For all of you managers and artists out there trying to build your profile, you should really have a marketing plan. This does not have to be a traditional marketing plan with a fancy cover page, table of contents and footnotes. You just need to have a plan. Writing the plan into some sort of document, even in point form, is a good practice as it forces you to think out all of the aspects of your project. As a starting point, I begin with a template (click here to download). I like to get all of the key people that are part of a project together as a team to build the marketing plan. I find this to be positive for a few reasons. First of all, several brains equate to more ideas and knowledge than one, and by having your artist and your team at the table, people take ownership in the project and build a clearer understanding of their role in the overall project.
This is the method that we used:
1. Preparation: Give everyone the template at least a week in advance so that they can review and brainstorm some thoughts on their own. Everyone should research any domains within the template with which they are not familiar. Indicate proposed budget and desired timeframe. If you have a distribution partner, agent, label rep, radio tracker or PR publicist, encourage them to either join the entire session or, if more appropriate, you may want to schedule them in at a few points over the session. For example, your distributer should probably attend the chat about distribution strategy.
2. The session: Plan to take at least two to three full days. Dial in a detailed itinerary with estimates on how much time will be spent on each topic. Designate someone to be the note keeper and someone else should lead the session. The note keeper will use the marketing plan document template and convert it into the marketing plan (first draft) by entering all of the ideas and discussion highlights under each heading of the plan template.
3. Finishing and maintaining the plan: After the session, everyone walks away with a draft plan. There will likely be a few things you are waiting on for the budget and perhaps even a few things that you want more advice on. Depending on what time is needed, set a deadline for which the plan needs to be complete and put a push on getting what you need together as quickly as possible. Finalize the document, check for spelling and grammar, and tada! You now have a complete plan.
4. Executing the plan: This is where Marcato comes in. It starts with the obvious: create a message two weeks before the session, including the template and a summary of the marketing plan process. After some discussion, an event is setup for the session and tasks for any research required before the session are entered. Create tasks to order food, reservations and some hospitality for the team. Once the draft is done after the session, the message thread runs along for a week as the team collaborates on the final document. Now the real action begins. Turn to the page on your marketing plan called “Plan of action”. This is the part of the plan where everything that is mentioned within the plan is laid out chronologically. Enter all of this information as tasks, deadlines events and bookings. You are essentially bringing all of the elements of your plan into a project, assigning each task to those responsible. With Marcato’s automatic reminders, you can be sure to remind everyone of their deadlines and keep key people notified of the project’s status. At your weekly meeting, you can view the task list in order of date and importance, and constantly adapt and tweak your strategy as you go. Everything that you change within Marcato will automatically notify those who need to be kept in the loop.
From plan to execution, organization and focus can be maintained within Marcato.