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New Marketing Calendar in SAP Marketing Cloud – Get the visibility you deserve!

Overview

As of 1911, SAP Marketing Cloud delivers a new Marketing Calendar app. The original Marketing Calendar is deprecated and no longer available as of 2005.

Why a new Marketing Calendar? The original Marketing Calendar was based on an aging technology and it couldn’t be used to provide the features requested by customers. For example:

  • Improve real estate for better visualization.
  • Provide enhanced filtering.
  • Show other marketing objects than campaigns.
  • Compare marketing objects on different timelines. For example, campaigns in Q1 and campaigns in Q2.

This blog post provides an overview of the features. The term Marketing Calendar is used in the rest of the text and refers to the new Marketing Calendar.

Features

Visualization of marketing objects

As of 2002, marketing events and custom business objects can be visualized together with campaigns in the Marketing Calendar.

Marketing events represent, for example, webinars hosted by platforms like ON24. The Marketing Events application is used to give an overview of those events.

Custom business objects are objects that are created using the Custom Business Objects application. They can be used to represent marketing relevant objects coming from external systems, like trade promotions from SAP CRM, or marketing milestones that are important to consider for your marketing processes and planning.

Note that real estate is improved. We also enable what we call paging, both vertically and horizontally. For example, if the requested number of campaigns is greater than 100, the system only shows the 1st 100 campaigns and allows the user to request the next page of 100 campaigns:

  • Vertically, by clicking the More button.
  • Horizontally, by scrolling to a different time horizon.

This ensures responsiveness.

By clicking an object shown in the Marketing Calendar, a popover is shown with selected fields. This popover can be adjusted to your need. Refer to section Extensibility of this blog post for details.

Extensibility

The new Marketing Calendar is extensible to provide the flexibility to:

  • Filter on custom fields values.
  • Color based on custom fields values.
  • Add additional fields to the popover.

To enable filtering and coloring using custom fields, as well as making them available to be added to the popover, you use the Custom Fields and Logic application where you create custom fields for campaigns and enable them for Marketing Calendar.

It is then available for filtering:

It is also available for the color functionality:

To add additional fields to the popovers of campaigns, events, or custom business objects enabled for the Marketing Calendar, you use the Key User Adaption Tool. You add custom fields and available standard field.

More information in the Key User Adaption Tool online documentation.

More information in the SAP Marketing Cloud extensibility guide.

More information on the Custom Fields and Logic in the  Marketing Cloud extensibility guide.

Enhanced filtering

The Marketing Calendar is using a flexible Fiori control that provides more flexibility for filtering objects. For example, by providing complex operators for text based and amount filter.

Fields that have codes lists also provide value helps with discrete values, which improves usability.

The campaign filter also supports filtering on spend item fields, including custom fields. This is useful for filtering campaign based on the spend types or any fields defined on the spend item level, including custom fields.

Secondary calendar

The secondary calendar opens below the primary calendar. It can have a synchronized timeline with the primary calendar or have its own. In this case, the scrollbars of both calendars are completely independent. The secondary calendar can be used to compare, for example, campaigns in Q1 and those in Q2.

It also can be used to separate the view between 2 objects for the same timeline. In this case, only the vertical scrollbars are independent from each other.

Coloring marketing objects

Objects in the Marketing Calendar are shown with a default color. The color is set by object type. For example, all campaigns have the same color which is grey, events are purple, and custom business objects are green. As of 2005, it is possible to enable the coloring of objects in the Marketing Calendar based on their fields and values. The coloring feature is two-fold:

  • Setting up which fields should be used, and which colors should be associated to a value.
  • Using the colors in the Marketing Calendar.

Setting Up Colors

Setting up colors is done under the Calendar Settings and is carried on by a key user.

Only fields that have a discrete set of values bound to a code list can be used. For example, free text, dates, amounts, cannot be used for coloring object.

SAP provides a set of 11 standard colors approved for accessibility. However, it is possible to use any color from the color palette.

The color setup provides a placeholder value for all fields that can be used for coloring. It is called Other. Other is used for all values for which a specific color was not selected. For example, the campaign status value In Approval is set to red and the campaign status Released is set to green. No other values have a specific color. Then all other status values are colored using the color set for the value Other. Note that you can set any color to the value Other, like you can do for any other values.

A preview is available in the settings dialog where you can have an overview of the fields and colors that have been selected.

It is always possible to reset to the default delivered colors, which is by object types. Note that if you use the reset, it will reset ALL objects to the delivered color.

In the standard delivery, the authorization to set colors is part of the marketing manager delivered role. You can assign the authorization to the users that should have this responsibility.

More information on roles in the  SAP Marketing Cloud administration guide.

Using Colors

Once the colors are set, the users of the Marketing Calendar can use the fields to color the objects.

If you save a variant while a color scheme is applied, the color scheme is saved as part of the variant. Note that, if the settings are changed, it applies the color scheme that is part of a variant. For example, if the color for the campaign status In Preparation is changed from blue to green, green will be applied when the variant is selected. If a field is removed from the color settings, and variant was saved with this color scheme, an error message will be shown to the user. For example, the campaign custom field Goal was setup for coloring and a user saved a variant with this color scheme. When the variant is selected again, an error message will be shown to the user informing that some fields are no longer existing to color the object. The default color will apply.

Exporting to PDF

The Marketing Calendar view can be exported to a PDF.

The functionality enables you to have a hard copy which can be shared off-line.

Conclusion

The new Marketing Calendar provides more flexibility on filtering and visualization. However, there are missing features. For example:

  • Visualizing programs.
  • Dragging and dropping campaigns on the timeline.
  • Filter campaigns using tags.

Those features are part of the roadmap.

I would like to hear from you. Provide your feedback and use cases. Tell us what you think! Why not using our customer influence request tool, under the category Marketing Planning and Performance, to enrich our backlog?

More Information

Marketing Calendar online documentation in SAP Marketing Cloud application help.

Marketing Events online documentation in SAP Marketing Cloud application help.

For more information on how to enable custom business objects in the new Marketing Calendar, refer to  SAP Marketing Cloud extensibility guide.

For more information on how to model an SAP CRM trade promotion objects as custom business object and visualize it in the new Marketing Calendar, this this blog post https://blogs.sap.com/2020/02/05/modeling-a-trade-promotion-object-with-a-custom-business-objects-in-sap-marketing-cloud/.

For more information on Marketing Planning and Performance, watch this video.

3 Comments
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  • Old Marketing calendar app had some functionalities that I do not see in the new app: export to spreadsheet (not PDF), create a campaign directly from the app and also “Group by” button. Have these been removed from new app?

    Thank you

    • We don’t offer export to Excel but we offer export to PDF. It is not planned at this point to offer an export to Excel. I would be interested to understand why an export to Excel is necessary and what are the use cases for it.

      For create campaign, we currently also do not offer it. We heard different feedback from customers where some would like it and some not. We do offer creation of campaign in the marketing plans, which is used for planning. The new Marketing Calendar aims, for now, to be a view only app to have more visibility on the different marketing objects.

      For the grouping functionality, it was announced in the What’s New that it is planned for release 2008.

      Customer are most welcome to file influence requests https://influence.sap.com/sap/ino/#/campaign/38/ideas?campaign=38. We take the requests seriously, and based on the number of votes on each request, we consider them in our backlog and roadmap. It is important that the uses cases are clearly explained.

      Roxana Marcu