Using a marketing calendar
Many business owners may not necessarily be doing their marketing planning this way or may choose to be doing this in a similar way. Either way, using a marketing calendar can be hugely successful strategy to grow your business through effective marketing.
What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is a way to organize your marketing activity to specific dates or deadlines relevant to the target markets of your business;
For example a florist could target mother’s day marketing and promotion. It may be a more general month target of for instance targeting Christmas shoppers in November. It can also be used to schedule information or promotion to clients who have been engaged to services for a specific period, such as an insurance company may wish to do certain marketing activities prior to renewal dates for instance.
A marketing calendar can be a way of aiming at different key target markets throughout the year and aligning all the marketing efforts for greater impact in gaining your target markets.
You may also notice trends at certain times of the year, which you may choose to attempt to exploit more fully in your marketing calendar planning. For instance a financial planner may see a spike in new year resolutions leading to more interest in wealth creation early in the new year.
How to do a marketing calendar?
Your marketing calendar is a working document you can revise and update throughout the plan year. A marketing calendar should be simple. I recommend a simple spreadsheet matrix with months or dates with your key target market type described along with the key marketing efforts directed at that target market.
Go back and review your target markets.
A good business should know exactly who or what kind of client or customers it would like. Remind yourself the types of target markets that you may be winning more, make more money from, have more competitive strengths in, more specialized in or even just downright enjoy more. The key is don’t be too broad or have too many. The more specific your target market is, the easier your marketing becomes and chance of marketing success.
Review all of your marketing activity
If you haven’t already done so, go on and write down all your marketing efforts in detail and check on just how effective each marketing tool is for you. To state the obvious you should then consider putting more focus on the ones that work and eliminating the ones that don’t work. You could also try to match certain ones to the different target markets.
Some examples of your marketing efforts maybe be:
• Social media
• Referral partners
• Business networking
• Paid online marketing
• Asking for referrals
• Web blogging or SEO
What if this doesn’t apply to your type of business?
Perhaps your business is not at all dependent on the date or time of the year. If so, consider just having after care schedules to perhaps ask for referrals or cross sell you at a certain point after a sale.
Where do I find the time to do this?
Well often business owners do not get out of the business long enough to develop some systems to improve their businesses. If this is the case they are unlikely to get different results.
So they need to look at ways to free up their time to devote in this area. This can be achieved by delegating or training staff to be more capable and giving the business owner more time to develop their business.
Otherwise they may simply outsource their marketing and grow their business that way.
Some other examples
• One business owner says he arranges a highly discounted sale of stock or wrongly sized materials. As well as clearing out stock, staying tidy, it brought in new people into his showroom and lead to sale of his real product too.
• Use a regular say monthly newsletter of useful information or stock listing to your customer list. It will be a great way to keep you in mind of the customers. You may also be inviting them to buy or use your services at the perfect time they may be considering that very purchase at that time.
• Curiously at times of elections spending can slump in economies. So you could factor this into your marketing calendar too.
Here are some reasons why a marketing calendar will help your business grow
1. having a plan gets you to a destination. You will be efficient in knowing what to do at certain times of the year and can repeat these year in year out.
2. Focusing on less gets you a better result. Improving your efficiency from your marketing tools will get you better results.
3. More clients and customers come with more marketing activity. Thinking in this way and implementing a system to gain new clients will be effective in improving your sales.
4. Improve your branding and reputation. Honestly, being consistent and having good marketing activity will make you appear to be an even more successful business therefore attracting more clients and customers.
5. Become more productive. By working on your business you will learn how to outsource and delegate. This will also get your more profit or results with your time.