The $100M question: Will your campaign plans hit target?

Jim Williams
November 10, 2023

You’ve been given your corporate objectives. Your budget is set. And you’ve pulled together a set of campaign plans that represent your marketing team’s best effort to hit your targets.  

But does your plan have integrity?  

Plan integrity is a mathematical calculation that demonstrates to stakeholders that your plan, when executed, will hit its targets.  

So begins the painful exercise of calculating a bottoms-up estimate of expected leads, MQLs, AQLs, SQLs, SQOs [insert the acronym of your choice here] from each activity to ensure that the totals match your target goal. Whether you are in a B2B, B2B2C, or B2C organization, you need to estimate the results of your marketing efforts.  

Not an easy task, and usually one that is done in . . . you guessed it: spreadsheets. Spreadsheets that are disconnected from your plans, introduce pesky version control issues and errors, and often get buried on some SharePoint drive not long after planning is complete.  

But this exercise is essential. Because without it, marketing plans are just a gamble of company resources. You are spending hours of time and thousands, or even millions of dollars on a bet that marketing activities will deliver. And by the time you realize they won’t, it’s too late to do anything about it.  

Can you predict the impact of campaign plans?

To be more agile and effective, marketers need a system of record that ties these targets to a dynamic, living plan. This allows them to anticipate results up front, identify gaps before a single dollar is spent, and most importantly, make proactive, informed decisions to course correct and pivot.  

Fortunately, this is a key function of Uptempo’s campaign planning via its powerful impact modeling capability.

Here’s how it works:

With Uptempo, marketers document their campaigns, programs, and tactics in a centralized, collaborative planning workspace. Each activity or tactic ladders up to a program and overall campaign. Each is connected to a budget that is automatically reconciled with finance systems so marketers always know what they have to spend.  

But each tactic is also connected to a performance target, like the number of responses, inquiries or leads the activity will generate. These targets can be informed by results from past campaigns, or just estimates. To arrive at down funnel results like pipeline or sales, the Uptempo impact modeler uses default funnel conversion rates. You can also customize these rates based on the nuances of the activity in question. For example, a customer event may have a more targeted audience that converts demand into revenue at a much higher rate than a broad-based digital media campaign that has a much lower conversion rate.  

It’s intuitive. You simply create an activity, open the impact modeler, estimate responses, and see how this tactic will contribute to targets and goals over time in a dynamic, interactive chart. As the campaign owner, you can change the expected number of responses and instantly see how this affects results, not only in terms of the amount of revenue but how long it will take to realize that revenue.  

Because all activities roll up to programs and campaigns in a connected hierarchy, marketing leaders can view a summary of how the marketing plan will help to hit strategic goals. As they drill down through the plan hierarchy, the impact chart dynamically updates to show which activities are likely to deliver results on time, and which may fall short.  

Wait . . . but how?

Getting to this view requires users to make some assumptions, including:  

  • Volume – the number of responses expected at the top of a funnel.
  • Conversion – the percent of responses that will progress through each stage in the funnel. 
  • Velocity – the rate of speed at which they progress through the funnel. 
  • Value – the value of a response converting through the funnel. 

The best way to determine these metrics for your business is by using historical campaign performance. But if not, make some best guesses based on industry benchmarks from Forrester, Uptempo’s marketing planning crash course, or other trusted industry sources.   

Setting these default metrics in Uptempo is straightforward but nuanced. You can set default conversion rates for a specific attribute like persona. For example, let’s say you target sales and marketing buyers, but they convert into opportunities at different rates. When an activity is created that targets one of these personas, the impact modeler predicts different outcomes.  

Make data-driven marketing planning a reality

Plan integrity is a simple, yet powerful concept that gives you confidence your marketing plans will deliver for the business, and the agility to pivot plans before you commit time and resources bringing them to market.

Plan better, spend smarter, and execute with confidence with Uptempo.  

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