When it comes to effective marketing, you could have all the ideas in the world but if you don’t know how to plan and execute those ideas then you’ll be stuck in scramble mode forever, and will be delivering lackluster results.
At Dandelion, we’ve created a structure for creating detailed timelines to ensure we’re never in scramble mode!
Creating an Effective Marketing Plan Sets You Up for Success
Timelines help us to pace ourselves and keep our business and our clients on track. They are truly the foundation of everything we do, and are a key part of our success. The secret for an effective marketing plan is the high level of detail, clearly defined goals, and knowing exactly what you need to get you there.
If you’re planning for the launch of something physical, this method is particularly helpful because that process can take significant time and delays can often happen somewhere throughout the plan.
Our timelines are Realistic & Sustainable
The trick for a truly effective roll out is that you’ve got to be realistic with your timelines and plan for everything, every step of the way.
We always start by identifying the key players. Who is working on which portions of the project and what do their timelines look like?
You may be able to create all the marketing materials for your new idea in a day, but will your audience be ready to receive that information with enough time to digest it, get excited, and get prepared to participate?
Holistic Marketing Helps You Know What You Need
When we create the plan, we’re thinking through the entire process holistically, and this means looking at the company as a whole. What are their goals for this campaign and overall?
Holistic marketing means we look at the big picture. What else is happening with your business during this time? What about your audience and the relationship you have with that? Lastly, do you have data that can help us know more about past campaigns?
Developing this holistic perspective ensures you’re operating with all the information you need to create the most effective plan of action.
Holistic marketing takes a brand’s whole digital and analog presence into consideration when setting KPIs and creating a sustainable marketing strategy and plan. A holistic marketing approach creates consistency throughout the brand’s digital presence by creating standalone pieces that fit within a very clear and consistent pattern of communication.
We start by identifying key team members, understanding workflows and any necessary approval processes. We then look at the big picture to understand business goals, audience relationship, and analyze any relevant data. Then we’re ready to plan!
Start by working backwards from the launch day, and build in time for each of the necessary processes to happen. Then add buffer time, which provides us with ample time in case of issues or any last minute changes that may arise.
We now know how long the full project will take, so that gives us a timeline for when to begin the process!
Working Backwards From a Launch Date
Creating these plans and timelines backwards will help ensure you’re not putting the cart before the horse, and you’re more easily able to identify tasks that are dependent on other parts of the process.
Here are a few of the questions we ask ourselves to better understand the full scope of the project:
What are the pieces that need to be completed for a successful launch? Who are the key players you’ll need to engage with to complete each piece? How much lead time does each step require? Are these any approval processes necessary within this project? How much time does that take?
The Necessity of Buffer Time
Adding buffer time to your timelines would likely be the top tip we provide folks who are just starting their planning process. We don’t like scrambling, and in fact, we like to operate ahead of time with all marketing campaigns completed and scheduled about a week before they are seen by the public.
Building in buffer time helps guard you from immense amounts of stress. If anything were to go wrong, or if something takes longer than anticipated your buffer time should cover that. We wouldn’t want to have to change our entire launch just because one portion of the project had a delay, buffer time helps you solve for that!
With your launch date defined, a clear understanding of who is managing which aspects of the project, and with your added buffer time you now know how long the full project will take, so that gives you a detailed timeline for when to begin the process. Happy planning!
Let’s get planning! ❤️ Schedule a call with us here!