Anand Srinivasan
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How To Set Up Your Business Marketing Calendar

Anand Srinivasan

April 08, 2014

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Marketing is one of the most important activities performed by a business. It helps you understand the psyche of your potential customer, craft a communication that they can relate to, and take the communication through a platform that will help you reach out to the right audience. Regardless of your business size, the core components that go into marketing a business are more or less the same.

One of the most crucial components is identifying the right platform and strategy to communicate your message. It is here that a marketing calendar comes in handy. With a marketing calendar, a business owner can identify the potential opportunities for business promotion and depending on the estimated ROI, can allocate budgets to the various opportunities. This article will help you through the steps involved in building your own marketing calendar.

Step 1 : Identify all opportunities

To begin with, make a list of all business events, festivals, sporting events, movie launches, etc. that are scheduled over the next one year. Depending on your product and audience, you may either choose events in your local neighborhood or those that are followed nationally. This first step basically integrates all events listed on your daily calendar, entertainment calendar, calendar from the local chamber of commerce, etc. Make a master calendar that has all the events listed in one place so that you could identify and compare the various opportunities available for marketing.

Step 2 : Identify the marketing opportunity with each event

Every event has a different kind of marketing opportunity to go with it. For instance, Thanksgiving is an event where a marketing opportunity can be created by offering discounts. On the other hand, a sporting event could provide either an advertising or a partnership opportunity. One event could have multiple opportunities; so map all the possible opportunities against the event.

Step 3 : Calculate Sales Growth From Every Opportunity

The next step is identifying what the expected growth in sales could be from each of these events. It is important that you do not factor in the budget required for executing the opportunity at this point. Doing so would stop you from looking at possible marketing opportunities that can have a great bearing on your business growth.

Step 4 : Sort and Budget

Once the sales growth has been projected from every event, sort the events in descending order with the events with the highest growth items on top. Once this is done, mark each opportunity with an estimated budget required to execute the campaign. For instance, if you are a product dealer like Best Buy, then calculate the potential loss in revenues due to providing your gadgets at a discount on Thanksgiving. If you are engaging in a partnership, calculate the cost involved in executing the terms of the partnership. For instance, the business internet provider AllStream recently partnered as the official supplier for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am games. In this case, the cost could be in setting up all the telecommunication tools that will be used by all officials and athletes during the course of the games.

Step 5 : Identify Budget Constraints And Mark Alternatives

Once this is done, you will realize that the budget costs for some opportunities are beyond your means. For these opportunities, look for alternatives that can be done with a smaller budget. For instance, GoDaddy does commercials during the Super Bowl which is not something a small time hosting provider can afford. But the alternatives to that include advertising on websites that stream the Super Bowl live – doing so would help you target the same audience at a lower cost.

Step 6 : Calculate ROI

Now simply divide the expected revenues from the marketing opportunity by the budget you need to invest. The figure you obtain is the return on investment (ROI). Sort the table one more time in the descending order of ROI

Step 7 : Finalize Events

With your annual budget in mind, identify the events with the highest ROIs whose cumulative budgets equal your annual budget. These are the events that you need to target during your financial year.

This process helps you identify the best opportunities through the year that your business should target in order to get the maximum return on your marketing investment. Depending on your constraints, you may also choose to create marketing calendars on a quarterly or monthly basis. This depends on whether you need to spread your budget across the year or if you can afford concentrating your investments on specific events around the year regardless of how unevenly they are distributed.


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