Unsure if your marketing is truly working? Are you frustrated with spending time on so many tasks?

The truth is that many marketing departments, even if they do a great job of tracking a single component of their marketing efforts, are unclear on exactly what campaigns are working, which ones are coming up, and if additional skills or resources are required to fully execute plans.

Segmenting marketing efforts is common and makes some sense. After all, print ads require a different approach than online SEM. And neither of those utilize the same tactics as organic SEO or blogging. The reality is that the internet has created major opportunities for marketing – and with that comes a multitude of tasks and campaigns to create and track.

Keeping up with all of these varying types of marketing efforts also requires marketing departments to reach outside their team, often to third-party contractors who focus on  more specialized or task consuming activities , like social media. Now the marketing team has even more moving parts to track, and more components that can potentially fall through the cracks.

Challenge the Norm: The multitude of marketing opportunities can seem like marketing has left behind some of the science that makes it so effective. This complexity and lack of control and visibility is a source of frustration for solid marketing professionals and business owners who are looking to manage and track marketing efforts. The tool that will put marketing back on solid ground is the integrated marketing calendar.

This calendar will track every marketing effort by campaign, by week and by month so you have a dashboard of all activities. You can see what tasks are coming up and appropriately staff for them. This will help identify how your marketing activities will impact another department such as customer service or inside sales. Plus you can plan out the entire year, giving you the ability to see at a glance all the different efforts as they pertain to each campaign.

The marketing calendar should be color coded by type, so you can determine when print campaigns will hit the streets, what SEM campaigns are scheduled and how your online and offline efforts are aligned. Furthermore, you can track the web traffic to have an at-a-glance impact of the online components.

Each portion of the calendar can be segmented based on your specific needs. Perhaps you need to track marketing efforts by market types or regions. You can simply create the portion of the calendar for those pieces, giving you another at-a-glance schedule for effective planning.

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