The Zombie Campaign

Posted on October 31st, 2016

Marketing campaigns have life cycles, and occasionally marketers forget that. Good campaigns see standard phases – introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Eventually, a campaign is simply no longer effective or worth running. At that point, savvy marketers call it for what it is – dead! It’s replaced with a new campaign that goes through the same cycle.

Occasionally, a marketer may want to squeeze every last drop of life out of a campaign, resulting in unnaturally stretching beyond its useful life cycle. The campaign joins the land of the undead. Yikes.

Zombie Campaigns can also occur when a marketer resurrects an old campaign. They keep running it month after month, year after year, thinking there is no need to restrategize or restructure. Wrong!

The result?
Your audience may become disillusioned with your message, the effectiveness of your ads will decrease and ROI will plummet. The money you’re now spending would probably be better spent on new campaign strategy and creative.

If you’re running a Zombie Campaign, you’re probably forgetting that your customers are constantly evolving, your competitors are constantly evolving and products/services are constantly evolving. Marketing then, by nature, must also evolve with them.

What to do about it
Be careful – a Zombie Campaign can sneak up on you! The best deterrent is to plan ahead. Make sure you prepare for the decline of the campaign’s effectiveness and estimate how the decline will show up in your campaign measurements. Predetermine at what point to pull the plug so you can move on with confidence.


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