How to create a project framework for your marketing plan.

lucia-pons-creative

By Lucia Pons

Marketing brain

In our post Stay focused with OKRs: the "what", "how" and "why"?, we introduced OKRs (Objective Key Results), and how to set objectives to focus your efforts and optimize your actions - a difficult task when you are a marketer who has to jump from one project to another! 

As we previously stated, OKRs are the objectives set at the corporate, team, and department levels. But how do we achieve these goals?

In this article, we'll discuss the projects and tasks that will help us accomplish the goals we've set. We've made a new Excel template to make it easier for you to compile these, but first, let's learn about the projects. Here we go! 💪

What are the projectss in a marketing plan?

As we've already mentioned, projects are the work and tasks that we establish for a specific amount of time in order to accomplish the goals we've set. 

If, for instance, our goal is to boost web traffic, the projects are all the methods we come up with to do so, such as: starting a blog; creating ad campaigns; improving our online visibility; signing up for directories; collaborating with people who are relevant to our target audience, etc.

With this in mind, what are the characteristics of these projects? 👀

  • They are specific; we must give our actions a first and last name. Instead of simply referring to "posting on social networks," let's be more specific about how many, where, and what we'll post.

  • They have a deadline (and they are reasonable!) To aid in the organization of the tasks and to prevent them from starting all at the beginning of the term (which would be tempting but unwise), we share a calendar in our excel template that is updated with the deadlines. This will allow us to distribute the work properly and finish everything as planned.  

  • They each have an owner, so it is important to identify who should carry out each task in order to determine whether certain projects depend on outside parties and to ensure that they are followed up on.

In addition to the characteristics, we give you an extra recommendation: make a backup plan. Projects are the plans we make to accomplish the goals; they are developed and approved by the team and managers as OKRs, but they are more adaptable than the latter. If a project is not yielding the expected results, stop it. If it requires more effort than expected, note it. If it is producing significantly better results, give it your all.

project-framework-Gretel

How to set up projects?

The best part is here, so let's get to work, and take some initiative (pun intended) 🧠! 

There are numerous ways to launch projects, but in this paragraph we’ll only discuss the ones Gretel employs. If you know more interesting strategies, let us know, so we can learn together and start using them!

Review your prior deeds.

We are not suggesting that we should accept what we have now or fall behind, but I do think that taking some time to consider the past is important. Too often, we place a lot of value on the new and doing things differently, which makes us lose the desire to innovate and break with the status quo. 

An extremely interesting activity that can inspire new ideas is analyzing the actions we took during the previous term or year. We can note which ones succeeded, which ones failed, and which ones we abandoned in part or altogether. 

With this, we are able to recall both disastrous actions and the reasons why they occurred so that they do not occur again. It also encourages us to look for trends, unfinished concepts, or other things we can repeat.

previous-marketing-campaign-analysis

Take a cue from the marketplace.

How many newsletters have you signed up for? How many competitors do you have on LinkedIn? How many conferences or webinars are you attending this year? We’ll we hope that each of the answers is more than 10 respectively!🤯

In our day-to-day as marketers, we are inspired by many other companies. It doesn’t matter if they are competitors or companies that have nothing to do with us. We don't want to incite you to plagiarize or steal content! Quite the opposite, actually, as analyzing what other companies do helps us identify what we like, and will allow you to open your mind to new projects. 

You can also consider the preferences of your intended audience. Ask your target audience members who you know and/or trust, what has recently caught their attention, what they like, or what they would like. Here, we can find methods for gathering information; they range from sending a WhatsApp message to developing surveys or holding group meetings. You set the limits! 

Brainstorming session

We love this 😍! Find a space with couches, pillows, or cushions, whatever floats your boat, and make it comfortable! Have tea, coffee, and soft drinks on hand, as well as a large whiteboard where you can jot down all of your ideas. 

We don't like rules in brainstorming, and the sessions should be unstructured, but we can offer some words of advice to cut down on droning and time-wasting:

  • Choose a subject to focus the ideas on. Concentrate on a goal to help you come up with as many ideas as you can about the same subject.

  • Set a time limit, more is not always better! It takes a lot of energy to come up with ideas, and adding an additional hour won't necessarily result in better ones. Establish the session's start time and finish promptly! Tip: 50–75 minute sessions are best.

  • Pick a meeting leader; they don't have to be the manager. They just need to be able to take charge, record ideas, take notes, and try to get everyone involved—just not all at once. 

brainstorming-session-marketing

Keep an ear out for your coworkers.

Coworkers, lovers, parents, close friends, and siblings... It doesn't imply that you must consult your surroundings because you would never finish. Find out what suggestions your friends, family, and coworkers have by approaching them. Normally, it is much better if they are employees of your company, but if there aren't many of you, look for inspiration elsewhere. 

Perhaps none of them has the brilliant idea to boost your traffic x100, but they can gradually assist you in developing new endeavors to accomplish your objectives!

Choosing and setting the final projects.

Fret not, for the end is near 🙌! After following the steps above, we will now have a ton of ideas that we have collected, some of which we like better than others. It's time to make the last adjustments to the ones we want to develop this quarter.

There are many available methodologies that can be used for this; our favorite is the Investment and Success Matrix.

With this technique, we create a matrix with the ideas that would help us accomplish each goal. We arrange each idea in the matrix in accordance with the expense of the action and the likelihood of success that we believe will enable us to accomplish the goal.

marketing-campairng-matrix-brainstorm

👀 Watch out: saving money isn't always better! We will need to consider our goals and our financial situation to determine which one best fits our strategy. 

Finally, set the tasks.

After confirming the final list of projects with our managers and team, we can set the specific tasks implied on each project and for each task we should stablish: 

  • A responsible owner and a second responsible for each task.

  • A real deadline for every task.

  • The relationship with OKRs. If you connect your projects to the key results, you will have a clear understanding of how every project will support the objectives and be able to determine whether you have forgotten any key results. You can also link each task, depending if the project is impacting different objectives.

  • Quantify each project in relation to the goals. For example, the number of people you expect to attend your webinar or the traffic it will generate. These estimations can be made with your previous campaigns. Defining this is crucial for figuring out whether the projects you have established are enough to achieve the goals you have set.

Now that we have this, we can begin to work toward our objectives and concentrate on particular tasks! Click here to download the excel template. Keep in mind to bookmark this page and update it daily so you can access it at any time! 

Get your free Marketing Projects template!

To help you down your projects and tasks and set deadlines and owners to each task, we share with you the template we use at Gretel.

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