By Brenna Lofquist, Senior Marketing Consultant / Client Services Operations at Heinz Marketing
As I am writing this post, it’s my 6-year anniversary at Heinz Marketing and in my time here I’ve learned a tremendous amount. I thought I’d spread some wisdom as I’m spending time today reflecting on my experience so far. One thing that really sticks out is the importance of preparing and planning to launch a campaign. Often times, if not documented, small but important details can slip through the cracks which can have a negative impact on the launch of your campaign. You might be surprised to know that some don’t have a checklist at all.
Why a campaign launch checklist?
Checklists are a simple technique to help you remember everything including the tasks, timing, who’s responsible, and anything else you might need to know. When it comes to the tasks, you want to make sure you have every single task documented, no matter how small. Timing is key. Everyone needs to know when their tasks are due so the rest of the timeline isn’t impacted. Lastly, campaigns often require input and effort across functions and teams so roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined. Expectations will be clear and everyone will be aligned on the approach.
Campaign launch checklists can also help to ensure your campaigns are reaching their maximum potential. Are you testing? Are your systems set up to properly track the steps of the campaign and overall success? These are steps you can build into your checklist for optimal campaign performance.
Components of a campaign checklist
To build a campaign checklist you want to make sure each task has, at minimum, status, timing and who’s responsible. You can fill in other criteria as needed or depending on your organization. In terms of the actual content of the checklist, it’s easiest to think about all the components of your campaign. Then use the components to build out sections within your checklist. You might need to gather input from other team members if you aren’t familiar with all the steps. While the checklist might only be used within Marketing, anyone involved should review and provide feedback to ensure you have all the necessary steps documented and documented correctly.
Depending on your needs, you might need a more detailed checklist that includes all aspects of campaign from strategy through execution. If this is you, here’s an example of sections and tasks to include in your checklist – this is not an extensive/complete checklist:
- Define target account criteria
- Identify target contacts from the buying committee in the database
- Categorize contacts by persona
- Determine if new contacts should be acquired
- Draft campaign theme and messaging
- Map content to Buyer’s journey and determine gaps
- Develop new content
- Develop keyword lists for Search ads
- Draft landing page copy
- Draft email copy
- Review copy
- Design and develop email banners
- Design graphics for display ads
- Develop new content
- Campaign Operations
- Set up campaigns in Salesforce
- Create Salesforce reports and dashboards
- Ensure tracking pixels are applied to the website
- Create tracking URLs
- Set up automated workflows in marketing automation platform
- Channels – You’d have specific tasks for each channel that map out what’s necessary to launch
- Social Media
- Digital Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Sales Enablement
- Develop cadences
- Conduct campaign kick-off meeting with sales
- Sales team training
- Support team training
Remove or add sections as you see fit. In some cases, you might want to focus specifically on the elements required to launch a campaign. For example, ensuring all channels are set up properly, all backend processes and workflows are set up, tracking, etc. Either way, the goal is to have a checklist of all the necessary tasks to successfully plan and/or launch a campaign.
Build a template
Once you’ve developed your campaign launch checklist, I’d recommend using it a few times so you can make adjustments. Once it’s finalized, or at least in a pretty good spot, create a template so you don’t have to create a new checklist every time. Standardizing your activities will help you establish an efficient, repeatable launch process. You will also set clear expectations across internal teams, whether they are directly contributing or simply need to be informed.
That way the next time you are planning a campaign, you can easily remove the irrelevant items from your predefined checklist. Iterate as you go by updating your template with new learnings. This way, you will keep achieving launch success that drives business growth.
Are there other frameworks or processes you use when developing and launching campaigns? If so, let us know in the comments.