How to Develop Marketing Timelines The Best Way (Free Templates)
- Which projects are coming up in the pipeline.
- What they need to be working on right now.
- When their deadlines are (so they don't get missed).
How to Develop Marketing Timelines The Best Way (Free Templates)Click To Tweet
Download Your Marketing Timeline Template BundleInstead of trying to mess around in Excel and create your marketing timeline (which let’s face it, is a whole task in and of itself), we built them all for you. This bundle contains:
- Annual Marketing Timeline Template: Plan all of your projects and campaigns for the year.
- Marketing and Sales Timeline Template: Plan your sales and their accompanying promotion campaigns.
- Project Timeline Template: Break down all the steps and phases of your latest marketing project.
- Event Marketing Timeline Template: to plan the scope of your marketing events from start to finish.
Get organized! Download four free #marketing timeline templates from @CoSchedule here:Click To Tweet
What Is A Marketing Timeline?For the purposes of this post a marketing timeline is:
A marketing timeline allows your entire marketing team to see all projects, events, campaigns, and sales that will be happening throughout the year. They can be used to map out deadlines on a quarterly, annual, or per-project basis.
Why Should Your Team Have A Marketing TimelineThere are many reasons why a marketing team would adopt a marketing timeline into their overall marketing strategy.
- Timelines allow your team to see a full overview of which marketing activities are coming up.
- They allow you to (as we say at CoSchedule) plan your work, then work your plan. Planning ahead can mean the difference between a well-executed project and one that is thrown together haphazardly.
- Finally, they help keep all of your marketing tasks on track. These brief overviews can show each member of your marketing team at a glance what they need to get done for a specific project and more importantly when it is due. That means less stress and fewer missed deadlines.
Create An Annual Marketing TimelineThe first timeline your marketing team will need to create is an annual marketing timeline. These should contain every project, sale, and campaign that you plan to run in a year. Why is a timeline like this so important? Because this timeline is the one that you will base every other marketing timeline after. This is your home base so to speak. So let’s move on to how to fill out the annual template that you just downloaded. In the bottom of your spreadsheet, there is a project notes section. For each one of your projects, sales, and campaigns, fill out the:
- The team that is responsible for this project.
- The budget your team has.
- Any resources you might need.
- The goals you have.
Organize Your Marketing And Sales Campaign TimelineThe next template we’re going to walk you through how to use is your marketing and sales campaign timeline. Your marketing and sales campaign timeline is going to help track every sale and accompanying promotional campaign. This will help you avoid last minute planning or forgetting about a sale entirely. (After all, as a marketer you have a lot to do.) Before you begin to fill in your template you need to figure out the list of sales and campaigns that you’re going to run for the year. Some common categories include:
- Seasonal Sales
- Social Media
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Email newsletters
- Press releases
- Print ads
Map Out Projects With Your Project Timeline TemplateThe next template in your bundle is your project timeline template. This template will help you break down each one of the projects and campaigns that you listed in your annual marketing timeline. Why is a project timeline like this so critical? Each one of your projects is going to have multiple moving parts that can become hard to keep track of. Your project timeline will help you see all of those moving pieces on a project or campaign-based level. This provides a more granular view of each project’s timeline, giving anyone working on each one visibility on when their part is due. Your projects will be broken down into four phases:
IdeationThe ideation phase of your project planning is the first phase. This is where the initial idea of your project comes to fruition. Your template should include the following steps:
- Project plan: What does the overarching process of your project planning look like?
- Initial launch: Decide when your official launch date will be.
- Meeting set up: When are you meetings going to occur and who needs to be in which ones?
PlanningThe next phase of your project is the planning phase. This is the phase where you need to determine everything you need to do to hit publish on a project. It could include things like:
- Project scope: What needs to be completed to consider this project ready for launch?
- Goal setting: What are you hoping to achieve at the end of this project?
- Budgeting: What funds do you have to complete the project? Where are they going to go?
- Work breakdown: Who is doing what on this project? What are their deadlines?
- Contacts: Who are your key points of contact?
ExecutionNext is the execution phase of your project. At this point, you’ve hit the Go button, and now you need to keep track of everything that is going on. How you decide to keep track of your execution process will be up to you. Here are a few things you could add to your timeline.
- Project launch: When are you publishing your project?
- Status and KPI tracking: What is the status of your project and what metrics do you need to track to make sure that you’re going to make your goal?
- Objective execution: Is each objective you planned being completed?
- Performance of project: What is the status of your project and can it run the full course of your plan?
MeasurementThe last phase of your project is going to be measurement. In this phase, you’re going to assess the data you gathered and determined if the project was a success or not. This phase usually falls into four steps:
- Project debrief: Gather your team and talk about the successes (or failures) of the entire project.
- Time and cost tracking: Was your project completed on time and on budget?
- Goals met: Did you meet your goals?
- Reporting: Are there any reports that you need to put together for those who were not an active part of your project?
Plan Events Marketing Event Timeline TemplateThe last template in your bundle is your marketing event timeline template. This template will help your team organize an event from start to finish. Why is a timeline like this important? Even if it is small, there are still lots of moving pieces that need to be taken care of in order to execute an event smoothly. Your timeline can help keep you on track and allow you to plan ahead for what is coming next. Four phases go into planning an event:
- Final Preparation
- Post Event
PlanningThe planning phase of your event usually happens six to eight months before your event takes place. Here are some steps you could take:
- Ideation. What do you want your event to be?
- Setting goals. What do you want your event to accomplish?
- Defining roles and responsibilities. Who is in charge and who is taking care of what part of your event?
- Determining when and where event meetings take place. Who needs to be at what meeting when?
- Deciding how many attendees need to be at an event. Is your event being enacted on a large scale with hundreds of people or are you planning a small get together?
- Setting an event budget. How much money does your event planning committee have to spend?
- Finding your vendors and venue. Where is your event taking place and who will be taking care of details like food, music, etc.
- Creating an emergency plan. What happens if something goes wrong at the venue, weather, etc.?
PromotionThe next phase of your event planning is going to focus solely on promoting said event. As a committee, you need to determine what channels you’re going to promote your event on, what tactics you’re going to use, and when each of your promotions is going to launch. Some examples of promotions you could run are:
- Social campaigns promoting your event.
- Including event information in your email newsletters.
- In-store signage
- Printing promotional posters and more.
Final PreparationsThe next phase of your event planning is going to be final preparations. These are the last things that your event planning team will need to take care of before the actual event takes place. It should include things like:
- Confirming your vendors. Is everyone that you paid to help complete your event going to show up?
- On-site run through (if needed). Do you have a significant change or part of your event that needs to be practiced in the space beforehand?
- Creating your day of event timeline. Create a timed list of who needs to be doing what and when.