How to Create a Memorable 2020 Campaign

Back to Blogs By Ashleigh Erwin, Director of University Communications at SFU Posted: December 17, 2019

The new year is quickly approaching, and with it are endless opportunities to help your organization grow and thrive. You’ve seen the best campaigns of 2019—and now you’re ready to kick off 2020 with a fancy show-stopper of your own. If your company’s fiscal year follows the calendar year, you’ll even have a nice new budget to support it. Before you get started, there are a few key things to consider.


Start with the usual strategy-related questions:

  • What does success look like?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What’s the timeline and budget?

Then, spend more time that you think is necessary to define the problem you’re trying to solve. You can start by asking these types of questions:

  • Why haven’t we already achieved this goal?
  • Why aren’t our target customers already engaging with us?
  • Do they know about us? If so, what do they think about us and our products/services?
  • Do they believe that we can meet their needs and desires?
  • Are their perceptions of our organization or department accurate?
  • Do they understand how our offering will make their lives better or easier?
  • What has held us back?

This process can uncover some surprising findings that will drive the rest of your campaign.

Stakeholder Input

To get buy-in for your campaign, you’ll want to make sure that your stakeholders also understand and agree with the problem. A fun way to facilitate these conversations is to invite your stakeholders and team into a creative brainstorming session. The goal is not to develop an ad or video concept together, but to have candid conversations to narrow down the problem.

(Here are some ideas that can help everyone get into the right headspace while building trust, from an inspiring IABC 2019 World Conference presenter, Marilyn Barefoot.)

Developing the Narrative

After everyone agrees on the problem, hold another brainstorming session to develop one single, clear narrative. The narrative should drive home the solution or debunk a myth.

Here are some questions you can ask to help with brainstorming:

  • What’s your value proposition over your major competitors?
  • What don’t your target customers know about you, and what you offer, that aligns with their needs?
  • What are some myths you can debunk?
  • What is one takeaway you’d like your audience to know about your company or your product?

Once you’ve developed a narrative, you’re ready to get down to the details.


Turn the narrative into a campaign headline, tagline and hashtag. Only after you’ve created a robust campaign platform should you look at channels—such as paid ads, social media, websites, emails, and printed collateral—and decide which assets to develop for each channel. Think about how your audience consumes information, and develop a plan accordingly. You might find, for example, that a video is not your answer.

So, before you tackle your 2020 campaigns, spend time diving deeply into the barriers and assumptions you are making. Become a detective. Get curious. Don’t settle with the quick and dirty answer. No matter what your budget is, this discovery process can be done. The bottom line: A relevant, focused campaign can be much more successful that a broad campaign based on assumptions.

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