What is a Marketing Planner, and Why Do You Need One?
by Julie Weishaar
January 10, 2023
What is a Marketing Planner, and Why Do You Need One

Have you ever been so couped up with tons of to-dos and tasks that you find it challenging to align your priorities?

It often happens, especially if you are the marketing lead or business owner.

You need to run from task A to B, track project completion, coordinate other team members, publish posts at a given time, and the list goes on.

Did you know that about 48% of projects couldn’t be completed, mainly due to missing deadlines or incoherences in proactive planning?

So, to avoid mixing up your tasks or missing crucial deadlines, you need a marketing planner.

But What is a Marketing Planner, and How Does it Work?

Marketing planners are digital or physical products that can sort out your tasks, strategies, and to-dos into clean layouts while giving you a holistic view of what’s urgent and what is not.

Interestingly, you are probably not strangers to one of the most used planning tools – calendars.

You can tag your schedules and assign tasks for the next seven days with a calendar. Simple, right?

That’s precisely how all marketing planning tools work. But beyond that, some marketing planners have built-in features that automatically help you do more than scheduling.

You can track your marketing progress across all sorts, from active campaigns and lead nurturing bars to project conversion rates.

Say you need to build backlinks for your client’s website as a digital agency.

Your marketing planner can include the steps you intend to take, the routes you are going through, the time for execution, and the teams or individuals responsible for the task. It can also include your progress to tick off completed tasks and avoid repetitions.

A marketing planner allows you to collaborate with other team members and visualize your marketing plans from the same software while assigning new tasks to your employees.

Types of Marketing Planners

As previously mentioned, marketing planners can be physical units like paper calendars, portable notebook planners, and whiteboards or digital units like marketing Kanban, spreadsheets,  and marketing software programs.

1.    Paper Calendars

The calendar has become an essential aspect of our lives. It is now an active component for documenting our daily to-dos as a checklist and mapping out our plans for the next year or 12 months.

However, paper calendars can do far more than planning your domestic activities.

As a marketer, you can organize your campaigns, tag the proper time to publish your blog posts, keep your drip emails in a coherent sequence, and drop a call for your cold leads at the appropriate time,

If there’s one problem with large agencies, it is the crisis of clashing campaigns.

You sometimes need to launch a content marketing and social media campaign simultaneously.

Funny enough, these two work hand-in-hand. A paper calendar will help you figure out, in time, clashing schedules and how to make it work.

Paper calendars also allow for assigning priority levels via a crude method. For example, August and September are two peak periods for selling school backpacks since students will mostly be resuming a new session by then in most countries.

You can assign a color tag with the necessary details on these two dates to signify their importance to your bag-selling business.

2.    Digital Calendars

Of course, paper calendars have a couple of restrictions too.

Your work tools are expected to be shareable in this modern world, but paper calendars can’t be shared and might sometimes be cumbersome to move around.

On the flip side, you can use a digital calendar like Google Calendar or any other calendar software. This ensures you can share your marketing schedules with others and set deadlines for each task.

Moreover, digital calendars can set up automatic notifications and alarms that keep you informed of your plans.

So, if you set January 2nd, 2023, as the next blog post publishing date, Google calendar will remind you with an alarm and ensure you complete the task.

3.    Portable Notebooks and WhiteBoard

Portable notebooks are compact but a more insightful version of paper calendars.

Moreover, you can add many inputs to a notebook planner, such as your marketing goal, process, progress, the team assigned, and deadlines.

A whiteboard is much more helpful for in-office purposes. Most whiteboard planners come with sticky notes designed to contain your marketing goals and other specific details.

The downside is that you must maximize the board’s space and ensure all your marketing info fits in.

Otherwise, you should exclude some information and keep things short.

Either way, whiteboard planners are very effective for zoomed and holistic visuals of what to do and when.

Of course, notebook and whiteboard planners still don’t solve the problem of shareability and real-time collaboration. So you should check out the following options.

4.    Digital Kanban Planning Board

Kanban is a Japanese word that means “Billboard.” It consists of columns and swimlanes.

The columns are tagged based on three notations: To Do, Doing or In Progress, and Done.

The columns can be extended into more detailed headings like Near Future, To Do, In Progress, Ready for Review, In Review, and Ready for Delivery.

The Near Future stands for projects that are not yet agreed on for processing, while To Do stands for tasks ready for execution. You can see how it entails all the stages of marketing.

So, let’s say you run a digital marketing agency. The To Do section can have swimlanes like Content, PPC, and Design.

Digital Marketing Board

Image source

A Kanban board comes with cards as well. These cards are in different colors and usually contain the task description and what a swimlane or row is about.

Note that the Kanban board can be designed as a physical unit too.

5.    Marketing Planning Software

Marketing planning software is a tool designed to plan marketing activities and all the intrinsics mentioned above.

These include tools like Coschedule, which is known for allowing users to switch between Kanban view and generic calendars.

A typical marketing planning software allows you to visualize all the needed planning features and functions.

You can move dates, tag, assign, collaborate, or even notify individuals about a planned task or for a deadline reminder.


Planning your marketing strategy, working synergistically with your team members, and ensuring the project execution can be challenging.

But a marketing planner can ensure you achieve the right things at the right time and efficiently carry out your marketing activities with precision.

If a paper calendar doesn’t work, ensure you get a digital Kanban board or opt-in for marketing planning software.

What is a Marketing Planner, and Why Do You Need One?

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  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Planners add order to the mind Julie, Sans plans, folks usually feel scatterbrained and muck things up. Good reminder here.


  2. Julie Weishaar

    Hi Ryan,

    Most definitely. It’s easy to lose track of what we are doing and end up going in all different directions without a plan.


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