Determining how long your marketing campaign should last is essential. Chances are, it’s costing you money to run your campaign in the first place, so ideally, you will want to pull the plug as soon as you have got your ideal return on investment, gained a new client base, have seen a good boost in conversions or otherwise accomplished your mission.
Several considerations influence an appropriate timeframe for any marketing campaign. So what is the answer to the question, ‘how long should a marketing campaign last?’ Unfortunately, there is no universal answer. Still, there are some helpful rules of thumb that you should know before you launch.
In the following post, Nolen Walker describes multiple scenarios and gives general time parameters for how long a marketing campaign should last. However, remember that there are more variables to account for, which you can learn about at Nolen Walker Academy, LLC.
Whether you are a business owner or a digital marketer looking to help out your client, it helps to have as many bases covered as possible. But, of course, if you are a marketer, then experience is the best teacher for figuring out how long a marketing campaign should last.
Still though, here are some scenarios that will give you a general idea:
Sales and Promotions
The duration of a marketing campaign concerned with a sale or special promotion should be at least as long as the offer is valid. In most cases, you will want to launch a campaign leading up to the beginning of the proposal – call it a week or two beforehand. After all, you want to generate some hype for the special offer.
These are also pretty simple to figure out. If you are opening a brand new location or opening the doors of your business for the very first time, you will want to end your marketing campaign for it as soon as you are open for business, naturally. However, when to start your marketing campaign for a grand opening is a bit more complicated.
In general, you will need to consider the size of the local market. If you live in a densely populated urban area, you may want to campaign for 2-3 months before opening your doors. If the market is sparser, 2-4 weeks maybe just enough.
If the sole purpose of your marketing campaign is to raise brand awareness, the general rule of thumb is to run it for about three months. The triple-month campaign allows for enough time for the message to soak into the market, but not for it to overstay its welcome.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the factors you need to consider when answering the question ‘how long should a marketing campaign last?’ for yourself or your client.
It would be best to consider your target audience first and foremost. If you have done your market research (as you already should have at this point), then you should know what kinds of patrons are likely to use/buy your product or service. In addition, audience research helps inform how long your marketing campaign should last.
For instance, if your clientele is primarily retirees, you aren’t marketing much online. You, therefore, may need to run your campaign longer so that print media, billboards, television ads, and other marketing platforms (which move slower) have enough time to saturate the market.
For example, a marketing campaign that runs mainly on the internet may only need to be live for a couple of months. However, the same campaign run on non-digital platforms may require four months or longer.
Of course, your market is also an essential factor in determining how long your marketing campaign should last. This one is pretty intuitive overall: if you operate your business (or your client operates their business) in a small, rural, or suburban market, you won’t need as much time to reach the ideal saturation rate for your marketing campaign.
On the other hand, if you are in a big city or densely populated market, you should allow for more time for your message to get out.
Your platform will also determine how long your marketing campaign should last. Digital marketing (social media advertising, retargeting ads, SEO marketing, etc.) requires a good deal of fresh content.
For example, email marketing is almost instantaneous. However, a steady stream of new, sendable content is always in demand. So you can look at these types of campaigns lasting only about one week.
On the other hand, there is print media. Print media could include direct mail fliers, ads in the local newspaper, and local newsletters. Unfortunately, these platforms generally saturate the market much slower than almost any digital platform.
You have to be patient with print platforms. For example, direct mail fliers should be given at least a month to get the word out and maybe another month for you to start seeing responses.
There are things you can do while your marketing campaign is live that will help you determine how long it should continue running and how effective it is. For instance, if you are doing any digital advertising, you will want to run A/B tests often.
If they are working like gangbusters, it could be a sign that it’s not time to pull the ads just yet. On the other hand, of course, if the A/B testing shows that you are getting abysmal click-through rates, it could be time to hang it up or at least make some changes.
We don’t want to state the obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that your budget should also be a determining factor when answering the question ‘how long should a marketing campaign last’ for yourself or your client. So don’t stretch yourself beyond your budget when you start, and be mindful of your bottom line.
Get the Most from Your Marketing Campaign
As you can see, there are many things to think about when answering the question, ‘how long should a marketing campaign last?’ If you want to learn how to nail the answer in every situation, join us at the Nolen Walker Academy. Our curriculum focuses on giving you the practical knowledge you need to thrive in business and marketing.