What is the definition of marketing? There are many, but the best in our opinion is “satisfying needs profitably”.
That means that all of your marketing, communication, customer relationship-building, and brand-building activities work synergistically to enhance your business’s profitability.
Many people lose sight of this when designing their marketing calendar for the year. They become overwhelmed by the plethora of possibilities and new media like Facebook and Twitter either excites them or just makes their stress levels worse.
The good news is, keeping the business objectives in mind really simplifies marketing planning.
Benefits of a SMART Marketing Calendar
The SMART calendar focuses on achieving financial or other business targets, not just marketing for the sake of marketing.
- A consistent message will make your marketing more effective.
- You can’t do everything. Really, you can’t. We need to discriminate on the basis of what will work best to achieve our objectives.
To help our clients, we developed a tool to help you stay focused on dollar productive activities. This is not to say that every single thing we do is about converting to sales. Brand-building and relationship development are core to your business. Ultimately, this will translate into preference and loyalty.
How it Works
It is simple. We take a six month calendar and first set our objectives.
We have broken this Calendar into two-month chunks. That’s because the average time a campaign needs in order to be effective is at least eight weeks. When we say ‘campaign’ we mean messages and activities that are focused on delivering a key business objective.
We make our objective SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Decide on a SMARTT objective for January / February block. In our example, we use a communications business.
What business unit needs focus? The web design unit.
How many do you need? Ten new sites.
Our SMART Objective: To get 10 new sites before the end of February.
What industry do you want to target to get these new clients? Tradespeople who don’t have sites.
What will we offer? Here you create an offer of value.
How can we incentivise product take-up? This is the sweetener. Often it is a discount or value-added bonus. It is always best to add value than discount. Here, we are adding a free custom-designed website banner.
Next we think about the ‘creative’. This is the imagery and tagline we will use across our media to communicate this message.
If we run ads, we will use this in our advertising and maybe test a slight change to the headline each time.
If there is a special holiday (like Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentines Dy, etc) we can incorporate this too. “Treat yourself…”
We will also stay ‘on message’ in our blog, our Twitter posts, Facebook, any other media we may use. You can add in anything else you regularly do and are committed to continuing.
We also have direct mail and unaddressed mail. These should be on message as well.
At the end of the Campaign period, we should measure how we have done.
How many enquiries did we get through the website? On the phone?
How many quotes did we convert? Which media worked well? Which didn’t? If you did it all again, what would you change?
This information will help us in planning for the next block.
Here is a complimentary copy of the template. Let us know how it worked.