As a business owner, you have a wide variety of tools available to help you.  Both free and paid tools to help you achieve your goals. One such tool is a marketing calendar. Marketers use marketing calendars to launch their marketing campaigns in a way that is sure to contribute towards their goals using a well thought-out and structured approach, so nothing is forgotten. These calendars serve as a blueprint to identify the message you’ll convey, the channels to use, and how you should use them to distribute your message.

Marketing calendars keep you on track, ensuring that you’re using every opportunity available while ensuring that you do not fail in your efforts to build your brand. With a marketing calendar, you can rest assured that your staffing, budgeting, and planning are all taken care of, saving you thousands of dollars in the process.

The key to a having a usable marketing calendar is creating one that specifically works for you and your team. Build your calendar to suit you and be as flexible as you can with it to ensure that it suits your needs as a business. The calendar you create should make it possible for you to coordinate all your marketing endeavors in the proper order so that none of your efforts become lost in the shuffle. Done correctly, it should help you budget for your tactics and strategies. A good marketing calendar will serve as a helpful tool and won’t be a burden to complete and manage.

Creating A Marketing Calendar

Marketing calendars are generally created to address specific needs and the most successful ones tend to incorporate all marketing activities with details broken out on a weekly basis for each quarter. To create your own, consider starting with a blank calendar and outlining the seasonality and selling cycle of the services and or products you offer. Doing so will help you build the foundation to come up with a messaging that is centered around your target market and will ensure that you’re promoting your product or service during times when prospective customers and clients are looking for what it is you have to offer.

Using a Marketing Calendar

A marketing calendar will best serve you if it’s specific and spells out individual events or promotions. It is wise to include the marketing cost for all events and the results you achieved through the event. This allows you to see which strategies and activities were on target and most productive.  Here are some of the things that you should consider including in your marketing calendar if you want to see all your marketing efforts at a glance:

  • Content Pieces
  • Events
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Public Relations
  • Media Relations
  • Signage or Point of Purchase Displays Efforts
  • Email Marketing

When creating your calendar, consider incorporating spreadsheets as they’ll make it easier to view and manage all your marketing information in a flexible yet efficient manner. When creating a marketing calendar, it is important to ensure that it, and all the tools you incorporate into it, allow you to update entries, note results, and keep track of milestones. Marketing calendars aren’t just for planning future marketing efforts, they are also a record of past efforts that allow you to note strategies that worked and those that didn’t.

At a minimum, all entries on your calendar should keep track of the following:

  • Project name
  • Date the project will go live
  • The people responsible for managing it
  • Any other contractor or employee the project requires for it to get completed
  • A place to record the results or reports about the campaign’s effectiveness

Make Your Marketing Calendar Work for You

When creating a marketing calendar, it is advisable that you make it as flexible as possible. It is worth noting that there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, it is all about scaling up what works for you. The main purpose of a marketing calendar is to get results, and this is just the very first step of mapping a plan to these results.

Though marketing calendars may seem like simple organizational tools, they can turn haphazard promotions into comprehensive marketing strategies that make your business more visible and look more professional.