There are a surprising number of retail organizations that don’t have a centralized marketing calendar, and getting the cross organizational buy in to purchase one is only half the battle.
As you know, the marketing calendar is the holy grail of effective omni-channel visibility and management. Unfortunately, it has been relegated to complex excel files scattered across shared folders.
Like any enterprise software, how the marketing calendar is rolled out is central to driving adoption and delivering value to you, the retailer.
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To help you be more successful with rolling out a marketing calendar, we have put together a checklist based on our experience with rolling out our own omni-channel marketing calendar with the top retailers, which identifies some important activity that needs to happen prior to rollout.
- Role Definition – First and foremost, identify the people & departments that own the various channels and internal communication, as these would be the folks updating them. This mapping will also form the basis of how your access rights should be setup for the marketing calendar.
- Process Mapping – Create a high-level process map for the rest of the organization to understand when they should expect to see activity in the calendar, and what the different stages & statuses of the activity mean. Take the opportunity to standardize stages, statuses and workflows of the channels to internal best practices.
- Incorporate Existing Calendars – Corral any rogue excel documents floating around in the organization for possible inclusion in the central marketing calendar. A word of caution here, there might be a very specific way that a particular line of business would want to format the calendar, that’s drastically different from the rest of the organization. This would very well be a reasonable request, but should not necessarily make it into the global marketing calendar for just for that business. If you try to accommodate every localized activity you will end up disrupt the calendar for everyone.
- Hide The Print Button (seriously!)- Resist the urge to show the print button. Encourage your marketing and merchandising teams to check the online calendar for updates. A printed copy is only current as the second it was printed. Online is current that second and continuously updated across the organization by the channel or business owners.
CrossCap has experience implementing marketing calendar tools for 40% of the top ten retailers, and several others.
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