In our last post, we laid out exactly why the marketing calendar is an asset to businesses. If that resonated with you, then let’s see what we can do to help you get started with establishing a marketing calendar framework. We’ve narrowed the many facets of a marketing calendar down to three basic components:
- Brands, Divisions & Geography
- Marketing Channels
Let’s dive into why each of these foundational pieces are important, and their potential downstream impact.
Time is relative –– and we’re quoting Einstein when we say that –– so there’s no reason why your marketing teams should be creating timelines for their individual marketing activities without guidance. Marketing calendars are typically planned using fiscal weeks and days. It’s a useful, practical view: when it comes time to build your budget, track expenses, and finally report on return on investment (ROI), a calendar built along a fiscal timeline can make life much easier.
But, a fiscal view alone isn’t always optimal. Businesses that operate seasonally will appreciate the flexibility to switch to a seasonality-based view. Is it easier for your marketing team to refer to the Fiscal Week 32 campaign or the Spring/Summer promotion?
Since each framework offers distinct benefits, it’s important to identify at the outset, which timelines might work best for your company.
Brands, Divisions & Geography
Marketing calendars are typically created for a particular brand, product line, division, or even sales channel. Within mid to large organizations, it’s easy to end up with multiple versions of the marketing calendar floating around. If each of those versions is presented in a different way, the result is a whole lot of confusion. Things can get even messier the moment your organization’s marketing leadership wants a cross team view to establish alignment!
An online marketing calendar can help you nail down a common structure and location for these marketing calendars. Plus, they can simplify communication, management, and make inefficiencies or redundancies easier to identify. It’s a strategy used by many of the global marketing organizations we work with and one that your company can adopt.
Marketing channels are your lines of communication, and points of engagement with potential customers. This includes everything from Twitter to Direct Mail campaigns. Your marketing team will have to define what the set of marketing channels are, based on your customer base. Do your customers respond better to weekly emails or social media promotions?
Once that list is set, you can prioritize them by relevance, audience size, and marketing spend. Loading these channels into your marketing calendar with consistency will help the tactical teams understand their responsibilities and workload across the divisions.
To learn more about building a marketing calendar checkout our free eBook!