What Is a Marketing Calendar?
A marketing calendar is a schedule of opportunities for effective marketing, as well as a tracker for observing successfully completed business plans. A well-executed marketing calendar gives a lot of information as to what has been done through the year, what is currently being worked on, and what is to be accomplished in the future.
How to Create a Marketing Calendar
A marketing calendar is like any other calendar; it has a date, month, and year indicator, but it does have slight variations though, such as a detailed schedule of events and campaigns that help improve your business. To help you make your marketing calendar, here are a few tips you can follow:
1. Set Your Intentions
When you make your calendar, what do you plan to do with it? Is it your schedule of events? Your reference for when certain marketing campaign methods are viable? Or maybe a track record of company projects that can reach up to 12 months? Maybe all of the aforementioned? Whatever you plan to do with your calendar will determine its purpose for the rest of the year so make sure you do your research well.
2. Know When to Utilize Marketing Strategies…
A marketing calendar is a great way to not only track strategy viability, but also when to schedule them. For example, if a supermarket has a marketing calendar, they can create promos and sails according to periods of time in the calendar like vacations, or the 4th of July, or the back-to-school rush, and can plan ahead on what to have on sale, etc. One thing you need to remember is that you want to be diverse in your marketing strategy so that you don't seem monochromatic. You can engage your customers in many approaches such as ad campaigns, suggestive signages, email marketing, tapping into social media, and certain events that you specialize in as a company.
3. … And Be Aware of the Seasons
This is somewhat similar to the previous tip, except that it focuses more on events like national holidays, or certain seasons of the year. A few examples of this can be Christmas sales, summer bazaars, springtime cleaning supply sales, and whatever is trending during the fall. A helpful tip you can try is to think of what each month of the year brings, or how is each month of the year special and try to capitalize on that using the project plans listed in tip #2.
4. Give Time for Cushions and Revisions
Like any schedule, the best calendars are always the ones you can make quick adjustments to if needed and are malleable. They should be flexible enough to allow space for change should anything need to be revised (like a failed project or what used to be trending on that particular period of time is no longer a hit), and give little pockets of time or "cushions" in-between events and campaigns to give your team prep time. Also, when preparing your calendar, don't make one just weeks away from the new year. Try to prepare months in advance so that when it is needed, it's already fully functional.
5. Update Regularly
Now that you prepared your new marketing calendar months in advanced, update your team and coworkers of what is to be done the following year. Updating your calendar to keep up with your marketing cycle is good, updating your calendar and your team on what the plans are the following year is the best thing you can do if you want your marketing calendar to be at its most efficient.