It is a new year and several e-commerce marketing teams are looking for improved methods of operating efficiently. Lightly resourced are these departments considering the number of marketing channels or tactics utilized to promote their products and brands.
They’re inundated with communicating plans, changes to plans by constantly updating and sending spreadsheets across the organization. These activities are literally occurring until final publication of content to all digital, social and mobile tactics. A highly time consuming and challenging activity to coordinate.
The purpose of this post is to shed some light on how e-commerce marketing teams are planning and executing digital, social and mobile marketing initiatives through using marketing calendar software to simplify their operations and allow teams to focus their efforts on devising strategies to grow their business.
Planning is a constant activity when it comes to ecommerce and retail. Beginning with an annual plan, followed by a seasonal plan and then execution occurring at monthly and weekly levels. These planning activities are essential in aligning the execution with the defined strategy for the marketing teams.
Typically during the annual planning stages, the marketing strategy team starts with a blank slate selecting campaigns and tactics from the previous year that they deem were effective and are aligned with the next year’s marketing strategy.
This plan is then altered to address the goals for the next year. Seasonal planning is an activity that occurs periodically through the year and requires marketing planning teams to analyze the previous season’s performance understand whether their strategies were effective, define seasonal events and promotions. In order to achieve goals for the seasonal plan, marketing teams would need to execute tactics monthly and weekly.
These tactics would include leveraging several digital, social and mobile channels to promote events and products for the ecommerce business.
E-commerce is a dynamic business, plans are constantly changing to ensure competitiveness and to cater to new trends. Unlike the traditional brick-and-mortar retail business, online retailers need to be swift and agile allowing for rapid shifts in their merchandising and promotional strategy.
Strategies such as lowering prices or advancing an event’s promotion sooner to attain market share typically require changes to originally planned marketing activities. These changes need to be easily communicated and synchronized across the organization for alignment. Managing your marketing plan through marketing calendar software allows ecommerce teams to effectively communicate changes across the organization and align all stakeholders within the process.
In order to achieve widespread adoption and eliminate the need to duplicate work across multiple systems, the marketing calendar software integrates with downstream systems to transmit the marketing messages and promotional content.
E-commerce departments that are able to define their plans in their marketing calendar and once approved, the information automatically propagates to downstream execution systems, eliminating the need to re-enter information and ensuring strategy and execution are aligned.
Measuring performance of a marketing initiative is a vital part of the marketing process and with ecommerce it directly relates to sales and margin. Ecommerce marketing teams are consistently measuring their marketing efforts to determine what worked or didn’t work. Also running test marketing initiatives can provide results that help marketers establish baselines and scale their efforts.
Daily & weekly KPIs for traffic, sales and average basket are overlaid on the marketing calendar to help illustrate the impact of marketing investment. Also, budgets and results for each initiative are incorporated into the marketing calendar tool providing a holistic view of the investment and return.
Each initiative depending on the type will have its own metrics allowing the marketing team to evaluate the level of success. For example open and click-through rates depict performance or effectiveness of email campaigns while a number of likes & comments depict the level of engagement on social media.
With the new financial year approaching, it should be time to consider how you can improve the productivity, communication and alignment of your marketing efforts with a marketing calendar software.
By the way, at CrossCap we have researched and put together a guide to marketing calendar software features, and we explained the benefits of each to help you make an educated buying decision.
– by Rahim Kassam