Planning Templates for Everyone! Plan Your 2016 Marketing Programs Now



Author: Lizzy Funk

Starbucks has added the highly-anticipated pumpkin spice flavor to its menu, radio stations are planning their upcoming holiday music playlists, fall foliage is just around the corner, and scary Halloween decorations seem to be popping up just about everywhere I go (yes, I’m a scaredy cat). So this could all only mean one thing…it’s time to start planning your 2016 marketing programs!

If you aren’t on the 2016 program planning bandwagon yet, you could be late to the game! (Seriously, people, we’re just days away from entering Q4…and we know how fast that’s going to go!). Whether you are marketing to other businesses or to consumers, planning is the most important thing you can do to ensure a successful year ahead. This blog will give you some planning help with our program plan templates for both B2B Marketers and Consumer Marketers and walk you through some important questions to consider.

As this year comes to a close, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Evaluation: What worked well this year, and thus what will work well next year? This is probably the hardest part of your planning because it involves looking back at previous programs and determining which ones will be successful going forward. You’ll have to analyze which channels performed the best and which ones didn’t perform at all in comparison to what you expected, and why. You’ll also want to look forward and define what success will look like for the future. Ask yourself: What do you expect to see and how will you measure against it?
  • Goals: What are your main objectives for the upcoming year? Based on your company’s overall business objectives, you need to determine what is important to your business in the coming year and then create a hypothesis on what you think you will achieve. This could be as basic as a 10% increase in new names and conversions across the board. But it could also signify important company objectives such as increasing brand awareness to a certain segment about your new product. You need to establish this ahead of time so you know which programs you need to run to hit your goals.
  • Tasks: Which programs are you going to run in order to hit your goals? Once your goals are set in stone, determining how you will hit them is your next challenge. With all these new marketing technologies, your program mix most likely won’t be the same for next year as it was for this year. However, discovering what has worked in the past is valuable information to decide what to do in the future. For example, what was your top performing channel for conversions this year? In deciding which programs to run, you might increase your top performing programs and decrease your poor performing programs. Examples of the programs you need to decide on include emails, PPC, social, and events. It’s also important to figure out a calendar of your big events, content, and programs to ensure you have enough planned for each month and to ensure that those programs are shared across teams and regions. A centralized marketing calendar, like Marketo Calendar HD, helps you track your performance against your goals.
  • Resources: Which resources do need to accomplish your tasks? Now look at you! You’ve got your goals; you’ve decided on your program mix. Well that is where resources come in. This is your chance to figure out which tools you need to be successful, including content, software, people, and education. For example, if your goal is to expand awareness on a certain product and you are determined to promote it on social and PPC, what content are you going to need to do this? Specific content pieces are a resource you should request. This is also where you can start planning out your budget.

To help you simplify your planning process and enable you to answer these questions, we have created a handy customizable PowerPoint deck to help you organize and streamline your marketing projects and programs. AND we have created two versions: one for marketers who market to other businesses and one for marketers who market to consumers. Yay, something for everyone!

So, get your PSL (pumpkin spice latte) ready and start planning so that when your manager calls you into their office asking what you have planned for the upcoming year, you will be thoroughly prepared (and caffeinated)!

Download the Program Plan Template for B2B Marketers and the Program Plan Template for Consumer Marketers today!

Planning Templates for Everyone! Plan Your 2016 Marketing Programs Now was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

The post Planning Templates for Everyone! Plan Your 2016 Marketing Programs Now appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Marketo Marketing Blog


How Sports Brands Use Social Media To Create VIP Reward Programs


In today’s information friendly world, everyone is a sportscaster, sideline photographer, analyst, and coach. Fans today have the ability to share their praise, critiques and favorite plays in the same environment as an ESPN or Sportscenter host. And, the communities that form around these public opinions are possible because of a simple idea thought of by Chris Messina: the hashtag.

Hashtags unify the endless noise that is expressed on social media. They allow fans from around the world to not only receive real-time updates and opinions on what’s going on, on the court, field or in the arena, but they also empower the every-day fan to be heard. Not only is Twitter making it easier to follow conversations, but they have also invested in creating new ways to discover and follow content.

The recent NBA Finals are a perfect example of social media’s ability to unify people across platforms, cultures, and countries. With 835 million social followers, the NBA has one of the largest social communities in the world. When phenoms like Lebron James and Stephen Curry are added to the mix, who just happen to make highlight reels every time they step on the court, the only possible outcome is that people will have a lot to say.

Tweets with #NBAFinals were viewed 7.6 billion times on Twitter during the games themselves. Shares peaked during epic events during the Finals, such as any of Stephen Curry’s 7 Three-Pointers in Game 5, Lebron’s Triple-Double performance and of course the final victory of Golden State to clinch their first Championship in 40 years.

Besides the ability to bring fans together and unite the chatter around championships like the NBA Finals, hashtags also provide the unique ability to connect brands to fans. Sport Center uses their hashtag #SCTop10 to encourage fans to vote for their favorite plays and highlights. During 2014 NBA Finals, AT&T received 13.6k mentions on Twitter because of their sponsorship association with the Finals.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Using Targeted Account Selling to Crush Your Outbound Sales Quota

All of this may not surprise you, as social media has taken front stage to real-time and live event conversations. The opportunity that brands (and teams) have to recognize and engage with their most loyal and opinionated fans and actually reward them for doing so, is huge.

How does tScreen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-3.55.24-PMhis work?

Sports teams that create digital and social VIP programs enable consumers to engage with a brand in a scalable and loud way- all while getting rewarded. No hashtag or tweet goes unrecognized, because in this day and age- consumers have a remote control in their pocket to engage with the brand at any moment. Hashtags and social chatter is the next best way to pull them in as a loyal customer. It’s time brands turn fans into lifetime loyalists.

Here are a few ways sports brands can get up and running with social loyalty programs that increase fan engagement and brand loyalty:

  • Get your best fans (social fans, followers and newsletter subscribers) to become a “Social VIP” by connecting their social accounts. This will give your brand access to a wealth of data and will enable you to recognize when the customer does something of value for the brand in social. Provide an incentive like a coupon or an invitation to a VIP-online event to connect their accounts if you want to increase your conversion rate
  • Identify a small number of actions you always want to reward customers for–perhaps it’s a Facebook check in at the stadium or an Instagram post from the team store. In Twitter you might want to reward consumers for using a specific hashtag unique to your brand. These actions will create the foundation of an “always-on” social loyalty program
  • Correlate rewards to these social actions (often also called triggers). Rewards can be anything from a coupon redeemable for merchandise, to a promo code for a discounted ticket, to points if the brand happens to have an existing points-based program. To keep it feeling fresh, mix up the rewards over time. Having a variety of rewards will surprise and delight customers and build brand loyalty.
  • Layer in special promotions. Give VIPs the opportunity to get access to something that the average person may not. Seat upgrades during the game? A chance at a meet-and-greet? Get creative when it comes to rewarding your social advocates.
  • Measure and optimize. Make sure to understand what rewards are working best and what social platforms and actions drive the most engagement. Armed with this data the brand can optimize the program, increasing fan lifetime value.

Before the social media bubble pops, brands need to stop talking about moments measured by vanity metrics. To do so, brands need to start rewarding their best consumers. Happy, loyal fans will bring their friends. Now, there’s a business strategy that has direct bottom-line impact.

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community