Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Anne Murphy, Managing Editor at Kapost, creators of content marketing software. She oversees the production, distribution and analysis of content that empowers modern marketers to implement content marketing strategies in their organizations.
Modern marketers are expert jugglers.
Managing budgets, mapping out campaigns, planning communications and timing, coordinating teams and tools, strategizing for quarterly goals, staying in step with sales...these are just a few of the balls marketers have to keep in the air on a daily basis. So how do they do it all, and without dropping anything like true marketing jugglers?
By staying organized.
"Duh," you might say, but hear me out. Staying organized while planning modern marketing campaigns is not as simple as it sounds.
Marketers are often required to come up with haphazard, one-off methods for tracking all of the tasks, dates, and assets around a campaign. For example, many marketers use spreadsheets or external calendars. However, these need to be manually updated every time a deadline changes or an initiative is put on hold. There's a lot of room for human error, and making mistakes leads to confused stakeholders and thrown-off timing. Also, these Band-Aid "solutions" aren't scalable. As operations expand and become more complicated, these temporary tactics become a shaky foundation for campaign planning – which doesn't exactly foster confidence.
When it comes down to it, investing in organization is the same thing as planning for success. To help you keep your marketing campaigns organized, specifically within marketing automation software, here are 4 things every marketer needs in order to execute a seamless strategy:
1. Visibility: When is that email going out? What's the first possible start date of the new nurture track? Are these two campaigns overlapping? When will that eBook be ready to distribute? Campaigns contain a lot of moving pieces to track, and it can be challenging to get an overhead view of what is going on. Marketers need a way to gain visibility into the timing of their initiatives and how they fit into the broader marketing strategy. Otherwise, you're in serious danger of discovering that you're blasting leads with three emails on the same day, or even worse, learning (the day before a campaign is scheduled to launch) that a key piece of content was never created.
2. Communication: To keep a team on track, stakeholders and contributors need to stay updated on the pieces and tasks they're responsible for completing. For example, if an event gets rescheduled, the people writing the event invitations and reminders need to update the text of those emails. The program managers need to change the timing of those emails and when they go out in order to communicate information effectively. For all of these pieces to run smoothly, all stakeholders need to know exactly what's happening and when.
3. Processes: Being on the same page as the rest of your team is the best way to efficiently manage all your various campaigns and marketing initiatives. That means you need to establish clear processes for content creation and campaign planning, that all stakeholders are aware of and use consistently. There are a lot of ways to organize campaign creation, so you need to think about what works best for your team and your goals. But the important thing to keep in mind is that once you decide on a process, everyone needs to stick to it and follow it consistently. That way everyone stays on the same page and your team can avoid unnecessary or duplicative efforts.
4. Measurement: Understanding what works and what doesn't and then going back and reworking your plans is an essential part of any marketing strategy. When starting a new campaign or initiative, you might not have enough information to know what cadence, content and topics will be of most interest to your target audience. You have to start by doing the best you can to meet your buyers needs. But once the campaign begins, it's time to revisit some of your assumptions. Find out which pieces are your best performers, what topics they're on, where in the campaign cadence they appear and which types of leads are engaging with them. Once you've analyzed all the data you have, it's time to go back and start revising and refining your strategy.
Okay, But How?
If you're lost in a maze of campaign chaos right now, you probably agree that a little more organization would be nice. But how are you going to do it?
With help. You can't expect to wrangle a massive marketing automation initiative into a coherent plan with a spreadsheet. You just won't be able to get the level of control and understanding you need to really create intelligent, targeted campaigns. Instead, you need invest in tools to help you and your team in this massive undertaking.
Increasingly, there are number of software solutions out there designed to help ease the pain of trying to organize all the complexities involved in running a modern, digital marketing strategy. But until now, none of them have been available within your marketing automation platform.
Happily, that's all about to change. The Kapost team is pleased to announce the freshly released Kapost Calendar App (Beta) for Eloqua 10. It's the first (and only!) editorial calendar available within a marketing automation tool. Give it a try (it's free to download) and stop wondering when your campaigns are scheduled to begin or your emails were sent. The Kapost Calendar gives you a birds-eye view of your marketing automation initiatives, right within your Eloqua instance. Check it out on the Eloqua AppCloud page. There's more information on the App's features as well as short video available on the download page.
With all the moving pieces involved in modern campaigns, staying organized is more important than ever. What are your favorite tools for keeping everyone on task and all your pieces flowing thought the pipeline smoothly?