How To Create A Marketing Campaign

This last holiday season, my husband and I each participated in an office gift exchange. My company did a Yankee Swap. Everyone bought a present that they thought would appeal to most people in the office, and people could choose to open a gift or steal one. It’s fun, but the gifts are always pretty generic. I got some movie rentals, candy and microwave popcorn. My husband’s gift exchange was a Secret Santa, where everyone buys a gift for one specific person. He received tickets to his favorite sporting event. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

His gift was so much better because the giver knew EXACTLY who was going to get the gift. They knew their audience, they knew his likes and dislikes and therefore were able to come up with a gift that was perfect for him.

When it comes to creating a marketing campaign, you want to be more like the Secret Santa and less like the Yankee Swap. By defining a specific audience for your marketing campaign, you can tailor the campaign in such a way that it grabs their attention and motivates them to take action. If you don’t define your audience, you’ll end up with at best a generic campaign that gets ignored, at worst a offensive campaign that actually upsets the very people you want to attract.

How do you define your target audience?

Defining your target audience is basically answering the question: who do we want to do business with? The easiest way to answer that is to look at the people you already do business with.

What is their age and gender?
Where do they live?
What do they professionally? What are their hobbies?
What types of problems do you solve for them?
What types of products and services are they most interested in?
Now that you have a good sense of who your current audience is, you can define your audience for your specific marketing campaign.

Do you want to market only to your current clients?
Do you want to market to new people who are like your current clients?
Do you want to market to a subdivision of your clients? For example, people who have bought a specific product in the past or people who are a specific age.
Do you want to expand your target audience? For example, if your current audience is women age 18-29, perhaps you want to expand that and market to women in their thirties.
By this point you should have a good idea of what your target audience is like. Write out the target audience definition so you can refer back to it as you create your campaign:

Women in their thirties who are mothers that work outside the home and live in Orange County, their problems are time management and budgeting.

Now what?

As you move forward with the creation of your campaign, always keep the definition of your target audience at the forefront of your mind. When determining content, promotional hooks, even different marketing methods, you should always ask yourself “will this appeal to my target audience?”

Brianna Alexander is the Communications Strategist at One Step Services, a marketing company in Orange County, California. This article is part of a series on how to create a marketing campaign. To read other articles in the series, visit