Marketing requires strategy. But, in order to execute your strategy, you need to know how to plan, prioritize, and execute to see results.
Since starting my business, I’ve found the #1 hack for supporting my client’s marketing strategy is creating a quarterly roadmap and ensuring all team members are disciplined to follow-through.
The Roadmap to Success
Business owners move quickly so the thought of planning, creating, and executing a solid marketing plan is no small feat.
Here’s a few characteristics of a great quarterly roadmap:
- Detailed enough so you know what’s going on, but flexible enough so you can change your course if needed.
- Your plan should be cohesive with the rest of your business and work in conjunction with other departments.
- Your marketing should be “omnichannel” meaning the different platforms support each other.
- Most importantly, have time to breathe. Make sure tasks are done in advance so you can tweak things if you need to.
As your business evolves, your marketing will too. The great thing about doing these plans quarterly is that they can easily be changed and modified as needed.
Here’s What We Do…
First, we’d dive into your business to understand your ideal client/customer and how it’s changing over time. We would learn about where you want to focus. For example, you could focus on key product categories, main services and packages, channels or platforms to share marketing. Each quarter we have 8 task lists that we load into a project management tool. I’ve always been a fan of Basecamp, but other great project management tools include Trello or Asana.
Let’s say we want to plan for the third quarter, July-Sept. There are activities that start as early as May or June that you’ll want to do in order to prepare. The plan for this quarter will conclude sometime in October after September ends and you have time to analyze your results.
These are and example of the lists we would load into the project management software typically around the end of May for Quarter 3.
- Quarter 3 Prep
- July Prep
- July Execution
- August Prep
- August Execution
- September Prep
- September Execution
- Quarter 3 Review
Within each of these lists, there are specific tasks that need to be completed. They will be assigned to the appropriate team member along with the due date.
Each “Monthly Prep” list has two main purposes:
- Create – creating content, gathering links, making creative elements, writing social posts, writing drafts of blogs and/or emails.
- Finalizing, approving, and scheduling – review the drafts, make changes, schedule post directly in platform, or if you have a scheduling tool you can pre-load all your social posts in one concise place. Here at Ellen Grace Marketing, we use Sprout Social.
Each ‘Monthly Execution” is intended to:
- Engage and respond in real-time on platforms
- Make sure everything has been scheduled/posted on time
- Execute anything that needs to happen in the moment, i.e. IG Stories
The tasks for the July Prep list would happen in June, whereas the execution tasks would start in July.
Similarly, the Quarter Prep is all about planning for the upcoming quarter and will happen around May or June for the third quarter lists. The Quarter Review is a look back at the previous quarter and would happen sometime in October once all of the data has been gathered.
We Can Make This Easy For You…
We’ve created both an editable excel document and a one page printable PDF that outlines a sample of all of these tasks for you. You can decide which should go into a Prep list and which should go into an Execution list based on the needs of your business.
The free download includes a SAMPLE plan that accounts for:
- Email Opt-In: you want to set up a freebie or opt-in offer and use an email service provider like Mailchimp
- Blog Content: you create 2 pieces of blog content every 2 weeks
- Emails: you create 2 emails every 2 weeks
- Instagram: you will batch and schedule out your posts for 28 days prior to start, but still check-in daily on the app
- Facebook: you will share blog posts and pre-schedule other links throughout the 4 weeks
- Pinterest: you will share blog post images and pin to boards throughout the month
- Analysis: you want to measure your success and get better
We hope this download and marketing productivity hack helps you to easily plan your content, coordinate your message across multiple platforms, and helps you to gather and track the data you need so you know exactly what’s working and what isn’t.
We would love to help you learn more about planning and marketing productivity. Reach out to us to schedule a discovery call!