Marketing Maturity Roadmap: Building a Campaign Management Practice

by MarthaBush on March 24, 2011

Martha Bush

Martha Bush

Successful campaign management is a combination of strong skills and properly tuned technology.  If you are attempting to build or grow smart campaign management inside your organization, you’ll need to focus on the two parallel paths of developing the practice of campaign management while helping tune the technology to enable best practices in campaign management. Here we’ll focus on the Practice.

The biggest challenge we see to successful campaign management with most clients is Readiness: Is there a skill level inside the organization to handle the data issues, the campaign design issues and the reporting issues? And, as the complexity increases exponentially with testing and rapidly increased campaigns, is there the ability to scale those resources?

Our first approach with new clients is to build a roadmap – working with a maturity framework that ranges from basic to sophisticated – we hope to objectively understand a client’s expertise level and map how far up the maturity curve they hope to climb in a given timeframe. With a benchmark and a detailed wish list of the future, you can build a roadmap for organizational improvement.

Critical Campaign Management Milestones

Change isn’t easy inside some organizations.  Identifying the possible stakeholders and creating a collaborative process is obviously a first step, but you will want to consider these milestones:

1. Current state assessment

  • Begin your evaluation with a discovery process to identify a detailed understanding of the current state of your database marketing campaign plans and activities for the coming year. You should make sure to understand and document the strategy behind planned individual campaigns, the business objectives for each. Steps in this process:
    • Stakeholder buy-in
    • Defining roles and responsibilities, team relationship development
    • Identify resources around your organization that might be helpful or critical in the discussion about campaign management
    • Document the specific objectives and strategies for campaigns awaiting implementation

2. Planning (while doing)

  • While planning, things have to get done!!  Focus on the actual implementation of the top priority existing campaigns, while concurrently building comprehensive plan to execute against a campaign objectives throughout the rest of the year.
  • Develop abbreviated project plans with accelerated implementation timelines for each of the top priority campaigns that need to get started now.

3. Campaign Design and Preparation

  • Establish a consistent campaign design and implementation process for pilot programs.
  • Define the learning objectives for each campaign so that testing of messaging, format, offers can be recommended to meet those objectives.
  • Messaging and creative development – establish what creative development is required for each campaign and decide the creative partner who will design – internal or external.
  • Pilot programs are by definition one-time test efforts – however, a long-term vision for each pilot should comprehend how to establish triggered, automated versions of the pilot to create consistent, streamlined, ongoing results.
  • Each campaign should be evaluated as to the best use of modeling and other predictive targeting best practices with recommendations provided for the use of the segments and/or the new creation of predictive models.
  • The ROI potential of every campaign should be evaluated. You can’t respond to everything, and you’ll need a way to prioritize campaigns. Collaborate with the marketing team to establish a pro forma business case process to evaluate potential campaigns.
  • Campaign design documentation should be developed that would include campaign briefs, initial campaign flowcharts, and also technology requirement documents, response management details, and statements of work for any incremental services that might be required to fulfill the requirements (such as the building of a landing page, or purchase of new data).

4. Campaign Project Management

  • Establish project management protocols for all components of individual campaign implementation, from the building of a project plan, to the communications management with all critical partners, to the campaign delivery, through multiple channels and final campaign reporting.
  • To help your team maintain a clear view of all the projects being managed, establish consistent project management reporting to make sure each level of management has an appropriate view of project status.

5. Team Building and Collaboration

Consider the most effective means of collaboration and time-saving.  We usually set up a simple Client Portal using Microsoft SharePoint as the basis for document sharing, project management, version control, document approval, etc.

Once you’ve set up your processes, you’ll need a Process Cop.  Really! Any practice is worthless if no one follows the guidelines. We find that by setting the ground rules we have vastly superior QC and QA, and that’s critical in a strong Campaign Management practice.

About the Author:

Martha Bush is SVP of Strategy & Solutions at SIGMA Marketing Group.  Follow Martha on Twitteror connect with her on LinkedIn.

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