Beginner SmartSuite Tutorial: How to Plan a Marketing Campaign Using Project Management Tools and Templates

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Marketing drives lead generation and sales, so whether you’re a company of one or one hundred, it’s vital to running a successful business. Today’s video looks at using workflow software to plan and organize a marketing campaign and is a great beginner’s tutorial for new SmartSuite users and those new to marketing. 

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Using SmartSuite project management/workflow tools to manage your marketing campaigns keeps all the moving parts centralized and streamlined, preventing vital tasks from slipping through the cracks. Keeping in mind that marketing brings the money in, a systematic approach to tracking and organizing promotional information and materials is a good investment.

How to Create a Marketing Plan in SmartSuite

Rather than creating a marketing plan elsewhere and importing the details, we will develop a plan in SmartSuite from the start. Not only will this keep everything unified but using some handy tricks like adding Default Values and SmartSuite Automations will make things easier as your business grows, roles change, and new team members join by standardizing formats and reducing future data entry.

In the video tutorial, Layla begins with a SmartSuite Marketing Campaigns Template. Templates make great SmartSuite beginner’s guides and provide a framework that those new to marketing planning can follow as well. 

Locating the SmartSuite Marketing Campaigns Template 

  • Click Add New Solution > Start with Template from the main SmartSuite workspace.
  • Search for “marketing” in the Solution Templates window.
  • Click Marketing Campaigns > Use Template to load it into your account (timestamp 00:40).

Creating a New Campaign

When you Add a New Record, you’ll see Campaign Details and other default sections like Channels and Content and Campaign Results. All you have to do is fill them out.

Under Campaign Details, you will find everything you need to plan a successful and measurable campaign.

Enter your project brief in the Purpose & Goals section. These details let team members know the how and why of the campaign specifics. 

It’s hard to track success if you don’t know what it looks like, so be sure to add your Key Performance Indicators to the KPI section. For example, these might include quantified increases in subscribers or qualified leads. 

Pro Tip: Do you want to use full-featured formatting in your text boxes? Hover over a section box and click the Action Menu indicated by the three small dots in the upper right corner. You can select Modify Field Settings and choose SmartDoc to incorporate paragraphs, formatting, and font styles into your text. This also enables you to use slash commands to add images, dates, divider lines, and even emojis to the SmartDoc field (timestamp 02:10). 

Using Default Text to Streamline Campaign Creation

Whether you have a project brief format saved elsewhere or are creating one from scratch, you’ll want to enter your finalized content in the Default Text section of some of your Fields, so it’s in place whenever someone creates a new Record. Field Defaults save time and keep things consistent. 

Modify Field Settings as above and switch to the Defaults tab. Whatever you enter here will be applied to all new Records. 

Use Defaults settings for all fields where you know the value. This might be the assignee, like your marketing manager, campaign budget, KPIs, etc.

Pro Tip: Want to quickly delete the SmartSuite default data from the Marketing Campaign Template? You can erase the sample entries by heading to the main menu at the Solutions level in your Workspace and selecting Delete Template Demo Data from the bottom of the dropdown menu (timestamp 04:00).

Delivering the Details with SmartSuite Project Management Features 

Once you have the main structure of your marketing campaign outlined, such as the project brief, goals, and KPIs, it’s time to dive into the specific tasks that deliver results. In the video, Layla adds new Fields and demonstrates how to use Sub Items and Checklist Fields (renamed Major Milestones and Marketing Tasks, respectively) to add new levels of detail to our sample campaign (timestamp 04:45). 

Remember, you can enter text and data into the Defaults tab of each Field Setting to apply it to all newly created records. You can also add new Custom Fields from the Fields to Display section or hide unnecessary Fields to clean up your view. 

Putting It All Together with Relational Linked Record Fields

If you’ve been following along with the SmartSuite video tutorial, you should have added your high-level data and tasks to a new Campaign Record. Moving down a template section to Channels & Content, we can add more details and link them together. 

If you already have Channels or Brand Assets entries, you can establish those Linked Record Fields here. If you don’t, you can create a New Record that is automatically linked. For example, creating an Email Marketing Channel for this campaign makes the Channel Record “Email Marketing,” which can now be applied to any other existing or new campaigns. Using Defaults as outlined above, any Checklist Fields or Sub Items explicitly created for the channel Email Marketing will be applied to future campaigns saving you time.

See how to adjust the view of Linked Records to your preferred display (timestamp 09:40).

Keep Everyone in the Loop with SmartSuite Notifications

Now that you’ve created a comprehensive marketing plan in SmartSuite, it’s time to notify the team. The easiest way to do this is to look to the upper right corner of the Campaign window and choose Add/View Comments. Here you can Start a New Discussion to add comments and tag teams or team members to let them know about all your hard work. You can upload screenshots or images, provide status updates, or give details about each campaign (timestamp 10:00). 

These comments will appear in each member’s Notification Center. You can take it a step further and add a simple SmartSuite Automation to send an email or Slack message as another head’s up for team members to log in and check out the details of your new marketing campaign.

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Layla is the Creator and CEO at ProcessDriven, where she helps small teams turn chaos into process inside our signature training programs. Since 2018, Layla has been combining software, operations, and storytelling to guide 1,200+ teams to “Enjoy the Process!” while building a scalable foundation of business systems. The rest of the time? She's focused on creating value over on our YouTube Channel and free Facebook Group.