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Take Control with a 2016 Marketing Calendar

By January 30, 2016May 13th, 2019

Do you often feel scattered? Maybe your desk looks like mine has in the past. Yellow post-it notes stuck to my computer screen, various pieces of paper with various to-dos in various places…

As a marketing specialist, you probably wear a variety of hats. From keeping track of social media to writing press releases, the opportunity to overlook your various responsibilities is great. Despite the fact that folks like us are great at multitasking, meeting deadlines and wearing a lot of different hats, we are still only human.

I used to think that despite the former mentioned, I could keep it all on track in my head. Needless to say (I’m now willing to admit), I can’t. I found myself overlooking minor details or staying up late to finish what I should have done during normal working hours. When my boss finally presented this marketing calendar to me, I had to blush… “Oh boy, why didn’t I think of that?”

If you feel like you could use a little help, then maintaining a marketing calendar just might be your key to keeping it all together. Not only that, it will also provide an incredibly useful framework from which your editorial calendar will grow.

Ready to clean your desk?

Your marketing calendar is your marketing compass. You should ideally be planning your calendar as much as one full year out. Whether it’s a fiscal year or a calendar year, your ability to see your key events for the entire year will allow you to stay focused on your immediate to-dos as well as give you a birds-eye view with a firm handle on planning for what’s coming up next.

However, even starting your planning now for events in August and September can make a huge difference. At least you won’t be confronted by your boss two weeks out asking where those promotional materials are.

Key Dates and Events, Sales & Promotions, PR/Programs & Events: This is what will drive much of your activity across all platforms. Include public holidays, your business’ anniversary if you offer special engagement activities, special sales and promotions, speaking engagements, networking events, conferences, community service projects and new product launches. *Don’t forget to factor in personal events that might impact your ability to carry out your professional obligations.

Online: Are you hosting a conference? Having a special sale? Doing keyword research for your particular event is an important step that will allow you to gauge the effectiveness of various search terms relevant to your event and the demographic that your attempting to reach. This will allow you to tailor your blogs and other mediums towards these various demographics. 

Advertising: Include all outbound advertising activity you employ. Whether TV, print, radio or outdoor banners and such, whatever you are promoting to your local offline market, you want to be sure that your inbound and outbound efforts are complementing each other in whatever way possible and in a synchronistic fashion.

Research: Carving out time to analyze your data is a critical component of your marketing efforts. Consider your various events: do customer surveys before and/or after and plan to analyze your results. Your feedback from these tools will help to steer the ship so-to-speak and, as a result, will allow you to continuously improve your game. This means your results can only improve and isn’t that the outcome we all strive for?

2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar

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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.