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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Template For Marketing Campaign Management
1/17/2007 at 3:40 PM ET
I'm a B2B outbound marketing guy... and my business is evolving so that I'm performing a number of business to business "micro-campaigns" to vertical markets on behalf of some of my specialized clients. For example, one of my "one hour per day" clients wants me to target ten distinct markets (I'm currently "focused" on 3 of them) - and I need a way to keep all that information straight.
For example, some info related to campaigns for a client, such as lists of references, key benefits, geography, type of decision maker targeted, introductory offer, collateral, hot buttons, etc. will differ on a campaign by campaign basis. And clearly there is helpful reference information related to markets, such as trade shows, events, blogs and opinion leaders...
The idea would be that the "plan" (recommendations for better names welcomed) would be a status document, updated and improved over time. I'm thinking of using PDF format so that the client can't simply make changes and expect me to see them... (or expect me to automatically agree with the changes...).
From a project management point of view, I'd try to avoid putting dates and specific action items in the "plan" - I'd probably email the PDF, and in my email, discuss the 3 or 4 most important things each of us needs to work on.
Does anyone know of a "campaign" checklist or template or status report or something? Thanks in advance.
1/17/2007 at 5:24 PM
OK, Dave...let's see what we can make of this.
Let's address new name. Believe it or not, since I first hired you, I have been thinking about this. Dave is a nice name, but Gregor seems more European (lol). Seriously, I like names like:
TeleComm Services International
I certainly believe your reporting format needs to be revised. Perhaps one of the other colleagues in the forum can assist with that development. I think you do need, in your reporting, to provide a time sheet, along with the response, follow-up options...etc.
Make a list of everything you do during your 'tele' process and make that available to the client.
I'd like to also see your recommendations, based upon the information you get, direct from the contact.
Am I clear on any of this, Dave? If not...send me an eMail, and we'll hash it out.
1/17/2007 at 5:44 PM
Randall, thanks very much for the input. It seems to me your comments deal primarily with post-call reporting (hours spent, call results, etc.)
For most of my projects, I'm researching companies, making phone calls, and sending emails and letters as follow-up to phone calls. There are things you do before the first phone call, things you do during the calls, and things you do after the calls.
While I agree that post-call reporting could be improved, I'm more interested in the documenting some of the "pre-call" strategy - who should I call, why should I call them, etc. For example, if I'm planning a tactic where I would look at
to see which firms are hiring Oracle engineers - I need to write that down somewhere. For a given campaign - which SIC codes am I targeting? What number of employees? etc... If I'm implementing three or four tactics on behalf of a client - it is even more important to keep them straight. The results will come later.
1/17/2007 at 6:10 PM
Got it. Will get back w/you.
1/17/2007 at 8:23 PM
If you want something at a high level, let me suggest a format we used at P&G to track the projects and report progress to management. It was called "Plans for Improving the Business," or P4ITB.
It always had to fit on one sheet of paper (requiring strict prioritization), and the column headings were: Project Name/Objective, Key Dates/Milestones, Next Step (what will happen next and by when), Responsible Party. The rows were the individual projects.
Each month we would update the documents, and management would compare what we said we'd do last month to what we actually did this month to spot possible snags in the workflow.
Does this sound like a format that would address your issue? It's at a high level, but it can probably be adapted to fit your needs.
1/17/2007 at 9:07 PM
Thanks, Michael - but I guess I'm looking for the opposite of "high level". I'm trying to get "down in the weeds". For example, imagine you are doing marketing for a computer service firm, and for a particular service offering, you want to target certain zip codes, certain size firms, and certain industries. Maybe you wrote that info on a scrap of paper somewhere... and for another service offering, this client wants a completely different set of demographics... and of course the USP and offer and core competancies are different...
Now imagine that you have a dozen such clients, each with three to five such "micro" projects, and you are pulling your hair out to find the emails, notes from conversations, cocktail napkins, and printouts so you can implement the programs.
I'm looking for an example template for an outbound marketing campaign which will get "down in the weeds" to document my conversations with clients, to describe an outbound campaign as it is today and to identify areas where the campaign processes could be improved, to be a reference as I do research to build mail lists, and to provide a ready reference while doing the work, reminding me of key discussion points, open ended questions, USPs, competitive advantages, etc.
1/17/2007 at 9:36 PM
By the way, I was looking at some past questions, and noticed a couple things:
1) In a previous post,
Dana Vanden Heuvel suggested a Google search on "marketing calendar template filetype:xls" - and this yields some interesting results...
2) I also noticed that Dana is 15 for 15 (all 15 of Dana's answers were accepted answers) and I wonder if that's a MarketingProfs record...
1/18/2007 at 12:41 AM
Try looking at a Gantt Chart.
It monitors progress of a project.
On the X axis you cd have the working hours plotted of each day. The Y Axis could have the micro headings under each sub heading under each heading.
Add remarks below each hour and that can document the conversation highlights that you need to tell your client. Have a Client feedback column in which s/he inputs her thoughts on the outcome.
You will need to tweak the Gantt a bit- but it will give you and your client a good template to follow.
1/18/2007 at 8:17 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your help so far. This discussion has been very helpful to me in addressing a major constraint on my business. I hope it is helpful to others as well.
