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What You Call the Thing Matters

A common feature of unaligned teams is that they tend to lack a shared language to describe the work that they do.

This is especially common among marketing teams, where definitions can be ambiguous and buzzwords abound.

Beyond simple semantics, differences in language can present hurdles to team collaboration. To build repeatable and scalable processes, you need a degree of specificity as to what that process entails.

Launching a campaign is different from building a program. And building a program is different from building a playbook. Some may argue this is just semantics and that these are all interchangeable words for the act of “doing marketing”.

In reality, clearly defining and delineating these terms will help improve project management practices and align team members.

A campaign is an external-facing project with start and end dates, a defined audience and goal, call-to-action, and at least one channel.

Ex: We just launched a new retargeting campaign promoting our newest white paper across LinkedIn and Google Display Network.

A program is an ongoing project designed to deliver on specific goals. A program can include multiple campaigns, unified by a common goal or theme.

Ex: Our upsell program relies on exposing customers to new products and features through in-app messaging and surfacing product usage data to CSMs to identify upsell opportunities.

Ideally, a shared lexicon among team members is created organically; as a result of building effective teams and aligning on shared goals and strategies.

A new post from the always insightful VGR titled “Lands of Lorecraft” touches on this topic a bit.