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Blog Marketing Planner Essentials: Guide for Strategic Success

Marketing Planner Essentials: Guide for Strategic Success

A marketing planner is an incredibly useful asset for any marketer. A single source of truth for the whole team, it helps you stay on track and maximize the impact of your efforts. Whether you’re dealing with one blog post a week or a multi-staged cross-department campaign, a planner is here to be your guiding light.

But how do you get the most out of your planner? In this article, I’ll guide you through the marketing planner types and a step-by-step manual on making a planner work to your advantage. Plus, with an integrated social media calendar, it becomes even more powerful in coordinating your online presence and engagement strategy. Let’s go!

What is a marketing planner?

A marketing planner is a tool instrument that outlines and coordinates all aspects of a marketing strategy, including setting clear goals, determining target audiences, selecting channels, and measuring impact. It acts as a dynamic guide, adapting to market changes and ensuring all efforts are aligned with broader brand objectives.

Types of marketing planners

Planners come in all shapes and sizes, from paper notebooks to spreadsheets to massive all-in-one specialized marketing platforms. Each has its perks and downsides, catering to different team sizes, brand capabilities, and scale of marketing activities.


Physical planners offer a tangible and portable solution, allowing teams to sketch ideas and strategies on paper. Digital planners, on the other hand, provide a more dynamic and collaborative platform for online accessibility and real-time updates.

Specialized software, like project management tools, enables detailed planning, tracking, and collaboration, ideal for larger teams or complex campaigns. Integrated marketing management tools offer comprehensive solutions — like a centralized platform for streamlined coordination.

Digital vs. physical planners

A physical planner can be very attractive, especially for analog writing fans like myself. However, we’re in a digital era, and physical planners — although usually super cute — are just not up to the task.

The biggest advantage of digital marketing planners is collaboration. It’s much easier to share your plans and creative space with the entire team when it’s a digital spreadsheet rather than a notebook.

Besides that, finding the layout that suits your workflow can be challenging. A sound digital planner offers customization features you can leverage to make it fit your activities like a glove.

Content planner calendar in Planable

Sprinkle it with colorful tags, several views, and drag-and-drop scheduling to get a transparent single source of marketing truth. User experience, baby!

Specialized marketing software

After many experiments, I came to the conclusion that specialized marketing tools almost always win. Marketing is a distinctive field, and dedicated software caters to the peculiarities we face at work better than generic project management tools.

A marketing planner can help you automate routine tasks like scheduling, approving, and publishing content across multiple platforms.

The content planner calendar of Planable for different social media platforms

Some also provide built-in analytics tools that unite your results across all channels for a better overview. Plus, you get to ditch Meta Business Suite and all other native analytics platforms — a major advantage if you ask me.

Benefits of using a marketing planner

A streamlined marketing plan is one of the cornerstones of a successful strategy. Here’s how a planner can support your strategy and help in everyday work:

  • Improved organization

A marketing planner is your single source of truth, providing you with a birds-eye overview of all your marketing projects. Many tools include customizable views, so you can easly organize your work in a calendar, kanban board or high-level list.

  • Clear goals

Use the marketing planner to set clear and specific marketing goals, aligning them with the overall business goals.

  • Smart resource allocation

When you have your marketing activities laid out, optimizing resources and laser-focusing your efforts content and budget-wise is easier. It also helps you identify potential bottlenecks and avoid overloading your marketing team.

  • Team collaboration. 

A unified marketing plan eases coordination processes among team members. It’s especially handy in larger teams or cross-department marketing campaigns involving many people.

  • Task management

Marketing planners help organize and prioritize tasks. They reflect deadlines, required assets, responsible departments, etc. In some planners, you can assign tasks and track progress to ensure your marketing team remains on track. No more missed deadlines or stressful product launches.

How to efficiently use a marketing planner to rock marketing strategy

A marketing planner can significantly ease your initial planning process and keep all your teammates on the same page. With this easy 4-step guide, you’ll be able to leverage a marketing planner to build a solid strategy for your brand.

Step 1: Set clear marketing goals

Marketing planning begins with identifying business objectives. Approach goal setting thoughtfully to ensure you have a strong foundation for your further marketing projects. Otherwise, you might be talking to deaf ears from the beginning.

There are many frameworks for goal-setting. I recommend using the OKR framework — Objectives and Key Results — for overarching, upper-level goals. They are transparent and specifically designed to be ambitious but realistic.

Infographic showing the anatomy of the OKR framework

(Image source)

It’s quite easy to derive smaller and more specific goals and tasks from an overarching OKR goal. For instance, you want to gain a foothold in a market. Here’s what your ORK goal would look like:

Objective: Increase brand awareness in the target market.

Key Results:

  • Achieve a 20% increase in social media followers within the next quarter.
  • Generate 50,000 impressions per week on our online advertising campaigns.
  • Secure at least 10 positive mentions in industry-related publications by the end of the quarter.
  • Increase website traffic by 25% through organic search and referral sources.

Put these goals into your marketing planner as a guiding light — this is what we’re working towards this quarter. Some marketing planners visualize how close you are to achieving a specific goal.

Knowing where you stand against the desired result provides transparency that boosts morale and gives your team a purpose.

Step 2: Schedule your marketing plan

Once you have a handle on your goals, you can move to the action level and map out what you can do to achieve each key result.

Let’s consider the first key result — increased followers on social platforms. What can you do to achieve it? You’ll probably include a proper content strategy, targeted social media campaigns, and influencer collaborations.

