By Martyn Crew
You have your branding. You have your messaging. You may even have your funding. But do you have a marketing calendar? Probably not.
In basic terms, a marketing calendar is an achievable timeline of planned marketing campaigns and activities. Below are a few key features that make a marketing calendar truly useful.
- The calendar should be a one-page summary that will allow management to see if projects are on-track or if there are roadblocks. At Bootstrap, we find that formatting calendars by the month makes them easy to read and understand.
- The calendar and corresponding activities should focus on one or two themes drawn from the corporate messaging. This helps your team keep on message–even the greatest marketing ideas won’t do much for the bottom line if they stray from the message you’re trying to tell customers.
- Each calendar should showcase topline detail on campaigns, activities and resources. Don’t go into too much detail, remember this is a one-page overview.
And why should you care? Because companies with the ability to execute are the ones who come out on top. You can have a fantastic product and great marketing ideas, but if your ideas never leave the whiteboard, you can be left with nothing. The best way to carry off a huge marketing coup? The incremental progress of putting the campaign into action. How can you do that? With a plan.
We encourage you to find the joy in filling an Excel document with marketing activities and then checking your successes off one-by-one. It’s quite a thrill, especially when you can see your company succeeding right along with you.
NOTE: Martyn Crew is the CEO and founder of Bootstrap Marketing, a San Carlos-based digital marketing agency. Bootstrap works with industry leaders like SAP, high-growth companies like Pentaho and startups like Yeti Data to help them position their solutions with content and campaigns that help them get to market fast and stay ahead of their competition.