A marketing timeline lets your marketing team track everything going on throughout the year, including projects, events, campaigns, and sales. The deadlines can be mapped out quarterly, annually, or per project.
Marketing is critical to all business success; however, it’s also a sizeable investment for most. Understandably, productivity and subsequent ROI become a key concern for business owners. Hence, the need for a marketing campaign timeline (a strategic roadmap) to organize, execute, and track marketing strategies.
The components of your marketing timeline will depend on your business goals and the scope of your overall marketing strategy. Generally, it offers a high-level view of the who, what, where, and how of a marketing campaign.
It’s a handy framework for future planning and reviewing the success of your marketing activities. The more thorough your marketing campaign timeline, the more likely you are to achieve your campaign goals.
Beyond creativity, marketing teams require systems, processes, and tools to execute successful marketing campaigns. A marketing campaign timeline allows you to see your marketing plan over time and organize your projects according to schedule.
Most marketing departments have multiple team members with different roles and responsibilities. Thus, a campaign timeline can be really useful to plan work and communicate goals and deadlines, especially since they are likely working on more than one campaign.
A marketing timeline typically communicates:
For example, let’s say you’re a new eCommerce store owner that wants to map out an annual marketing timeline. Implementing a timeline can help you and your team visualize your marketing strategy and break down each project into specific steps with clear deadlines.
Having a marketing timeline keeps your marketing efforts on track by aligning marketing objectives with your business strategy. It helps keep you, and your team, stay focused on clear objectives, i.e., what tasks need to be done, who is responsible for each task, and what date they must be completed by.
The type of marketing project you’re working on determines the length of your campaigns because it determines how you’re planning to run them.
To avoid confusion, it’s better to categorize marketing campaigns into the following categories:
An overall marketing plan usually spans 1-5 years and is tied to the business plan of the organization.
An inbound/outbound marketing campaign is a yearly plan of marketing activities that provides you with the opportunity to be more precise about your objectives.
Individual Marketing Strategies – SEO, PPC; a detailed plan for your inbound campaign and all of your other campaigns.
We can summarize a digital campaign as follows: An online marketing effort made by a company to drive engagement, conversions, traffic, or revenue. A marketing campaign ties in with overarching business goals and includes one or more digital channels.
It’s common for companies to implement multiple campaigns throughout the year. Some campaigns invest heavily in search engine optimization to generate organic traffic, whereas others utilize pay-per-click marketing to quickly boost sales.
Therefore, each digital marketing campaign will include slightly different tactics. However, all entail:
While most digital marketing campaigns are ultimately geared towards the bigger picture of improving revenue, they don’t all have the same goals. Varied objectives may include increasing conversions, boosting organic traffic, customer acquisition and brand awareness.
During this stage, you’ll brainstorm the campaign offer and create a strategy. It’s important to conduct market research to determine who your target audience is, how best to outperform your competition and exactly what type of messaging and marketing content will appeal most to customers.
To create an effective strategy, you must identify the following:
Usually, campaign goals are one of the following:
A lot of work goes into developing buyer personas. These are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal target audience. Because digital marketing campaigns are laser-targeted, it’s essential to have detailed personas. If you don’t, you’ll want to spend time creating them.
Different campaigns may be aimed at different buyer personas. It’s normal for businesses to have a few personas that make up their target audience.
Every campaign should offer something unique that’s of value to customers.
The distribution channel selected will depend on campaign objectives and may include one or more of the following:
Once you know what needs to be created for your campaign, your copywriters, designers, and developers will get to work creating attractive marketing assets.
The time it takes for an experienced copywriter to write all the landing pages, blogs, PR materials, emails, etc. depends on a couple of key factors.
Having dealt with hundreds of clients, we strongly recommend creating clear briefs for your content creators and if possible, providing clients or your superiors or team members with a specific timeframe for feedback. For example, you might send them the first draft and provide a week for them to get back to you.
Such accommodations make the whole process easier, and can even be factored into your marketing timeline. It also gives people enough time to give meaningful feedback that elevates your marketing efforts.
Similar to the copywriting process, the time it takes for an experienced designer to complete the campaign materials depends upon:
Another tip: Some clients know exactly what they want, while others only know what they don’t want, but aren’t too sure about the details. To save endless and frustrating back-and-forth, we recommend providing one or two design options to avoid over-complicating the process.
Development is where things tend to slow down a bit. Depending on the complexity of the content (the design, custom forms, interaction with an existing site, etc.) the development of a campaign can be a tricky, time-consuming process. But that’s ok.
An experienced marketing manager knows how to work with developers and assign projects according to a clear schedule, so they’ll get done in a timely manner. A marketing manager is also in charge of quality assurance, making sure everything looks and behaves like it’s supposed to.
This is where having a marketing timeline helps to keep content creation on track!
Proper planning and sticking to a marketing calendar is the best way to keep the development process on track. It’s never advisable to rush the process if you want good results.
If there’s something you’re unhappy about, speak up as soon as possible, so your team can rectify it immediately. You also shouldn’t give the go-ahead on designs or campaign messaging unless you are 100% happy.
As they say: “If you want to succeed, go slow to go fast.”
Now that the content is complete, it’s time to launch your campaign. You’ll need to:
During the launch of your campaign, it’s imperative you or another company representative is present to answer any last-minute questions or provide last-minute approvals. Sometimes complications arise that can’t be predicted, and your availability may mean the difference between launching on time or postponing.
As with all digital marketing campaigns, it’s imperative to measure success. You should use these insights to improve the campaign where possible and inform future ones.
Google Analytics is an effective tool to help measure your digital marketing ROI. With it, you can identify trends and patterns in how people engaged with your marketing material.
Some things to take note of:
Once your campaign is complete, you should write up a report highlighting the main recommendations for future campaigns:
While it seems simple enough, there is a lot of work that goes into developing successful marketing campaigns. That’s why most businesses outsource their marketing to specialists like us to save time and maximize ROI.
Are you looking to expand your online marketing in Denver? Comrade Digital Marketing offers high-quality digital marketing strategy development services based on a holistic inbound marketing approach that will yield the business results you desire.
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