Definition: In online marketing and retail, a campaign is a series of activities linked by a plan of action which all contribute toward a larger defined business goal. These activities may be simultaneous, sequential, or both, and can encompass virtually any legal activity a business engages in.

Campaigns are effectively a form of organizing marketing activities. By making initiatives "campaigns," it can apply structure that otherwise may not be present. A campaign is not defined by any one specific activity, but rather by the larger goals to be achieved and the plan linking each activity to those goals.

Essential Elements Of A Campaign

1 - A Goal

Every campaign must have a well-defined and plausibly achievable goal, expressed in such a way that its success can be measured. This goal can range from marketing objectives, to brand awareness, to specific business reforms.

2 - Methodology

A business needs metrics, tracking, and methodology in place from the start to allow them to see the progress of their campaign. These should be defined early in the process and adhered to unless extraordinary circumstances arise. For example, if a YouTube channel is running a campaign to reach 100,000 subscribers, they should not switch to counting individual views instead.

3 - Individual Steps

A campaign will always be broken down into two or more sub-steps which all need to be completed for the campaign to succeed as a whole. As with the methodology, they should be defined early, although there is more room to adjust individual activities to better align them with overall goals.

Types of Campaigns

Campaigns are a structured way of thinking about any company initiative. Instead of is a very broad term which may encompass nearly any business plan. However, the most common types include:

  • Marketing: Building awareness and interest in a product or brand. This can be
  • PR: Braodcasting Shifting public views of a brand or product to match the , usually measured through opinion or focus group polling.
  • Sales: Achieving specific lead-generation and sales goals.
  • Internal: Using campaign-style tactics to achieve internal changes within a business, such as improving adherence to regulations on safety or data-handling.


Campaigns are often recursive: one larger goal may be achieved through the deployment of several smaller campaigns, each with their own sub-objectives which contribute to the whole campaign.

A sales campaign with the goal of (X) sales may require a marketing campaign to achieve (Y) social media followers alongside a PR campaign to gain (Z) levels of brand recognition, and so forth. Each of these sub-campaigns would then have their own methodology and individual planned activities.

Careful oversight and management is needed to ensure each sub-campaign remains on-track and contributes to the larger goal.

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