Below you’ll find the key pieces of the puzzle for creating a promotional calendars centered on marketing your company. First, you must ask what is my objective? What is the purpose or the end goal? What would you like to achieve? Do you want to increase new customer foot traffic? Incentivize loyal customers? Generate referral through your social media channels? Or, all of these? You must have a clear vision of what you want your main focus to be!
Next, revisit last year plan, did you achieve your goal? If so, what was successful and what wasn’t? Analyze what worked and what didn’t and perhaps you’ll discover the secret sauce that made last year a success. If you can discover the secret to your success it will making planning for the upcoming year much easier. You’ll simply put together a marketing strategy wrapped up in what you know created you success last year. In other words, wash, rinse and repeat. If you cannot determine work or if nothing seemed to work then it time to rework everything, start afresh!
Good marketers understand success begins with having a well targeted audience. The “who” of your marketing is most critical. If you’re hunting for ducks and use a turkey call you’ll see no ducks and you won’t get any turkeys either, because you’re most likely in the wrong place… probably in a blind facing water. Your marketing must be pointed at the right target, with a message that is viscerally clear and succinct as to what their primary problem is and the solution you bring which puts and end to their problem. In other words, great products often go the way of the Dodo if they’re promoted and offered up to the wrong audience. If you have not determined who your ideal audience is now is the time!
Of course, every marketing project needs a budget, but especially promotional calendars. Since, we are speaking about a monthly calendar one should have a good game plan as to how much you can budget to promotions each calendar month. A budget of money and time are important here. How many promotions each month can you team handle, time wise? Also, how many can you budget endure? Budgets vary widely and how much we spend must be determined by a lot of factors. What is time lag to return on investment? What is an average lifetime value of a new customer? See wher I’m going? You have to think it through and then layout you monthly promotional campaigns.
All of this leads to and provides the information we’ll need to define and layout our calendar. We need to create our promotional campaigns. We must plan our lead time to execute our campaigns successfully. This means we need deadlines and project managers. Layout the seasonal opportunities you want to take advantage of and what and who will take care of the task to implement them.
You must be tactical! Define, layout and execute your promotional plan for each month to understand how you’ll get the job done right. Get your thinking cap on and fine tune the details of each and every promotion prior to its deadline. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to the last minute or not doing the prep work above. This all ties together to create successful promotions. If you don’t plan this out carefully your all your promotional calendars with be a flop!
Obviously, when it comes to marketing execution is everything and the devil is in the details. Every promotion will need a champion, either you or one of your employees. You should be able to provide the playbook and then let them drive the promotion.
A Strategy For Promotional Calendars
Here’s a good outline of what your playbook should entail:
- What — Summary: The promotion calendars goal, along with its title or name.
- When — Dates both start and end of your promotional calendars must be determined. If a contest provide the rules and final delivery dates
- Who — What date is everything due and by whom? Sponsorships? Point of sales materials, promotional items and rules
- ETC. — Put yourself in both your employees shoes and your customers, what are their questions going to be? How will it work for both staff and customer? Then remember to follow up and inspect what you expect!
Finally, promotional calendars are only worth the work if you know how well your promotions work. What was successful and what was not. So, after each promotion develop a survey for both employees and customers and ask for their feedback! You have to know if your promotional calendars are being successful. So, at the end of the year ask your employees and customers again for feedback from an overall prospective of your promotional calendar’s .
Lastly, don’t get caught up in fads and trends. This must be your brand, so be creative internally both personally and corporately. Most of all keep you eye on whether or not your ideal client participated. Remember promotional calendars are not only handy from client’s standpoint of understanding “what’s the date”, but did it accomplish your goals, period! You must remember to be cohesive and wise in your planning.