Today, I will continue with other marketing weapons as a part of entrepreneurial efforts to use different marketing tactics. After we cover the marketing plan as one of the marketing weapons now we will continue with a marketing calendar.
The marketing calendar will need to be part of one excellent marketing plan. Marketing tasks, such as brochures, flyers, radio and TV campaigns, mailings, phone calls, networking techniques, and others must be managed and implemented in real-time.
This calendar must be part of any successful marketing plan. Simply, a marketing calendar is a 12-month description of what you plan to do about your marketing efforts as an entrepreneur. Yes, this means that the calendar is a written road map for your promotional activities for a specific period of time. You must know that your marketing calendar is a dynamic, living document that will change over time.
How to develop your own marketing calendar?
A marketing calendar is a tool that must answer the following questions:
- How you will market your products and services?
- Who you will market to?
- How much it will cost?
- When you will market?
- How many potential customers you will reach?
- Results or how many customers you reach with the specific marketing weapon?
The simplest way to make your marketing calendar is to make a table in MS Excel or MS Word. In such a document you can put the subtitles as a column for all marketing efforts that you plan to implement.
This calendar can be in electronic form as .doc or .xls files. Or it can be also as a printed document version. The format is not so important, but the implementation and content of the calendar will be implemented.
What to include in your marketing calendar?
Most marketing calendars break down the months or weeks of a year and address the marketing activities that will take place in each month or week. In the simplest form a marketing calendar that you can use will have the following columns:
- Marketing activities,
- Target market,
- Marketing costs,
- From and to date,
- Number of potential customers and
Why marketing calendar is so important?
The marketing calendar is important because it helps you to:
- Measure every marketing effort for the specific period of time.
- Track marketing costs related to your marketing efforts.
- Improve your marketing efforts.
- Stay focused.
Measuring your efforts
Yes, with a marketing calendar you will be able to measure all the promotional weapons you use to attract new customers. This is provided with columns about the results of your marketing activities. As a result, you must put a number that will tell you how many prospects are transformed into real buyers or customers.
Your marketing costs
In your calendar, you must have a column that will show you costs for every promotional activity. Because of that, you will use your marketing calendar more effectively. Simple, you will not only be able to manage effectively all your marketing efforts, but also you will have help related to your marketing budget. At the end of the year or period of time that you cover in your marketing calendar, you can simply measure all your marketing activities. You will not only be able to measure them in terms of money, but also in terms of your results. It is a good basis for calculating ratios.
For example, let’s say you have spent $1000 on some ad in the local newspaper. In the ad you have included a discount card, so you know exactly how many customers come from that specific ad.
If you get 500 customers with the same discount coupon from that ad who spent an average of $100 in your business, your income from that ad will be $50.000. Now, if your profit margin is 5% your profit will be $2.500. So, you know that this is an excellent marketing activity because you cover the full costs of the ad and earn $1.500.
Improving your marketing efforts and stay focused
But, if we have only 100 customers who will spend $100, we will get $10.000 in income. With a 5% profit margin, your profit will be $500. So, you can quickly exclude that ad from your marketing calendar for the next year. Using this process, you will be able continually to improve your marketing efforts. You will always need to find ways how to measure your marketing efforts.
A marketing calendar is a helpful tool you can use to help you in charting your company’s marketing efforts. Not only that but also the results so you will stay focused on all planned marketing activities during the year. In this way, a marketing calendar is the only way that will help you to carry out your marketing plan.