The Four Big Wins of a Marketing Calendar

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Posted: September 9, 2014 | Modern Marketing

We marketers have a lot on our plates. We’re executing faster, running more campaigns and programs, and coordinating across more channels than ever. Whether we’re launching a new campaign on social, planning nurture programs for our customers and prospects, registering event attendees, or promoting new content, we’re dealing with a lot of moving parts.

And marketing is a team sport. Whether we’re on teams of one or one hundred, we need to constantly align all of those moving parts, even when we’re running multiple plays at once.

Unfortunately, those moving parts sometimes crash together – a potential customer gets hit with three emails in a single day, your webinar interferes with a product demo, or you reschedule a program in your headquarters but the satellite office doesn’t get the memo. We’ve all been the there – myself included. And the primary reason behind all these overlaps, conflicts, and communication gaps is one thing: the rudimentary, disconnected calendar tools that we use every day.

In fact, in a recent survey of more than 500 marketers, we discerned that 70% of them still deal with old-fashioned wall calendars or basic online calendars designed for personal use. When it comes to coordinating a marketing department, these tools aren’t “solutions” – they end up being the problem. These disconnected, antiquated processes slow down marketers at companies of all sizes, and the larger or more virtual the team, the bigger that problem becomes.

That’s why I’m so excited, today, to be announcing a huge leap in marketing technology – a leap that promises to finally give marketers a way to track our activities, coordinate our teams, and build campaigns in the same place that we launch them. The Marketo Marketing Calendar is the industry’s first calendar to fuse campaign planning and execution, and it’s been part of our vision from the beginning.

When Phil Fernandez, David Morandi and Jon Miller founded Marketo, they imagined a fully unified and easy-to-use marketing management solution. They anticipated the marketing-first world we live in today, and they wanted to create a platform where marketers can not only drive long-term customer engagement, but also coordinate across multiple teams and channels, move more quickly, and get better results than ever before. The Marketing Calendar is the next, huge step in that journey.

Plan, Coordinate, and Share Your Wins

We know that great things are happening in marketing departments every day, and the Marketing Calendar makes it easy for teams to efficiently plan, coordinate, and share their big wins. Here’s how:

You can see everything in one unified calendar – from a single campaign to a global view of marketing activities across teams. Imagine your company is sending out webinar invitations, several event follow-ups, and a series of educational content – but all of these messages are coming from separate groups on your team. Using existing calendars, it’s nearly impossible to coordinate campaigns across groups, and it’s all too easy to overlap or over-send. Marketo’s Marketing Calendar gives you a unified view of all upcoming programs, events, and activities, allowing everyone on the marketing team to get the same view.

You can create and share views unique to the needs of marketers – such as by channel, target audience and more. Want to see every program being sent to a particular target audience? What about every activity planned around a particular product line? You can tailor your calendar to create the most relevant view for you own planning, or the most relevant view to share with others.

You can build campaigns directly through the calendar – and coordinate them with other activities at the time of creation. Calendars that live outside of your marketing automation solution can’t be synced with your actual programs, so you have to continuously reconcile your planning efforts with other systems. Disconnected calendars are also error prone – each time you re-enter information, you’re creating a new opportunity for mistakes.

You can be more agile – reschedule campaigns through simple drag and drop. Now that you have the insight and visibility you need, the Marketing Calendar allows you to adjust your plans in a single move. Simply drag any campaign from one calendar date to another, and the entire campaign – whether it’s a series of 20 emails, or a one-off event – is rescheduled from within the calendar. No need to adjust each piece separately, or even to navigate to another screen. Simply put, the place where marketers plan is also the place where marketers execute.

Don’t Take Our Word For It

Our customers are thrilled to abandon their static spreadsheets, disconnected calendar programs, and wall-sized dry erase boards.  Here’s what they have to say:

“Finally my colleagues have visibility into my work. Marketo even made the Marketing Calendar so flexible that I can add my non-Marketo tasks in as well. At a glance we can all prioritize & coordinate so we’re all working to the same goals.”

Adam New-Waterson, Marketing Technologist, Bloomreach @AdamInBloom

“When you’re planning a campaign, it’s difficult not to interfere with other campaigns in a way that degrades results and the overall customer experience. Marketo’s Marketing Calendar gives you visibility across campaigns at the time you’re planning or rescheduling a single campaign, so you can avoid these mistakes. Even though the Calendar has many nifty tricks, I personally think this is by far the best feature, looking at ROI.”

-Diederik Martens, Global Marketing Automation Manager, Quintiq @Diederik

Want to find out more about planning and calendaring best practices? Check out our survey of 500 B2B and consumer marketers here: Marketing Trend Watch: 2014 Planning Edition.

As CMO, Chandar is in charge of positioning Marketo as the marketing industry’s innovation leader and best solution for high-growth and enterprise businesses. Previously as a GVP of marketing, Chandar built Marketo’s product, solution, and corporate marketing teams. A seasoned enterprise executive, he previously oversaw Badgeville's worldwide marketing efforts including product and corporate marketing and demand generation. Prior to that, he served as VP of product and channel marketing for IBM Cast Iron. Chandar also spent time at Andersen Consulting as an advisor to Fortune 500 companies in the high-tech, retail, and oil and gas industries.

Read Chandar's Blogs

Marketing is a team sport. 4 ways a #marketing calendar helps you win big:

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