Yes, is the answer! Whether you trade as business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), you absolutely need a marketing calendar.
What is a marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is way of organising your marketing activity throughout the year. It doesn’t need to be fancy, an excel spreadsheet is perfect, allowing you to update as you go.
In this blog, I focus on the B2C marketing calendar. If however you’re a B2B, you can skip to my second post here, written specifically for you.
How far ahead should my marketing activity commence?
In B2C businesses, having a calendar is particularly relevant to enable you to plan campaigns around seasonal events such as Easter, summer and Christmas. A retailer will know when they need to be marketing for any given event. Wholesalers will be marketing even earlier to serve those retailers.
As a rule of thumb,your activity needs to commence 3-4 months ahead of when you want the business. Retailers will start their Christmas campaigns in September to catch the early birds, with wholesalers marketing their goods in the Spring. For Easter, those eggs will be in the shops right after Christmas!
Don’t forget the troughs
Not only will your calendar ensure you make the most of your peaks, it will also highlight times of inactivity. Fill those times too! My previous blog about diversification has some great ideas on increasing sales in your slower times.
One of my clients is an English language centre, typically their quieter months are December to February. To combat this they promote a winter buy one get one free offer at the end of the summer. Kicking off this campaign early ensures they don’t arrive in winter with no bookings.
So it’s clear that for marketing to be effective, activities should be planned in advance. Using the spreadsheet, detail individual tasks within your campaign, when they are to be completed and by who. By planning your marketing activity in this way, you’ll be able to plan your resources so that everything happens when it should. It may take some time to compile, but it will keep you on track when it matters.
The old adage of failing to plan means you plan to fail is never more relevant than here.
If you’d like help to implement any of my advice, why not contact me to arrange a Free Business Review? This is a genuinely free 2 hour session whereby I’ll come into the business and spend two hours giving you advice to make positive changes. Click here to arrange yours now.
Have a great month!