How are you marketing your business?
Do you wait until October or November
to begin marketing your business?
If you think marketing begins in October
and ends on January 1st, think again.
Although the prime holiday season is the month of December, marketing for it should begin on January 1st and never stop until the end of the year.
Impossible! You say. No one is going to look at marketing for December in January.
That’s true. But are they going to look at your marketing and buy your products for the holidays in December? They will if you have spent the year keeping your company name in front of them and if they have become accustomed (created the habit) of buying their gifts from you.
Habits are built as a result of repetition. The philosopher Aristotle said many hundreds of years ago that “we are what we repeatedly do.” And this applies as much to where your customers buy gifts as much as it does to losing weight or smoking. It also applies to you.
Have you created the Marketing Habit?
If not, you’re wasting valuable time.
No matter how much you think you hate marketing, growing a successful business is dependent on it. And it can’t be haphazard either. Planning what you will market and how you will do it as well as reviewing how successful it was, and tweaking the ideas for next year are essential to a successful marketing plan.
My Marketing Calendar helps me do all that and more. It’s a process that I’ve been using for many years and have taught to my students in my small business classes.
I’ve created a process for you to use as you plan your 2019 marketing year. There are work-sheets at the end of this post that you can use each month to help you plan the coming year.
Set it up for the year and as you set up each month and consider ALL the possibilities…
Is July only for Independence Day and patriotic gifts?
July is a family focused month: Family Reunion Month, Family Golf Month.
July 22nd – Parents’ Day, July 24th – Cousins Day, July 30th – Father-In-Law Day
July is also a Big Picnic Month:
National Picnic Month
National Grilling Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Baked Bean Month
And who knew there’s so much more to October than Halloween?
Need some ideas?
There are lots of them in this great e-commerce holiday marketing calendar.
And for some great marketing ideas, read this 2019 Marketing Guide For Ambitious Ecom Marketers
Start now and you will have a much more successful year and holiday season!
How to Use the Marketing Calendar
This is what has worked for me through the years that I’ve been using a Marketing Calendar.
- You could always go through this process by creating the calendar on your computer. To me, however, I find it easier to use and to keep for future reference if I use a paper Marketing Calendar process. Here is how I do it.
- Buy yourself a 3-ring binder and a package of tabs that you can write the name of each month on.
- Go online, Google “2019 printable calendar ” and print out a monthly calendar for the whole year. Put that in your binder. Then print out the following forms for each month and put them behind each calendar for that month in your binder. You’ll find a form that you can use for your plan for each of the next 12 months. There is also a form that you can use for setting up each individual promotion during that month. Print out as many of these as you will need depending on the number of promotions that you will be doing. You can always print more if you need them. I would add a few pages of binder paper for notes behind each monthly tab as well. You now have a workable marketing calendar for the whole year.
- Choose the important holidays for your business. They could be traditional, religious, or just for fun. Don’t forget your local marketing opportunities. Include them in the Calendar as well. One easy way to begin setting up your marketing plan for the year is to choose a theme for each month. Identify the holidays that you consider most important to target. This is where you want to focus most of your time, energy, and budget. This is when most customers are trained to spend money on gifts.
- You can use colors and graphics to create the mood of the season for your business website and store displays. For Mardi Gras, the traditional colors are purple, green and gold. Spring calls for pastels while the 4th of July could be festive in red, white, and blue.
- Consider what lead times are needed for marketing each holiday. You can never be too early in preparing your marketing campaigns and, with this marketing calendar, you won’t be too late. It’s not just a matter of when to start your marketing blitz, but for effective results, you need to plan and prepare your marketing materials well in advance. Plan your calendar for several months in advance. If you wait until the first day of the month arrives, you may already be too late.
- At the end of each month, you should go back and review what you have done that month to market your business, how successful it was, and what should be changed for next year. When next year arrives, this information will make it so much easier for you to create a new Marketing Calendar.
- I keep several years of my marketing calendar in my binder so that I can review what I did in previous years, what worked and what didn’t. I’ve also added a financial page for each month so that I can track what I have spent on marketing during that month. This makes it much easier to budget your marketing for future years.
I know we didn’t get into this business to worry about graphic design, blogging, social media, copywriting, and all the other stuff that goes into marketing. But, if you’ve been in business, for any length of time, you’ve already become aware that your business will die if you fail to market.
The secret is to make it a habit for them to think of you throughout the year. If you use this Marketing Calendar to plan for your success throughout the year, while using promotions to make your business stand out from your competition, you’ll find that helping them create that habit can be fun.
Here are examples of some of the pages that I include in my Marketing Calendar.
My Marketing Themes for Each Month in 2019
Another page is set up for each month as follows:
My Marketing Calendar for _____________
Special Dates I plan to Market
- _______________________ 2. _________________________
- _______________________ 4._________________________
Goals for Each Promotion:
Strategies for Each Promotion:
People are going to buy from someone at Christmas. But it’s essential to make your services and products so interesting to them that they will already be in the habit of looking to you as the company to hand their money over to instead of the mass of other stores. The only way to do that is to stay in touch with them throughout the year.