Planning Best Practices

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To use Allocadia most effectively we recommend a simple workflow that starts with the top-down Targets from Finance or Marketing Operations. Once top-down targets are set, then the bottoms up planning begins, Forecasting occurs, and finally Purchase Orders (POs) and Actuals come into the system for all Marketing Activities to help you stay on target and manage your activities at every stage. The standard best practice workflow is a system our customers love and was created and refined based on industry best practices. It is possible to customize the workflow and naming conventions so it best suits your processes, and our consultants help you with that.

 

  • Plan, Forecast, POs and Actuals monthly: Out of the box, Plan, Forecast, POs and Actuals are tracked monthly. This level of granularity will allow your marketers to be accurate with their planning/forecasting without requiring a lot of administrative time to maintain. If you desire to track Plan, Forecast, and Actuals data in more broader terms, such a quarterly or yearly, reporting and variances between these values will be limited to quarter and/or yearly amounts. Reporting can only display values depending on the level of detail that is recorded.
  • Track Targets on a Quarterly Basis: This level of granularity will provide the organization with quarterly reporting to ensure the amounts provided top-down are not exceeded and if so, it is quick and easy to identify which quarter there is over spending. Similar to the previous best practice recommendation, reporting can only display values depending on the level of detail that is recorded. 
  • Use Forecast Status Tags to track the status of your spend: Forecast Status Tags enable you to track the lifecycle of your spend by tagging the forecast amount with a status. In addition to providing a visual reference within the budget, it allows for additional reporting. Allocadia’s out-of-box tags include:
    • Forecast: “What I think I am going to spend.”
    • Committed: “I have a signed agreement,” or “I have raised a PO/PR.
    • Occurred: “This activity has occurred, and the cost should be recognized in this month or quarter.”
  • Lock Plan Column(s) After the Planning Phase: After the planning phase, you should lock down the Plan Column(s) for that period to use as a benchmark. If there are changes to the plan after the columns are locked, use the Forecast Column(s) to record the updates. Once a column is locked, your users will not be able to delete any line items that contain a value in the locked column. 
  • Create Page Views to manage these columns: You can create Views to manage and organize Plan, Forecast, PO and Actual Columns in a meaningful way. For example, if you plan and forecast on a quarterly basis, your views can reflect plan and forecast columns by quarter to increase efficiency. 
  • Name Columns to Align with Internal Naming Convention: Allocadia is highly customizable, allowing you to use terminology that is familiar to your marketing team in naming your columns metrics. We recommend that all terminology changes are finalized prior to training as not to confuse users.
  • Use Performance Insights to Monitor Variances: Performance Insights show you the variances between your Top down allocation and your bottoms up plan at the top of the Budget Tab. You can easily view and adjust your marketing spend data and see how your target numbers are affected in real time. This is the only location where you can see calculations that compare top down allocation with bottoms up planning data.
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