Surprisingly Simple Secret to Small Business Marketing Success
By Randy Mitchelson, APR, Vice President Sales, Marketing & Public Relations
As a small business owner you tend to wear many hats.
We get it. We are a small business too.
From hour to hour you switch gears. From responding to emails and phone messages (customer service), to interviewing candidates for your next employee (human resources) to fixing a broken door hinge in your office (maintenance),
Then it’s off to attend a chamber event to meet new people (sales) and posting on social media (marketing) once you arrive.
Later, after dinner and your favorite TV show you’re up til 1 a.m. updating your billing and sending out invoices (accounting).
You barely have time to do your real job (CEO) because you’re working in the business not on the business.
Some will say this is the joy of owning a business. The days are never dull.
Juggling all those balls while spinning plates and coasting on roller skates takes a lot of practice, discipline, confidence and organization.
One misstep and it all comes crashing down.
One best practice that businesses should adopt to help bring organization and structure to their unpredictable days is building a marketing calendar.
Marketing and advertising is a very deadline driven world.
A calendar is a useful tool in your planning process.
First, it protects against missed opportunities. Second, the calendar helps provide enough time for your internal and/or external partners such as graphic designers, website developers, social media managers and public relations professionals to do their part in executing the plan.
Use the marketing calendar to enter all the commitments and plans you’ve made.
- chamber of commerce functions
- awards dinners
- professional networking
- charity partners
- sporting tournaments
- Conferences and tradeshows
- new product launches
- customer appreciation
- seasonal & holiday
For each one of these initiatives your marketing calendar can include strategies and tactics required. Examples include blog writing, pay per click advertising, social media posts, news releases, video production and more.
Benefits of a Marketing Calendar
Your marketing should always be turned on. The messaging will change but you should always be marketing.
Your marketing calendar will give you a visual representation of your plan and any gaps will stick out.
In the same light, your calendar will also scream out if you have any periods where you are overcommitted. In these cases you can either choose to reschedule something, plan to have the extra resources necessary or opt out of the lowest impact opportunities.
Another benefit of the marketing calendar is that it can be a shared document. If you use third party resources like graphic designers, social media managers, etc. you can share your company’s calendar with them so they too are not caught off guard by an upcoming need.
What does a marketing calendar look like?
If you search on Google for “marketing calendar template” you will find a lot of great options.
Fancier is not always better. A simple spreadsheet will suffice.
Important elements to include in any template you choose or create for yourself are:
- Start and end date of activity
- Budget allocated to activity
- Name of person(s) who own execution of the activity
- Deadlines for submission of logos and/or advertisements
You may want to have two views of your marketing calendar.
One view would be a year at a glance so you can quickly see a full twelve months and whether there’s any glaring gaps or overloads.
A second view could be for a specific month or campaign where you can review a lot more of the details associated with each specific initiative.
The key is to give yourself and your team and partners enough lead time to adequately prepare for a marketing initiative or event. This will not eliminate all the last minute scrambling but it will minimize it.
About M&M Multimedia
M&M Multimedia is an award winning marketing agency that delivers creative and strategic integrated marketing and e-learning solutions. M&M Multimedia partners with small and medium sized businesses, including other marketing and public relations agencies, to perform video and livestream production, website design and high speed hosting, mobile app and learning management systems, e-commerce and digital marketing solutions such as search engine optimization and pay per click advertising. The studio is available to photographers and videographers for rent. Learn more at mandmmultimedia.com or call the studio at (239) 234-1734.
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