A marketing calendar serves as a visual representation of a brand’s planned marketing activities. It serves as a chronological guide to properly execute marketing strategies, detailing a brand’s marketing goals and providing them with a timeline to accomplish such goals.
Typically, marketing calendars are arranged by year, with brands filling in what they plan to do each month.
The benefits of using a marketing calendar
Better coordination amongst team members
Having a marketing calendar helps team members coordinate with one another better by making it clear which member of the team is responsible for accomplishing a certain task or project. Team managers and members are offered an overview of what who needs to be working on what, and when. This makes it easier to find gaps in progress and tweak schedules in case more time is necessary.
Helps marketing team stay on top of their tasks
A marketing calendar helps avoid missed deadlines by providing more foresight. Marketing teams get to see how tasks progress on a daily and weekly basis, and adjust accordingly to maintain realistic expectations. This holistic view also allows project managers to delegate tasks to their team members more effectively and come up with the best possible working arrangement for their team.
Saves time on tasks
Because task information is laid out and accessible to everyone, marketing teams can better communicate and save time that would have been spent aligning the team. A planned structure is easier to follow and disseminate compared to simply executing a plan on the fly, even if certain plans require flexibility. A form of stability in a fast-paced working environment gives team members something to fall back to.
Helps marketing team reach the brand’s marketing goals in a timely manner
A visual representation of deadlines provides another benefit: marketing team members become more motivated to accomplish tasks by a certain point because they can see their target. A marketing calendar also provides a clear visual representation of a brand’s goals, which can further encourage team members to tackle potential speed bumps and overcome them.
Tips in developing and using a marketing calendar
Streamline the company’s overall marketing strategy
Brands must do research on their target audience and determine what type of content will resonate with them the best. They must also consider their marketing budget, which will determine the feasibility and limit of any strategy. Here are some factors that brands should consider when mapping out their overall marketing strategy:
- Frequency of promotions
- Audience persona
- Resources required vs. resources available
- Seasonal relevance of the brand
Create a sharable calendar that all members of the marketing team can refer to
Marketing teams can create a marketing calendar using ready-made templates or other digital tools. This shared calendar will serve as the backbone of a brand’s marketing strategy. It will also serve as a historical point of reference for previous marketing efforts to better forecast new strategies. The team can use it to note any effective and ineffective strategies to further optimize their marketing strategies.
Digital marketing calendars can be set to remind team members of recurring events, which are especially helpful when it comes to reinforcing deadlines. Ideally, a marketing calendar should contain:
- The name of the marketing project
- Pertinent dates
- Designated project manager and team members
- Other parties involved in the project
- Regular project updates, results, and reports
Complete all necessary details of a project strategy
Marketing calendars will work best when all relevant details are complete, but teams must ensure that the calendar isn’t cluttered. Determine what information will be necessary to the execution of the project to lessen the possibility of losing details in minutiae. Set realistic, achievable goals within a set timeline, then come up with finalized, concrete action plans. When finished, a marketing calendar will typically hold the following kinds of content:
- Content plans
- Advertising campaigns
- Social media plans
- Public relations or media partnerships
Analyze results after each project’s completion
A marketing calendar can maximize its purpose when its results are measured once a project is completed. This allows team members to learn from any project’s results, finding gaps that weren’t anticipated. By analyzing statistics, determining whether goals were met and how quickly they were achieved, a marketing calendar’s historical value can provide valuable insights into any future efforts.