July 2007 - Channel Crossing: Support Services

Communication Through Campaign Management

By Tim O’Brien

Campaign management in today’s direct response industry is not just about selecting the best partners. It’s also about creating a communication process and detailed plan that integrates all partners (from conceptual development to fulfillment and distribution), thereby ensuring consistent communication throughout the lifetime of any campaign. In a nutshell, organization plus streamlined communication plus a detailed integration process equals greater profit margin and revenue.

Detailing a cash flow analysis will ensure that all components (e.g., median media expenditure, upsell and premium integration, cost of goods, partner cost, etc.) are evaluated, negotiated and projected. The financial pro forma is a working document of financial data that reveals the viability of a DR campaign, while deciphering all necessary cash flow and capital expenditures. It also allows for the analysis of any potential media and inventory funding that might be necessary to either offset current cash flow or provide funding that would otherwise not exist.

Since the essence of sound campaign management involves the consistent review of all component partners, it’s critical to develop a well-designed Gantt and/or PERT chart. Within this structure, all steps in the process are outlined, projected date ranges profiled and partner accountability measured. It segments all component partners, thereby providing the what, where, how, when and even why of all task deliverables.

The truest value-above and beyond the organization and detail-is in the constant communication that takes place between every component partner. This organization provides for a non-siloed, collaborative campaign structure that promotes shared knowledge and ensures that all partners work together with client objectives driving all action. This is critical in maintaining all campaign launch objectives, while measuring all benchmarks and milestones.

Benchmarking ensures performance measurement and accurate review of all campaign components, while enabling continuous learning and refinement.

Although benchmarking is a technique associated with task-oriented issues, internal functions can also be measured via external consultants, attending and exhibiting at trade events, involvement in educational seminars and, most important, listening to your client partners.

Successful campaign management not only entails the thorough review of all component partners, but also the astute coordination of all communications and information sharing. Evaluate individual campaigns-it’s critical to maintain organization and multichannel awareness in each facet of a campaign. The measure of a truly successful direct response campaign is in the people involved in the program, the expert processes that are employed and the calculated measurement that drives all sales!

Tim O’Brien is the director of business development at Cesari Direct, a full service direct response advertising agency in Seattle, Wash. O’Brien can be reached at (206) 281-7975 x353 or via e-mail at [email protected].


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