It’s December already! I know most of you are busy trying to reach your year end goals and preparing for the holidays. I’m hoping you’ve started to think ahead to the upcoming year. Your 2014 marketing calendar is extremely important.
Marketing is all about messaging and timing. Having a calendar for the year ahead will help you coordinate all of your efforts and reach your goals.
It can seem like a daunting task planning that far ahead, so below I’ve given you some steps you can take to make the process easier. And trust me, it’ll make the upcoming year go smoother. Breaking it down into steps will make your calendar creation more manageable. So here we go…
Where To Begin
Assess Your 2013 Marketing
Reflect on this past year. Make note of the things that worked and that didn’t. Do more of the things that worked in the upcoming year!
Establish Your Goals
Before you plan specific activities, set some goals. Be as specific as possible. Get specific about the outcomes you’re looking for. Having these goals will help you stay on track with as you plan your activities.
Map Out Key Dates & Events
Add the key events that you want to capitalize on during the year. Include holidays, promotions, events or trade shows. This will give you a skeleton as you move forward.
Determine The Where & What
Each event you’ve listed above will have its own campaign. So determining which ways your going to convey your message for each one is important. Your audience and message for a trade show might be different than a holiday promotion. You might use several different mediums to reach your audience. So include things like direct mailings, blogging, social media or press releases needed for each campaign.
And now that you know the where and how for each event, you’ll be able to schedule deadlines and the steps required to deliver each campaign.
You can find free marketing calendar templates online from places like Hubspot or with a quick google search. Or if you’re old school like me and prefer a printed calendar that you can scribble and take notes on 🙂 I’m a big fan of Ilise Benun’s Marketing Mentor Calendar.
Taking the time to schedule these things out on a marketing calendar will have you breathing a sigh of relief later in the year. You won’t find yourself dumbfounded sometime in mid June over what you should be doing to market your business.
So now let’s hear from you. Have you created your 2014 marketing calendar? Do you have any other tips for taking on the task?