Planning a campaign

2. Planning a campaign - campaign objectives

Establishing the objective of the campaign is a key component in the preparation and planning of each campaign.

Often there will be an overarching goal that has driven the need for the advertising. This is likely to be different to the campaign objectives, because advertising as a communication activity will have communication goals which then align and contribute to the broader purpose.

For example: Reducing the number of P plater related car accidents is a major and significant issue. Advertising alone would not resolve this complex problem and a number of other interventions or activities are also addressing that same overall goal e.g. legislation and regulation, in-school education programs, events, driver education initiatives etc.

Establishing campaign objectives:

The campaign objectives are an outline of what is hoped the campaign will achieve. When setting campaign objectives, consider the SMART acronym:

  • Specific – ensure your objectives are clear and outline what you are hoping to achieve.
  • Measurable - are your objectives able to be measured? Measurable objectives help to determine the success of the campaign, and communicate the observable results to be obtained. Agencies should determine and document how they intend to measure the success of the advertising activities.
  • Achievable - are the campaign objectives achievable for everyone involved?
  • Realistic – do you have the resources and knowledge available to achieve the campaign objectives?
  • Timing – map out a clear, achievable timeframe in which the objectives should be achieved.

When you have an agreed list of objectives, prioritise them in order of importance. These objectives inform the campaign planning stages, and provide the campaign aspects to be evaluated at the conclusion of the campaign. 

Campaign success metrics:

It is critical during planning and preparation to determine how you will monitor and measure the campaign performance and establish processes to meaningfully evaluate your communication objectives. More on evaluation and monitoring.

Also consider how you will capture information about the performance of different media channels which allows you to optimise and adapt your campaign whilst it is going and for future learnings.


Next steps... 

Target audience
Campaign research

Risk assessment

Campaign timelines

Ad & media agencies