Social media calendar with different scheduled and published posts of August

Social media calendar in Planable

Jot down a plan and outline the main directions, stages, and tasks in your marketing planner. For example, if you’re about to run an influencer campaign, your marketing plan should include:

  • The content. What will the campaign include: TikTok videos, Instagram posts, a full-scale YouTube review?
  • The people. Who on your marketing team would participate in this project?
  • The tasks. What has to be done, from sourcing the influencers to suit your target audience to distributing readymade content?
  • The budget. How much money would that cost?

Use the marketing planner to lay out your plans, schedule your content, and gather content ideas for future campaigns. The planner is both a playbook and a tool: your marketing team can always consult it to know what’s coming next and track progress to ensure you’re spot on.

Step 3: Monitor progress and KPIs

How do you know if your marketing plan is working? By gathering analytics and constantly monitoring the KPIs. Marketing projects don’t end with content planned and posted — it’s only the beginning!

Your exact KIPs and specific metrics will differ from project to project. However, among the most popular metrics for marketing projects and marketing campaigns are:

  • Brand awareness metrics 

For example, impressions, reach and mentionsImpressions show how many times users saw your content, while reach is how many unique views your content got — or how many people saw it.

  • Engagement rate

The engagement rate reflects how actively the audience interacts with your content. The formula is (Total Engagement (Likes + Comments + Shares)​ / Total Followers (or Total Reach))×100.

  • Conversion rate

It measures the percentage of people taking a desired action out of the total number of visitors. The action can be whatever your marketing campaign targets — making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, etc.

  • Traffic sources

Track the shares of your campaign traffic to understand which channels are working the best: organic search, paid advertising, social media, or other.

If you need more data to set realistic KPIs, consult the market’s benchmarks and marketing research. For example, if your marketing planning concerns SEO, check the latest reports on what a general bounce rate and conversion rate are. The FirstPageSage research for 2023 shows, that, say, a conversion rate for an IT business is 3.5% — aim for this number and iterate from it.

You can track progress using special marketing analytics tools or native analytics solutions social platforms offer. If you opt for a specialized marketing planner, chances are, it can also track analytics.

Step 4: Adjust your digital marketing strategies

Regularly review the performance metrics and data collected during the campaign. This will help you identify the successful tactics and adjust the failing ones. Your budget will thank you, and so will the target audience.

Tracking analytics enables you to tweak your marketing strategy according to the results and marketing landscape. Remember that your marketing planning is flexible. You can take action and stir from the initial plan as long as it’s a data-driven decision.

This is where a marketing planner helps a lot. Update it timely so that the whole team knows there’s been a change of plans. It’s a convenient source of up-to-date info that saves you a lot of unnecessary manual syncs, especially when you need to quickly adjust marketing plans.

Common mistakes to avoid in marketing planning

In marketing planning, trial and error is often the only way around. However, there are some common mistakes that you can steer clear of right from the start. Keep an eye out for these three mistakes:

  1. Poor goal setting

If marketing teams set poor goals from the beginning and don’t revisit them later, it significantly affects the whole project. It’s like putting a wrong course for a ship: eventually, it’ll run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere. Imagine spending months working on something that business didn’t need — pure nightmare.

  1. Lack of flexibility

We all like a good plan, but the market is an ever-changing landscape. Leave a little wiggle room for force majeur, situational marketing, or an excellent meme rising in popularity. Your marketing plan should be alive and evolving to bring results and ensure you reach your target audience.

  1. Ignoring marketing trends

Or relying on the said trends too much. Neglecting trends completely won’t do you any good in reach and conversions. Riding every trend will leave you with no brand personality and vague marketing plans. Trends are more like sprinkles on your solid marketing foundation. Jump on trends that resonate with your brand and complement your strategy.

What is the best marketing planner software?

The answer is — it all depends on the kind of projects you do. But if you’re focused on content marketing, Planable is your absolute must-try marketing planner.

Planable helps you create and manage marketing campaigns from planning to publishing. It supports all sorts of written content. Blog post, newsletter, social post, or any other type of marketing collateral — you can create it with your team right inside the platform, approve and schedule it.

Planable has the neatest content calendar with labels and multiple view options to get a general idea of your plans in one glance.

Planable's content calendar with labels and multiple view options for social media and blog posts

Content calendar with labels and multiple view options in Planable

The platform has all the formatting and collaboration features for long-form content. Campaign briefs, content templates, video scripts, anything fits in the universal content pages.

Planable's suggestions feature for getting feedback on content

Suggestions feature in Planable

Besides that, you can refine and approve your content using automated multi-level approval workflows.

Planable's multi-level approval configuration for the content team

Multi-level approval process for the content team in Planable

Planable also supports pixel-perfect previews and direct publishing for the most important social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, YouTube, TikTok, Google Business Profile, and Pinterest) and will soon release a social media analytics feature.

Maximizing the impact of your marketing planner

Integrating a marketing planner into your workflow helps you organize your efforts and focus your team on the tasks at hand. Choose a customizable, flexible planner to tailor it to your needs and ensure you get the most out of it.

Planable helps you control the marketing flow. Use the free 50 posts plan to try Planable’s marketing planner today.

Kseniia Volodina

Kseniia Volodina

Content marketer with a background in journalism; digital nomad, and tech geek. In love with blogs, storytelling, strategies, and old-school Instagram. If it can be written, I probably wrote it.

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