Take a moment to ask yourself…
Do you have a marketing plan, or are you just winging it and hoping it works?
Do you have a marketing plan, but it fell short of your expectations?
Don’t worry if you don’t have a plan or it fell short of expectations; you are not alone. We are here to give you some helpful tips on why it’s so important to have and execute the plan. Most times, plans fail because they are not implemented or followed.
Like the one we’ve included for free, a marketing calendar allows you to plan successfully, manage, collaborate, and execute campaigns, events, and product launches. It will drive your business forward and hold your stakeholders accountable for their marketing responsibilities. This calendar serves as an outline and identifies what messaging you will use and what channels you will use to distribute that message.
You can document the details and timing of what you have accomplished, allowing you to look back year after year to know what’s working, what isn’t, and how to improve your process.
Your marketing plan and calendar should be a living document that you regularly check with your marketing team to ensure you’re on the right track and make edits when necessary. Over the course of the year, your goals, events, or product launch dates may change, making it essential for your marketing calendar to be updated accordingly.
Here are a few tips for how we get the most out of our marketing calendar.
Tab 1: Quarterly Focus
- We suggest inputting any important dates throughout the year, such as events, promotions, product launches, etc.
- State your marketing goals and the primary focus for each quarter throughout the year
- Break it down even further by listing what message you want to focus on each week within that quarter
Tab 2: Q1 (Quarter One)
- Start with the current quarter you are in and focus on your initiatives for that specific quarter. (Duplicate Q1 and re-name them by quarter to plan out your entire year)
- Input your goals for each month and focus topics for each week for each of your social channels.
- Pending your team and how your organization operates, you can add sections for who is responsible for each task and even other media channels such as news releases, blog posts, etc.
Tab 3: Brand Key
- Having a brand key can help you shape the strategic direction for your business, what your brand stands for, and the communications you will use
- Hone in on who your target market is and explain in detail who your ideal client is – who do you love working with?
- Write down your client’s biggest fears and needs. This will help you address them in your communication.
- Decide on your brand theme(s). Themes fuel creativity and will help ensure you’re covering the key messages and reaching your audience.
- When you weave a theme into your business story effectively, you can drive home a very clear message that will trigger in your customer’s memory-making them more apt to buy your product or service.
- Include recent products, marketing collateral, messages, and inspiration to your toolkit so as you look back, you have suggestions to drive engagement.
Having clear objectives for each member of your marketing team laid out in advance allows for no surprises, making it much easier to drive your plan forward. It will also give your team time to prepare their content in advance.
The key to making the marketing calendar successful is to create it in a way that works for your team. Be flexible with it, and don’t be afraid to customize it specifically to your team – there is no right or wrong way. The goal of this plan is to create consistency, drive your plan forward and create massive results!
As you learn and grow, you will be able to adapt the plan to ensure it meets the needs of your business.
Fill out the form below to automatically download our Marketing Calendar Template to get started on the path to success!