Marketing initiatives

Initiatives are high-level efforts that help you achieve your goals. Adding initiatives to Aha! helps you weave strategy throughout your planning process. Every campaign or program that you plan will drive towards one or more of your initiatives. Schedules, master activities, and activities can be directly linked to the initiative they impact. Linking the work to initiatives ensures that your marketing team is delivering what matters.

Initiatives are often achievable within 3-12 months but can sometimes be longer term. You can create them at any level in your hierarchy and roll them up from the workspace to the company level. For example, your "Launch integrated content hub" initiative at the workspace level may take 6 months, but it is rolled up to the "Develop challenger brand marketing program" initiative at the marketing line level — which may take the entire year to fulfill.

Ways to use initiatives

After you create initiatives, you can use them to:

  1. Track and share strategy with your team and key stakeholders using Aha! presentations.
  2. Explain the relative value and effort of each initiative by manually dragging them to the chart on the Strategy > Initiatives page.
  3. Based on relative value and effort, you can rank or order them within the list, and the Initiative rank can be exposed as an attribute in analytics reports. Show your progress using the Progress field which is located on each initiative.
  4. You can also link the related goals and initiatives to the Time frame in which they are expected to be completed. This allows teams to do long-term strategic planning and then filter based on the time frame to keep the team focused on what is next.

Create an initiative

Follow these steps to create a new initiative.

  1. Navigate to Strategy > Initiatives.
  2. Click Add initiative and then enter the initiative name and a description.
  3. To roll it up to an initiative at the marketing line level, select a marketing line from the Roll up to marketing line initiative dropdown.
  4. To link the initiative to a goal, select a goal from the Link initiative to Goals dropdown.

Link an existing initiative to a goal

While initiatives can be used as independent entities, you can also link them to goals. Linking initiatives to goals will help you define and show what is necessary to achieve your goals.

For example, your goal may be to increase your social presence by 300,000 followers in Q3. You can link this goal directly to initiatives that are related to improving the quality and frequency of your social posts. You may also have a goal at a marketing line level related to revenue or audience engagement which will also be linked to these initiatives.

Follow these steps to link an existing initiative to a goal.

  1. Navigate to Strategy > Initiatives. (You can also link them from the Strategy > Goals page.)
  2. Select an initiative to open the details drawer.
  3. Click the Goals field and then select goals that are at the same level or higher in your marketing hierarchy.

Link an initiative to an activity 

Linking activities to initiatives allows you to show the strategic importance behind why activities are being prioritized.

To link an initiative to an activity:

  1. Go to Activities > Board.
  2. Click on an activity to open the details card and then click in the Initiative field.
  3. Choose one of the following:
    • Select an initiative from the dropdown.
    • Select Add initiative, enter the appropriate information, and then click Create initiative.

Link an initiative to a schedule

You can also link initiatives to schedules. By considering which initiatives (and goals) a schedule impacts, you can identify what does and does not matter. Clearly defined initiatives keep the team on track and enable you to tell key stakeholders why your plan is the best strategy.

To link an initiative to a schedule:

  1. Navigate to Activities > Board. (You can also link schedules to initiatives from Strategy > Initiatives or Plans > Gantt.)
  2. Click on a schedule to open the schedule details drawer and then click the Initiatives field.
  3. Select one or more initiative from the dropdown.
  4. Click X to close the details card and save your changes.

Note: Child records do not inherit initiative links from parent records. For example, linking an initiative to a schedule will not link any activities associated with that schedule back to the initiative. Read this article if you also want to link goals to schedules or other Aha! records.

The initiatives board

To view your initiatives in a kanban-style board, click the workflow view button Aha-workflow-view-button.png located in the upper left corner of any screen in the Strategy > Initiatives section. The workflow view offers a way to help you easily move, compare, and prioritize initiatives across your organization. To move initiatives between statuses, drag an initiative card from one status column to another. Use the customize view button Aha_customize_view.png to configure the initiative cards or statuses that appear on the board. 

Filter initiatives

To filter your initiatives by status or time frame, navigate to Strategy > Initiatives and click one of the filter dropdowns in the top-left corner.

Chart and compare initiatives

You can visualize your initiatives on the chart to help you better understand which initiatives to pursue. Drag your initiatives on the chart to compare them against one another.

Edit initiative axis labels

You can also customize the axis labels to use terminology that fits how you want to map them. Click on the default labels and axis values on the grid to edit them. Then type in the new value or metric.

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