Online whiteboards exploded onto the scene in 2020 as everyone suddenly worked from home. The virtual collaboration and interactivity of online whiteboards helped teams work together, but for digital marketers, something way bigger and unexpected happened.
Marketing teams quickly discovered that online whiteboards solved the age-old problem of disparate marketing channels. Until recently, marketers worked in silos. The social media team only worried about social media. The paid search team only worried about paid search. The content marketing team only worried about…you get the gist.
For the first time, every team could visually align their strategies, plans, creative ideas, and performance metrics on the same online whiteboard, creating a single source of truth for everyone.
Here’s how online whiteboards are giving digital marketers the tools and visibility to finally deliver a truly seamless customer experience.
What Is An Online Whiteboard?
Online whiteboards are interactive workspaces where teams can collaborate in a bunch of different ways like posting sticky notes, sharing charts, slides, videos, and pretty much any other type of file that is valuable to the project.
Unlike the physical whiteboards in the office, online boards are infinite. You can add as many projects or discussions as you’d like to a canvas. Instead of having disparate files on a drive that remain static, everything you need to make smart marketing decisions exists in a visual layout.
The information on the canvas also doubles as documentation, so everyone always has access to the most updated files, and you can work asynchronously to add to the discussion. The possibilities for collaboration are endless.
How Digital Marketers Use Online Whiteboards
One of the pros of online whiteboards is its limitless flexibility. You can add whatever you want and organize the information in a workflow that shows the big picture.
For example, if you want to see how last quarter’s social media campaign worked with your content and SEM initiatives, you can put all the metrics side-by-side in a visual layout. This allows each team to tell their story in the context of the other channels as opposed to separately where you can’t connect the dots.
To get a better idea of how marketers get the most out of these virtual boards, we caught up with Eitan Helman who is Head of Growth Marketing for Miro, a leading online whiteboard tool.
“I can’t imagine marketing meetings without an online whiteboard. We do all of our marketing meetings in Miro. All of our sprint planning, daily standups, reviews, and retrospectives. We can put everything on the boards, and let each participant comment, present their ideas, and vote on what we each like.”
Eitan and his team have brought every phase of the marketing process into an online board from qualitative research and strategy to creative development and retrospectives. Every channel owner can see what others are doing and align their work accordingly. Eitan added,
“The board can embed anything like slides, graphs, videos…whatever the file, you can bring them together. This enables each person to work in the tool they know best, but then share it together on the same board. We don’t have to switch between tools to see the big picture”
The best part — digital marketers don’t have to reinvent the wheel when they move their marketing process to online whiteboards. There are already dozens of templates created by other marketing teams that you can use to get started.
Eitan recommends starting out with some of the foundational canvas templates like Customer Journey Mapping, Campaign Design, and Retrospectives. Let’s take a closer look.
Marketing is all about engaging the customer at the right times with the right messages. A customer journey map enables marketers to visually follow their customers as they interact with the product. This gives you the information and context to anticipate your customers’ needs.
When you map out the customer journey on an online whiteboard, the entire team can spot opportunities from the first customer interaction all the way through to helping them achieve their goals.
At Miro, Eitan and his team use the map along with customer personas as a guide to design campaigns. And because the canvases are limitless, they can add the campaigns right next to the customer journey to ensure they are hitting every touchpoint.
Here’s a customer journey map template that can get you up and running in a few minutes.
Campaign design aligns your marketing channels and builds a single source of truth for your entire marketing campaign by bringing everything together in one top-line view. With an online whiteboard, every stakeholder contributes to the 360-degree plan that covers every digital marketing initiative.
Miro’s marketing team plans all their campaigns this way.
“Marketing involves so many roles from design and product to writers and managers. All our channels can be presented on the same board to see the campaign holistically. Then you can get very tactical. For example, you can show wireframes, decision-making trees, and workflows visually and track them beside the customer journey.”
The campaign design template in Miro allows you to keep all the relevant files and details related to each channel closely linked to an overall marketing plan. This way, anyone can log on to the whiteboard and immediately understand the strategy, creative ideas, and tactics behind each aspect of the bigger campaign.
Retrospectives are a time to reflect on the past campaign by viewing performance metrics and discussing ways to improve for next time. Before online whiteboards, these meetings usually consisted of each team presenting their own static slides and telling their version of what happened.
When you bring a retrospective into an online whiteboard, you can go over the entire project, bringing together content, social media, design, email, PPC, SEO, etc. Everyone can view the campaign holistically to see how channels work as a unified customer experience.
“In our retrospective, we can see everything we did side-by-side to see exactly what happened. You can zoom in to a specific project to discuss and then zoom back out to see the entire plan. This allows the team to understand how each project fits into a bigger strategy that we are all responsible for.”
There are several ways to run a retrospective depending on your team make-up and campaign objectives. Miro’s template library has over 40 retrospective canvases to try out, including this Run a Retrospective template created by the marketing team at Dropbox.
Give your customers the experience they deserve
Online whiteboards offer digital marketers a limitless canvas to plan and refine their campaigns in amazing detail. For marketing agencies and freelancers, online whiteboards can also strengthen client relationships by letting them collaborate in the process in real-time.
As you know, customers don’t care about marketing channels. They only see companies and make decisions based on the entire brand experience. With online whiteboards, digital marketers can now give customers that cohesive and compelling experience.
If you’re a freelancer, agency, or consultant looking for new ways to elevate your offering with online whiteboards, we invite you to join the Miro Professional Network.
By becoming a member of the network, you can get a free Miro workspace with advanced features for a year (if you are a small team of up to 5 people) or enjoy a free Miro trial for three months (for teams of 6+ people).