How to Use Plandisc To Plan Your Marketing Calendar

Using Plandisc may seem a little different than some of the planning tools you are used to. Instead of making your plan more complex, Plandisc simplifies it by working the way you do.

The example below is a go-to-market plan that was created by digital marketing agency for an real client in the healthcare industry. The plan was a multichannel plan for a rebranding and lead-generation campaign that included a new website, SEO, AdWords, and an inbound marketing campaign to drive traffic.

Plandisc was the best tool for the agency to use to help create and promote their plan for several reasons: (more detail in this blog)

First: It helped the agency present the plan to the clients in way that they could easily understand

Second: It helped the agency that created it budget time, money and resources on various projects.

Third: It enabled the agency to post the plan on the client’s intranet, keeping all of the involved parties aware of timing of the project and upcoming deadlines.

Now, let’s look at how this plan was created:

This Plandisc was originally built on a blank template. But Plandisc offers a variety of templates you can start with in the template library to help get you started.

(note: you can click on the live Plandisc on the left and try it for yourself)

The agency broke the campaign down into 3 separate categories, initially as part of its normal campaign execution: The three categories were 1) Strategy 2) Content and 3) Execution. While the terminology may change, this is a fairly common approach for an inbound marketing program, and so the creators of this Plandisc chose to use them for the main rings.

The first thing the agency did was to set the parameters for their calendar. Because this was a full year campaign, the outer rings were choosing to represent weeks of the year (52 total). However, they could have chosen a more granular approach and listed days, or could have been more macro with months or quarters.

Ring #1: The Inner Ring – Strategy

Because nothing in this plan can be successful without some level of strategy, it made sense to make the initial, inner ring (in the gold) the strategy circle. Starting with the kickoff during week 1, the agency placed its initial strategy kickoff session in the first 6 weeks of the program. Because the first deliverable would be a new website, the agency set projects to Identify the target audience, defining the core messaging and positioning, and begin to create a list of keywords that could be used in the site’s copy.

Later, in the year, as the website nears go-live, similar strategy sessions are added be held to plan for the marketing and lead-gen campaign, and media campaign. And because the agency believes in constant evaluation and feedback, several strategy review sessions are sprinkled throughout to make sure the campaign remains on track and optimized for maximum performance.

These strategy meetings required the input of several key stakeholders and being able to visualize the entire years’ worth of meetings on one document made it easier for the senior staff and their executive assistance to coordinate around their busy schedules and previous engagements.

Ring #2: Content

The key part of any inbound marketing campaign is to produce strong content and do so on a regular basis. With a good understanding of the direction of the project acquired from the strategy ring, the agency can begin to develop the branding assets and marketing content that it will need to support both the website and the inbound campaign.

Initially, the team needs branding elements and copy to help populate the website. These efforts begin almost as soon as the customer types are identified and the core messaging is complete. They encompass most of the first third of the year until the new website goes live.

Once it does, the emphasis shifts to creating content of the supporting campaign. A steady stream of blogs, news, and updates keep the website fresh, improve organic SEO and provide material for adword and social media campaigns. A good lead-generation campaign thrives on this kind of content, so being able to visualize a cadence for creation and delivery of new marketing assets is a big help. Since the Plandisc is shared on the company Intranet, content creators can refer to this document and see upcoming deadlines, projects and details at any time, from any device.

Because timing is critical in this (and every project) the content creation for some of the campaign elements overlaps other parts of the project.

Ring #3: Execution

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With all the planning being done and content being created, its critical to understand how each of these elements will be presented to the public. That’s where the third ring comes in. Made up of several layers everyone on the project – from content creators, to website managers, to media buyers and social media planners – can clearly see when and how the content will be promoted to the potential customers.

The joy of a multichannel campaign is that you can repurpose content across several touchpoints and reach your potential customers in a way that is much less intrusive and much more effective. With a Plandisc, you can see your whole year in one view, ensuring that you are not inundating your prospects with any one message, or on any one channel. Here you can see the agency’s approach is to mix direct “push” approaches like social media marketing and email with “pull” strategy inherent in blogs and news releases.

Taking this broad overview approach to the year initially allows the agency to constantly drill down on details and tinker with the plan. As various media and channels become successful they can continue to optimize to reach the audience with the right message via the most effective channel.