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The Ultimate Guide to Campaigning in 2023

Today, the vast majority of people (and communications professionals) still associate campaigning with American-style political campaigning.


Campaigning is much more than that.


This comprehensive blog explains exactly what it is - so that you too can achieve your goals effectively and efficiently.



Definition of Campaigning


In the run-up to the Campaigning Summit Switzerland, of which Mr.Campaigning AG was the organizer, asked our speakers what campaigning means to them. This shows the breadth of campaigning:



Michael Brandtner (branding expert) says:


"Strategically designed communication that, starting from a positioning goal, attempts to transport dramaturgically designed communication content via a wide variety of channels in such a way that the desired communication goal is achieved with the desired target group. So when should it be used? When I want to convince a specific target audience of something specific."



Jonathan Ellis (Advocacy Campaigner) defines campaigning this way,


"You think about campaigning when you face a problem and you recognize that the solution to this problem is beyond your power to make happen, so you seek to influence the person or people with the necessary power to make this change."



And Lucy Quist, president of AIMS, sees it this way:


"Campaigning to me is in the context of change. Transforming a country or a company has a lot in common. In my more recent role as a transformation expert, I've used campaign tools to change mindsets."





At Mr. Campaigning AG, we define campaigning as follows:


"Campaigning is the art of being able to pull out all the stops to get people to change their behavior, thinking or attitude to achieve a goal."



So how do we effectively and efficiently achieve our goal? The basis for this is the business campaigning® model, which was first outlined in 2004 by Peter Metzinger, owner, and founder of Mr.Campaigning AG.



The most important components


The business campaigning model is characterized by the fact that it can be used universally, be it for campaigning in the economic, political, or social field.



These are the most important components of the business campaigning model: Two central aspects of the business campaigning model are the Strategic Campaigning Positions (SCP) and the Strategic Campaigning Principles (SCG). The former describes the conditions under which a campaign takes place and what is used to run it, while the latter are the rules of the game for implementing a campaign. They serve as a checklist to guide daily decisions and if followed correctly, significantly increase the campaign's chances of success.



These are the 14 Strategic Campaigning Principles:


SCG 1: Polarize, Profile, Position.


SCG 2: Control the agenda


SCG 3: Concentrate forces


SCG 4: Build on existing strengths


SCG 5: Cultivate flexibility


SCG 6: Persistence and tenacity in pursuing the strategy


SCG 7: Impact orientation and alignment of goals and means


SCG 8: Exploiting synergies and multiplication effects


SCG 9: Attentiveness and foresight


SCG 10: Unité de doctrine


SCG 11: Efficiency and simplicity


SCG 12: Thinking in scenarios


SCG 13: Observe success principles of communication


SCG 14: Building golden bridges



But in addition to observing these principles, other factors are relevant to successful campaigning. The three most important ones are listed below.



What do you need for successful campaigning?



Effectiveness orientation


Effectiveness orientation is a fundamentally important success factor in campaigning. The term is related to "effectiveness orientation". Peter Metzinger describes this in his book as follows: "Effectiveness orientation is strategic conception. It means that first the goals are defined, then the necessary prerequisites. Once these are known, the necessary effects and the relevant target groups whose participation we need to achieve our goals are identified. Only finally are the instruments determined that most effectively support the achievement of the goals."



However, impact orientation is often understood to be guided by the fact that the planned campaign will have an impact. In that sense, every campaign is impact-oriented in some sense.



In fact, however, effectiveness orientation is about selecting one of all possible instruments that will actually bring about the change to be aimed for, depending on the goal - i.e., depending on what is to change compared to today.


In other words, it is a question of which instrument or instruments are really effective in terms of achieving the goal.



Target group orientation


Target group orientation is on everyone's lips and is by no means used exclusively in campaigning. But do you also apply "real" target group orientation? Because the term is by no means as immediately graspable as it seems.


First of all, "target group orientation" means that you orient tonality, messages, and terms to the target group you want to reach. In terms of effectiveness orientation, it is also central to know the target group. Usually, market research is used to identify social segments. In the best case, this is not done socio-demographically, but by means of the Sinus-Milieus.



However, the magic word for "real target group orientation" is "move. If, as in the past, the success of a poster campaign is measured only by how many people have seen the posters, then that is something fundamentally different than if I want to use these posters to persuade people to do something very specific (differently). Whether people behave differently is measurable and has direct and concrete consequences. This is fundamentally different than just having them perceive something without linking it to a concrete (changed) behavior.


Incidentally, we have used the concept of true target group orientation to develop Target Community Lab™s, whereby campaign strategies are worked out with the target group.



Measurability of targets


If you don't get specific about the numbers, a simple-to-solve (campaign/marketing/communication/change) problem can seem gigantic. And even if the numbers are big, at least you then have the option of breaking them down into several smaller packages, each of which in turn is easier(er) to manage.


Goals must be formulated in a concrete and measurable way, as required by the "NECCMIS test for goal formulation" from the business campaigning® model:


N eutral


E ncouraging, motivating


C hanced, multiplicative


C lear and unambiguous


M easurable, verifiable


I mplementable, feasible, achievable


S ystem-conformant, consistent, avoiding conflicting goals



You've made it to the end of this article - with this basic knowledge of campaigning, you are now well-equipped to achieve your goals, be it to move people or to initiate change processes.


Mr.Campaigning AG will support your organization/campaigns in the following areas:


  • Leadership / Change Management

  • Marketing / Communication

  • Politics / Public Affairs

  • Visual Communication

  • Reputation Management

Would you like to get our comprehensive manual, read more about our successful campaigns or chat with us? Click here




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