By: Michelle L. Cramer
Chances are, you have an idea in your head of what your marketing efforts look like. And you probably even have a few dates floating around when you plan to implement certain things. But it’s likely that it’s all just a disorganized jumble… and maybe on a slew of sticky notes scattered around your desk and office (or maybe even a Google calendar reminder or two).
Set Things in Stone
A marketing calendar is really a necessity for staying on task with your marketing goals and seeing your business grow. However, we’re not oblivious to the fact that putting a marketing calendar together for the first time can be intimidating. Start small; you’ll be surprised at how it soon comes naturally to effectively plan ahead.
“The starting point would be just putting when you events are on your calendar and making sure to set up an email broadcast to go out to customers two weeks before your event – one email is a good start,” Ali Reynolds, our co-founder and sales manager, advises. “Give yourself a reminder two weeks before your event so that you can get the email written and sent out in a reasonable amount of time.”
Ali also believes that having a Facebook page for your business is a good way to start toward a full-fledged marketing calendar, because posting to social media should be a part of your efforts. “And reach out to a marketing company and ask for a free consultation – most companies will do that and there’s value in that, even if you don’t end up hiring them,” she says.
Help is Available
The Get Smart Group, of course, offers free consultations. Beyond that, however, we can assist you in the process of getting your marketing calendar fully established for the rest of the year. We have a couple of options when it comes to full-involvement:
- Managing Your Marketing Calendar – This starts with an in-person meeting where we come to your office and sit down with you to establish your marketing calendar for the year. We examine your deliverables and make a corresponding plan, broken down by month. Then we provide you with a proposal for the monthly management of your marketing calendar and take it from there. You put the work in our hands.
- Kick-Start Day of Marketing – The second option is for us to come for a planning day, lay out a monthly plan for the year and simply charge a fee for the planning process. You take it from there and implement all of the strategies throughout the year.
With either option, The Get Smart Group feels it’s important to have face-to-face time to implement a strong strategy. “Some people have marketing departments, but they just need help getting organized,” Ali says. “Having us there in person is a really great way of getting stuff done fast.”
When we’re managing your marketing calendar for you, we do a monthly check-in call to touch base, give results for the previous month, verify what’s planned for the next month and see if there is anything else you’d like to add to the calendar. “This gives us a little bit of flexibility for last-minute opportunities, but without the last-minute rush and panic,” Ali says. “This built-in room to breath means a higher quality marketing campaign overall.”
Implementing the Plan
Once you have your big events and sales on the calendar, you can fill the rest of your marketing slots by breaking down each of those items. Map out an email campaign, social media posts and advertising, blog posts and landing pages on your website, Google Adwords promotions, print ads and radio spots – when they will need to go live and when the materials will need to be ready to make that happen. Whatever you do, Ali advises that visuals be included. They are very important for grabbing attention.
Even if you don’t use The Get Smart Group for piecing it together – or any outside help for that matter – implementing a marketing calendar will take the success of your business to the next level. Take the time to plan out the rest of 2015 and you’ll quickly see what a difference an organized strategy will make.