What good is a plan without execution? Your content team can develop a great idea for an upcoming webinar, but nothing happens without the execution. Effective campaign planning should capture everything from start to finish that is needed for the campaign to go live.
So how can your team ensure campaign plans are executed effectively? In this blog, we’ll break down what a campaign production process is, why it is important to define one, and how your team can structure a process around it.
What is a Marketing Campaign Production Process?
A campaign production process is an organized path to efficient campaign creation that relies on industry best practices and clearly defined stages.
While practices may vary greatly from organization to organization—to account for the complexity and scale of products, regions, team size, and org structure—the overarching process does not.
The goal of most marketing teams is to create campaign experiences that drive results and enable efficiency gains. At Etumos, we believe Demand Centers should adhere to best practices, incorporate project management templates, maintain status alignment throughout the production process, and have clear communication guidelines and SLAs.
Why should companies use a templatized marketing campaign production process?
To ensure the success of your Demand Center, marketing teams must adopt a clearly defined production process. Emphasizing repeatable, measurable practices and developing standardized campaign experiences will allow your campaign production process to scale readily while remaining customizable.
What are the steps to a marketing campaign production process in high-caliber marketing?
A successful campaign production process consists of four stages: Intake, Build, Quality Assurance, and Launch.
Step 1 – Marketing Campaign Intake
Intake is the first, and often the most overlooked stage in the production process. A successful intake process has everything you need right out of the gate.
It is important to identify your campaign’s MVP requirements. MVP (Minimum Viable Product) requirements are details needed to begin production of a campaign request. While it may vary by campaign type, some common examples are:
- Campaign Name
- Target Audience
- Email Copy (finalized and approved)
- Email Send Date & Time
A defined campaign intake process will avoid unnecessary revisions during the process and will help to optimize build times and better meet service level agreements (SLAs).
Step 2 – Marketing Campaign Build
This is where the magic happens in the Marketing Operations. With a thorough intake process in place, RevOps team members will be set up for success to build without any blockers. It is important to allow yourself time in the building process to be able to double-check your work.
Step 3 – Marketing Campaign Quality Assurance (QA)
Have you ever sent out a webinar invite and then realized the event date was wrong or have you forgotten to exclude customers from your prospect newsletter? You’re not alone, mistakes happen all the time in marketing operations. A formal QA process is critical for helping marketing teams achieve their campaign production goals and minimize errors.
“What if I’m a one-person team?” Although it’s great to have a second set of eyes to look over a campaign build, we understand that isn’t always an option. It is still important to double-check your work even on smaller teams. Create an internal campaign QA checklist to ensure everything is good to go before launch.
Once your marketing campaign (emails, landing pages, interaction flows, etc.) passes the QA process and you’ve ensured everything looks good – now your campaign is ready for launch!
Step 4 – Marketing Campaign Launch
We recommend one last check on the audience, date, and time – before the task owner schedules or activates the campaign.
The final step in the process is ensuring that tasks are created for performance reporting and campaign review. Reporting should be templatized and configured to track desired campaign conversions. With the final launch and reporting in order, the production process is complete!
The final reporting structure needs to be communicated into the team’s campaign performance tracking pipeline. Metrics (clicks, opens, etc.) will be safely stable by about 7 days, but the metrics will fully finalize around 14 days after emails have been sent out.
By following a structured approach and defining each stage, the overall efficiency and quality of the campaign build are improved. The central structure allows for marketing campaigns to scale, and it makes sure your team isn’t spending valuable time on a lack of process.
How should you structure your marketing campaign process, and how do you organize your marketing team around a consistent campaign production process?
Leverage project management tools – PM tools such as Asana and Monday.com provide a lot of value when leveraged properly to structure your campaign production process. Templatized subtasks, automated workflows, task statuses, and intake forms are a few examples of how you can make your tools work better for you.
Define Marketing Campaign Production SLAs – e.g., “If you give me all of the requirements to build this, I will build it and provide you the link for review by [2 business days].” You need baseline rules of how long things are going to take so your team knows what to expect once a campaign is requested. Establishing service level agreements (SLAs) will help you better manage expectations and workloads, and ensure that your campaign output is at the highest standard possible.
What team do you need to support an optimal Marketing Campaign Production Process?
Project managers and campaign managers play a key role in keeping the team aligned and operating efficiently. You will also need support from Leadership to take your campaign production process to the next level.
It’s going to be harder before it gets easier. Process change can be overwhelming and might slow down campaign production for the time being. It is a commitment to being more efficient, successful, and scalable in the long run. With that said, partnership and transparency with the greater marketing organization are essential. Leadership can help to provide support through these changes and communicate to other departments how workflows may be impacted.
Should you roll out a campaign production process?
The short answer? There’s probably a cut-off where rolling a process like this makes sense, and I’m guessing it’s a combination of “is your marketing team bigger than 2 employees?” and “is the volume of campaigns processed low enough that enhanced process will be overburdening?” If you’re small and don’t do digital marketing much, don’t bother rolling this out.
The real companies who will benefit from a centralized campaign production pipeline is marketing teams who are scaling. For example, deploying Field Marketing teams geographically is the common go-to-market motion for international expansion. Lots of new marketers need to roll out fast? You better use an organized campaign production process. One of the fun benefits to having a templatized approach here is that you’re setting a good quality bar for campaigns–sometimes, new marketers spend time reinventing the wheel of basic campaigns instead of focusing on the value-add of the campaigns.
Improving your campaign production process now will allow your team to do more of what you want in the future. With that in mind, it is an endless process to refine. The key to making results that last is to never stop making improvements or looking for ways to be more efficient in your campaign production.
Achieving a successful campaign production process is a team effort. If you’re looking for some assistance with creating and maintaining an ideal process that’s been battle-tested, Etumos is here to help you reach your goals.