When it comes to choosing a new wall calendar for the new year, you’ve got some tough choices in front of you. Lighthouses of New England? Best The Office quotations? Rescued kittens in baskets, perhaps? Aesthetics or entertainment might be the only thing determining your yearly wall calendar choice, but when it comes to selecting an appropriate calendar for your marketing planning, you should keep a few vital functions in mind.
Colorful and meaningful
First off, color-coding is an essential tool that should be used down to individual tactic types. Say you have a calendar with 300-some items on it. Forget sifting through pages of homogenous black and white text; it’s time to eliminate the clutter and implement a color-coding strategy that works for you. Facebook ads? Midnight blue. LinkedIn Sponsored InMails? Cerulean blue. YouTube videos? Periwinkle.
When you have access to all flavors of a Crayola crayon box - and, importantly, the bandwidth to support all these variations - you can more easily find your nuanced tactic types right off the bat, making it easier on the eyes to spot what you need.
The opposite is also true when you're sifting through the clutter. Color coding by type can determine whether you can sustain, for example, 12 tactics on a single day. If they're all events, probably not; if they're a healthy mix consuming a variety of resources, you might be OK.
So, you have your colors set up, but you just don’t want to look at everything under the sun right now. That’s where filtering comes in: Simply put, you need to be able to filter in what you want and filter out what you don’t.
Say you want to take a look at your ABM nurtures planned in the U.S. next quarter. That won’t be an easy process if you’ve got a mixed bag of other programs, campaigns and tactics displayed across an entire year, let alone just one quarter. Your digital display advertising campaigns, roadshow events and company get-togethers planned for Q3 in Canada aren’t going to help you. In turn, you need a calendar that lets you display however little or however much you need to see at any given time.
With filtering, you can look at only what you need at the most granular level, eliminating the clutter. Multiple combined filters are a must-have for complex environments. Physical healthcare events in the U.S. Northeast targeting the CFO, for instance, will take more than a couple of filters to zero in on.
Speaking of eliminating superfluous information, another important facet of an effective marketing calendar is creating and sharing a slice that is relevant for you and specific members of your team. Nobody needs to see your entire marketing calendar; a certain slice your demand gen leader needs to see might be vastly different from one your sales team needs to see.
To send that slice, you need to share it to one place – and that’s the place where the recipient lives: e.g., Google or Outlook calendars. If the information from your own calendar isn’t able to overlay with someone else’s calendar, you’re going to have trouble getting on the same page. Synchronization and alignment are key.
Calendars can feel overwhelming, simply because of the sheer volume of activities you’re looking at. But it doesn’t need to be stressful.
Hive9 recently redesigned its calendar to make your marketing planning easier. Request a demo and see how it could work for you.