In my work as a marketing consultant, I find that one of the biggest challenges my clients deal with is putting together a marketing plan for the year, determining who will do what and keeping everything on track. To help my clients I often create a 12-month marketing calendar so we can plan things out.
Marketing calendars: Why and how
Creating a marketing calendar is one of the best ways to visualise everything that needs to be done. A good marketing calendar serves as a blueprint for the year, helping identify what messaging you will create, what channels you will use and what your biggest priorities are.
While it takes some time to fill out everything in the beginning, it’s an incredibly valuable tool that ensures nothing is forgotten, all the important tasks are included and assigned, and that you’ve budgeted appropriately for each item.
Marketing calendars also help you plan backwards from important events so you get better turnout and response from customers. For instance, if you have major sales around the holidays, you can schedule pre-sale social media posts that are coordinated with email campaigns, website updates, postcards (with plenty of time to design, print and mail) so that customers keep your offers top-of-mind during the busy buying season.
Free download to get you started
To eliminate some of the pain of getting started, I’ve created an Excel file template for 2018-19 that you can access for free. It runs from July 2018 to June 2019 and includes rows for every week of the year, along with columns for all major marketing areas such as social media posts, email campaigns, press releases, events and much more. You can reuse it each year too (just change the date in the top row).
Please note that this template is meant to be a starting point for you and your team. Your needs may be different, so you can add or remove columns as you go.
Remember, too, that priorities and activities sometimes change during the year, and that’s fine. You may decide that you’re doing too much, need to eliminate some things or get some help and outsource some of your marketing. You can always adjust your plan as you start to see what’s working and what’s not.
Need help putting together your marketing calendar or reaching your goals? Contact Breathe Marketing today.