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The Essential Recipe for a Successful Business Campaign Every campaign is unique in its details but all the successful ones share the same key ingredients.

By Angela Ruth Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Felbert+Eickenberg/STOCK4B | Getty Images

There is a recipe you can follow for a successful campaign that will satisfy your audience.

While you may need to tweak some of the ingredients to add a new element -- each time you make this recipe, there's a good chance it will improve. Pinpointing the right part of your recipe (campaign) to bring out the flavor of your content or to build your following may need a pinch of this, or a dash of that but the recipe is still the same. As you improvise and make slight adjustments you'll encourage your readers to come back for another helping.

To make your base campaign recipe, use the following ingredients:

Target Audience

This marketing campaign ingredient is critical. Without it, you're simply throwing the campaign at the general public, hoping someone sees it and relates to it. Years ago, it's what traditional marketing did with newspaper and television advertising campaigns.

However, marketing chefs got smarter. They realized that they should run toy ads during Saturday morning cartoons and the kids couldn't beg their parents fast enough to get it. And how about that sugar cereal? The campaign recipe needed a tweak from a late night TV spot to join the Saturday morning cartoons as well.

Then there came the splash of the beer ads baked into the football games. From those two products, targeting an audience, understanding various products or services and who they should be geared toward has only become more detailed. But, you are more skilled now, too.

Your recipe calls for a specific demographic. Create your buyer personas after studying what audience members are searching for, how they shop, and what they value. Incorporate their generation, gender, and other demographics into these personas to further shape the audience segments. Many tools exist to help you understand your target audience members quickly, and these tools can even show you how to divide them into groups.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Product Differentiation

With so many other companies circulating their own campaigns in an attempt to claim the same audience, you need a heavy dose of clearly marked differentiators. By highlighting your product's most marketable assets, your audience will see how your value differs from the rest. It doesn't matter if you think you're supposed competition is difficult to campaign against. You are going to stand out. Sometimes it is difficult to know the best approach to differentiation.

To find out what your differentiation is, you can employ solutions like iResearch. iResearch is an online focus group platform that enables companies to quickly and affordably uncover insights from consumers located anywhere in the world. Getting the raw data and the context for that consumer perspective and persona can frame how a you'll position your product as different than others' product or service. You need to respect and go by the hard, numbers so you can emphasize the product's benefits that align with the target audience's goals.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free


Your campaign must frequent the same channels your target audience uses. Otherwise, your delicious marketing campaign becomes an ROI recipe for disaster (aka no return). Consider this part of your marketing campaign recipe as the most unique to your business.

While there are some social media platforms and channels you'll want to be on, including Facebook and Instagram, others will require more research before you can determine whether they should be sprinkled in. For example, Snapchat and Pinterest may work better for business segments like fashion and products geared at Gen Z. When targeting your audience members, you can find and see where they engage with companies and follow them. That will further shape the platforms you select.

Related: Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan


When the campaign comes out is also very important. You want to hit your audience with this information at an opportune time (in other words, when audience members are ready to buy). Whether it's based on the season or when they appear to be the most impulsive with purchases, this data should be included on your marketing calendar, along with the messaging.

You can use a tool like CoSchedule, which is billed as the No. one marketing calendar and is used in more than 100 countries. This effective marketing tool can show you how to organize and implement various marketing tactics, and it includes each marketing campaign you're running.


The "why" part of the recipe is your mission statement that defines your brand purpose -- the reason it exists and what it intends to do. Typically, the purpose is to deliver some type of value in the form of a solution for a company's audience. Also, this is where you define what you want each campaign to achieve.

For example, are you hoping for an increase in leads, website traffic, conversions, downloads, likes and follows, or market research? Make sure that each campaign has a primary purpose and that it ties back to your overall marketing goals. Lastly, your purpose should have some type of quantifiable component for analytics purposes. This will clarify whether the purpose and actions align.

Test and Tweak Regularly

Every chef knows that he must do her testing each time they make the dish. All along the way the chef needs to see whether his concoction tastes good. The same method applies to marketing campaigns. Analyzing campaign elements is the only way to know whether you've added the right ingredients in the right amounts.

You may have to keep tweaking your measurements until you reach the best flavor combination possible, but the result will be more than worth it.

Angela Ruth

Entrepreneur and Consultant

Angela Ruth is a freelance writer, journalist and consultant in Silicon Valley. She is a member of the YEC and a startup aficionado. You can follow her online on Twitter and Facebook.

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