While our posts this week have focused largely on the fun, creative aspects of the new year, from inspirational content ideas to annoying business-speak, it’s time to bring it back to a slightly more serious (but necessary) topic for 2015: campaign planning. Chances are, if you generally participate in campaign planning at the beginning of every quarter, you’re already well on your way to carrying out a plan you created a few days, weeks, or months ago. But if you’re on a smaller marketing team that doesn’t map out a campaign plan for each quarter (or month, year, etc), it may be time to start thinking about approaching your campaigns more strategically. Here’s why.
More Integrated Marketing Campaigns
A marketing campaign (or program, depending on your company’s terminology) extends much further than creating an eBook and a landing page. In fact, though we’ve written about running full-fledged content campaigns in the past, it’s more common for a marketing campaign to revolve around an overarching idea or goal, rather than a piece of content (think “expand into European markets” or “take down XYZ competitor”). In this scenario, an entire marketing team can come together to support a campaign from every angle, including content, promotional efforts on paid and organic channels, internal enablement, webinars, nurturing programs, event marketing, and more. With everyone aligned behind the same objectives, you can approach your campaigns more holistically, leading to greater long-term success (and the ability to report on that success with an entire range of metrics).
More Time to Prepare Quality Campaigns
This one is pretty obvious, but is still worth reiterating. With a plan for your quarterly goals and campaigns already in place at the beginning of every quarter, your team has more time to prepare quality campaigns that will really hit their target, from well-designed eBooks to polished webinars and event promotions. While it’s great to leave some room for items and themes that might crop up as the quarter progresses, having an outline of what you want to accomplish overall will help keep your team focused.
Better Marketing Support for Product Launches, Sales, and More
A quarterly campaign plan can also help you focus on your company objectives, not just your marketing team objectives. Is your company launching a new product in a few months? Will you be onboarding additional sales employees? What about trying to focus on a new target market? Each of these are important items to build into your campaign planning, and will prevent your team from being blindsided when needs arise. Having support from marketing can make product launches and internal enablement efforts run much more smoothly, which is why this support is imperative for your business’ success.
So what would an integrated quarterly campaign plan actually look like? Great question. Here’s a simple version of a campaign outline that you can customize to your needs. Feel free to print it for your records, repurpose something similar for inclusion in planning slide decks, or use it as a starting point in your brainstorming meetings this year. And if you’d like more guidance during the goal-setting and planning process, check out our newest eBook, Five Steps to Growing Your Business with Marketing Automation.