Business musings

Articles and thoughts about project management

It’s that time of year again when you will be thinking about and planning your marketing for 2013. You may remember that last year we wrote an article on planning your marketing for 2012 and provided a marketing planning and budgeting template to enable you to hit the ground running. With the new year less than 2 weeks away, we thought it was about high time we gave you an updated spreadsheet.

Download: Marketing Planning & Budgeting Template 2013 (MS Excel file)

What’s new?

You’ll see that much is the same but there are a few small changes. One year on and, as always in the fast moving world of tech, things have changed slightly in the online arena, so we’ve ammended and added various marketing elements to reflect this.

Specifically, social media marketing (such as LinkedIn Ads, Facebook advertising, Twitter promoted tweets and accounts) have become more recognised and prominent, so these have been added. Similarly, Pinterest and Instagram are now also being used increasingly by businesses, so we’ve added rows for these. Lastly, we also added Yahoo! Bing Advertising as this was something we realised we’d overlooked in 2012.

What’s the same?

Last year we said that your goal is to end up with a scheduled and co-ordinated marketing plan that effectively engages your customers, that is aligned with your strategy and that, of course, drives both your brand awareness and your revenue growth. This hasn’t changed. Nor has the advice we included on how to achieve this aim. In summary, we said that you need to:

  • Take an engaging approach
  • Use the marketing mix effectively
  • Allocate resources wisely
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle
  • Measure results and learn
  • Plan ahead
  • Focus on existing customers too
  • Not drop the ball

A note on collaboration

Marketing is often highly collaborative with multiple people and parties liasing, discussing ideas and working together. Typically, teams use email to communicate but this can get somewhat confusing and overwhelming; it also lacks any real transparency and things can get lost along the chain.

Our top tip for 2013 would be to try out a collaborative, online project management tool, such as Basecamp for example, to oil the wheels as you work together. (Other project management tools are available but Basecamp is particularly easy to use and minimal training is needed).

Screen shot of Basecamp's website explaining their product features

Once you’ve chosen your preferred project management software, try turning your marketing calendar into a series of projects and using the software’s calendar function to recreate your calendar of campaigns and events.

Once these are in place, you can then:

  • Add milestones
  • Allocate and manage tasks
  • View project progress
  • Message your team
  • Upload files
  • Share information with your designers and developers

And all this in a single location with complete transparency, thereby making it easy to keep track of what is happening, when and how much is still left to do. It could save you a lot of time, money and stress as well as making sure you achieve your goals.

Over to you

Download: Marketing Planning & Budgeting Template 2013 (MS Excel file)

 

29
Sep
Posted by Matt Stocker, stored in: Technology & Web  

Hello again – sorry for the rather long pause in blogging! I do have a number of excuses including a heavy work load, working on an updated website (almost ready to launch in the not too distant future) and the arrival of a rather high maintenance police sniffer puppy in training called Herbie. He has now moved to live with his new handler for his next stage of training and we have a new sniffer dog in training called Jess who’s a lot lower maintenance!  Anyway, excuses over, back to the blog!

I was musing the other day about the fact that I use rather a lot of web 2.o style applications for my business. As I find these applications so useful and have made my selections based upon fairly extensive research and comparisons between products, I thought I’d put a list together to give you a headstart if you’re looking for similar tools. (more…)