Half the battle with marketing is organisation and planning. Here are three vital documents you can create yourself without signing up to any expensive project management platforms. These documents are essential if you want your marketing activity to work efficiently

1.Objectives dashboard

This is the oracle of your marketing and the focus of your planning cycles. Planning cycles, whether they are weekly, monthly, or quarterly, should be upheld religiously. The objectives dashboard should be a single document with your SMART marketing objectives laid out, plus the KPIs you are measuring to keep them on track.

There are some nifty things you can do with an objectives dashboard, such as using a simple traffic light system on your current figures. This will give a visualisation of how well your marketing activity is performing. Lots of red means you need to make changes!

2. Campaign plan template

Campaigns don’t have to be complicated. Many SMEs shy away from the term because there’s a misconception that to “run a campaign,” you have to have big budget. Actually, if you break down your planned activity into “campaigns,” it makes measuring success a lot easier. So a plan template is something you can use for every campaign and should be focused on organising and planning the resources, rather than coming up with creative ideas.

It should start with your campaign SMART objectives and expected results. Then, it should outline key dates and deadlines, materials needed, people and skills needed, who-does-what-by-when, funnels, content needed, creative needed, and anything else practical.

3. 12-month “at-a-glance” activity planner

This is a simplified version of a Gantt chart. You can create one in Excel or Google Sheets if you don’t have any fancy project management subscriptions, (FYI: Trello, Asana, Clickup, or Monday.com are all great for this sort of planning if you can afford the monthly subscription), but it is really simple to create yourself for free.

I always set 12-month planners up by 52 weeks. I start by marking important dates that are relevant to the business, such as events, peak sales, and slow sales periods. Then I mark campaigns, and then add in more detailed activity. My secret is to make it nice and colourful and easy to read.

Need more help? Most businesses struggle with planning and organising marketing. That’s where I can help. A free Marketing Health Check is the best place to start.

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