from, August 27, 2015 at 1 a.m.

    IS that IN control?

  2. Michael Greeson from TDG, August 27, 2015 at 3:45 a.m.

    What is then required is quantum campaigns, those based on a keen understanding of the uncertainty inherent in modern media experiences. The concept of control then takes on a very differnet meaning.

  3. CJ McCabe from C-Mac, August 27, 2015 at 2:33 p.m.

    "If marketers were to overstep their boundaries, then the balance would shift."


  4. Robin Caller from LOLA GROVE, August 29, 2015 at 10:06 a.m.

    Cory - We could not agree with you more! Here at LOLA GROVE, we have these issues when running data capture programs (or roadmaps) for clients. They will often ask for a change that they consider is "mid-campaign", but which from a data processing perspective is a configuration change, or a job change.
    These change requests often requires us to pause the current job, change the system config, test the changes, and then go live again. Whilst we can often achieve this within 24 hours, we have obligations to accuracy and service quality.
    For this reason, the new version of our LOLA GROVE software is no longer referencing "campaigns" but instead is referring to each activity as a "JOB". We have restricted changes that can happen within a JOB to those which we can achieve without having to suspend a JOB. If a JOB would require suspension in order to effect a quality assured change, we are defining it as a new JOB. 
    To cater for the Advertising world, we are able to group JOBS, into JOB GROUPS. The "JOB GROUP" is our closest equvalent to an Advertising campaign - or roadmap - which may have several different roads/jobs within a single group/map.

    Interesting post!

Next story loading loading..