Let me try an analogy. Suppose you had some rooms that you wanted to have painted, and didn't have time to do the work yourself. You could hire some high school kids, or you could hire a professional house painter.
If you hire the high school kids, you will need to break down the project into steps (vacuum, move the furniture, put down drop cloths), you will have to give specific instructions (be sure to stir the paint) and you should supervise the work closely. You would make decisions like, "do we cut in the corners first, or roll the walls first?" - and "do we need to patch any holes before painting? You would provide the ladders, paint brushes, rollers, and other equipment.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional house painter, you will not need to provide step by step instructions, and you should not expect gannt charts or pert charts or detailed written progress reports. You should not expect the painter to teach you a course on how to paint. However, there is certain information you need to provide, which could take the form of a work order, documenting the desired result for each room. Which room is to be painted, who provides the paint, what kind of paint, what color for the ceiling, what color for the walls, what color for the trim, are there any special deadlines (e.g. painting needs to be done before the party on Friday). You let the professional know what you want - and it is up to the professional to bring his or her own equipment and methods to achieve the final result.
I refer to myself as a "professional" cold caller. I've been doing what I do for 20 years, and I like to think that I'm just as much a professional as that house painter.
The painter is an "independent contractor" - and so am I. Per the US IRS web site: A company employing an independent contractor has the right to control or direct only the result of the work done by an independent contractor, and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result. For more info, see
In some ways, outbound marketing today is more complex than painting... I need to gather "work order" type information so that I know the desired results (e.g. what is a qualified lead?) for multiple campaigns for multiple clients, and I'd like to document market feedback and refine goals and objectives in an easily readable form, increasing my ability to manage smaller, more complex projects, while retaining my status as an independent contractor.
1/18/2007 at 8:36 AM
Steve - thanks, I looked quickly at
- and downloaded the eBook. From a sales perspective, I agree that sales folks should focus their efforts on folks who are in the process of buying. That's why I'm in business... so that sales folks can focus on ten or so buyers, and on networking and customer service and referrals - not wasting their time calling hundreds of people in their database who are not buying.
Cold calling is no longer a high ROI activity. But if you think about it - what kind of activities does a company outsource? High ROI, or low ROI? For example, your business needs electric power. Do you generate it yourself? Of course not, you outsource "electric power generation" because generating your own electricity would be a low ROI activity for you.
If I believed that cold calling was a quick path to massive dollars, I'd do it on commission, and I'd be making a fortune in the sales training business. Sorry, it's not. But a small, focused, persistent program to call key accounts can be a part of a marketing strategy. And, if you can get your sales to stop wasting 50% of their time dialing the phone, calling people who are NOT buying, and get them to focus on hottest prospects, I believe your sales will rise substantially.
The tools, techniques, and skills to efficiently cultivate a pipeline over time are quite different than the tools, techniques, and skills to close business. I agree with
that sales should be selling, and I agree that that sort of analysis will help an individual salesperson maximize income. But, if leads are not followed up, the organization's overall revenues and market share suffer, and your marketing efforts have educated prospects who are driven by salesperson indifference to your competition.
Sales needs to focus on folks who are buying today. Marketing needs to focus on highest ROI activities. Companies should never cold call. They should leave that to me.
1/18/2007 at 11:19 AM
Dave -- What about creating a spreadsheet with the right categories for each campaign. You'd do this at the beginning of the campaign and it would help focus expectations. Make a bunch of blank copies of that spreadsheet. You can fill in data (by hand) as needed, and fax the thing to the client on a regular basis.
Leave room at the bottom for comments.
I don't see any need to force this sort of thing into an electronic format.
1/18/2007 at 11:40 AM
Thanks, Greg - I believe that a spreadsheet could be a good tool to store the information and the templates... and having one spreadsheet per client (with multiple tabs) makes it easier to maintain company level info (and possibly provide a one page summary report - thanks, Michael)...
... but I would prefer that the information be much easier to read than a typical spreadsheet. I'd prefer the information look much more like a printed "marketing plan" - even though it is NOT an overall marketing plan, but merely one tactic in the plan...
A further advantage of a spreadsheet is that it allows info to be turned "on or off" - e.g. some clients want very little info, some clients want more info...
Individual pages (representing campaigns) could be printed to a PDF file and emailed... encouraging discussion rather than trading emails...
... so regarding rows on the spreadsheet - any suggestions, templates, resources, links, etc? What are the elements of an outbound campaign? What does a sales person need to know to promote a product? Any specific templates, checklists, roadmaps?
If not, I'm beginning to consider putting a web based "telemarketing project intake form" on my web site, as a no-charge option. (or maybe I charge $5-10). This way, folks can document, print, and update outbound tactical plans. If it is a valuable planning resource, folks will find it and link to it... I'll have the info I need to implement a program to address their needs, and I'll have more than enough very detailed sales leads to generate targeted proposals and keep me busy for the next 10 years.
1/18/2007 at 9:40 PM
I guess I must have worded my question poorly, because most of these responses are not addressing my question.
Sorry. Thanks anyway, Dave
p.s. my question deals with planning and setting up an outbound campaign, not with reporting the results of an outbound campaign.
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