What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Campaign and a Promotion?
By Jen Phillips April
Whether you’ve run your pet boarding facility for one day or thirty years, you know there are a million details. You also know marketing is essential to bringing in consistent business.
The businesses who master marketing enjoy more streamlined businesses. Yet, it can be confusing—or the list of tasks may seem tedious or over complicated. Take the terminology of a marketing campaign vs. a promotion. Do you know the difference?
Marketing Campaign vs. One-Off Promotion
A planned marketing campaign is different from a one–off promotion. They have different goals. The campaign is usually more sustained with a longer–term goal in mind while the one-off promotion is just what it sounds like—a one-time thing.
Marketing Campaign: businessdictionary.com defines a marketing campaign as “The efforts of a company or a third–party marketing company to increase awareness for a particular product or service, or to increase consumer awareness of a business or organization. A marketing campaign has a limited duration.”
Marketing Promotion (One–Off): If you were to run a one-time discount during a slow period, then that would be a promotion. It’s shorter term.
Does it still sound confusing? Maybe this will help.
You know how there are four seasons in the year? And how Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring each have their own holidays and weather–related events? You may already use some of these holidays to build your marketing calendar around. Or, you may have created new packages and you want to promote them over the next few months.
For example, if you offer pet grooming at your facility and you want to boost consistent grooms long-term, then you may decide that you’re going to create marketing materials around the importance of monthly grooming.
Your campaign materials may include:
- Social media posts about the importance of good hygiene for your dog
- Testimonials from happy customers
- Meet–the–team photos/videos/interviews
- A postcard for customers to pick up near the check–in desk.
You can slice and dice the content and the way you deliver it, but the intent is there; you’re promoting health and wellbeing through consistent dog grooming.
You could do the same thing for socialization or training for the boarding and daycare part of your business.
Set Your Marketing Goal
With a marketing campaign, you set a business goal. Let’s say you want to boost your regular grooming clients by 10% a month and you plan the bulk of your content around that goal for one quarter. Knowing that you want to have 70% of your messages around the importance of hygiene and grooming means you’re staying focused. Focus makes it easier to generate content ideas for your customers.
For the next quarter, you focus on the importance of socialization and training. And so on. Over time, you can create marketing campaigns (and accompanying materials) for every quarter.
Maybe winter is when you promote regular doggie daycare visits and the benefits of a happy, well–socialized dog. January is Train Your Dog Month so you can incorporate dog training tips. And Valentine’s Day is a built–in opportunity to shower gifts (like regular daycare packages) on your four–legged friends.
But a one–off promotion is different. With a one–time marketing promotion, your goal is shorter term. It may be to increase business during a slow period. For example, if you see that your bookings are low over the next week, you may opt to send an email to inactive customers inviting them back in. Often a discount or some type of add–on is offered as an enticement.
If you sell products and you have items that aren’t selling well, you may offer them as a gift or create a discount display. These types of one–off events are promotions and can help drum up business when things are slow.
Hopefully, you can see that both marketing campaigns and marketing promotions have their place, though they aren’t the same thing. And with well–planned campaigns, you have consistent messages going out which help you get and stay booked.
Plan your campaigns weeks (or months) in advance and map out the content you’ll need. From photos to blogs to videos, what resources do you have, or what can you get access to so that when the time comes, you can plug n’ play?
Label everything clearly in a folder you (or others) can access from multiple devices. Google drive, Dropbox, Microsoft 365 or other products all work. The key is staying consistent so whoever is in charge of scheduling your content knows where to find it.
If you decide to rotate four campaigns a year and keep them the same, then you’ll be able to reuse some of your content from year to year, even while you add new pieces to keep it fresh.
When you take the time to create marketing campaigns, you’ll find it easier to be consistent. Your marketing will be a coherent part of your schedule and your business will grow. What will you do today toward your next campaign?